The Only Real Estate Investing Mistake You Can’t Ever Really Fix

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This might come across as strange, but I feel that real estate can be rather philosophical in a sense. While it might seem odd, this is actually a blessing in disguise. This is because it will allow you to see things in a range of gorgeous shades and hues instead of a boring, monochromic black and white.

There are a lot of shades that come with successful real estate investing. Similar to playing an instrument or a sport, it is a kinesthetic skill that molds the human mind and physical ability in such a way that they become flawless in the utilization of that skill.


Related: 5 Highly Actionable Steps to Make REAL Progress Towards Your Investing Goals

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The Loss of Flexibility Over Time

Obviously, similar to most things in life, the earlier a person starts learning a certain skill, the higher the chance this skill will be able to fully blossom and meet a fruitful outcome. For those of you who are wondering why, the answer is actually rather simple. It is because the longer we are exposed to the world, the more our minds and bodies are jaded/conditioned. They start to lose their ability to mold, and with their elasticity decreasing by the day, it becomes far too difficult to start learning how to be flexible again.

Therefore, once your body and mind reach that highly critical moment, it is nearly impossible to start bending them in such a way that they can fully grasp the difficult concepts. So regardless of whether it is learning how to play an instrument or a sport or first dipping your toe into the world of real estate investing, the earlier you start, the more pliable you will be.


Choose Action Over Waiting

If you choose to wait to begin, despite the fact that learning this trade is going to be a bit more painful and far less natural than if you had chosen to begin earlier, so long as you have the persistence and put in the hard work, there is no doubt that you will still be able to go far.

Related: Why You Should Take Investing Action — Even if it’s Small — Right NOW

All in all, my firm belief is that most (if not all) mistakes definitely have the opportunity to be recovered — so as long as there is enough time to actually go in to fix them. In all honesty, the only mistake that we won’t be able to fix is missed time itself, and this is simply because once it flows on by, it is gone for good.

So if I were to change anything or act differently in any way, the only thing I would change would be the fact that I would have chosen to begin sooner! No excuses. Go take action and be great! 

So what’s holding YOU back from beginning — or if you’re already an investor, do you wish you’d begun earlier?

Leave a comment!

About Author

Sterling White

With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling currently manages over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $26MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments and single-family homes. Through the company he co-founded, Holdfolio, he owns just under 400 units. Sterling was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single-family investing and apartment investing to wholesaling and scaling a business.


  1. Sonia Spangenberg

    Excellent advice. I did manage to go ahead and get started and acquired 3 properties with my business partner this past year, but I still find myself postponing stuff I’m not comfortable with. You have inspired me to just jump in and do my best. At least I’ll be moving forward instead of waiting. I would still caution people to listen to their gut however, but do a self check and be honest in determining if there is a real negative vibe or just fear and procrastination. Thanks for the philosophical truth.

  2. Another excellent article Sterling!

    You are so right! As I get older, I find myself becoming less flexible, but mostly because I feel that I have ‘earned’ the privilege to decline certain things that I no longer feel that I have to do, because I have reached a certain level of success.

    In a way, I worry that I may be wearing blinders. When we get older we tend to think that we know it all and that can result in missed opportunities!

    I can say for certain that I have no regrets about any of my life choices. Even the choices I’ve made that didn’t turn out so well, have made me a better person. I try to always focus on the present and the future and not on the past.

  3. Thanks for your post & philosophical concepts therein; I agree with much of it. The “start & do parts”.

    However, I submit in the real world many real estate related mistakes or perceptions or maybe “exterior CHANGES” cannot be totally corrected with by flexibility or the passage of a life time.

  4. John bennett

    Mr. White!

    Thanks for the words on the effects of time, it is information I have been trying to share with my sons, Ray, Gerald, and Gerome.

    I squandered so much time over the course of the last 52 years that the battle for success has become a two edged sword.

    One edge is the narrow path of effort and sacrifice an individual must exert to succeed.

    The other edge is the daunting task of refraining from indulging in unproductive, wasteful habits.

    So, I find myself working “twice as hard”, running up one side of the sword, and down the other! I find myself in this state at a time when many of the resources associated with youth are spent, resources that help you work, “TWICE AS HARD!”

    Thanks again, I’ll share this with my peeps at the family meeting!

  5. Douglas Skipworth

    Sterling, once again I completely agree with one of your great points.

    I tell people all of the time that my #1 real estate investing regret is that I didn’t start earlier.

    So to anyone who hasn’t started their real estate journey I’d say to remember tree analogy (the best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago…the second best time is today!) and start now!

    Thanks for the encouraging word.

  6. Ashley Wolfe

    Thank you for posting this as I go back and forth and over analyze my position as I get closer and closer to the closing date of my first buy-and-hold SFH deal. Even though its not the perfect deal and its not a grand slam by ANY stretch of the imagination, I keep going for it because I know I will always balk and talk my way out of it after doing “official things” like getting the house under contract and getting it inspected only to walk away because its not the perfect deal.

    To add to the discussion, I told my husband just yesterday that the only way to truly and ultimately fail in real estate investing (other than never learning from your mistakes) is to quit altogether. My husband’s words in a moment of frustration with having to pay for an appraisal were, “If this doesn’t work out, we’re not doing another one.” And my response to him was, “Then we really will lose our a$$ and never regain anything but a bad taste in our mouth that we’re not making the money we wish we were making. We can’t keep wishing.”

  7. Joe Barnett

    I have a few people in my family that invest in real estate that are older then me and I have met some people in my short time investing and that’s the one thing that everyone of them say to my wife and I is “I wish I would of started investing at your age” time is the one thing that you can never get back so don’t wait on the sidelines because time isn’t going to wait for you

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