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How to Start Investing In Real Estate at a Young Age (or a “Young at Heart” Age)

by Brandon Turner on February 9, 2013 · 149 comments

  
How to Invest in Real Estate

I don’t want to get old.

I’m not looking forward to hip problems, my eyes getting worse, or needing to take my pills just to use the bathroom correctly. I don’t want the “old person” smell, the frequent heartburn, or the desire to drive fifteen miles under the speed limit. The thought of that life terrifies me.

Perhaps, though, the thing I’m looking forward to least is no longer being the “whiz kid.” Because I started investing so young, I’ve always been the one in my social circles who “is going somewhere.” It’s a good feeling, but it’s not that I’ve done anything remarkable, really. It’s that I’ve done something remarkable for my age. There is a significant distinction there, but an important one. It means, when I get old, I’m not longer doing remarkable things. I’m just doing my job.

If you are bored, (well, hopefully not bored reading this…) and not sitting anywhere near your children (because the language is definitely not family friendly) check out this clip by stand-up comedian Louis CK about growing old. He’s come to the same conclusion as I have:

Why Investing at a Young Age Rocks … and is Hard

At 27, I still have a few good years left to be “remarkable” – but “old” is creeping up; but it’s not just me either, because here is a dark secret: you are getting old too. So, I’ve dedicated the last year of my life to teaching other young folks (and young at heart) how to get into real estate investing, despite some of the disadvantages we have. In fact, let’s talk about those disadvantages real quick:

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  • Very little money – Let’s face it – most young people are pretty broke. Maybe you’ve got a good job and have so much disposable income you don’t know what to do with it, but chances are – you’re living pretty close to paycheck-to-paycheck.
  • Very little life experience – I know, when I was twenty-one I thought I knew quite a bit. I didn’t. I didn’t know anything. Now today, at 27, I think I know everything. I don’t.
  • Video games are so appealing – Let’s face it – sometimes all we want to do is play some video games, hang out on facebook, and watch TV.
  • Chasing girls (or guys) or chasing kids – From the moment puberty hits, boys and girls of the young persuasion have a strong need to find that “special someone” and spend all their time together. After that, comes the kids that require every waking minute. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for investing.
  • Poor credit – College and the years that follow can be rough for a lot of young people, as the schools do a terrible time teaching about financial intelligence. Or perhaps we just didn’t listen. Either way, most of us have needed to wade through the credit card years and will spend many years recovering.
  • No like-minded social group – I don’t have many friends who read my writing. It’s not that they don’t like me, or care about me, it’s that they simply don’t care about real estate – and that’s perfectly fine. I’m not bitter. You will probably find a similar situation. It makes it tough, however, to find motivation to get into real estate when you don’t have a community that fosters financial education and growth. (**Special note: if you are an old friend or a family member of mine, leave me a comment below… let’s see who’s reading my stuff! )

So what’s a person to do, faced with all these disadvantages? I’m hoping to help offer some insight on that, being one who has been through it. The following is a collection of the lessons I have learned.

Young Age

To Start Investing In Real Estate, Harness What You’ve Got

Now that I’ve made you feel bad about all the things that are not going so well in your life, let’s talk about the things that you do have.

Motivation- You’ve already read 600 words of this blog post about real estate investing, so you are clearly motivated. Use that. The older you get, it seems, the less motivated you are. As people get older, they seem to get more complacent in their situation, and no longer shoot for the stars.

Today I had a conversation with a man about how to buy an airplane. Am I anywhere near ready to buy an airplane? Heck no. But I’ve got goals, and I’ve got ambition – and I’m going to buy an airplane, even if it takes me the next ten years of working that plan. This is the power of motivation when you are young. (Be sure to check up with me in ten years and I’ll take you for a ride on my plane…)

Technology- You’ve got a firm grasp on how the internet works, how to handle social media, how to use a smart phone, and how to make a spreadsheet. Even if you can’t do everything – chances are you’ve got a friend (probably on Facebook) who can get it done for you. Use this.

You’ve also got resources like BiggerPockets. Our parent’s generation didn’t have this wealth of knowledge and community – but we do. Use it. Jump into the Forums and ask question. Get into a conversation with a blogger on the BiggerPockets Blog. Technology can be a force for terrible time-wasting, or for terrific growth. Which will you use it for?

Time- Finally, you’ve got the most powerful force in the universe: time. You aren’t looking at forced retirement in five years. You’ve got the next twenty or thirty years to crush it. If you create a solid plan now, and simply follow that plan, you are going to have to work hard not to retire a millionaire. For more on my specific plan, check out my article, “How to Make A Million Dollars in Real Estate.”

First Investment

Your First Investment

Obviously, your first investment is going to depend on your situation. However, I believe for most people your first investment (besides investing in yourself through reading a TON of books, blogs, and forums) should be your primary residence. As I see it, there are two great options you have. When starting out, I did both of these:

  1. Live-In Flip:My very first home was an ugly, single level house I bought before I knew what real estate investing was. All I knew was that it was the cheapest house around, and I could get into it with almost nothing down (just a few thousand, that I spent a few months scraping up.) I then spent the next several months painting, adding new flooring, and doing many more improvements on it – finally selling the property for a nice profit, which paid for my wedding and the down payment on my next property (which I’ll discuss next.)The beauty of the “live in flip” is that since you have to pay to live somewhere anyways, there are effectively no “holding costs” on the flip. You could take three months or three years to sell it – but in the end, you’ll profit. Additionally, if you buy with a fixed rate mortgage (which you should) your payment will stay fixed for as long as it takes.
  2. Buy a Small Multifamily: As most of the BiggerPockets community probably knows by now, I’m a HUGE fan of multifamily properties. The second property I bought was an ugly little duplex (well, two houses on one lot) that my wife and I lived in for a year, while renting the other half out. This enabled us to live rent-free, and enabled me to quit my job and get into investing full-time. You can read more about this property in my article, “How I Accidentally Bought Two of Kurt Cobain’s Former Homes and Why That’s Not Even The Best Part.”By living in a small multifamily property – you are able to decrease your expenses, while locking in the super-low rates that are available to owner-occupants today. When you move out – that low fixed payment stays the same and that property will become the first in your collection of real estate investments. Additionally, the experience in landlording you’ll gain living in a small multifamily property will help you for the rest of your real estate investing career. It truly is a great first step.

Money

What About Money?

Yes, real estate costs money. However, the benefit of the two options above are the ability to use low-down payment methods to get started. In the US, there is a program insured by the FHA that allows homeowners to buy a property with just 3.5% down payment. On a $100,000 home – this equates to just $3500 plus closing costs. Can you come up with $5000 to get started on your financial future? That’s one more benefit of being young: the ability to get out there and hustle. How can you make $5000 over the next five months?

Even better, the FHA has another program called the 203K loan – which allows you to incorporate the needed repairs of a property into the loan itself, and still only pay 3.5% of the total loan amount. This takes care of the repairs needed to fix up the properties, and limits the amount you need to get started. To top all this – you can use the 203K loan on small multifamily properties as well – which means you can combine all the benefits of the live-in flip and the small multifamily strategy into one, feasible plan.

To read a great article on using FHA loans for small multifamily properties, check out “New Investor Strategy: How to Buy Your First Multi-Family Investment Property & Live Rent Free

Start Building Relationships

I’m going to tell you a secret: Old people like ambitious young people.

It’s true – just ask any of the old people on BiggerPockets (just don’t tell them I called them “old”) There is something truly rewarding about helping an ambitious young person achieve their goals. I think a lot of it has to do with “I see myself in their shoes” or “if only I had started back then!”

Whatever the reason, it is a fascinating and powerful phenomenon. Use this to your advantage! Begin to build relationships with the older investors who have come before you and graduated from the school of hard knocks. Let their failures teach you to avoid (or fix) your own.

There are two great places that you can start building these relationships today: locally and online.

  • Locally, there are probably dozens (if not hundreds) of old-time landlords and real estate investors in your area who may take you under their wing to help mentor and train you. These relationships are often simply a friendship, built over many cups of coffee and errands run for the investor.
  • Online, these relationships are built everyday in the BiggerPockets Forums, where investors from across the country get together to help answer questions, build relationships, make deals, and improve the lives of everyone involved.

Wholesaling

What About Wholesaling? Isn’t That The First Step?

Wholesaling gets a lot of publicity, because the gurus love to talk about how easy it is and how you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars in your spare time with no money.

Look – wholesaling is a real thing. I’ve done it, and a lot of other people on BiggerPockets have done it. However, here is my problem with wholesaling: it’s too easy to quit. Most people who try to get into wholesaling never make a dime (my opinion.) They jump in because it looks easy, but quit soon after beginning because

  • It was too hard
  • They didn’t make any money or
  • There was a new shiny object

Wholesaling is a job, or more specifically, a business. Granted, it’s a self-employed business with flexible hours and the benefit of getting to learn the business of real estate without investing a lot of money. It’s still a job, though, that requires time, dedication, motivation, and money for marketing.

