The Top 10 Reasons Newbies Say They’re Stuck (Per the BiggerPockets Forums)

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What is really holding real estate investors back today? How can they overcome it?

It’s easy for outsiders to make assumptions about why aspiring investors aren’t actually doing deals. So I started this trending thread in the BiggerPockets Forums, and here are the top 10 reasons investors say they are still stuck, waiting to do their first deals or waiting to scale investments the way they would like.

The Top 10 Reasons Newbies Say They’re Stuck

1. Time it Takes to Get Paid

One of the toughest things about going all in to real estate is perceived as being the time it takes to go from zero to closing that first deal and getting paid. So consider starting part-time or finding a route that can put money back in your pocket within 30 days.

2. Family

Friends and family won’t always get it. They don’t always have to. Don’t try to sell them on joining you full-time. They simply will not always see what you see and are often overprotective. Many will try to keep you in what they consider their comfort zone. Of course, this is normally counterproductive. Get out there and show them it works. Then help them if they decide to join in.


Related: 20 Must-Have Team Members for Real Estate Investing Newbies

3. Funding

By far one of the most common excuses is not having lots of money to invest or access to private money. If you do want to borrow, be willing to make lots of calls. There is money out there. Or look for real estate investment options that let you get started with just a few thousand dollars. Partner up with others in the same situation and make it happen together.

4. Saving Up Enough

Some try to save their way into real estate. They try to put aside a little from each check towards reserves and buying capital. That’s tough. You can never keep up with inflation, cover emergency bills, or make fast progress this way. Look for a way to leap in now, and let real estate bulk up your finances and income.

5. Finding Inventory Close By

This can be a legitimate roadblock. You may simply not be able to find many deals if you are light on cash and credit and live in high cost areas with intense competition, like parts of California, New York, or Seattle. But you can look out of state and find more affordable deals with better profit margins. Open up your map.

6. Intimidated By Large Dollar Amounts

Some are daunted by the big numbers. They’ve never borrowed or bought anything for $200,000 before, never mind $2 million. But if you have goals that big, you had better start playing with numbers even bigger!

7. High Property Costs

Carrying on from number 5, some find local property really expensive. If you’ve got an average job, and your average local home price is $1M+, that can seem like a challenge. Look elsewhere or partner up.


Related: 7 Life-Changing Lessons I Wish I Knew as a Real Estate Newbie

8. Marketing Budget

A lack of marketing budget can seem like a challenge. Fortunately, there are many guerrilla marketing tactics for real estate. Seek them out, use them, then reinvest and build your budget.

9. Having to Create a Team

Yes, you need a team. Go out and find them. Break out your phone and find local pros to lunch with, consult with, network with, and who are looking to partner up in some way.

10. Yourself

The most honest answer to this question is “me.” Most excuses come down to F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real). Call it what you want; just don’t try to justify it. The best antidote for this poison is just taking action.

Look out for my next article for more practical solutions you can put into play fast to overcome these obstacles and get your next deal closed faster.

What’s holding YOU back from investing?

Let me know what you’d add to this list with 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. Tim Puffer

    Thanks for putting this together. It will help people see all of these in one place. While these are excuses holding one back from getting started – they are legitimate things that needs to be discussed and accepted before investing. I hope that people realize that sitting at a desk all day for 30-40 years is a more daunting task than investing in real estate….

  2. Andy Cross

    3, 4, 5 and 8 are my reasons it’s tough for me to get into this business. Especially #3. Funny….I spoke to two HM lenders last week. One told me that I need to have $83K reserves in order for them to fund. My question to them was “If I had $83K, I can get my seller to accept some owner financing; and pay for the rehab myself. Why would I need you? #crickets Thank you for your time.”

    I’m looking forward to the practical solutions.

  3. Karl B.

    For me, finding a REA who hustles and actually researches and brings potential deals to me (as opposed to waiting until I find the deals or simply only receiving the REAs deals he/she is the selling agent for so he/she can get the entire commission) was tough to find. Once I found a few, it became MUCH MUCH MUCH easier to buy gems.

  4. Kalyanii Kennedy

    “False Evidence Appearing Real,” (F.E.A.R.) Love that and will have to remember it! High property costs and funding are what is daunting to me. I have excellent credit (worked many years to get it this way) but not a lot in savings, I have about 18,000 right now but that is just not enough. I’ve spoken to a few HML and have made an offer on a property, but got outbid very quickly. It is discouraging!

  5. Vivian Hernandez

    Great article! I want to jump in and get going but my problem is the funding. I find deals but then dont know who to go to with the info. I promised myself l will get this l
    started this year. I want to be with my 5vyear old autistic daughter.

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