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buying property in college

Ethan Martinez
Posted May 25 2023, 21:48

I'm a junior in college (finance and real estate), and I want to buy something to get started, probably a house hack. I have good credit and a good DTI the problem is that I have no consistent/good income. My only jobs have been in high school/college, part time, making maybe 15k. I could obviously partner, but I have no experience/proven skills to offer for their money. Wondering the best path towards my first property.

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Replied May 26 2023, 04:53

You need lending. The only type of loans you can get is DSCR and owner finance.

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Replied May 26 2023, 05:01

It's not the answer you want, but you need to get a job- lots or reliable, regular hours. 

Trust me, I'm old, been through a bit of life. When you're in college you THINK once you graduate that you'll get a bunch of time and energy back. Life only gets busier and more stressful. Now is the time for you to give it 200% because you'll have less free time in the future. 

When I was in college I was a full time student, a couple semesters part time, and worked 50-70 hours every week on top of that. I was crazy busy, but it allowed me to buy my first house with an FHA loan and I house hacked with some buddies before that was a thing. They paid my mortgage and I still have that house today- 23 years later. That house that I paid $5k out of pocket for is now worth $500k and I've leveraged it over and over to buy many, many more properties with OPM.

It will be hard and stressful and you'll be really, really busy. If it were easy and everyone could buy investments with zero down and no job then we'd all be millionaires. The idea that you can do this with no job, no money and no experience isn't a thing, no matter what the gurus say. 

Go get yourself a job and do the hard work now so you can live an unbelievable life later. 

Best of luck!

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ModeratorReplied May 26 2023, 05:32
Quote from @Ethan Martinez:

Welcome to the BiggerPockets forums!

You should educate yourself on owner financing. You can purchase the home directly from the seller without involving banks and often with terms more favorable. I recommend reading "Wealth Without Cash" from Pace Morby. He also has a lot of YouTube videos, but the book is probably better for learning.


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Replied May 26 2023, 06:00

Are you able to make all of the payments involved with owning a home and have a down payment saved up?  If you can, then talk to your parents about co-signing.  I did that when I was in grad school-I paid for everything, just had their name on the mortgage so I could get one. 

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Ethan Martinez
Replied May 26 2023, 06:05
Quote from @Eliott Elias:

You need lending. The only type of loans you can get is DSCR and owner finance.


I'm not as familiar with DSCR loans I'll do more research.

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Ethan Martinez
Replied May 26 2023, 06:07
Quote from @Corby Goade:

It's not the answer you want, but you need to get a job- lots or reliable, regular hours. 

Trust me, I'm old, been through a bit of life. When you're in college you THINK once you graduate that you'll get a bunch of time and energy back. Life only gets busier and more stressful. Now is the time for you to give it 200% because you'll have less free time in the future. 

When I was in college I was a full time student, a couple semesters part time, and worked 50-70 hours every week on top of that. I was crazy busy, but it allowed me to buy my first house with an FHA loan and I house hacked with some buddies before that was a thing. They paid my mortgage and I still have that house today- 23 years later. That house that I paid $5k out of pocket for is now worth $500k and I've leveraged it over and over to buy many, many more properties with OPM.

It will be hard and stressful and you'll be really, really busy. If it were easy and everyone could buy investments with zero down and no job then we'd all be millionaires. The idea that you can do this with no job, no money and no experience isn't a thing, no matter what the gurus say. 

Go get yourself a job and do the hard work now so you can live an unbelievable life later. 

Best of luck!


 Yes this is my exact outlook. You have to work hard at some point so why not now. I’m trying to take on a lot more hours and start side hustles especially when school is out of session. Thank you for your story!

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Ethan Martinez
Replied May 26 2023, 06:10
Quote from @Nathan Gesner:
Quote from @Ethan Martinez:

Welcome to the BiggerPockets forums!

You should educate yourself on owner financing. You can purchase the home directly from the seller without involving banks and often with terms more favorable. I recommend reading "Wealth Without Cash" from Pace Morby. He also has a lot of YouTube videos, but the book is probably better for learning.



 I have listened to a bigger pockets episode with him, and a guy at my gym is into wholesaling and loves him. I will have to make it my next read.

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Ethan Martinez
Replied May 26 2023, 06:13
Quote from @Theresa Harris:

Are you able to make all of the payments involved with owning a home and have a down payment saved up?  If you can, then talk to your parents about co-signing.  I did that when I was in grad school-I paid for everything, just had their name on the mortgage so I could get one. 