If you can get started investing in real estate by wholesaling – great! Just realize that most wholesalers never get past their education. It’s much more difficult to walk away from a duplex that you just bought than to walk away from a wholesaling career.

For more info on my thoughts getting started with wholesaling, check out my article How to Start Wholesaling: Getting Past The Education and Into the Field.

Where Do I Go Next?

Time is ticking.

You are getting old, fast. You aren’t going to be the “whiz kid” for long, so it’s time to start. Evaluate where you are, where you want to be, and the path you need to get there. If you are unsure of any of that – it’s okay. Go post your questions, fears, troubles, whatever in the BiggerPockets Forums. Start connecting with some of the brilliant real estate minds here on BiggerPockets (or with the not so brilliant ones, like me!)

What are you waiting for? Another round of Modern Warfare III? Another Facebook picture of a Cat?

What are your struggles when getting started? Or, if you are “old” already – what’s your advice for the younger ones? Leave your comments below and let’s chat!

OH- I almost forgot!!! If you are just starting out, we actually created an entire online FREE BOOK for you to learn the basics! It’s called The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing and you can download it by signing up in the blue box below or just clicking here to read it online!

P.S. – Have you signed up for BiggerPockets yet? Why not? It’s free… Seriously. Do it. ;)

Photo:Thomas Leuthard, martinak15, WomEOS, and KJGarbutt

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{ 149 comments… read them below or add one }

Joshua Dorkin February 9, 2013 at 3:36 pm

You knocked it out of the part yet once again, Brandon! Awesome post. With another reminder of growing old coming up for me, I can totally relate — especially the part about driving 15 under the limit. Your real estate advice rocked as well!

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Brandon Turner February 9, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Thanks Josh :) I still drive a little too quick, but I’m slowing down. I think that changes with kids. (cause apparently I’m willing to risk my life and the life of my wife – but not children…)

I actually originally included you in a joke in the post, about being old and your pending birthday, but took it out. I didn’t want to give you a heart attack. ;)

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Jerome Harrod II February 9, 2013 at 4:02 pm

This is an AWESOME Post! It’s morale boosting to see some young investor support on BP. Brandon I’m surprised you didn’t add ANIME to the list of what’s distracting us.
Anyway, I’am currently 21 in the real estate market of Baltimore,MD, but instead of investing, I’m wasting time and MONEY in college on a bachelor’s degree, in a field that I have no love for anymore, even though I’m good at it. (Degree is in Information System Security)

What are my struggles when getting started?
I ultimately fear that I won’t be taken seriously in this business being young and sound so young. I don’t think I’m persuasive/convincing enough to get people to sell me their house. Add the fact I’m a Perfectionist and Over-analyzer … ugh anyway, but I feel pretty confident in what I know, it’s just getting the courage to take CONSISTENT action and believing that I can do it.

I mean, I’ve been interested and learning about real estate since 16 and for the last 5 birthdays and Christmas’s with my gift money I bought course after course and ebooks about wholesaling, lease options, and buying notes. So by now I should know enough of something atleast to take action on.

Latest thing I bought was tickets to Marcel Umphrey’s Bootcamp thing which pretty much broke the bank for me … again.
I hope it’s worth it though, either way I’am NOT ending 2013 like 2012, I will make this year the year of my success and get out of my mom’s house!!!! Lol

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Brandon Turner February 9, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Thank you Jerome! I know it’s easy to get caught in that cycle of never doing, always learning. Feel free to jump into the BP Forums for more advice on moving forward. The community over there is amazing.

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Karen Rittenhouse February 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I’m old, and I’m exhausted from reading that long post.
I’m going to lie down and rest.

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Joshua Dorkin February 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Funniest thing I’ve read all day!

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Brandon Turner February 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Hahaha Karen! I think you are far from that old. I see you as more of a “drive 15 over the speed limit” kinda gal.

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Sharon Vornholt February 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Hey Brandon –

I love this post and the video. Sadly, there is a lot of truth hidden in that comedy.

But …..You really have to quit using the “O” word. There are a lot of us here in case you hadn’t noticed; in fact you are pretty much out numbered.

Here’s the thing; everyone that is old ie over 40 lives in denial. (Here’s a tip for Josh now that he’s old.) That’s what you do; you just pretend it doesn’t apply to you. You just keep doing things that your friends have decided they are “too old to do”. Continue to ski, go skydiving, or build another business. Do something unexpected. Most of your friends will think you are crazy (even when you are young). That’s why it’s so important to network with like minded people.

Here are my thoughts on being a young investor. When you are in any business, if you really know your business, age is not a deterrent so much as letting your age make you look inexperienced. You can only look confident and experienced from really knowing what you are doing. Sure there is a lot to be said for pretending to be confident when you really aren’t. But someone will nail you to the wall one day when they ask you a basic question that you can’t answer.

So spend your time studying and learning. If you are really serious about building a buisness, give up TV and video games in the evening. You have hours every day and on the weekend that you can choose to use for this purpose. How you use your time is definitley a choice. Do your homework and you will become credible no matter what your age.

It won’t always be easy, but I can guarantee you it will be worth it!

Sharon

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Brandon Turner February 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Great advice Sharon! I always find it interesting when people say “but I work a full time job!” and then I remind them that there are 168 hours in a week, and only 49 need to be kept for sleep (or 56 if you like your 8 hours!). That leaves well over 100 hours to make a future for yourself.

And yes – I feel slightly outnumbered around here! :) Thanks for commenting!

emily March 25, 2013 at 10:42 am

Sharon, great comment.. I am in my late 20’s – and do not consider myself old.. It’s bizarre & discrediting to see so many people around my age, or even 10 years older considering themselves “old”.. Even if they don’t think they live that out – they speak about themselves with limitations years before they have them, and basically spend the majority of their lives as “old” .. I think people need to be careful even writing it – because it’s truly just an opinion, not a fact- and it’s setting the tone for everyone else to pick it up.. Again, I am not in denial, or living like a college student – and I think the post is great, ageism just sets the tone for everything else.

Sharon Vornholt March 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Emily –

You are really young still in your 20’s. It’s a perfect time to start investing. Age has nothing to do with it. Some people start young, and some folks start after they have retired. The major advantage you have by starting now is that you have a lot of time to buy property and get it paid off while you are still “young”. (That number will change as you get older. LOL)

Figure out what you want your monthly gross income to be. Let’s just say that it is $8000 per month. All you would need is 10 paid off houses that rent for $800 a month. You don’t need a million houses to have financial freedom. What ever that gross income is, buy solid 3 bedroom houses and good neighborhoods that will appreciate and just get to work paying them off. Put aside a percentage of your money each month for repairs and when you have a nest egg built up, go to work paying those houses off. Don’t refinance and pull the money out. Pay them off and you will have financial freedom.

Thanks for your comments Emily.

Andrew Stern February 5, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Could not agree more about being young and striving to continue to learn more and more about the business. So much left to be unturned.

Currently a 22 year old starting a career but studying real estate every single weekday night and weekends. My understanding has grown dramatically in even the past several months. Consistency is definitely key.

Thanks for the validation Sharon!

Jim Pratt February 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm

The things I would stress on are: if you’re in school, learn all the math and English you can, obviously you have. Second, find people who are doing what you want to do and learn from them. Everything else you pointed out would be a good plan to follow. Great post!

Yes, I’m old, can’t do the things I would like to do, way too many broken bones- roofs!

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Brandon Turner February 9, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Great advice, Jim. I agree. I feel like I could have gone on another 100,000 words with this post with all the things I wanted to say, so thanks for the advice! You said it much more succinctly than I would have :)

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Troy February 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Are you actively investing in Aberdeen? The couple of times I’ve been down there eyeing the cheap properties I’m always worried about the workforce and employment rates. I’ve also heard that they have been talking about closing the lumbermill.

I’ve got a couple of properties that are catching my eye out in the Ocean Shores ares too.
I wish I had started investing when I was younger. When I was in college I told my parents we should purchase a house to rent out while I was in school. It took me roughly 10 years later to start actively investing. Congrats on all of your success.

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Brandon Turner February 9, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Hey Troy-

Yeah, I do all of my investing in Grays Harbor County right now – which presents some interesting situations. The mills are always either closed or on the verge of closing, so we just come to expect that and most jobs pay minimum wage, which keeps the rent from ever changing much but there are enough of those jobs to keep people employed.

I don’t recommend Aberdeen or Hoquiam for appreciation thought – but for cashflow, it can be pretty great. I’m also looking at Ocean Shores – for appreciation, since it is a vacation area and it swings much more with the market. However, I’m most in love with the Montesano area right now for flipping, due to the low days-on-market.

Thanks for the comment Troy! Keep in touch!

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Jim Pratt February 10, 2013 at 10:36 am

I too own a bunch of SFR in Aberdeen, one can buy some realy nice properties for very little money. As Brandon said, cash flow is great but appreciation not.

