19 Year Old Mechanic by Day, Real Estate Aspirer by Night

14 Replies

Hey everyone!

I posted a while back about my hopes of house hacking soon in order to get started in real estate and I received a lot of great advice. 

Just a little recap: I am located in Kansas City and work full time as a classic car mechanic. I work as much as I can and learn about real estate on the side. I saved up over 15k at the time (now over 20k), and I'm looking for what I should do next.

I took all of that advice deeply into consideration and have been looking for properties to house hack, or even cheap SFHs to possibly flip in the meantime. Unfortunately, I haven't found anything yet, but that may be a blessing in disguise, because my parents have since told me that I can continue staying with them for the next few years rent free.

So, with my housing being covered, it almost makes it feel like I'd be taking a step backwards if I were to get an FHA to buy a property to house hack. So, my question to you more seasoned investors, if you were in my position, what would you do? Get a conventional 30 year fixed loan on a small MFH and rent it out? Keep saving my money until I'm 23-24 and then purchase my first real estate? Should I invest in small fix & flips? Or lastly, invest in a small shop that would allow me to own my own car flipping/repair business on the side? 

Thank you all so much for your help, I love learning from all the amazing people in the BP community! Like always, feel free to get in contact with me if you are from the KC area and are looking for new REI friends!


@Derrin Burger Given your age and experience level I'd continue living with the family and savings as much as humanly possible. The market prices are sky high and deals are tough to find. It's not impossible but I think you need more connections, rehab skills, and market research. You can do those things and more while working full-time and living at home. I believe REI requires sacrifice (personal) and skin in the game (cash). Without that it's not time to invest.

Hey Great question! I started with a house hack at 23 on a SFH. It is a great strategy and now its a great rental since I've moved out. I wasn't from the area so I didn't have the option to live with my parents rent free. You are on the right path and I would say continue to live at home and save until you have enough to do FHA on a tripled or quadplex and house hack that! It will be huge for you! I don't know anything about car flipping so I have no advice on that haha. Reach out and lets chat!

Originally posted by @Jaron Walling :

@Derrin Burger Given your age and experience level I'd continue living with the family and savings as much as humanly possible. The market prices are sky high and deals are tough to find. It's not impossible but I think you need more connections, rehab skills, and market research. You can do those things and more while working full-time and living at home. I believe REI requires sacrifice (personal) and skin in the game (cash). Without that it's not time to invest.

 Hey Jaron! Thank you for taking the time to reach out, as well as the awesome advice! I totally agree that more knowledge is key, but I've heard a lot of people say they wish they hadn't gotten stuck in the "learning phase" for as long as they did. Maybe I'm being overly cautious/eager, but I just want to make sure I don't end up with the same regret. As far as rehab skills, I've been doing property construction/renovations for a long time with my father as a side gig, and we have a good bit of knowledge, skills, and tools to get the jobs done as nicely and cheaper than hiring a team of workers (until it becomes less cost effective to be doing the work ourselves).

On the other hand, I am lacking in the connections and market research side of things. I need to dig deeper and truly understand my market before I make any big decisions. I'm hoping to make good connections with other investors through BP and local Facebook groups, but it has been extremely difficult to make steady connections with other investors in the area for the year and a half I have been putting myself out there. Whether that be because of my experience level, age, or something else, I'm not sure, but it'd be helpful to have other people I could bounce ideas on for sure!

Thanks again for your thoughtful advice, feel free to reach out anytime! I'll be sure to update you if I make any big decisions!

Originally posted by @Steven May :

Hey Great question! I started with a house hack at 23 on a SFH. It is a great strategy and now its a great rental since I've moved out. I wasn't from the area so I didn't have the option to live with my parents rent free. You are on the right path and I would say continue to live at home and save until you have enough to do FHA on a tripled or quadplex and house hack that! It will be huge for you! I don't know anything about car flipping so I have no advice on that haha. Reach out and lets chat!

 Thank you for your input and experience, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment!

That's awesome! That's realistically what I've always wanted to do, but I can't help but feel as if I am wasting so much time in between now and when I'm 23-24. However, like you said, it is a great and proven strategy and is one of the best ways to get into REI at a younger age. In the meantime, I will definitely keep saving, and if something were to pop up at the right price, I'd try to act on it.

