Buy These 5 REITs to Cash In This Year

BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Fact: Interest rates are hovering near historic lows right now. That's a problem. It's an even bigger problem for investors who rely on income from their portfolios to keep the lights on.

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There's a solution though: real estate investment trusts, or REITs.

Don't let the name fool you -- REITs aren't a way to get real estate exposure for your portfolio. If you want to invest in rising home prices, buy a homebuilder. Instead, they're purpose-built income-generation vehicles. And with rates scraping the bottom of historic lows, REITs are looking more attractive than ever.

Despite some softness in REIT prices over the last few months, these income machines are heating up again. In fact, 2013 has been the best year for REIT IPOs since all the way back in 2004. Clearly, there's money coming back into this corner of the market now, it's just a question of which ones to buy.

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Solid fundamentals alone aren't enough to justify putting cash into a REIT; chasing yield is a big mistake in this market just like any other. Instead, we're focusing on a combination of sustainable dividend payouts and oversized market strength in today's list.

Without further ado, here's a closer look at five REITs worth owning.

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