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Kelli S February 9, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Brandon-

I am interested! And I have read your posts. And we grew up together. So, I win some sort of award, right?

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Brandon Turner February 10, 2013 at 12:25 am

We did grow up together, and you are the first old-time friend to comment. So yes – you win an award. I’ll be sure to get the CEO Josh Dorkin to allocate some funds… ;)

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Tyler Blackwell February 10, 2013 at 12:12 am

Other reasons investing in real estate at a young age is hard? Student loan debt! Getting married is expensive! I have to have health insurance?!

You’re right though, Brandon, about the programs available for us to get into homes on the cheap. I didn’t use a 3.5% FHA, but got into a bank-owned light rehab project for just 5% down, and we lived in our house –exposed floorboards and all– until it was completely renovated. We love our house and because we bought a fixer we were able to get a 15-year loan that is still cheaper than renting!

Now, back to that Black Ops II campaign…

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Brandon Turner February 10, 2013 at 12:27 am

Ah, so true Tyler! I’m still kicking off student loan debt! You did it right, so congrats to you! My wife and I just did a similar thing, and our refinance (which goes through on Monday) is going to make our house payment under $400 per month! I’m very giddy :)

Good luck on the Black Ops II campaign! :)

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Jorge Ortega February 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Thanks for the Encouragement Brandon. Its good to know that you serve to this little known niche of people in the real estate world.

I was reading the suggestions you gave for us young people. I’m interested in the second option (buying a small multi-family) however, after seeing my first purchase fell out of escrow (bc my employer reduced my hours from a full time to a part time) i’m scrambling to figure out what needs to be done to get a house (esp a quadplex). You mentioned that we as young people have the ability to hustle, however In getting a loan banks really don’t care that i have $19k towards a down payment they want to know that I have a stable job ( i also do side jobs and have saved a lot to get to where I am) are there any other alternatives to finance such a house?

Also about 203k’s, the lender who pre-qualified me said that 203k loans are hard to get and that one must use a licensed contractor to do the jobs. I’ve worked on houses with my parents and know what to do but I’m not a “licensed profesional” is that true? I really want to start investing and this failed deal has only made my desire to invest even stronger.

What can I do?

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Brandon Turner February 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Hey Jorge,

That’s tough with the job thing. Honestly, if it were me, I’d probably switch jobs to full but stay in the same field so it still counts. Also – as far as I know, you do not need to be a contrator to do a 203K loan, as long as the repairs are less than 15,000. If it comes to more than that, then yes – you’ll need to just hire a contractor (which, at that amount, would be a wise thing to do anyways.) Perhaps look at another lender. Wells Fargo is the last one I was involved with on a 203K loan, so try them!

Hope that helps!

Tiffany February 10, 2013 at 12:26 am

What an awesome “Beginnings” story for your family and future generations. I love hearing about people who scraped by and did the hands on work, then really learned to delegate and systematize to expand their success. My family still thinks I’m crazy. It’s definitely a must to find older mentor/parent-figures who can be your cheerleader if the family doesn’t get it.

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Brandon Turner February 10, 2013 at 12:29 am

Excellent advice Tiffany – the older mentor helps a ton. Mine has turned into more than just a mentor, I know consider him a business partner in a lot of things I do. Thanks for reading this behemoth of a blog post and commenting!

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Con February 10, 2013 at 7:22 am

Brandon
You are spot on about ‘wholesaling’ and it being a grind. Even now I kick myself to think of the money I’ve spent on marketing with limited success. Reading your article has me reconsidering my investment ‘strategy.’

I consider myself middle aged and am very grateful that at my age the ‘blinders’ were removed and I can see how wealth is created through real estate and living within our means.

Great article!

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Brandon Turner February 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Thank you! I know there are some great wholesalers out there, but it’s definitely not my first choice for building wealth. Those that are good at it find that they really love it – so it works for them. Everyone else, though, seems to waste a lot of money and time.

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Jordan Robinson February 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Yeah this is me right now 13 and eager to get my feet wet. So i’m that “whiz kid” in my circles. Love this post, very informative and realateable. But any advice anyone, on how to do deals as a minor, im beggining to explore the idea of land trust. Any tips?

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Brandon Turner February 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm

13 Jordan!? I’ve never had someone so young interested! I’d say the best way to move forward is to just read a lot, become a pro, get massively good grades in school, and start building those relationships now. Don’t lose that passion!

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Alfredo Castillo February 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm

GREAT ARTICLE!

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Brandon Turner February 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Thanks Alfredo :)

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Sharon Vornholt February 10, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Brandon –

Starting your investing career at a young age is the smartest thing you could have ever done. You will never regret it! You may be young, but you are more experienced than a whole lot of people a lot older than you. You just need to remember that.

I have a friend that invests in Columbus, OH that is also 27. In fact I did an interview with him; Jeff Kowalaczek. He has bought some big packages of properties, is selling off some of the bad ones, and is dealing with hedge funds. Imagaine that; and he too is 27. Also much like you, he is looking down the road to see how he needs to change his business to suit the lifestyle he wants to create. You can look him up on facebook, or I can put you in touch with him. He’s in my mastermind group.

Sharon

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Richard Low February 10, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Thanks Brandon for the encouragement! I’m 26, halfway through dental school, and anxious to get started. I’m on the brink of marketing for my first wholesaling campaign. I would much rather buy and hold, but I’ll be moving out of state in a few years and everyone recommends avoiding long-distance land lording, especially with a tight budget.

I figure even if I fall flat on my face with wholesaling at least I’ll learn something. It helps that my wife and I are having our first kid in 6 months, so we’ll be losing her income – having a family to support sure gives you the drive to work hard and make cash now!

I love you and Josh’s podcast, I’m always looking forward to the next one.

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Bill Horton February 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Brandon,

This is an awesome and very motivating article! I have been reading a lot of articles and forums on this website and there is such a wealth of information available here. I am 26 years old and live near Portland, Oregon. I am still trying to figure out how I am going to get started with real estate investing but I know that I want to invest for cash flow. When I start to get discouraged, an article like this is just what I need. Thank you!

-Bill Horton

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Brandon Turner February 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Thanks Bill. I’m just north of you a few hours, in Western Washington. I hear Portland is pretty expensive, but the outskirts can be more reasonable. Definitely keep in touch as you move forward!

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Ryan Devin February 11, 2013 at 6:45 am

Thanks for sharing.
Great article for young people like myself to get started and stay motivated!
Can’t wait to start investing

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Brandon Turner February 11, 2013 at 8:28 am

Thanks Ryan, Let us know how we can help! Be sure to jump into the Forums for a lot more one-on-one help!

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Harrison Stowe February 11, 2013 at 9:07 am

Great article Brandon! Definitely wish I had this insight when I began investing.

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Brandon Turner February 11, 2013 at 9:08 am

Thanks Harrison, me too! :)

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Travis Daggett February 11, 2013 at 10:40 am

Perfect! Awesome article!

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Brandon Turner February 14, 2013 at 10:56 am

Thanks Travis!

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Jose Gonzalez February 12, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Hey Brandon,
This kind of articles keep us motivated as young new guys (Im 28) getting in the way of much wiser investors. What I believe that have in our favor is as we have in general more willingness to get a little dirtier with cheaper, dirtier deals, I believe that the returns are way better there… Of course there are just too many people with teams for repairs but I have seen way more deals with holes in the walls and ceilings if you know what I mean that clean and neat properties…

Also, you mentioned small multifamily units. I love that idea but I have the feeling that I can build a gold mine if I put some factors together. Have you done the math of trailer homes? even better… small properties with some 5 to 20 trailer homes that you buy one or two per month? I have found that those cash flow like crazy! Of course I wont chase the expensive all fixed deals, but instead will look for really cheap trailers in decent conditions, fully remodel them and get a package together… Anyways, I think its a great way to start a cash flowing machine with little money to fund greater deals… Let me know if you have experience with it at all… I am just too motivated to get it done asap (even when I started with SFR first)

Again thank you for the post!!

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Brandon Turner February 13, 2013 at 12:41 am

Hey Jose, thanks! I haven’t worked with mobile homes yet – but I hear good things. It’s on my list to check out sometime soon!

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Rashaud February 14, 2013 at 10:00 am

Brandon,

This article was very motivating. I really appreciate it. I’m 23, working full time, but am applying to medical school. I’m anxious to get something done before I matriculate this fall (assuming that actually works out lol), but I don’t have a whole lot of cash in reserve, I don’t know where I’ll be (could be Atlanta, Boston, or NYC area), and I feel like good deals are being snatched up before I even get to see them. I figured that at least I could get some experience in the industry to supplement my lack of funds – assuming I could find a really rich partner or something – so I now work part-time as a RE Agent in Boston. Even still, I just feel….stuck. I fear buying a cheap place in Boston/Lower Westchester/Bronx (the areas I’m looking at) mostly because rental income might not cover expenses of PITI, the 50% rule, and potential property management. Such a place could also probably be high-vacancy due to crime, have crappy tenants, or even suck because of absurdly high property taxes (my hometown of Mount Vernon, NY has taxes above $10k on average, it seems!). I’m sorry for the long comment , but I guess I might be venting some frustration right now haha. Seems like I’ll have to wait a bit, I guess. Patience is a virtue, after all, right?