Yes my main problem is securing the financing. My parents have a lot of equity in their home, so I have given thought to a partnership with them involving a home equity loan. My dad is also a reputable contractor, now a project manager, so he could help with a value add.
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Replied May 26 2023, 07:07

At $15k/yr in income, you're probably not ready to own anything.  Home owner is definitely the path to wealth but unless you have about $10k in savings, you wouldn't want something like a bad sewer line taking you under.

The advantage you have is the ability to house-hack and only put 3.5-5% down with the owner-occupancy.  I'd talk to your parents or others in your life that might be willing to partner with you.  You give your partner your advtanges with the low cost to entry and they give you help on qualifying for a loan and ensuring you're ready for a large expense if one comes.

Good luck!

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Replied May 26 2023, 07:54
Quote from @Corby Goade:

It's not the answer you want, but you need to get a job- lots or reliable, regular hours. 

Trust me, I'm old, been through a bit of life. When you're in college you THINK once you graduate that you'll get a bunch of time and energy back. Life only gets busier and more stressful. Now is the time for you to give it 200% because you'll have less free time in the future. 

When I was in college I was a full time student, a couple semesters part time, and worked 50-70 hours every week on top of that. I was crazy busy, but it allowed me to buy my first house with an FHA loan and I house hacked with some buddies before that was a thing. They paid my mortgage and I still have that house today- 23 years later. That house that I paid $5k out of pocket for is now worth $500k and I've leveraged it over and over to buy many, many more properties with OPM.

It will be hard and stressful and you'll be really, really busy. If it were easy and everyone could buy investments with zero down and no job then we'd all be millionaires. The idea that you can do this with no job, no money and no experience isn't a thing, no matter what the gurus say. 

Go get yourself a job and do the hard work now so you can live an unbelievable life later. 

Best of luck!

Agreed! W2 income will open a lot of doors for you as an REI. OPM is great but you still need your own reserves as homeowner for damages, maintenance, and the unforeseen.
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Replied May 26 2023, 09:12

@Ethan Martinez

I bought my first house my junior year of college and I only wish I'd done it the previous 2 years as well. I sold that house 3 years later and bought 6 rentals with the money.

1. Get a full time job and get prequalified for a loan. It's possible while in school. I did graveyard shifts at a group home and was able to work full time and do all my homework on shift.

2. Not sure what market you're in, but if you still don't qualify for a realistic amount, find a great house hacking deal and take it to your parents/friends/rich uncle/etc. and prepare an excellent, numbers-based proposal to them for co-signing with you. If they've never invested in real estate, make sure to show numbers, returns, debt paydown, sales comps (ask a realtor), etc for at least a 5 year period. That tends to ease people's minds.

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Ethan Martinez
Replied May 26 2023, 09:47
Quote from @Alexander Murillo:

@Ethan Martinez

I bought my first house my junior year of college and I only wish I'd done it the previous 2 years as well. I sold that house 3 years later and bought 6 rentals with the money.

1. Get a full time job and get prequalified for a loan. It's possible while in school. I did graveyard shifts at a group home and was able to work full time and do all my homework on shift.

2. Not sure what market you're in, but if you still don't qualify for a realistic amount, find a great house hacking deal and take it to your parents/friends/rich uncle/etc. and prepare an excellent, numbers-based proposal to them for co-signing with you. If they've never invested in real estate, make sure to show numbers, returns, debt paydown, sales comps (ask a realtor), etc for at least a 5 year period. That tends to ease people's minds.

I picked up a W-2 job paying 20-30/hr instead of the 14/hr I was making before. I agree from the responses here and conversations I have been in, it seems a partnership is the way to go. I'm in Indianapolis. Any advice on finding deals right now?

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Replied May 29 2023, 08:19

Hi Ethan! House hacking would be a great first start! I'd learn as much as you can so that you can bring something to the table with a partner. Listen to podcasts, read books, and just surround yourself with real estate investing. 

When you're ready to start looking for a house hack here in Indy, I'd be happy to connect you with some of my team to help you out. Wish you the best!

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Replied May 30 2023, 13:50

If you house hack, you could have someone co-sign for you and put minimum down.  Between 3 and 3.5%.  Do you have a family relative that would be a co-signer for you?  

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