How I Overcame Fear, Age, and Lack of Experience to Become a Successful Real Estate Investor

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As I make my way farther and farther into my thirties I see more and more younger faces coming into the understanding and business of investing in real estate for profit. Gone are the days of me being the youngest investor in my Real Estate Investor’s Club, local seminars, or other real estate related groups.

While aging is bitter as I am starting to show more and more grey hairs, it is sweet that I have been able to sustain a very profitable and helpful career as a real estate investor. The story below concerning my first deal inside a mobile home park is aimed for anyone who has the overwhelming concern that they are too young to be taken seriously or too young to hold value to help others.

Let’s be honest, if you look fifteen when you show up to a seller’s door people will hold preconceived notions about your experience, your desires, your knowledge, and they may often times not reflect accurately on you as a person.

This post is created to acknowledge that your age has little to do with your effectiveness as an investor. If you are determined, motivated, honest, and have a desire to help sellers than you have a better shot than most to make it far in a career with real estate investments.

Related: How to Invest in Real Estate at a Young Age

Talking with a Seller for the First Time

On my way to my first seller appointment I was almost to the subject property to meet with a middle aged female seller. After a brief phone conversation I took down the seller’s asking price of $8,000 and the address. At the time I was so new I did not even think to ask if this was a mobile home; I was too excited about the price to think of such questions.

Until this point I had only practiced conversations in front of a mirror and read a handful of courses on the subject of real estate investing. To say I was nervous was a understatement. Not only was I unsure about what I was doing I also looked inexperienced, doe-eyed, pimple-faced, high-pitch voiced, and was driving a junk car. Negative thoughts whirled around my head so loud and fast it was hard to focus on steering my car straight down the street. The positive affirmations and motivational music I had blasting in my car was no help either. Sixty seconds before I was to arrive at the subject property the stress overcame me and I quickly pulled over to the side of the road to get sick from nerves.

A Fork in the Road

Once I was done purging I had a decision to make.

Quit now and run home with my tail between my legs or keep my appointment with this seller who needs help. Minutes later after cleaning myself off I arrived at the property to find a friendly seller eager to fill me in on all the details of the home and her situation. I purchased the property for $3,000, payable as $300 for 10 months. This property alone was to create over $40,000 in net profit over the next 11 years.

With the confidence of this one deal closed I went on to secure over 10 mobile home deals in the next 12 months, some homes in parks and others attached to private land.


In conclusion… age and experience are not the same thing. Use your ambition and drive to push yourself daily to continually be making purchase offers that help sellers sell their unwanted homes. Over the years I have utilized mentors and coaches that have lead me around costly mistakes, other mistakes I have made on my own and have licked my wounds and kept investing.

If you are younger or inexperienced remember that every seasoned investor started with no knowledge of this business and has made a lifestyle through forging their own path through some treacherous real estate terrain.

“Sellers do not care what you know when they know how much you care.”

Love what you do daily,

John Fedro

About Author

John Fedro

Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a 4-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to his cash-flowing portfolio. Since these early years, John has gone on to help 150+ sellers and buyers sell their unwanted mobile homes and obtain a safe and affordable manufactured home of their own. Years later, John keeps to what has been successful—buying, fixing, renting, and reselling affordable housing known as mobile homes. John shares his stories, experiences, lessons, and some of the stories of other successful mobile home investors he helps on his blog and YouTube channeland has written over 300 articles concerning mobile homes and mobile home investing for the BiggerPockets Blog. He has also been a featured podcast guest here and on other prominent real estate podcasts, authored a highly-rated book aimed at increasing the happiness/satisfaction of average real estate investors, and spoken to national and international audiences concerning the opportunities and practicality of successfully investing in mobile homes.


  1. Good article, I love to hear about the early years in an investors career. Tenacity any perseverance have to be in a investors DNA to succeed especially when starting out.

    “Enjoying the Journey”

  2. This is a good reminder to keep pushing forward. I’m one of the younger investors at my local REIA clubs and sometimes I get so much feedback on how lucky I am getting started young that I get cozy with my time thinking I have a lot of it. In reality, I should be using this extra time to my advantage to gain more experience. Thanks for the reminder, John.

    • Hi Stephanie,

      You nailed it! Start and keep kicking butt while you have the energy and strength. Keep up the good work. Happy to help.

      All the best,
      John Fedro

  3. When I started out (21 years old), my dad said I was to young to be buying properties. I said oh, how old should I be? My Mom said you’re going to lose all your money, told her, it’s only money!

    Within a few years, quit my JOB and went full time in my OWN business.

  4. I started around 21, and didn’t close my first one until 3 or 4 months later when I was 22. I had a lot of people tell me that is probably not a good idea as there won’t really be anyone who was willing to sell their house to a 21 year old at a discount.

    I spent thousands of dollars on marketing and saw little results for a while. Again, many people said stop wasting money.

    I was able to go full time in 8 months now we are closing 2 deals a month consistently. I’m 23 now and still very excited to grow more! Tenacity and not letting things get under your skin is key.

    I’d say another thing that helped me is being able to live in the moment. By living in the moment and not worrying about anything else I was able to eliminate many fears about meeting with sellers and talking with them on the phone.

    • Wonderfully said Josh! Well done and congratulations on all your success. Keep up the great work and stay hungry for more deals. 🙂

      All the best,
      John Fedro

  5. Thank you for this article! It is very relevant for me as am young and just starting out. I really appreciate your reminder that this business is about helping others, and that success is not determined by age but prayer, patience, passion, and persistence.

  6. I was 26 and fresh out of the US Marines.

    found an experienced rehabber and he showed me how to market, got a hard money loan, 65% LTV. 10 pts, rolled into loan, 16% interest only pmt, no money down, walked with $7K.

    Pulled carpet myself, helped paint, sold it in 45 days, netted after all costs, $16K.

    The negotiation with the seller was nerve wracking. I just shook my head and said,

    ……………..”this is the best I can do, with all the repairs needed.”

    That $16K pay day for my age was my net salary for a year.

    Ive never turned back.


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