Anyway, I really appreciate the post. As someone who regularly reads what you write here on BP, this ranks as one of my favorites.

Thanks a lot!
-Rashaud

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Brandon Turner February 14, 2013 at 10:45 am

Thank you Rashaud – it’s great to know people are finding value. I understand the feeling of being stuck – and I know it’s tough to get started while living in those expensive areas. Let me know if I can help!

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Ryan Nguyen February 14, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Brandon truly wants to help the next generation. Thank you!

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Brandon Turner February 15, 2013 at 1:01 am

Wait – I think I still am in the next generation! ;) Thanks for the comment Ryan!

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Jon March 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm

GREAT article Brandon!

I’m 21 and just starting out with doing lots of research and building relationships with people who know FAR more about this stuff than I do! As someone who has been considering a Live-In Flip, this article was a GREAT resource of information for me!

Look forward to reading more,

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Brandon Turner March 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Thanks Jon,

Research and Relationship are key in getting started. In fact -that’s a great name for an upcoming blog post. “The Two Most Important “R’s” for Newbies to Master” I like it!

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Jeromie March 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Hey Brandon!

I think I qualify for the old family/friends clause, so thought I’d leave a comment! I can also relate to the whiz-kid phenomenon, including the borderline panic that ensues when I think about how it’s slipping away day by day! Great article and reminder to continue seizing the day.
Thanks for sharing!

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Brandon Turner March 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Hey hey fellow math league buddy! :) Thanks for the comment sir, and letting me know I do have friends who read my stuff!

AWESOME blog by the way! Keep up the good work over there. I love the “wisdom, wonder, beauty” buttons at the bottom. Very cool!

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Ramon Cardenas March 7, 2013 at 9:31 am

Hello Brandon,

I just wanted to say thank you for the motivation. I am in a bit of a rut considering my situation, but it is always a nice motivating tool to read from others who are successful and to use that to your motivation.

I live in Chicago and have been actively searching for a live in flip as my first investment. Back in 2008 my father was let go from his job and as a result I spent much of my college years attempting to help my family financially and with their mortgage as much as I could while taking care of my bills and schoolwork. Long story short I handled it how I could, but at the expense of my credit which is not good. Now i work full time and it seems that my only option to complete a live in would be an all cash deal. I do not waste money now and Im quite conservative(or at least I like to think) so saving up money has not been very difficult. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I cannot change the past now and I am only looking on improving my current situation.

Are there any options that could help me get started with my goal of obtaining a live in flip this year given my situation. Like many of the young investors, or soon to be investors here like myself, I have plenty of drive and time, I just lack the creative know-how and experience to overcome my current hurdles.

Thank you for the informative read.

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Brandon Turner March 7, 2013 at 10:24 am

Hey Ramon,

I know there are a lot of people in your very shoes – they have not-so-great credit because of past history – but want to invest in real estate. A few thoughts on that:

1.) I’d start looking for the more inexpensive places to flip or invest. It’s much easier to buy a $50k property with bad credit than a $250k property. (Hard/Private money is much easier to get at the lower amounts when starting out)

2.) Start building credit now. Do whatever it takes (well – don’t pay some scammy company though.) Go read every book on Credit Repair you can find at Barnes and Nobles and then set out to build it. You only need a 620 (I think?) score to get an FHA loan for a 3.5% down payment on a live-in flip.

3.) Also – start small. Perhaps your first deal will be just working for a local flipper for free, in exchange for him showing you some of the ropes. Maybe it involves finding someone who has good credit to split a 50/50 deal with?

I’d definitely jump into the BiggerPockets Forums and become a familiar face there. Few people fully understand or use the incredible resource that is there – hundreds of pros, willing to donate their time to help you overcome any problem. Think of hundreds of people, much much smarter than me, willing to answer questions and point you in the right direction, anytime – day or night. It’s awesome.

Hope that helps!

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Karen Rittenhouse March 7, 2013 at 11:57 am

Hi Ramon:
What Brandon said!

And, join your local real estate investor groups and local landlords association to begin hanging with people doing what you want to do. You’ll also learn the language and who in your market can guide you to success.

Find out what the people in these groups are looking for so when you start hunting, you can “sell” them the deals you come across that you can’t handle.

Progressing to flips may take some time because they are typically cash intensive and you need to know a lot of contractors to get the work done on time and within budget. Oh, yeah, and you have to understand budget!

You will get there and with all the drive you have, you will be tremendously successful! Keep us posted.

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Raven Bates March 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm

I’m really glad I found this post. I’m 18 years old and I’ve wanted to invest in real estate since I was about 12. I have $14,000 in the bank right now because I am lucky enough to have fairly rich grandparents who give each of their grand kids $10,000 when we turn 16. I’ve decided to save this money solely for real estate and I’m even going to a community college with financial aid so I don’t have to dip into my savings. The biggest challenge that I’ve faced is trying to motivate myself to take the leap and start with my first investment. I don’t know when or where to start but I think Im going to try and get very serious about this after a few more years of college (even though college is really starting to feel like a waste of time). Im definately going to go look at this biggerpockets forum and see what people have to say. I think the only thing I need before I can start my investing career is to get a job so I can get a loan and pay rent. Again I’d like to express how happy I am to have found this post. Thank you for existing haha.

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Brandon Turner March 29, 2013 at 12:01 am

Hey Raven, thanks so much for the awesome comment! Definitely, jump into those forums and get connected! It’s such an awesome community. Also, be sure to check out the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing to help you get going!

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Felipe March 29, 2013 at 12:26 am

Amazing article. I’m 18 years old and I’ve been researching about real estate investing for almost a year now. Been to classes, forums and talked to as many people as I can. It’s true the part of “old people like young motivated kids”. I experienced it myself just a couple of months ago. The biggest difficult to me is actually the “balls” to get started. My objective, is a little bit more bold and tricky. I want to be a real estate developer. In my case, my region is full of new residential complexes and I’m definitely want to start as soon as possible, catch the wave and get some cash. I know it won’t be easy tho. I gave up TV and other things for now. Been studying like crazy, I only enter the internet for research and to consolidate my newly-launched website! I know that if I’m really serious about my goal, I have to make it happen and get my hands dirty! I fear some people won’t take me serious when I show up to see a land and things like that, but I also know that there will be some who will admire that. I hope to find this person as soon as possible :) thanks for the article and thanks for the advices! Very inispirtational!

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Nate Green July 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Hey Felipe, that’s awesome and exactly what I also want to do in about 5-10 years after I gain some experience. Good luck!

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Sharon Vornholt March 29, 2013 at 6:48 am

My advice to anyone wanting to get started is to learn, learn, learn and find a mentor. You can get a great education here, on other blogs and at your REIA group. Join that group and look for a mentor right in your city.

Sharon

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Rissa April 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Hi,
I want to buy more property but I don’t have the cash. Can you please give me some advice. I’m 32yr single, 3kids, 47k income… I bought my 1st home in 2005 I’m renting it out w/o profit to a family member…should be PIF when I’m 55yrs. I bought my 2nd home (the one I love and want to retire in) on 2010. I wish I was making profit off my 1st home but since I’m not I am thankful that someone else is buying me a house or giving me 127k plus if I decide to sell it. I have read it all takes patience.. I understand that but at the same time I feel like I need to buy a piece of property that will give me extra income now.. What should I do? I think that if I can find someone to invest with me on a flip.. we split the cash and go our seperate ways I’ll have the money I need to buy something else.. Is this realistic???

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Elena April 4, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Great and motivational article! Investing in real estate at young age is extremely difficult due to scarce finances and very little life experience, but it’s doable if you have a great researched plan and lots of motivation. I have done that myself and feels good to be financially secure by age 30-35. Thanks for sharing your wonderul inspiring story!

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Fitz Johnson April 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Hi,

I am a 21 year old college student currently employed with the army national guard. I will buy an investment property it is just a matter of how. I have built up a large amount of capital but again I am only employed part time. I will commission into the United States Army as a 2nd LT next may bringing in a full time salary. I have been studying for about a year now learning the in an outs an continue to seek more advice. My main problem is that I do not bring in a full time salary. I received a private loan for my first property from a family member that is working out well right now. Is, interested in doing my 2nd one on my own. I have the capital for a FHA down payment a long with 11 months of reserve just in case the property sits(which it won’t). I have a great real estate agent who I trust and cares about my individual investment not his commission. Each bank questions my debt to income ration stating they do not feel comfortable with what I make yearly. I bring in close to 1300 dollars a month and can get another job if that’s what it takes. I have tried local banks but no luck. Please let me know what my next steps should be to achieve my goal for property number 2. Looking forward to the wealth of knowledge coming my way! Thank you! So happy to find people like me !

