There are different avenues you can explore on the road to growing wealth. One option is to put your money into the stock market and see where that takes you. Another is to invest your money in real estate.

For some people, real estate investing is a new and somewhat foreign concept. But actually, there are a number of great options at your disposal for making money in real estate. Here are a few.

A person at a computer.

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1. Owning a long-term rental

Properties have a tendency to appreciate in value over time. If you buy a home you rent out on a long-term basis, you can benefit from monthly income, as well as a higher sale price once you're ready to unload that property.

Owning a long-term rental takes work. You'll need to deal with tenant issues and make sure your property is properly maintained. That's something you'll need to make sure you have time for.

There are also risks associated with owning property. You could buy a home in seemingly good condition only for its roof to fail one year later. But all told, owning a long-term rental could be a good way to secure steady income while your investment grows in value through the years.

2. Owning a short-term rental

The upside of owning a long-term rental is not having to worry about vacancies all the time. When you own a short-term rental, you might have a month where it's booked solid and another month where it hardly earns you a dime.

The benefit of owning a short-term rental, however, is flexibility. You can adjust your prices as market conditions evolve and capitalize on popular travel times, like summer and holiday weekends.

The risks associated with owning a short-term rental are comparable to those of a long-term rental. You might face your fair share of expensive repairs that could eat into your profits. Plus, with a short-term rental, you run the risk of tenants causing damage. (This could happen with a long-term rental, too, but it's less likely.)

Of course, managing a short-term rental is a lot of work. You may have to constantly deal with leases, repairs, and cleanings in between guests. You'll need to make sure you're willing and able to put in the time before investing in a short-term rental.

3. Buying REITs

If you want a way to grow wealth with real estate without having to put in a lot of hours or take on undue risk, then real estate investment trusts (REITs) may be the ideal solution. REITs, or real estate investment trusts, are companies that make money by owning and operating different properties.

One benefit of REITs is that they're required to pay 90% of their taxable income as dividends. Just as a rental property could serve as a steady stream of income, so, too, can REITs. Plus, REIT shares can gain value over time.

Where should you invest?

Real estate could be a big moneymaker for you, whether you decide to invest in long-term rentals, short-term rentals, or REITs. Just think about your risk tolerance and the amount of effort you want to put in to narrow down which of these choices is right for you. If you decide you'd like to give all of them a go, more power to you.