Real Estate means the land and buildings on it along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water.
Investment in Real estate involves the purchase, ownership, management, rental and/or sale of real estate for profit. Generally builders buy land and construct buildings (residential and commercial) by developing the property. One must have this asset class in his/her portfolio. This has limited liquidity compared to other asset classes such as gold, equities, mutual funds, bank deposits etc.
Before buying the property, proper due diligence is essential. Also beware of fraudulent sale by verifying the ownership records. Services of a licensed surveyor will help in identifying the the actual area and boundary of the land. The town planning department will have the information on the zone the land falls into and if there is any reservation. Never buy land only assuming that there will be capital appreciation. Location of the land is very important as this will give you a good resale value.
One should buy property which generates income to the investor. This way the property will give returns and also appreciate in value.