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Tiffany April 9, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Fitz, have you thought of getting a zero down VA loan? You could buy a 4 plex and move into it.

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Fitz Johnson April 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Yes, I don’t meet the 6 year eligibility and I was only deployed for 60 out of the 90 days required to become eligible.

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Nick May 2, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I am 29 turning 30 in November and let me tell you it took me this long to exit the mentally of the kid that governed all my decisions. Needless to say I am incredibly driven, perhaps realizing that I am a late bloomer I’ve been reading 1 book a day on the subject. My next step seems to be finding a mentor in real life who can teach me what they know, after all I can learn only so much by reading. I am fortunate enough to have parents that will give me my starting investing and maybe that’s why I have put it off so long. Thanks Brandon great blog that explains everything clearly to a beginner. Do you think there is hope for me? :)

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Brandon Turner May 3, 2013 at 6:59 am

Sorry nick, it’s too late. You are simply too old! ;)

Kidding of course. Most people don’t start getting serious about real estate till they are like 50 and facing an upcoming retirement. So you are miles ahead of most! I’m pretty convinced that anyone can “retire” with real estate in 10-15 years, part time. You just gotta have a plan, and know how you are going to get there. Definitely read through the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide (labled “Real Estate Investing” in the “learn” tab above! )

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Lodrick May 6, 2013 at 6:23 am

Hello Brandon,
Thank you for this wonderful article.
I am from Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania, East Africa. I am passionate and would like to invest in real estate here in Tanzania but i am facing challenges concerning acquiring a genuwine land or building to buy and invest. We have so called Land conmen where you can find a piece of land or a house being sold to 2 or more people. I am afraid to waste my money on something i am not sure if its genuine or not. Please advice.

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Nick May 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

I recently bought my first home with my fiance. I am interested in investing in more real estate, but how are you supposed to finance a second property when most of your money is going to your current residence? How easy is it to obtain a loan for a second mortgage? How can I expedite the paying off of my current property? Maybe someone can recommend some reading for these topics. I don’t really understand how an average person is supposed to get started.

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Brandon Turner May 24, 2013 at 10:34 am

Hey Nick,

A lot of it depends on your income level, but it can be a little tough if you don’t make enough. Definitely check out The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing for some foundational learning, but also you might enjoy this article, “How to Invest in Real Estate with No Money.” Hope that helps!

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Kuljit Kaur May 24, 2013 at 11:45 am

Hey Mr. Turner, I’m 19 years old and in my second year of college. I have lots of family back in India who do real estate but I don’t know much about it. I’d like to get started because I’ve always had a passion for housing, real estate etc. Spent most of my even younger years watching HGTV while everyone was talking about the new shows on MTV. Anyways I also work a full time job and want to invest this money into something worth the risk. I’ve lived in Queens, NYC all my life so I’m very familiar with the areas here. Do you have any suggestions on where I should get started? I don’t know much about loans or

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Kuljit Kaur May 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

The rest didn’t post! Sorry about that, just wanted to ask how can I get started in the NYC area. I don’t know much about loans, who to give money to, who to ask.. I pretty much don’t know anything but am ambitious to learn. Help! -And also thank you for this great post, wish you and the rest of the real estate investing populace the best of luck!

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Brandon Turner May 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Hey Kuljit, thanks for the message. The best place I think everyone should go is the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing that we wrote here on BP. It’s totally free and will help you learn all the right concepts, keywords, and questions to ask. Plus, it will give you links to other great resources so you can dive in even more. Hope that helps! Also – definitely jump into the BiggerPockets Forums and start becoming a common face there. Ask questions and get into discussions – you’ll be amazed at how fast you’ll grow!

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Kuljit Kaur May 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Thanks! Will definitely look into it. Hoping to also find someone in the NYC area who wouldn’t mind mentoring me on this new expedition. Thanks for the help and if I have more questions I will be back here haha, talk to you soon!

Chris June 2, 2013 at 11:58 am

Hello, I purchased my first house at 20 and as luck would have it, the river in my town flooded 4000 homes of which mine was one, i was confidently told my multiple people who i value at advice givers to not buy flood insurance. My how is now 95% finished but Im looking at other flood homes that have only been gutted and sanitized and they are going cheap with the rising market in my state my house has almost doubled in value (and being in the construction trade i only had to put approx 60k to get it 95% done) meaning i have some equity to play with to purchase another home. Im trying to get my father to join my investing buy purchasing only repair material, i would have enough to make the house purchase after the refinance, if i can complete my goal with my father would you advice a rental property or to sell while the market is high? i have also thought of moving into the newly redone house to sell my current one that i have lived in for 2 years now (no investment tax after 2 years) then trying to purchase a lot to build a new construction with that money. Thoughts and advice would be greatly apprechiated, and you are right time is short.

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Ryan June 5, 2013 at 9:16 am

Brandon,

Thank you for posting this information. It has inspired me to get started in real estate!

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Lucas McMillan June 11, 2013 at 10:32 am

Hi Brandon,

Thanks for the great article. Question: using an FHA loan to purchase a duplex, how much money above and beyond the initial down payment did you find you needed for the first year of your investment?

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Brandon Turner June 11, 2013 at 11:04 am

Hey Lucas,

When I bought my first duplex, it was a little strange since I lived in half and rented the other half out to a buddy, but then let him work off rent doing some remodeling on another property. However, had it been a normal situation, I don’t think I would have had to have much out of pocket cause I got a really good deal so the cash flow was great, but I’d recommend having at least 6 months of payment in reserve, so a few thousand at least. Hope that helps!

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edwin ore June 17, 2013 at 11:06 am

Edwin Ore
Im on my lunc break and would like to read more at home.

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John Monts June 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Great article!!
I am 25 and wanting to get into a “live-in flip”. Something closer to my job to cut expenses is a major factor right now. There are a ton of dirt cheap houses, $20-60k, in my area(Nashville), unfortunately most are in shady neighborhoods. The few that are in somewhat decent areas need foundation work.

Obviously I don’t want to buy in an area with massive crime rates. How picky were you in the location when buying your first flipper? With the current technology, is foundation repair as much of a nightmare as people say?

I also like to think outside the box. I would love to create a community within my city of moderately self sufficient homes. Not so much because of all this “save the planet” biz, but because the technology is available to live with relatively little monthly overhead. And it would attract the friendlier types. Being young still has its dreams and ambitions!!!
I would say my goals with investing in real estate is to generate cash flow to travel, secure my “old” days, and to come home to a self sufficient house in a warm climate.
Nothing outrageous…

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Brandon Turner June 20, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Nice John! When I started, I knew enough to stay out of the bad areas, but I also didn’t shoot for the best. I just picked a middle class, blue collar area. I think flipping is possible anywhere, but easiest where people are actually buying.

And foundation is tough – cause some problems can be a $500 fix and others can be a $50,000 fix and unless you have a lot of experience, it can be hard to know the difference. However, if you can find those ones – you can do really well cause most are afraid.

Anyways thanks for the comment!

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Chad June 21, 2013 at 4:48 am

Very good post. Hoping to get my feet wet in investment properties in the next couple of months. What are your thoughts on buying a foreclosed house first?

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Brandon Turner June 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

Hey Chad, thanks!

I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all, as long as you do your due diligence, buy in a good place, and know what you are getting into. Check out this post for more info on buying a foreclosure.

Hope that helps!

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Blake Wilks July 14, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Hey guys I’m 22 years old I work as a floorhand in the oilfield. I work 7-7 and have always wanted to do real estate or try some investing. I work half the year figure I can do re estate the other half. Can any of y’all help me out with getting started i’ve been reading the guides and post. Just don’t no where to put my feet to get started. I live in louisiana and from tx. Idk which would be better to start.
Any help any tips I would really appreciate it.
And thanks for the article.

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Stephen August 3, 2013 at 9:24 am

Hi Brandon, I’m 22 and a new college graduate. I majored in real estate and have been following all these preperation steps to get out there, now all i need to do is make the jump. Thank you for this article, it is comforting to know that I’m headed in the right direction.

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Ben August 5, 2013 at 12:58 am

Awesome info! I just turned 22, yesterday :) and i have been thinking about investing in property for quite some time now. I’ve read quite a bit about buying in the US, as it is much cheaper than Australia.

“The FHA that allows homeowners to buy a property with just 3.5% down payment.” If that is true i could invest in several homes already. I really want to look into this now, thanks heaps for sharing, gonna bookmark this site :)

Ben.

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Big Daddy August 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Excellent post! I wish I would of known this when I was younger. I have been trying these ideas now. However, I am a lot older now.

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Elliott August 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Hey Brandon!

