How to Invest $1 Million in Real Estate in Los Angeles

Whether you hit the $1 million dollar mark in your account through savings, an inheritance or winning the lottery, having a million dollars in your possession is a significant amount for many Americans.

If properly invested in a well-diversified portfolio, $1 million can enable you generate significant income to attain financial success. From starting your own business to investing in stocks and bonds to buying real estate, these are all viable ways of investing a million dollars.

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

With the help of a qualified financial advisor and real estate professional, acquiring real estate assets in Los Angeles can be a profitable way of investing $1 million. To find out the lucrative real estate investment opportunities you can take advantage of in Los Angeles, keep reading.

Key Takeaways
  • Hitting the $1 million dollar mark in your bank account is a significant achievement for many Americans. If invested properly in the Los Angeles real estate, $1 million can generate significant returns.
  • Some of the ways in which you can invest 1 million dollars in the Los Angeles real estate market are: purchasing a rental property, fixing and flipping properties, investing in a vacation rental, buying REIT shares, real estate syndication and real estate crowdfunding.
  • Before you begin investing your one million dollars in real estate, first consult a financial advisor and real estate professional, so they can share with you current insights on the most profitable ways of investing in the Los Angeles real estate market.

The contents of this article are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to be a source of professional real estate advice. You will find experts on real estate investing here.

Partner with the best real estate investment advisor

Ila Corcoran

If you're looking to invest in the Los Angeles real estate market, partnering with a qualified investment professional is essential so they can help you navigate this highly competitive market.

Ila Corcoran is a licensed Realtor and SVP of Real Estate Operations and Advisory services at Bay Street Capital Holdings. As a long time Los Angeles resident, she is very knowledgeable of the Los Angeles real estate landscape.

Having worked in both commercial and residential real estate, Ila understands the dynamics of both industries and can help you navigate investing in either sector. She is also a holder of a Bachelor's degree and two minors from California State University Long Beach, and also has an active Real Estate License. As a real estate investment advisor, Ila can provide guidance on:

  • Identifying suitable investment properties by evaluating factors such as property type, market value and potential for appreciation.
  • Assessing risks associated with real estate investments, such as market volatility and regulatory compliance.
  • Building and managing a diversified real estate portfolio by selecting a mix of properties that meet your objectives and risk tolerance in order for you to generate significant income.
  • Provide guidance and support throughout the transaction process, while ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Emerging lucrative investment opportunities that can enable you attain financial freedom while ensuring that the invested capital is preserved.

As an investment advisor at Bay Street Capital Holdings, Ila has managed to successfully close real estate transactions worth $10.4+ million. She has also managed an asset portfolio worth $2.2+ million and facilitated the acquisition of investment capital of $25 million for Resthaven, a real estate initiative aimed at providing secure and inclusive accommodation options for people in diverse communities.

If you're looking to work with an experienced Los Angeles based real estate investment advisor, get in touch with Ila today.

6 ways to invest $1 million in real estate in Los Angeles

Investing $1 million in real estate can be a great way to build wealth and diversify your investment portfolio. Here are some of the ways that you can invest $1 million in the Los Angeles real estate market.

Purchase rental property

commercial real estate

In 2023, Los Angeles is estimated to have a total population of 3.86 million people. As such, the demand for housing is high and the real estate market is very competitive. As an investor with a million dollars, purchasing an additional house or several units to be used as rental properties can be very profitable as you can earn up to 9% in returns annually.

A few things that you should consider before purchasing the rental property are:

  • Your long term investment goals
  • The potential for property appreciation
  • Cost of acquisition of the property
  • Closing costs associated with the purchase of the property
  • Renovation and maintenance costs
  • Setting up an emergency fund for unexpected expenses

As you look into buying rental units in Los Angeles, be sure to do proper groundwork. This research will help you decide which neighborhoods you want to buy property in, and the type of property to invest in, be it single-family homes, multi-family properties or other real estate investment properties.

