Is REI Right for You?

Cody Cromwell
Written by
Last update:

How to Access Free REI Tools

What Is Real Estate Investing?

Real estate investment is essentially a strategy for investing your money (cash or cash equivalent) in order to purchase an income-producing property (real property) and rental real estate such as a house or apartment building.

Real estate investment may be the best way for you to invest your time and money to grow your wealth via income from rent, but it is only a strategy if you have done proper research, or if you have an objective leader to guide you.


Your Research

You must conduct in depth due diligence on the property you want to own and lease. This means contacting the appropriate service providers to provide you with material information about the property you intend to buy. There are property inspectors and repair contractors to examine the property, and they will tell you about problems with the toilets, the roof, the sewer lines, etc that might not show up on the real estate agent’s property report. They must be well paid for their opinions, and they can also be useful for matters beyond a property’s physical requirements, such as zoning requirements, whether the property is zoned properly, neighborhood and community activities, etc.

Is Real Estate Investing Right for You?

Real-estate investing is a great way to get a foothold in real estate and to grow your net income (or passive income) over the long term. Your REI money will be a great addition to your retirement savings and thus can improve your household’s financial freedom.

To start investing in property, you’ll need a relatively large amount of monies for your own use at the beginning. In the beginning, you will need to pay your own plus the mortgage interest. Depending on your heart set, your post retirement budget, and your rental rate, you might want to pay off the loan with your first rental or you might want to keep it and keep investing in property.

Since REIs involves the ownership of a property in addition to the money going into it, you will need to ensure that you have a sufficient funds to meet all the needs and uses your property will offer you during the long term. As time goes by and your properties will generate more monies, the properties will begin to provide you with more funds to invest in property for another property. Thus, you may have an increase in your total net monies year on year from one property.

Should You Quit Your Day Job?

REI – Retail Experience Institute is the largest name in outdoor gear. This is their homepage. Although this web site is currently offline, take their advice with a grain of salt. It is a wonderful place to get a lot of information on outdoor gear. The year that I first went (2009), here is what they had to say.

Here’s what the REI president had to say,.

‬We are a national association of outdoor retail stores,‬ She meant that we are an association of what amounts to, to me, people that live their outdoor dream a little. It has nothing to do with money. The things that we do and love are the same for everyone. It has a lot to do with the lifestyle and the circle of friends that we have. Some of our people might be in a whole different industry and other people are in totally different industries. The fact that we all share a common bond are the things that attract us to each other.

Benefits of Investing in Real Estate

Real estate investing is considered by many as the best form of investment, and only few know the true benefits of it. The most obvious benefits are the appreciations. The appreciation shown by a real estate property is also the biggest reason for the tenants renting an apartment. The appreciation means that the tenants are also receiving a bigger return on their investment.

The second, and less obvious advantage of real estate is the diversification. Real estate is generally a good investment because it is not as risky as stocks or bonds. The predictable appreciation and inherent low risk decrease the volatility of a real estate portfolio and increase its stability.

Another benefit of real estate is the borrowing ability. The money can be borrowed and invested in the property in a short period of time, definitely within a few hours. If there is an emergency that requires cash flow, the money can be borrowed in the form of a mortgage. This is especially important for new businesses that are looking for a quick cash flow.

Understanding Real Estate Investing Risks

Real estate investing is a risky investment but it can also greatly reward you and your family. In theory, renting out your property and collect the income as long as you don’t take in any costs is a great way to invest in the real estate market.

But what if you were to buy your own home and rent that out?

Here’s how rental investment works:

You buy a place, renovate it, and then start renting out the house or apartments. You’ll be taking care of the property, maintenance, troubleshooting, etc. Renting out a property and collecting income can work depending on the property’s condition and what you and other tenants are looking for. Compare this with renting a property through a real estate agency. They have their own costs, such as collecting tenants’ monthly rent, necessitating the landlord to be at the property at all times.

Lower Risk Real Estate Investing Alternatives

A REI Membership is the standard in investment real estate. However, there are also other lower risk real estate investments, but with a greater increase in long term gain. These include:


Buying in a hot real estate area can mean spectacular growth in value. Similarly, a Macro-economic downturn can have a negative impact on real estate values.

Cash Flow

The real estate industry inherently generates cash flow. With proper management, a property can generate significant cash flow.

Tax Advantages

A major tax advantage for real estate investing is the tax break on capital gains. Investing in real estate can lead to a lower tax rate than most other investing strategies.


Buyers are always looking for new options in investment real estate. The internet allows for greater marketing strategy.

The Positive Side of Real Estate Investing

While it is true that real estate investing is complex, it also has a tremendous amount of positive impact on the economy and the world at large.

The average US citizen could not afford to buy a home without the real estate industry. Real estate investors help to make a positive impact on the world by creating jobs for people and being responsible for the production of housing.

Understanding Your ‘Why?’

First of all, keep in mind that REI’s appeal has been continually increasing at a steady rate for the past couple of years.

REI is for anyone who wants to discover new adventures. It’s a place for people who understand that every journey begins with a single step.