Thanks for the post. I became interested in real estate sayyy 3 months ago and although I’ve considered all business/money careers, real estate, because of it’s exciting, fast-paced environment and importance of lots of human interaction (I like people), has kept my interest.. I’m 21 and about to be a senior Econ major at USC in LA. I would (humbly of courses) say I’m one if those young, ambitious people.

I have no official education in real estate, have read very little (although I’m about halfway through Rich Dad, Poor Dad), but have been around real estate type people my whole life. My dad has done a ton of real estate law, so he has a lot of connections in the business.

I understand that right now I don’t really have anything to offer you in return except my sincere appreciation, but I would be so grateful for any recommendations you could give me on books or blogs to read. Additionally, I’m starting to connect and meet with lots of real estate people in my hometown through my dad. Any tips on the best way to learn from them and establish a relationship for potential jobs and partnerships upon my graduation?

My mind is fresh, but I’m motivated to learn and focus.

All the best

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Austin August 29, 2013 at 2:28 am

Hey Brandon

Thanks for the post. I really enjoy reading your work. I’m turning 19 in a couple of weeks, and have been very eager to start investing. My focus is on small apartment buildings. I feel these properties, like you mentioned, can offer tremendous returns if you invest wisely. Anyway, I read books and look at properties all day. Bigger Pockets has also been very informative. The biggest challenge I’m currently facing is financing. I don’t think I’ll be able to qualify for a traditional loan, despite my savings. On top of that, I live in New Jersey; it’s not the cheapest place to invest. I know people talk about seller financing and hard money lending, but they never do a good job of explaining it. So, do you have any advice? Where can I get financing for my investments?

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Hunter September 2, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Hey Brandon, I’ve enjoyed reading your post, and I have a few questions for you. First, I’m 22 years old and I purchased my home at a very cheap price, fixed it up, and now doubled its worth. I actually have two roommates making my house payment for me so it has worked out well. I cant sell it, because it connects to my parents land and I want to keep it in the family. Besides, I like the idea of renting out homes better than actually flipping homes just for investment purposes. I’m actually in the process of buying another house across form mine, which is also connected to my parents land, and doing the same exact thing, except actually renting this one out. My question to you is this. Do I give it a couple years to let these loans get paid down? Or do I just keep on finding and financing cheap homes, fixing them up, and renting them out? Thank you for your help!

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Brandon Turner September 2, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Hey Hunter, while of course it’s a personal choice, I’d say buy what you can, when you can. If they cash flow well, get as many as possible while young. Cause once you have a family and 17 kids – it gets much tougher to invest! So yeah, I’d say buy smart with tons of cash flow (using the 50% rule) and see how far you can go.

And congrats on the success so far! That’s awesome!

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Ariana Belmonte September 11, 2013 at 11:29 am

Wow, what an incredible post! This information definitely has me feeling motivated for sure! Thank you for the information! I am looking to buy my first place in a year or so. I have some money saved already but i’m afraid to just buy anything because I know if the house needs work I have to pay for that.

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Brandon Turner September 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Thanks Ariana! Good luck on your first purchase!

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Sandra September 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Thank you Brandon for your time, interest and advice. Being a newbie to biggerpockets I am very impressed with the attention I got upon signing up, it means alot. There is so much advice, lessons, rules, regulations, tricks, etc. to learn it becomes overwhelming and scary. The thought of not doing something correct is paralyzing me but what keeps me motivated is the thought of success and sharing/teaching my children to do the same when they get older. The world is tricky and I do not want my children to get stuck depending on a paycheck. I want to live life, I want them to live their lives to the fullest and a 9-5 will not allow that. My determination is driven for my need to save my kids in a matter of speaking. I have signed up and paid for programs that I don’t feel delivered what was promised but I feel comfort here. Thank you and the team and all the investors who take the time to share your wisdom. I am greatful.

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Brandon Turner September 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Hey Sandra, thanks so much for the kind comment! I can tell your passion is there, and it’s gonna help you succeed. Definitely stick close to BP as you get going and we’ll help you get there!

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Victor September 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Hello, my name is Victor. I stumbled on this blog and found it very interesting and timely. I reside in Nigeria(Africa), the financial system here is quite different from what you have in the US. I am a student and getting a part-time job that pays $10 monthly is pretty hard, so the dreams and desires of being a real estate investor is seriously being threatened by the situation here. Your advise is needed. Thank you.

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Zara October 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm

My goodness, so many 21ners out there; making me feel so old now since I’m turning 22 at this November :/ (oh please can somebody stop time). Not to mention there’s even someone at the age of 13 too to boost. And here I am thinking that it’s hopeless to even think about real estate when I was 16 (I’m a very down to earth person) and what was going in my head at the time was practically what you need first is proof of two years of stable income source to show the bank (preferably saved all of the money you make in those two years since you’re young with no obligation and family commitment). You don’t have to make a lot of money but it needs to be “decent” – its the cold hard fact and it’s hard to find such job if you’re under 18; but they’re out there……somewhere. I mean even if you are 18, you could invest in real estate with a flipping burgers job or some customer service job at Walmart but it’s going take a hell of a lot longer – I guess (nothing is impossible).

And for those of you who are in college. You need to figure out what you want to do. College or real estate because real estate is about financial freedom where as College will do the opposite. You can though go back to college just for the enjoyment of learning after you have become successful in real estate. But to start off, choose one since it’s risky enough that you are new and inexperience; you don’t want to rack up more debt on top of your student loan and not to mention the possibility of failing class due to a huge amount of time is needed for real estate (do not spend hobby time on it, you’ll get no where since it’s actually harder to own one property than multiple). As for me, I quit college for real estate. Its not worth it IMO since you can’t really do much anymore with just a BA.

Anyways, excellent post Brandon. I got to BP from your youtube video of “Getting Started in Real Estate Investing in Seven Basic Steps” and I am also following your blog on realestateinyourtwenties.com. I hope to close my first buy to hold duplex deal through partnership with my mentor using none of my saved money… yay. But rather than living in one rent free; I’m going to rent out both of them to speed up the building of equity so I can continue on with my next project of flipping.

Cheers

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Brandon Turner October 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Hey Zara, thanks for the awesome comment! And good luck on the first duplex. You’ll do great!

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David October 15, 2013 at 1:44 am

Brandon,

This is my first time on BiggerPockets. Just came across it doing a google search about smart investments as a young individual. I finally have like 3K stashed up out of college, but will have student loans to pay too, and am getting my real estate license. So this seemed like a nice article to read, and was very informative, especially the concept of owning the duplex and having a tenant rent out the other half. I would love to explore that option at some point. Any other words you would be glad to share for a young person in real estate, I would love to hear.

Thanks,
David

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Brandon Turner October 15, 2013 at 11:09 am

Hey David, Thanks for the awesome comment! Yeah, I love the duplex idea. One of my first properties was a duplex that Kurt Cobain once lived in (as a baby.) That still is one of my favorite properties. Next week I’m closing on a Triplex that I’m buying for $70,000 that is move-in ready. There is a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house with 2 additional units – it’s awesome. If I were just starting out, I’d live in the 4-bed house and the other 2 units would more-than cover the rent.

So yeah – other than that, the best advice I have is to really dive into the free Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing – http://www.biggerpockets.com/real-estate-investing , and also start listening to the BiggerPockets Podcast when you can – http://www.biggerpockets.com/podcast – I think you’ll love it.

Thanks again for the comment! Keep in touch!

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Jordan November 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

That number seems so foreign to me. That is some deal – 70K for a Triplex. I’m 24 and buying my first property in Brooklyn, a duplex, and I could only dream of seeing prices like that here lol. Great article though – and definitely gives me the confidence I am starting off doing the right thing.

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Liz October 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Nice article Brandon and some great advice and tips. I started in real estate in my mid-twenties doing Short sales, but after the crash in 2008 and 2009 and losing most of my money (and credit) I have been a little timid to get back into it. Well….not timid but just not wanting to focus on it as my entire career path. I am however looking at getting back in the game and using it as a vehicle for passive income to work less and travel more and a long term retirement vehicle. I think younger audiences definitely need to hear this message now, while they have plenty of time and can avoid the rat race altogether. Will be sharing this on my blog for sure!

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Brandon Turner December 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Thanks so much Liz! Let us know how it goes!

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Topaz October 28, 2013 at 1:06 am

awesome article! I’m a 21yr old girl from BK saving up to buy my first home. Albeit I just started. I really like this article cause it reassures me I’m not crazy. Hopefully by mid 2014 I can go on and make that purchase. Also as a general question, what do you think would be the general cost for materials to renovate a single family small sized home in decent shape?

*believe in the death for our sins burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and you shall have eternal life*

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Brandon Turner December 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm

You aren’t crazy :) Just stick to good math and you’ll do well in real estate! Also, as for renovating a home -that’s obviously a really loaded question. But if you want ballpark, I usually figure $20k per 1,000 sq ft for a full remodel, or half that for a quick remodel.

