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Tuesday 19 February
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  by Charles Essmeier

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  Six or seven years ago, the stock market was booming, Internet companies that no one had ever heard of were valued at billions of dollars, and anyone and everyone was investing their money in tech stocks. Then, in 2000, the stock market crashed, the Internet companies closed their doors, investors lost trillions of dollars, and life went back to normal, more or less. Five years later, tech stocks are nowhere near their 2000 peaks, but investors are salivating again. This time, they’re putting their money in real estate, and they’re forming real estate clubs to help them achieve greater success.

There were investment clubs in the 1990’s, where a group of people with common investing interests met regularly, pooled their money, and invested in stocks as a group. A few of them did well enough that they made national news. Now the equivalent is the real estate club, but in these clubs, it’s every person for themselves. Rather than pooling money for common investments, members meet to share advice, lessons learned, and stories of their latest acquisitions. It’s difficult to say how many real estate clubs exist in the United States, but estimates suggest that there may be thousands of them. Real estate prices are at record levels, particularly on the East and West coasts, homeowners have record amounts of equity in their homes, and with the stock market still crawling along, people are putting money in real estate and helping each other do it.
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