The Only Two Things that Matter to Get Started
I know a couple things about you. You’re considering real estate investment or are at least intellectually curious, and you meet these criteria. If not, this blog isn’t for you. Don’t waste your time. If it is, let’s dig in.
At the very beginning, there are only two things that matter to getting started in real estate investing:
- Research. Get a better understanding of the pro’s and con’s of real estate investing and how to avoid rookie mistakes.
- Pick a market. Choose where you want to invest.
I spent about a year researching REI before buying a property and investigated many, many different sources of information. These are the best to get started.
- The Bigger Pockets Podcasts. This is the first place you should start because you will learn from active investors immediately. Each podcast is a ~60 minute interview with a different investor. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything. Just listen. You’ll catch on.
- Read The BiggerPockets Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing. It’ll take less than an hour and teach you most of the basics.
- Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Most real estate investors will tell you that this is their favorite book. It’s about personal finance and growing wealth vs real estate specifically. With that said, trust in the fact that most real estate investors rank this as their #1 real estate book and read it.
- Go to your local REIA (real estate investor association) meetings, and talk to other investors in person. You’ll learn and make friends who are smarter than you. That’s a good combo. Just google to find your local meetups or search BP.
- Google search site:biggerpockets.com with any questions you have. Chances are there’s an answer to it on BP already. BP’s internal site search sucks. Use Google and start your search with site:biggerpockets.com. This will limit Google’s results to only pages on BP.
PICKING A MARKET
Picking a market is simple. If you live in a market where other smart investors are buying rental properties, then buy there. If not, pick a different market that you have a connection to where other smart investors are buying rental properties. E.g., I live in San Francisco. Right now, most smart investors choose not to buy rentals here, so I invest in Indianapolis, my hometown, where many smart investors buy rentals.
Avoid the temptation to optimize and pick the very best market to buy in. It’s much more important that you build a network of people you trust in your market. E.g., a new investor in the 20th best market in the US with a good network in that market will have a much better chance for success than a new investor in the best market without a personal network. There's so much you don’t know. You need other people to watch your back first and foremost.
Getting started in real investing can be overwhelming. After all, it's risky and it's not cheap. But the most important step is you first one.