Good news agents, the number of prospective buyers signing contracts to buy previously owned homes increased last month to the highest level in three years, which is just one more sign that the housing market’s rebound is well under way. The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday that its seasonally adjusted index for pending…

U.S. economists agree that the housing market appears to be on the mend. This has many investors wondering: Is it safe to invest in real estate again? While many signs seem to point toward “yes,” it’s important to consider the potential impact this type of investment may have on your wealth preservation plan. Looking at two strategies — purchasing rental property and buying into real estate investment trusts — we cover the pros and cons of investing in real estate at the present time.

Jeff Pintar had buyer’s remorse as he purchased 12 foreclosed homes in five Southern California counties on a single day. His regret: that he didn’t buy more homes a year earlier.
“Things have turned around faster than anyone anticipated,” said Mr. Pintar, who first began buying properties here four years ago and now owns or manages 1,700 homes, which he rents out for between $1,000 and $3,800 a month. Here in Orange County, nearly every home listed for less than $400,000 “is being pursued by institutional investor capital,” he said.