Maybe you want to immerse yourself in backpacking and leading a more minimalist lifestyle, or perhaps fly-fishing and working towards becoming a better angler. Maybe you want to try a new recreational activity, or simply take the kids and the dog to enjoy a natural wilderness experience. Discovering new passions, building your skills, and believing in yourself are central to what REI is.

Thus, a good way to get a glimpse of what REI is about is understanding your ‘why’. Are you in search of a new adventure? Do you want to take a break from your daily work routine? Do you appreciate the beauty of the outdoors? Do you understand that every start on a journey is a first step to new experiences?

My ‘Why?’

I am lucky enough to have grown up around the outdoors and with a family that loves to camp and travel responsibly. I have to admit that I am a bit of an ‘outdoors’ snob. I grew up and lived in the woods so I believed that — among other things – you had to purchase your gear from a specialty outdoorsy store. So when I moved to NYC and the REI in Union Square was in my immediate reach, I was absolutely shocked that I hadn’t heard of it sooner.

I am an ardent fan of REI’s sustainability initiatives, outdoor groups that they sponsor and the list of community support programs that they have established.

In a way, it could be argued that I am what REI looks for in their members. I also love that a large percentage of REI’s earnings goes back into their community. Is REI for you?

When I joined REI, I wasn’t sure that I would still use them in the future, but the more I research and explore, the more I see value in their programs and community efforts. From my perspective, REI is a great option for you, if:

You like to be outdoors

Setting SMART Real Estate Investing Goals

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) refers to a special kind of investment fund for people interested in investing in real estate. REIT wages allow these investors all of the income, growth and opportunities they would have if investing directly in real estate without actually buying directly. Most of these funds are invested in commercial real estate buildings. REITs are generally held by individuals, although there are some mutual funds tailored to REITs as well. REITs represent a very low risk investment but do not offer investor the level of diversification and return potential of a mutual fund.

Some investors pair a REIT with other investments to attain a broader range of risk and return. This strategy is known as a risk-reward diversification approach. By investing in two or more different fund investments in addition to a REIT, investors might benefit financially and hedge their risk as well.

If you’re thinking of signing up for a REIT fund, it’s a good idea to set your goals SMART. By adhering to a substance and methodical approach to setting your goals, you can come at them with a straight face.

SMART Goals Worksheet

Learning how to set goals may seem a little intimidating at first. Truth is, the art of goal setting is neither difficult nor complex. It just takes a few simple tips to get it right.

This article will help you learn how to set goals in a way that works for you and in a way that you can reach your goals and remain motivated.

Earlier I mentioned that goal setting is a SMART goal, meaning it’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. If you can make your goal these types of goals, you’ll be more likely to accomplish them.

Let’s discuss each of the types you can use when setting a goal.

Get Educated

If you’re considering buying a used outdoor product, you may see it advertised at a discounted price. Does it really worth it? Find out if the savings are worth the cost and learn about the REI Advantage

If you’re new to outdoor gear, REI’s Beginning Backpacker program will help you get started on the right foot.

Additional Educational Resources

The self-reliance blog has a lot of opportunities for you to take advantage of. Not only does it have tutorials on how to do different things on your own, but it also has information on how to get the most out of these DIY projects in order to make them work for you.

So whether you’re looking for how to purify your drinking water, how to build a compost bin or how to choose a tent, you will be able to research a whole host of different topics and then know how to do them.

Also, the self-reliance blog offers a lot of supplemental resources that are complete with articles, videos, and audio teaching you how to do even more in different areas of self-reliance. These resources will teach you about everything from how to make a compass to build your own battery bank, you can learn all sorts of different technical skills and how to troubleshoot your computer.

So whether you’re a newbie or already a pro … you’ll be able to get the most out of all the site’s educational tools.

Chapter Summary

REI is one of the most popular retailers of outdoor gear and equipment in the United States, and people rely on REI to provide great quality, value, and service. REI carries a wide-range of products for people who are passionate about the outdoors and have the responsibility of providing and protecting their loved ones.

REI provides great quality, value, and service, and is one of the most popular retailers of outdoor gear and equipment. REI carries a wide-range of products for people who are passionate about the outdoors and have the responsibility of providing and protecting their loved ones.

REI has a long history of supporting conservation initiatives and activism. REI sells green products and renewable energy options and raises money for environmental initiatives. REI has always been committed to environmental preservation and to getting people to spend more time outdoors.

REI is one of the most efficient retailers of outdoor gear and equipment on the market. REI has spread widespread knowledge and enthusiasm for the outdoors, and built a dedicated following through the love of the outdoors.

REI is unique in the outdoor retail world because it is a cooperative. REI has a long history of empowerment and empowerment of not only its members, but also the community as a whole.

Key Points to Remember

REI isn’t just a huge store with a wide variety of equipment and apparel for outdoor activities. With an American history and the dedication to protect the outdoors from which REI was born, it aims to be more than just a store for your next camping trip.

What many people don’t realize is that REI is a member-driven company. While they have employees that work hard to help with sales and marketing, they are still a business that is owned by the members (membership is open to anyone without charging a fee) and is funded by the members’ purchases. Although the company sells gear and apparel, they are primarily an outdoor retailer and are only open a few days a week.

Today, you can find REI in over 1,300 stores across the US that will help you make decisions and purchase the right equipment for your outdoor adventures.