  • Rental properties can provide a reliable and steady income stream, as long as you have tenants.
  • Oftentimes, real estate properties appreciate in value over time. This can lead to significant gains in equity, allowing you to build wealth without relying solely on rental income.
  • Rental property owners may benefit from various tax advantages, including deductions for mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance and depreciation.
  • Managing rental properties can be time-consuming and demanding as you may have to deal with tenant issues, maintenance and repairs.
  • Rental properties are subject to vacancies, which can disrupt your cash flow. Even when a unit is empty, you still have to cover property expenses without rental income.
  • Real estate investments are relatively illiquid, and therefore it can take time to sell a property if you need to access your investment capital quickly.

Fix and flip properties

workers fixing a house

Another way that you can invest one million dollars in the Los Angeles real estate market is by fixing and flipping properties. Fix and flip is a strategy that involves buying distressed or undervalued property, renovating it to enhance its value and then selling it at a profit. With this strategy, private investors can make significant returns as long as they buy the property at a reasonable cost, and then sell it at a higher price.

The Los Angeles real estate market is a dynamic one and so the opportunities of finding a property that you can fix and flip are not very hard to come by. Before you get started, ensure that you do thorough research so that you're able to find a property with high profit potential.

For investors looking to fix and flip properties in LA, it is essential that you have a a good eye for properties with potential and also have comprehensive knowledge of the local Los Angeles real estate market. Working with a real estate professional will increase your chances of landing a great deal.

  • Flipping properties offers investors the opportunity to make substantial profits by purchasing undervalued properties, renovating them and selling at a higher price.
  • Fix and flip is a relatively short-term strategy that can allow faster turnover of capital. This can allow investors to generate income and reinvest the profits quicker.
  • Fix and flip properties offer investors the opportunity to exercise creativity and control over the renovation process.
  • Fix and flip is a high risk investment strategy as unexpected renovation costs and construction delays can lead to investors incurring major losses.
  • Renovating properties requires a substantial amount of capital, which may be a barrier to entry for some investors.
  • The success of a fix and flip project can be heavily influenced by market timing. If you purchase a property at the wrong time or in an oversaturated market, it may take longer to sell, resulting in increased holding costs and potentially reduced profits.

Invest in a vacation rental

exquisite vacation property

Considering the fact that millions of tourists visit Los Angeles each year, investing in a vacation rental property can be a great way to invest one million dollars in real estate. As an investor, consider purchasing property in safe and tourist-friendly areas in Los Angeles. Ensure that you also conduct extensive market research to identify neighborhoods with high rental demand and that appeal to tourists and business travelers.

In addition, consider whether you'll manage the rental property yourself or you'll hire a property manager to handle maintenance of the property. With the right strategy, a vacation rental can offer a steady income stream and the potential for significant returns on your $1 million investment in the Los Angeles real estate market.

  • Vacation rentals often generate higher rental income per night compared to traditional long-term leasing. This can result in better cash flow and quicker returns on your investment.
  • Short-term rentals provide flexibility for personal use. You can block off dates for personal vacations or family visits, allowing you to enjoy the property when you choose.
  • Operating vacation rentals across multiple properties or locations can spread risk and provide diversification. If one property experiences low occupancy or issues, others can help offset the losses.
  • Vacation rentals often experience significant seasonality. You may only earn rental income during peak tourist seasons, leaving your property vacant during off-peak times.
  • Short-term rentals often come with higher operational costs, maintenance and utilities. These costs can reduce your net rental income.
  • Your property's success is closely tied to the local tourism market. Economic downturns or unexpected events can lead to decreased demand and higher vacancy rates.

Invest in REITs

REIT stock market chart

If you prefer being a passive real estate investor, REIT investing is a great option for you as it can give you exposure to different real estate options, allowing you to invest in the asset class that you want. Investing in REITs will enable you to earn passive income without the hustle of managing any physical properties.

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a company or a trust that owns, operates or finances income-producing real estate properties. REITs can manage commercial buildings like offices, shopping malls and apartment buildings. REITs are designed to provide a way for individuals to invest in real estate without having to buy and manage physical properties themselves. Many passive real estate investors prefer investing in REITs as they usually pay high dividends and also offer investors a great opportunity to diversify their investment portfolio.