No problem on the car flipping lol! I'm not too much of a genius on it myself, I just know how to fix them. I love the idea of using that knowledge in a way to make money to use towards real estate, but I just need to figure out the best way to capitalize on it. I've thought about a small piece of land with a shop on it that I could use to repair/flip projects, but not certain the cars could cover the overhead. Then I began thinking I should get a slightly bigger area than what I need, and rent out a portion of it to help cover the cost. Who knows. As you may be able to tell, I have a bit of trouble when it comes down to narrowing what I should focus on, but hopefully I can make that work out in my favor lol.


Anyways, thank you again for reaching out. I will for sure be in touch! I see it says you are from the area, let me know if you ever plan on heading to any REI meetings around here and maybe we could meet up!

@Derrin Burger You have a few options, you could house hack just to get started and really learn the process. 

I think you are a little confused on where to start and what strategy to start with. I think it's crucial for you as a beginner to stick to one strategy. Learn everything you can about it. Each one has its own numbers and things to watch out for.

Which strategy aligns most with your long term goals I would pick that!

As for people @Michael Mason (won't let me tag him so here is his profile) https://www.biggerpockets.com/...

He invests in KC and has house hacked there and closing on more properties!

@Derrin Burger - Just the fact that you are starting at this so young gives you a leg up on most investors. My advice would be to look into a FHA 203k rehab loan for a multi-family. Since you are so young, I would recommend buying as soon as possible and planning on holding it for at least 10 years. In the long run, that property will build significant wealth for you. Additionally, with your construction know-how and family support, you should be able to manage a cheaper fixer upper multi-family and provide some value add / forced appreciation. By utilizing this strategy, you gain experience in two types of real estate, multi-family and BRRR / rehab. At the end of the day, you can learn all day but experience and wisdom is worth its weigh in gold. Even if you break even, the knowledge is so worth it!

Originally posted by @Antonio Cucciniello :

@Derrin Burger You have a few options, you could house hack just to get started and really learn the process. 

I think you are a little confused on where to start and what strategy to start with. I think it's crucial for you as a beginner to stick to one strategy. Learn everything you can about it. Each one has its own numbers and things to watch out for.

Which strategy aligns most with your long term goals I would pick that!

As for people @Michael Mason (won't let me tag him so here is his profile) https://www.biggerpockets.com/...

He invests in KC and has house hacked there and closing on more properties!

 Hey Antonio, thank you very much for your response! 

I totally agree with you that I am a little confused on where I should start and focus my time. I've drawn out multiple lists about which strategy would better fit my end goals, and I still haven't come to a conclusion just yet. However, once I do find that one strategy that best fits my goals, I'll definitely do as you suggested and stick to that! 


Sweet, sounds like Michael is doing very good for himself! I'll reach out and connect with him in a bit, it'd be very nice having contacts in the area with similar goals! Thanks for referring him!

Originally posted by @Andrew Freed :

@Derrin Burger - Just the fact that you are starting at this so young gives you a leg up on most investors. My advice would be to look into a FHA 203k rehab loan for a multi-family. Since you are so young, I would recommend buying as soon as possible and planning on holding it for at least 10 years. In the long run, that property will build significant wealth for you. Additionally, with your construction know-how and family support, you should be able to manage a cheaper fixer upper multi-family and provide some value add / forced appreciation. By utilizing this strategy, you gain experience in two types of real estate, multi-family and BRRR / rehab. At the end of the day, you can learn all day but experience and wisdom is worth its weigh in gold. Even if you break even, the knowledge is so worth it!

 Hey Andrew, thanks for your awesome advice! 

I really like your idea of the FHA rehab loan sooner than later, but the only drawback is that I'm technically required to live in that property for a year, right? I'm all for doing a multi-family with a bit of rehab to get me started. In my eyes it'd be the perfect start for me if done correctly and would even allow banks to borrow against that property in order to get more properties, all while teaching me the ins and outs of how owning rental property works. The sooner I do it, the more stabile I will be in my mid 20s compared to if I waited until I'm 24, but I've heard lots of conflicting advice on which one is better.

@Derrin Burger Yes, you have to live in the property for a FHA loan. However, when you manage a multi-family and this is your first time being a landlord, it would be very beneficially to you to live on the property from a self management perspective. Additionally, I am sure you want to keep a close eye on your first property.

Originally posted by @Derrin Burger :
Originally posted by @Antonio Cucciniello:

@Derrin Burger You have a few options, you could house hack just to get started and really learn the process. 

I think you are a little confused on where to start and what strategy to start with. I think it's crucial for you as a beginner to stick to one strategy. Learn everything you can about it. Each one has its own numbers and things to watch out for.

Which strategy aligns most with your long term goals I would pick that!