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Jordan November 23, 2013 at 9:36 am

Fantastic article, I am 23 and I bought my first duplex 1 year ago and did the exact same thing that you recommended. I got the FHA loan and lived there while remodeled half and rented the other half. Free housing! I just closed on my own home, that is paid for by the apartment that I am moving out of. I have very large goals in real estate, and I would love to cultivate some relationships on this site. I know that I can be more successful if I learn from the veterans. I look forward to reading more on this site and corresponding with some of you! If you would like to shoot me some advice for the stage of life I’m in (looking to obtain 5 more rentals next year) than I would love to hear it! Best regards to everyone here and I look forward to speaking with you all again soon.

– Jordan

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Brandon Turner December 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Hey Jordan, thanks for the comment and congrats on your FHA deal! That’s awesome! Keep rocking it!

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Alisha December 1, 2013 at 9:56 am

Thanks so much for this blog. I have really been stuck trying to decided how to move forward. I not to long graduated college and haven’t really reap any benefits of that. I want to do so many things and just don’t know where to start. Everyone I attempt to get advice from either don’t want to share their story or sugarcoat it. I believe a lot of older people would be willing to help. But I am 24 and the people from my generation prefer that you learn the hard way or from experience.

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Brandon Turner December 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Thanks Alisha for the comment! Jump into the forums here, and you’ll find some great people willing to help guide you in the right direction!

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fernando villegas December 3, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Hi, well first of all I want to thank who ever made this article because it is so informative.I am a 13 year old who wants to invest in real estate insome years and I wanted to ask if you had to go to a special college of business or something to be good in real estate or invest wisely? Also would it be good to have a carrer job so that you can get good money and Invest in real estate instead of borrowing mobey?

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Chanel December 10, 2013 at 8:50 am

Thank you so much for this. I’ve wanted to invest in real estate for so long. I really don’t know what has taken me so long but I finally see that the things I thought were obstacles really don’t stand in my way much at all. For a while I’d put my real estate dreams on hold but I think that its finally time to get started.

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Bionca Smith December 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

This blog is very helpful! I am 25 years old and I can relate when you said ” It makes it tough, however, to find motivation to get into real estate when you don’t have a community that fosters financial education and growth. ” I have very few friends who I can relate to and the ones who do display an interest of real estate are dreamers. Thanks for sharing this. I will bookmark this blog so that I can read it a few times more over the next 5 months as I plan to purchase a piece of property by then.

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desiree smith December 27, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Hey Brandon,
My name is Desiree and I am 24 years old. I have 40K in an account and would love to get into real estate. Ive been thinking about it for 2 years already but just do not know how to take the plunge. I was thinking what was better, getting a duplex and doing the owner occupant thing or buy a house and using the equity from that to get a duplex? I want to be financially free by age 35 what else could u suggest?

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Jerome Harrod II January 11, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Hey Brandon, It’s Jerome posting a comment here again,

I’m 22 now, so It’s been about a year since I read this article and It still hits home. Over the course of a year, I’ve hooked up with a couple “old veterans” as the article suggests and what they share is amazing.

One thing I learned from them and wanted to share to other young investors is to focus on your self-development first, specifically mindset training. Without mindset training, You could have a loaded gun with the best investing strategy, the best mentor, and the right amount of money to invest and still not pull the trigger to close your first deal.

The one book that my mentor suggested to me, to train my mindset and allow me to pull the trigger, was the book “Awaken The Giant Within” by Anthony Robbins.
It’s an old book around 20 to 30 years old, but it’s written in practical, plain english words that is very down to earth that any youth can follow and relate with.

I can swear by “Awaken The Giant Within”, I’ll bet my entire developing investing career and my new PS4 version of COD:Ghosts on this book being helpful to you. This is a must read!

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Jason March 14, 2014 at 5:08 pm

That a solid sold that’s enough for me. I’ll pick it up on Amazon asap!

Thanks!

Jason

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Nicholas January 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Hi Brandon, I’m a young professional that is fortunate enough to be living at home right now so I’ve been able to bank a lot of money. With no rush to have to start paying rent I am in the process of looking to purchase my first income property to get my start into investing!

Great article! BiggerPockets has been a wealth of information so far!!

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Malik February 1, 2014 at 9:33 pm

I am 22 years old i finally figured out what i really want to do for a full time living, its real estate i just want some advice. I have good credit very little debt, i also have a decent paying job. Im getting my real estate agent license in a few months. What should my steps be in getting into real estate investment.

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James davis February 3, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Hey Brandon awesome article! This fit me perfectly. I graduated a few years ago and have been searching for what I could besides my normal job. I mean this article is great and you are nothing less than a genius. I learned so much from this article.

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Chrishena February 5, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Love the article. As a real estate agent in Atlanta my business over the last two years has been nearly 50% from investors. While a few amazing opportunities still exist, the absolute steals are hard to find. That being said, it is still a great time to buy, and many people are still in the market for good investment properties.

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Jason March 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Hi Chrishena,

I was going through all the comments, and noticed that you were a real estate agent with 50% investor clientèle.

I’m interested in becoming a real estate agent in Canada, BC. and was wondering if I could maybe ask you a few short question through email? You can contact me at [email protected] if you’re interested

Thanks!

Jason

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Rohit Yadav February 15, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Very nice post. Real estate is good option for investment. If you are thinking about investing Real Estate in Gurgaon than go for Emaar mgf palm drive.

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James February 18, 2014 at 11:40 am

Being young also gives you a buffer for making mistakes since you have more time to recover.

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Jason March 10, 2014 at 9:54 pm

I’m 18 myself. I have read your article on mobile home investing, and thought it was inspirational; and creative. You should definitely write a book, as I would definitely buy it (or wait a few years, and get it a thrift store for 90% less than retail price ;) — Hey, can’t blame me for being frugal! Like, you said, being young – no money.

On a serious note, I like what you’ve said, especially on older generation being keen on educating the younger one’s; the little grasshoppers. I’m not going to pull the trigger yet and post anything on BP, but you’ll probably see me when I am 20.

Saving money right now, and I know the critical factor of “not pulling the trigger, and loading on too much reading/ seminar/ classes in real estate”. I plan to read a few more dozen books or so, and pull the trigger when I have enough money (when I am 20).

I’m going to leave this post on a more emotional note. A lot of young kids, like me, are often confused about our future (where we are heading, what college to go to, to go to college or not even?), and we often pull into a career that does not make us happy. Usually our decision are based on what Google say as “highest paid career”. I see a lot of kids my age, my friend, my girlfriend, who are confused and lean towards career they aren’t fully motivated in. It’s nice seeing someone who have “done it” and have choose to relay the information back towards younger generation, “leaving a few crumbs in the trail path for success for younger people travelling on the same path”.

Awesome article. Wish it was longer, but you have so many article written already!

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Jeanette March 13, 2014 at 4:49 am

cool :) I’m a 21 year old female trying to start my real estate investing career :) this was a great post to help get me started; it explained a lot of things really well. I’m kind of attractive, although I don’t intend to heavily rely on my looks, I read somewhere that looks help, so I guess i’ll use that to my advantage while I still can lol . thanks

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Jason March 14, 2014 at 5:02 pm

That made me laugh. Your looks can definitely help you, why not be a Real estate agent?

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Payden Miller March 13, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Great post Brandon! I’m a 24 year old college student and I’m beginning to see the advantages of real estate. The thing that is holding my back is income. I’m a good saver and I have a decent amount socked away that I could put towards a down payment, but I’m afraid I don’t make enough to qualify for a loan. It’s something I’m looking into

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Erin @ LiveLifeActive.com March 26, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Another great post, Brandon! I bought my first property at 27 and then my first rental right before my 30th birthday. I’m working on my 3rd deal now. I don’t consider myself a youngin but to own 2 houses before a lot of my friends own any, they probably think I’m crazy! I’m okay with that though :)

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Allan July 9, 2014 at 11:24 pm

That’s very inspiring!

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Steven Huang March 27, 2014 at 12:22 am

FANTASTIC article Brandon. The difficulties you mentioned about trying to invest as a youngster are spot on and precisely what I’ve felt and gone through in the last year and a half.

I found that the biggest obstacle for myself while trying to get started is the lack of support the older and “wiser” people (whom interestingly are stuck in a day to day job) telling you to be realistic and that you’re being naive while your friends just stare blankly at you when you mention real estate and then change the topic to gossip about who’s dating who. However, you really have to seek out a support group of other investors, and although many of them are going to be twice or three times your age, they will end up as your peers and will be the ones who can understand your struggles better than anyone else. Every investor has felt the same panic and fear when they first started, and I try to make it a habit to ask them about mistakes they’ve made and learn from that.

After buying my first property at the age of 17 (with a partner) and doing twelve deals later (two on my own), I’m not naive enough to think that I’ve got it all since there’s still so much to learn from other people. As they say, as a real estate investor, the #1 rule is to NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK!!

