When it comes to real estate, the topic of the day is the downturn in the market, the number of people losing their homes, and how much this is going to hurt the economy. In the seventeen years I have been in the real estate business, I have witnessed every fluctuation the market has to offer. While it is true that many property owners are enduring trying times, rarely does the same happen to knowledgeable real estate investors.There are those individuals who remain emotionally unattached and invest wisely in real estate. As a result, they live a very comfortable, if not lavish, lifestyle. Investing in real estate, especially during a downturn, can widen an investor’s opportunities and bring about lucrative returns. This is a truth. If you are thinking about becoming a real estate investor or have already made the decision to start, the following information is priceless.Wanting to secure a comfortable financial future, most of us go to work every day hoping to build a nest egg. Since, it is common knowledge that real estate investors have the capacity to not only build a nest egg but also create a fortune, why aren’t more people joining the ranks of real estate multimillionaires? Why aren’t there more people fighting for a seat on the real estate bandwagon?Well, the truth behind real estate investing is that it is a business and therefore, must be treated like one for it to prosper. Just like any other promising venture, investing in real estate requires a well-defined vision, a strategic plan, and an entrepreneurial mindset. Even with the overwhelming evidence revealing success, only a microscopic segment of the population is willing to take the risk, do the work and follow through. The rest simply watch and call those of us doing the work “Lucky”.When I began my career in real estate, I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t invest. I didn’t even see past my next commission check. What kept me hanging on was a desire to live like the people I worked for, most of whom were real estate investors. Years later, I committed to create serious wealth through real estate. As soon as I mindfully committed to my goal, I began to make deals and more money than ever before.By choice, I am not one of those investors who vacations six months out of the year. I work all the time meeting with clients, looking at properties and refining my strategy. Add to that a growing number of mentoring/coaching clients and my schedule is officially full. Nevertheless, I am continuously increasing my net worth as I am doing something that never feels like work.Besides creating amazing wealth, being your own boss and having a place or two to call home, owning a real estate investing business has many other advantages. The following five play a special role for the novice investor.1. Safe InvestmentWhen we use a timeline to compare the real estate market to other investments, such as the stock market, it is easy to see that real estate continues to increase in value over time without any serious instability. Although, there is currently a housing crisis in various parts across the country, every indicator points out that what we are actually experiencing is a readjustment of highly inflated real estate prices. Just as prices may be dropping, in time they will undoubtedly increase. In contrast, the stock market has put investors through a dizzying rollercoaster ride made up of swift highs and abrupt lows throughout history. Regardless of what type of market we are in, it is clear that an investment in real estate guarantees a profit over time.2. No Cash NecessaryFor beginning real estate investors, sometimes the only investment they can make is their time. For every real estate investor, finding a lucrative deal is as good as striking oil. There are plenty of seasoned investors with money in their pockets itching to buy a piece of discounted property. Wholesalers often utilize this method. Therefore, if you are new to the game, consider finding a deal, tying it up and connecting with an investor who can take it off your hands…for a price, of course.3. Almost Anyone Can Do ItReal estate is such a lucrative field that it opens doors to countless amateur investors everyday. There are how-to books and seminars at every turn teaching would-be investors a myriad of ways to make huge profits in the real estate market. While it is true that overnight success is practically unheard of, anybody with the heart, mind and determination can make it big in real estate. The keys are to continue learning and to monitor market conditions.4. Leveraging PowerWhile novice investors can turn a quick profit by wholesaling their deals, Buy-and-Hold investors can yield a profit by borrowing against (leveraging) their properties. Typically, lenders will allow holders of owner-occupied property to borrow up to ninety-five percent of their property’s value and up to eighty-percent of non-owner occupied units. This means that you can either purchase property with a minimal out-of-pocket investment or acquire financing that will allow you to pull cash out of your property’s equity to use for future ventures.5. Tax BreaksThe popular 1031 exchange and depreciation are just two of them. The United States government has set up multiple tax breaks favoring real estate investors. Owning real estate with the goal of making a profit allows you to deduct interest payments, repairs, and vacancies among other expenses when preparing your tax return. It is important to note that purchasing real estate makes economic sense; it should not be purchased solely for the tax benefits.Ultimately, owning a real estate business is the way to achieve financial freedom regardless of economic conditions. Whether you quit your job and dive right in or you work at it in your spare time, you can make it happen. Worthwhile benefits are waiting faithfully for the taking.