As for people @Michael Mason (won't let me tag him so here is his profile) https://www.biggerpockets.com/...

He invests in KC and has house hacked there and closing on more properties!

 Hey Antonio, thank you very much for your response! 

I totally agree with you that I am a little confused on where I should start and focus my time. I've drawn out multiple lists about which strategy would better fit my end goals, and I still haven't come to a conclusion just yet. However, once I do find that one strategy that best fits my goals, I'll definitely do as you suggested and stick to that! 


Sweet, sounds like Michael is doing very good for himself! I'll reach out and connect with him in a bit, it'd be very nice having contacts in the area with similar goals! Thanks for referring him!

 What has been your struggle with picking your strategy?

Originally posted by @Andrew Freed :

@Derrin Burger Yes, you have to live in the property for a FHA loan. However, when you manage a multi-family and this is your first time being a landlord, it would be very beneficially to you to live on the property from a self management perspective. Additionally, I am sure you want to keep a close eye on your first property.

Exactly! My only hesitation with going this direction ASAP is the fact that my parents think it's best for me to stay home for the next few years and save my money, instead of doing the FHA and living there for a year.


Originally posted by @Antonio Cucciniello :

 What has been your struggle with picking your strategy?

That is a great question! The first thing that comes to my mind is that I don't want to make the wrong choice. I tend to be a very big overthinker in general, and it makes situations like this much worse. I don't want to make the wrong choice, but I know that not everything can be 100%. 

I know that in terms of real estate and entrepreneurialism, my long term goal is that I want to own multiple income producing properties (SFH, MFH, Commercial, Businesses), and even flip them along the way. I also want to own a performance car shop as that is one of my father and I's passions. My dad has always been a jack of all trades. He taught me to learn one thing at a time, master it, and move onto the next. He taught me about cars, construction, welding, fabrication, etc. I want to be the same way, but with real estate.

I don't mean to bore you to death, but I don't have many people to talk to about this kind of thing lol. So, I guess my struggle is that I don't know where to start. I know I need more money than I have to begin doing anything, so I am continuously working my full time job as well as trying to figure out what side business I should start, just so I can start saving more towards real estate. As you can see, it's all a big downhill snowball effect for me.

Work full time job ----> figure out my own side business/hustle ---->  continue working my butt off ----> save money ---->  find a strategy ----> start pursuing strategy ----> ----> work butt off ----> find a way to systematize and automate?

Originally posted by @Derrin Burger :
Originally posted by @Andrew Freed:

@Derrin Burger Yes, you have to live in the property for a FHA loan. However, when you manage a multi-family and this is your first time being a landlord, it would be very beneficially to you to live on the property from a self management perspective. Additionally, I am sure you want to keep a close eye on your first property.

Exactly! My only hesitation with going this direction ASAP is the fact that my parents think it's best for me to stay home for the next few years and save my money, instead of doing the FHA and living there for a year.

Makes sense, I completely understand your hesitancy. Your parents are simply looking out for what they think is in your best interest. I ran across this same push back from my family who where "looking out for my best interest". What I would say about that is you need to decide your own destiny and not let others define your goals. Your family clear loves you and cares for you but it sounds like they have not taken the path to financial freedom so how can they guide you? Learn, grow, listen to others who've done it and put yourself in uncomfortable scenario. That is the only way success will follow. 

Hey Derrin! Your financials are amazing if you already are saving that much at your age. Just know that 64% of Americans can't account for $1000 if an emergency were to happen and you have 20k! I wouldn't force anything, but continue to at least educate yourself through these forums, books, and having actual conversations with people, especially in your local area. After talking to people, try to find people who are where you want to be and that you resonate with that can mentor you and coach you. I have a financial/life coach right now who's teaching me about money and how to intelligently manage it. In the meantime, you can check out personalfinanceclub.com for basic investing advice.

I won't bore you with my story, but I'm 28 in a similar situation to you. Right now, if I were you, I would either 1) continue saving for a down payment to house hack to get more equity in there or 2) max out your yearly Roth IRA and manage it to put that into target index funds and maybe look into a 401(k). Think long-term!

Edit: I read about. how your parents want to be more conservative. It's a part of the equation, but a part of growing up is to slowly go further and figure out your own way. You need to have the courage to talk to them about these subjects and educate them so they don't think it's a risky black box thing. They have more traditional beliefs that contradict the newer market where people are doing these things. Make sure you're on the same page as them, just keep pushing them haha. It's what I'm doing.