I’m turning 19 in two months, and I’m only a fifth of the way to my goal. I feel old already!

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Lear Riojas March 27, 2014 at 3:53 am

This is a decent article and being one of the “old” people, albeit I don’t see myself as such, I am looking forward to getting my daughters involved in real estate, I have a goal of helping her get her first rental during her junior year in high school, do you see any challenges we may encounter when that time comes?

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Michael April 22, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Great article Brandon, I’m 16 and really looking into getting into this business, I love your articles and do you think its worth learning now? will it help me in the long run? Shoot me an email sometime id love to ask some questions!

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dubem April 30, 2014 at 3:16 am

Hey Brandon,
Great article you have here! I just started reading the UBG book as well. I am a 20 year old Computer science student who believes in breaking boundaries and not being put in just one box of ‘expertise.’ I have been fascinated with the world of real estate for the longest now, but never really knew how to get started or where to go from,considering I am a broke college student and I literally know no one that does real estate. This is something I am actually serious about and could get even more motivated if I could get more information on how to go about it. Thus,my questions are; How do i get started? What are the steps to take to achieving my aim in this field? Does me being a people person have anything to do with possibly being a success in this field? Sorry for the long comment. Thanks!

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Allan July 9, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Read rich dad poor dad by Robert kiyosaki, and creating wealth by Robert Allen. This will give you more of an idea of what you’ll need to know. To get started you need to prove a certain amount of income for the lender and have a certain credit rating. You don’t need $5000 monthly and perfect credit, but you have to have something to prove you can pay loan. Other than that it’s just a matter if contacting an agent and asking them to send you listings to certain cities you want to purchase in.

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Nzinga May 25, 2014 at 9:58 am

Thanks for writing this. I’ve been learning and talking about real estate for about 6 months and I still have the motivation to purchase a house. My teammates have been unreliable so I’m thinking it’s time to save up a chunk of change and just venture on my own. I guess I can’t wait six more months!

Quick question, Is the buying season a real thing for investors? Should one wait for the cycle to kick up. At my rate of saving I wouldn’t have my own down payment until early November.

Zinga

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Allan July 9, 2014 at 11:18 pm

There are opportunities all the time… No rush. From my experience there are cycles in cities. If the city you are looking to purchase in is a sellers market, you can still make smart investments, but profit may be less than if you bought in buyers market. If your city is to expensive, look an hour or so away and you’ll find homes that may be a lot less. Just learn how to look at the numbers (mortgage price, how much rents go for, how much the house sold for previously… An real estate agent will gladly answer this for you.) hope this helps

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dar June 4, 2014 at 3:46 pm

my struggle is mainly with money and financing. i desperately want to start.. but without those i am unable to do so. i have been doing my best to learn and study about it. plus, the company i work for is cutting back pay and hours for us.. i am also doing the best i can for both my parents who have no work and are getting only so much from government aid. i am getting depressed about everything now. (frustrations about failing to start, financial strangling, not able to enjoy my life like i should)

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Lucas Peczek August 13, 2014 at 11:56 am

I speak to a lot of people like you dar, and I was in the same position when I started. My best advice I can give you would be to network with lots of other investors. Speak to like minded individuals, and be careful whom you trust.

There are lots of posers out there, and I’ve been taken for a ride once or twice, all because I didn’t check their track record. Planning and execution, trusted advisors, an open mind and an exit strategy. All these things will help you throughout your investing.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need me to elaborate.

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Kedus Meheretu June 10, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I’m only 14! I’ve been learning about RE investing for several months now. Listening to podcasts, taking notes, reading books daily.

It’s hard only being 14 because, I have no money and few like-minded people around me. My family is poor.

On the bright side, I’ve got Biggerpockets! :)

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Allan July 9, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Keep studying and learning. I did the same thing you were doing. Read rich dad poor dad, and creating wealth. Keep that mind set. I was your age studying real estate too. When I turned 21 I bought a duplex (lived in one rented other) where I needed to come up with $200 per month for all expenses (gas,electric,water,etc). I’m 24 now and I have 2 duplexes (4 units) and I would have a profit of $500 per month if I didn’t work at all. Trust that as you get older you’ll find more like minded people (maybe not many your age). If there’s anyway I can be of service to you let me know. Just don’t start with bad credit after high school. You’d be surprised how much you could do with a little bit of constant money every month and good credit. I’m out of ca

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Allan July 9, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Keep studying! I was the same way when I was your age. I bought a duplex at 21 and only had to come up with $200 monthly for all expenses (water,gas,etc) for a $1,600 dollar mortgage. When I turned 24 I bought another duplex. Now I make $500 profit if I didn’t work at all from the 4 units. Gives me opportunity to save for repairs, and another duplex. As you get older you’ll find like minded people(maybe not your age). But stay focused, keep good credit, and find a skill that could get you a decent income so you can prove to lenders you can make payments.

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erick galindo June 11, 2014 at 2:50 am

If you don’t mind me asking how much where you making when you bought your first home. I am 20 years old I make about 2600 month I just don’t know how to get started

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Allan July 9, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Lenders will want to verify you can handle a mortgage with this $2600 income monthly. Rule of thumb is your debt to income ratio can’t be more than 36% of your income. So a lender would verify that you don’t have debts more than $936. Idk your situation, but say you have a $200 car loan, you could only get a mortgage for $736. If you have student debt of $100 then you could only do a mortgage of $636. To get started you’d need to figure out what your monthly debts are to see what mortgage you can afford. As long as you have a way to prove this income of 2,600 you’ll be just fine. I have a duplex that cost 109,000 the mortgage and all the taxes and insurance monthly is $625. Both homes rent for a total of $1,300 so as long as you don’t have a lot of debt, you have enough to start investing. Hope this helped

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JP June 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Great post! A lot of useful information!

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Ade Tuyo July 15, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Awesome post, very helpful and motivating!
Thanks!

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Ryan Freda July 19, 2014 at 6:14 pm

I am about to turn 16, I have always been of a business mind set. yeah you may laugh at the age but I have grown to be taken very serious. I started my own lawn business and am getting licensed next year so I can start picking up bigger contracts. I also currently work with a professional company and hope to branch off with him. Next year I am planning to take the money I earn and put it into a separate fund to save up for my first property. I am dying to get in the real estate business!! in about 2 years I have set goals to have enough money to put a hefty down payment on a house and get my life rolling by 20. I want to start young before its to late. I would like to purchase a property before 20 but I need some guidance. Does anyone know of classes you can take? or just any person advice?
My plan is to make at least 50k next year ( very obtainable)
If i grow my lawn business to 2 trucks running i will start making high 80k (shooting it low)
This will then leave me with enough money to take on 1 mortgage without big payment on my first house.
Houses in my area are around the 200k range and are rented for 1600+
I am hoping to put 100k down because I know I will not be able to get a big loan with my young age.
Please let me know what you think.

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Jose July 25, 2014 at 8:00 am

Hi Ryan,
I have been investing in real estate for 4 years now, I am not that experienced but I can now tell the difference between a good and bad house for cash flow. I would suggest you to read all the rich dad poor dad books, those will give you an idea of what to pursue and buy.
The houses that you mention, be careful that you follow the minimum value/lease rule, always be sure to buy at least properties that will give you at least 1% of the value per month. Ex: $80,000 purchase price , $20,000 for fixing and make ready = $100,000. This should rent at least for $1,000 if not more.
When I started was great since foreclosures were all over the place and you could aproach 2%.
Just be sure to check the numbers and put your money in a good neighborhood.
Hope it helps!

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Lucas Peczek August 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I agree with Jose,
You should be able to find property to rent for $1000 per month for about $100,000 total acquisition cost. They don’t always need to be in the most desirable neighbourhoods, just in places where the numbers make sense. Be the lowest for rent house and you can pick your good tenants. Buy below market value and have equity built in. Make sure there are many facilities nearby. You don’t have to invest local either, that limits your opportunities.
There are tons of other factors, but keep your emotions out of it. Look at the numbers, they don’t lie. If deal still works and is cash flowing, and you have a sold “out” in case things go bad, pull the trigger.

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Chris Winkler July 22, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Very good post and it would have been nice to see it when I was a younger man. While I am still a young 54, its never too late to start getting involved with real estate. Raised millions in early stage ventures, yet really was never presented real estate as a career and finally glad to make it to the party. The past is over & the future has so much in store, as everyone needs a place to live and many despise apartments.

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Jeff July 24, 2014 at 10:57 pm

The younger you start, the more “gold” you gather and keep. Time is gold. For me, this (time) is the biggest advantage of individuals starting property investing at a young age.

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RJ Bryan September 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Hey,
Awesome article, Im currently in hard money lending and looking to begin investing in multi-families in the New York area. This is a great article, you reminded me of the FHA program. I have a question about that (ill do more research following your reply, of course), did you place your multi-family under an LLC while you lived there or was it under your name? If you put your property under a business name, are you still legible for the FHA program?

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