5 Eye-Opening Numbers That Will Make You Want to Start Investing Today

by | BiggerPockets.com

BiggerPockets is arguably the richest source for aspiring real estate investors. And real estate, itself, is the richest asset class in the world.

Yet many who read this haven’t done their first deal, are in the middle of their first deal, or may still be on the fence about investing.

Some may be procrastinating, piling up roadblocks or waiting for the stars to align. (What are you waiting for?!)

Some may think the barrier to entry is too high. They might think that you need a lot of seed money. (You don’t.)

Either way, if you’re still on the fence about investing, here are five figures that’ll have you ready to do your first deal today. (If this does indeed get you started, please leave me a comment below! I’d love to hear it.)

Numbers That Will Make You Want to Start Investing

1. 96.5%

This is the amount a bank will give you on an FHA mortgage for a property up to four units. I know it’s been said a million times here, but FHA is the first-time investor’s best friend.

I’m not sure if this fully sinks in with people. But yes, the bank will actually lend you almost 97 percent of the entire amount it will cost you to buy something.

Related: What’s Great (& Not So Great) About FHA Loans

Beautiful african woman happy and excited celebrating victory expressing big success, power, energy and positive emotions. Celebrates new job joyful, outdoor

2. $5,915

What you have to put up in cash to buy and OWN a turnkey, cash-flowing apartment building in the capital of Connecticut. According to LoopNet, this is for three units at a 9 percent cap rate.

At $169,000, 3.5 percent down equals $5,915. That’s all it takes to get in the game. Some college courses cost more than that.

3. $75

What it will cost you to own a piece of Sam Zell’s Equity Residential (EQR), the third-largest multifamily landlord in the country. They own 307 properties with over 79,400 apartment units in various top markets (D.C., N.Y.C., San Francisco, etc.).

For $75, you can own a piece of that. Aside from the portfolio itself, the stock might actually be a good deal, period.

Valued at $27.97 billion, EQR is actually undervalued at the moment. Their net operating income is $117.19 million, which means—if you go by a 4 percent cap rate (reasonable for N.Y.C.)—a more accurate valuation is a cool $29.30 billion.

Over the past three years, EQR sold $8.5 billion worth of apartment properties. Half of it was distributed to shareholders. (The rest was reinvested.)

Buying into that, even if it’s one share, gives you ownership in that entire portfolio.

Related: Should You Put Your Money into Stocks or Real Estate?

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4. $87 (The Best Bet)

If you’re more into mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), you can pick up the number one REIT ETF Vanguard. It’s as safe a bet as any.

The fund owns $61 billion in assets. It yields 3.96 percent and has a YTD return of 17.89 percent.

It’s rock solid; no crazy ups and downs. VNQ is $87/share today (April 12, 2019). It was $81 on Jan. 1, 2007.

Despite this consistent, almost predictable output, VNQ has outperformed the S&P 500 by over 54 percentage points on a total return basis over the last decade.

In fact, Investopedia calls this very stock “the best bet for most novice investors.

5. 10% (The Billionaire’s Benchmark)

This is the share of the world’s wealthiest people who have built their fortunes from real estate, according to Forbes.

This means simple real estate investing beat out billionaires from tech, oil, crypto, stock trading, or any other lucrative field.

Perhaps the most impressive stat from this list? Many of the wealthiest real estate billionaires trace their lineage to generational wealth that’s compounded over time.

Fred Trump was a developer, blazing the trail for his son to become a billionaire.

Richard LeFrak joined his father Samuel LeFrak’s company, paving the way for him to amass a $6.5 billion fortune.

Why does this matter?

Well, by starting early—or starting now—by the time your children’s children grow up, they could be billionaires, too.

If you’re hesitant to invest, what’s holding you back? 

Comment below!

About Author

Philip Michael

A native of Denmark, Philip came to New York in 2014 with $79 in his PayPal account. In 2015, he joined Bisnow Media (the largest commercial real estate news source in North America) and helped lead them to a $50M sale as National Editor and Director of Content Strategy. Founder of NYEG, a real estate & VC company with $80M in the development pipeline, Philip and his team are currently developing a series of historic projects, including the first black-owned high rise in Jersey City, the first smart home development in Jersey City's McGinley Square, and the first voice-controlled student housing building in Philadelphia. Philip is the best-selling author of Real Estate Wealth Hacking: How To 10x Your Net Worth In 18 Months and an expert columnist for Forbes, Black Enterprise, Entrepreneur and others.


    • Philip Michael

      Thanks! And re: Hartford, I have no idea, Travis. I don’t own EQR, VNQ nor do I own anything in Hartford.

      I just picked that particular listing to underscore the point that it doesn’t a lot of startup capital to get in the game. And like I said, college courses cost more than that. Even if you f$%& up, it’s invaluable education.

      You’d have to look at the market fundamentals; job growth, rent growth, things of that nature. Access to highways, retail, transportation — all the things that factor into your decision as a renter.

      Without telling you what to do, I’d say invest in the area you know. I personally stick to 2.5 markets that I know extremely well. From the transportation, how a tenant would live, their commutes, their neighborhoods, retail and so on.

      That said, I’m sure there’s money to be made in Hartford. Again, I’d look at those fundamentals. Easy to get blinded by on-the-surface yields. But at under $6K, can you really go wrong?

      I’ll say this much: If I were starting out and lived close to Hartford, I would’ve been all over something like that.

  1. Jason Oberweis

    Good article except for the portion on VNQ. “It’s rock solid; no crazy ups and downs. VNQ is $87/share today (April 12, 2019). It was $81 on Jan. 1, 2007.” That statistic, while true, alone would scare any investor away. Why would someone want 7% stock appreciation over 12 years?

    The stock dropped to the low-$20s in March 2009, and it’s return since then has been fantastic, like many REIT ETFs. This also goes against you saying no crazy ups or downs, since it dropped from mid-$80s in 2007 to low-$20s two years later.

    • Philip Michael

      Good comment except for the portion on absolute absence of context. There was a financial crisis during that period you point out.

      Isolated macro events don’t tell the full story. You know that. I know that. Let’s not get cute and split arse hairs.

      Now, if you wanna get cute with the strawman stuff, consider this: Blackstone (BX)—arguably the most successful real estate investor and the largest landlord alive—went from over $34 a share to like $5.

      BlackRock. Another behemoth. Went from $220 to $92 a share. So this goes against the strawman argument you present.

      See above comment to Travis and you will see that I do not advocate, advise, vouch for, recommend or any other endorsement of the stock.

      The POINT and the PREMISE of the entire article was that the barrier to entry to getting started with investing isn’t as high as some think.

      You clearly understand securities at a level most don’t. Most people who read get stuck in analysis paralysis. My entire aim with this article is to motivate people new to this to get started.

      Otherwise, very insightful comment. Thanks for reading!

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