You may have decided that you want to invest in real estate and now wonder how you should go about it. You might think that one of the only ways to have a real estate investment is to buy a rental home and have tenants living there and paying rent. While this is one of the more popular ways to invest in real estate, it's not the only one.

Here are some top ways you can find a real estate investment that can make you money.

Invest Through An Investment Service

You may like the idea of owning a rental property but don't necessarily want the hassle of maintaining the property on your own. You have two options here. You could hire a property management company to take care of the property for you, or you can contact a real estate investment service and own property through them.

If you go this route, using a real estate investment service is similar to investing through a mutual fund. The service will either buy or build apartment buildings or complexes and then invite investors like yourself to buy one or more of the units to rent to tenants.

The company will manage the units, taking care of all maintenance, renovations, and find tenants. The investment service will take a percentage of the rent you charge your tenants as a fee for handling the daily tasks.

Using a real estate investment service can actually earn you an income even if your unit is empty. A portion of all the building's rent that's been paid is portioned out to all the owners through the investment service.

Flipping Houses

If you enjoy working on renovations and are a hands-on kind of person, you might be interested in a real estate investment that involves flipping houses. Flipping houses entails buying a property that is undervalued for whatever reason.

This could be because it is run down and in need of serious repairs and renovations. The home could have water or wind damage and the current owner doesn't have the funds to complete the repairs.

The home will sell on the market for much less than market value. You buy the home, renovate it and then re-sell it in less than a year, if possible, at a higher price.

A flipper can also buy a home that has been foreclosed or sold through a short sale. This might mean they may not have to put too much work into renovating it and can flip it faster. A place like Mogul Realty has more information on this topic.