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Invest in the World Trade Center for less than the cost of a high-end rental

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While it seems to be getting harder and harder to afford a New York apartment, it's getting easier than ever to invest in the city's real estate, thanks to crowd-funding firms that let New Yorkers buy into properties like they would the stock market.  Last summer, CityShares launched a program for properties in neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy, and now it's possible to buy your own piece of 3 World Trade Center for as little as $5,000, the New York Daily News reports.

Fundrise, a crowd-funding site that focuses on real estate investments, bought $5 million worth of tax-exempt Liberty bonds from the developer (the building has long since reached its financing goals), and is now re-selling smaller pieces of the pie to investors, starting at $5,000. In exchange, buyers will receive "a 5 percent tax-free gross annual return on their projected five-year investment," according to the Daily News. "We are proud to be able to give more people a chance to invest in this important, iconic asset," one of Fundrise's co-founders told the paper.

Of course, not just any schmo with a few thousand bucks in the bank can participate: you have to be an accredited investor, which means an annual income of $200,000 (or $300,000 for a couple), or a net worth of over $1 million. (More details on the requirements can be found here.) Not exactly chump change, but if you have the money and are looking to dip your toes in the world of commercial real estate investment, this is a relatively low stakes way to get started.

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