8 Unconventional Real Estate Investing Methods

Single-family home

Looking for some unconventional ways to invest in real estate?

Wholesaling real estate, rehabbing houses and building new construction homes are all good staples that continue to deliver great returns. However, there are always those looking for something new: the path less traveled. The following list offers some additional options for those looking to diversify or get into real estate in a way that really fits their unique personality:

1. Investing in Campgrounds

Many have all but forgotten about camping. However, if you check it out during the summer, you’ll find many campgrounds across the country fully booked. There are primitive camping spots, KOA style camping resorts, camping cabins, “glamping,” luxury RV parks, and more. Some camping sites rent for less than $50 a night. Others go for over $200 per night. Clearly, there is a huge demand. These parks can offer very low holding costs for owners and investors. For some, campgrounds could be an attractive buy and hold investment. Be sure to consider that the resale market may be limited.

2. Mobile Home Parks

Mobile home parks are somewhat similar to campgrounds for investors. Current fundamentals are making them even more attractive. They are even trending among sophisticated real estate investors; when they can be found that is. The big difference is that mobile home park tenants tend to be longer term renters. With the exception of creative investing and tents, this is about as affordable as housing gets. If you believe the affordable housing crisis is worsening, avenues like these might be worth checking out.

3. Shipping Container Architecture

Some may believe shipping container architecture is a fad. Believe it or not, shipping container architecture is growing in popularity, and there is no sign of it slowing down. This particular type of home offers a lot of benefits that regular housing does not. That said, investing in them is a different animal. The market is considerably smaller, but there is a niche nonetheless.

4. Tiny Houses

Tiny houses may not be a viable form of real estate investing in many parts of America. It can be highly risky, and can lack scale, not to mention difficulties in financing. However, there are communities in which tiny houses are becoming popular. This is especially true in the northwest. It can certainly be a fun approach, and can offer value. However, make sure you are aware of the pitfalls before wading in.

5. Cheap Urban Housing

Cheap urban houses are still neglected by a large portion of the investor community. This is largely due to the fear of managing these properties, as well as the increasing awareness that not all cheap real estate is a deal. In fact, some cheap houses can result in really huge expenses. These expenses can sometimes exceed the purchase price. However, those that actually do their homework and take the time to investigate the fundamentals can find gold mines.

6. Investing in Real Estate Advertising

Investing in advertising is becoming a more mainstream investment option. It is becoming incredibly popular. There are even new funds that specialize in online advertising. Real estate professionals and businesses always need more marketing dollars too. Often times, they’ll be willing to pay great returns on working capital for this purpose. The trick is working with players that really understand real estate marketing, and how fast advertising trends can change.

7. Land

Those feeling cramped for deal volume will discover that there is an abundance of land in the United States. Small lots, acreage, large commercial real estate parcels, and raw farmland can all be invested in. In one sense, it is the safest investment out there. Buildings can be damaged by terror attacks and natural disasters, but the land will always be there. The closing costs are normally so low that this can be a great investment choice for those starting out with little capital. However, weigh the potential for income, or lack of it, the resale market, and potential for seizure by eminent domain.

8. New Real Estate Technology

The real estate technology market is one of the most massive business sectors of the moment. Cisco estimates its potential could grow to be in the trillions over the next few years. It may be hard to make a dent, but for the tech savvy entrepreneur there may be room for new invention and startup.


Those considering these unconventional investing methods still need to boost their understanding of real estate to stay safe and maximize returns. Understand the risks of going the alternative route, and don’t let them become a distraction from what is proven to work.