During a bear market, investment values plunge. That can apply in the context of both stocks and real estate.

Right now, we're not in a bear market. Stocks have been choppy this year, but the lowest they've hit is correction territory, where they lose 10% of their value but not 20%, which signifies a bear market. And the housing market is anything but sluggish these days. Quite the contrary -- home prices are soaring, and buyer demand is high, even with mortgage rates being on the rise.

But that doesn't mean a real estate bear market won't happen eventually. And if we happen to land in that boat, you could end up loaded with regret if you fail to make these moves.

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1. Buying an income property cheap

These days, everyday buyers and real estate investors alike are grappling with sky-high home prices. But if the housing market crashes, you might kick yourself later if you don't take advantage by scooping up an income property at a time when home prices are down.

Buying an income property at a low could also make you more likely to benefit from home price appreciation. And so if you're looking to own of these properties for many years, it pays to buy at a time when home prices are down.

2. Scoring a deal on a house to flip

Flipping houses is a risky prospect in general, and that risk can be amplified when the real estate market is sluggish. But if you're an expert house flipper with a history of profiting nicely from it, you shouldn't necessarily shy away from scooping up cheap homes to flip when property values are down.

Sure, you might end up with a lower sale price during a bear market. But ultimately, the real question you need to ask yourself is whether you stand to make enough money to make a house flip worth it. And if you buy a house to flip in the right market, you might end up more than happy with your decision to move forward.

3. Loading up on REITs

It's possible for real estate values to drop at a time when stock values hold strong. But if you're in a situation where you're looking at a bear market for both homes and stocks, it pays to look at buying REITs, or real estate investment trusts.

REITs are companies that derive revenue from operating different types of properties. You can make money with REITs in two ways -- collecting dividends and seeing the value of your shares go up over time. To maximize the latter, you'll want to buy low, so a bear market is the ideal time to pounce.

Don't sit out a bear market

It's natural to assume that your best course of action is to do nothing when a bear market hits. But actually, the right moves on your part could set the stage for building plenty of wealth, so you may not want to sit on the sidelines when the next bear market strikes.