  • REITs provide an easy way to diversify your real estate investment portfolio as you are exposed to a wide range of properties and real estate sectors.
  • REIT shares are traded on major stock exchanges, making them highly liquid investments.
  • REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. This can provide a reliable and potentially high dividend income stream.
  • The performance of REITs is closely tied to the broader stock market. Economic downturns and market volatility can impact REIT share prices and income in the form of dividends.
  • REITs are sensitive to changes in interest rates. When interest rates rise, the cost of borrowing for REITs may increase, potentially reducing their profitability. As a result, rising interest rates can lead to lower REIT share prices.
  • When you invest in a REIT, you have no direct control over the individual properties within the portfolio. You mainly rely on the decisions made by the management team, which may at times not align with your investment goals.

Real estate syndication

real estate syndicate

Real estate syndication is a real estate investment strategy that involves multiple investors pooling their financial resources and expertise to collectively build or purchase real estate property.

Imagine that you're a real estate investor who wants to build a boutique hotel in Los Angeles. You run the numbers and see that in total you would need about 20 million dollars to make it happen. Problem is, you only have 1 million dollars at hand.

By joining a real estate syndication and partnering with other accredited investors, you can all contribute and raise capital that would allow you to build the boutique hotel.

  • Real estate syndication allows investors to pool their resources and invest in larger and more diverse projects. This diversification can help spread risk across multiple assets and markets.
  • Syndication often involves experienced syndicators who have in-depth knowledge of the real estate market, property management and deal sourcing. Therefore, passive investors can benefit from this expertise without having to actively manage the investment themselves.
  • Passive investors in real estate syndications can potentially earn regular passive income in the form of rental income or profits from property sales.
  • Passive investors in a syndication have limited control over the decision-making process. The sponsor typically makes key decisions and this may not be ideal for investors who prefer hands-on involvement.
  • Real estate syndications often involve fees and costs, such as management and acquisition fees which can reduce the overall returns for passive investors.
  • The success of a real estate syndication depends on the competence of the sponsor and their ability to manage the property effectively. If the sponsor makes poor decisions or encounters financial difficulties, it can negatively impact the investment's performance.

Real Estate Crowdfunding

real estate crowdfunding group

Investing in a real estate crowdfunding platform allows you to pool your money with other investors to fund real estate projects. These platforms connect investors and property developers or owners. Investors usually have the option to look through and select from a variety of real estate projects listed on these platforms. These projects may include residential developments, commercial properties, apartment buildings or even real estate loans.

Investors earn income through interest payments from rental income or a share of the profits from the sale or refinancing of a property.

  • Real estate crowdfunding allows investors to diversify their portfolio without the need for significant capital.
  • Real estate crowdfunding makes real estate investing accessible to a broader range of investors. You don't need to purchase an entire property or deal with property management directly.
  • Many real estate crowdfunding platforms have low minimum investment requirements, allowing investors to get started with a relatively small amount of money.
  • When you invest through crowdfunding, you have limited control over the management of the property.
  • Real estate investments can be illiquid, and crowdfunding investments are no exception. It can be challenging to sell your investment early if you need access to your capital quickly.
  • While real estate crowdfunding platforms often conduct due diligence, there is still a risk of investing in projects that do not perform as expected.

In Conclusion

Los Angeles offers diverse opportunities for real estate investing, from residential properties to commercial ventures and alternative options like REITs and crowdfunding.

Before you get started investing, ensure that you do thorough research and seek guidance from a qualified real estate investment professional. That way, you can invest in opportunities that align with your long term goals.

Bay Street Capital Holdings

Bay Street Capital Holdings

Bay Street Capital Holdings is an independent Black-owned investment advisory, wealth management and financial planning firm located in Palo Alto, CA. Founded by William Huston who has been honored as one of Investopedia's Top 100 Financial Advisors from 2021-2023, Bay Street mainly focuses on managing and growing client portfolios while minimizing overall risk and volatility.

In 2023, Bay Street was recognized as a Finalist in the 2023 Industry Awards under the category of Asset Managers: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for its work with Resthaven Properties.

The founding principles of Bay Street revolve around advocating for diversity and supporting emerging fund managers and entrepreneurs.



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