Use of other people's money (OPM) in an attempt to maximize the return but at high risk. The use of leverage in real estate investing is a way to maximize yield on a small down payment. When building real estate wealth, leverage helps one grow fast without extreme risk. High-leveraged investing in real estate is particularly beneficial in a highly inflationary environment. The best scenario is when property values increase on their borrowed fund. Property values can also decrease such as that which occurred in California in the early 1990s. A risk is negative cash flow in which income from highly leveraged property may be inadequate to pay operating expenses, interest, and principal.