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Sean Head's profile image
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Motivated but intimidated

Sean Head
Posted Jul 21 2023, 05:39

Good morning everyone! I am new to the Bigger Pockets group. I am 52 years old and getting a late start. I have a solid career as a I&E tech. I work a rotational schedule of 14 on and 14 off. I have had some major life impacts and i realize that even though i have a great career its not the life i want to live and i want to leave something for my family one day. I have a good friend who is in real-estate with his father. They were roofing contractors that invested into real-estate. They only buy foreclosures and tax lien properties. They now have over 100 properties. But that requires the capitol to pay for the properties upfront. As i have been listening to the bigger pockets podcasts and researching i am beginning to believe that its possible for me to obtain financial freedom one day. But its very intimidating because i am ignorant to this venture. I have a construction background. Years ago i was a general contractor in Ca and I am a finish carpenter\cabinet maker by trade. I switched to electrical and instrumentation when i had kids for the insurance. Do to health reasons years back my savings took a big hit. I have 50K set aside for investing now. I currently live in Lubbock Tx. I have made a list of all the reasons why i want to become a investor in real-estate. But i am also fearful because of my inexperience and don't want to put my family in jeopardy if I fail. I have a solid work ethic and i know this isn't an overnight outcome. I am committed to do this long term, I actually have a 10 year plan. In 10 years i retire from the company i work for. I would like to have enough passive income at that time to cover my living expenses without my retirement. I read all the time its doable. My wife and I are ready to make sacrifices. We do have the normal debt. mortgage, car payment etc. In hind sight now we were foolish in some of our purchases. But when your not sure tomorrow will come do to health sometimes we make unwise decisions. I know its the same story as most, I am wondering if you can share some suggestions and insight on this process. I have written down Davids steps, but I wonder if Lubbock is a good place to invest. My intentions is to sign up for the pro plan. The calculator and rent estimators seems like they alone are major benefits just starting out. I think i am at a point where Coach Carson motioned. I have read so much information and listened to so many strategies i am now possibly over complicating  things. I have heard and read that the first property is always the hardest. I actually have a property already. Its not a rental as of yet. We own the home my wife's father lives in. In the future it will be added to our rental portfolio but as for now i just say we have no property other than our home. Thank you all in advance for listening to me ramble and for any advice or wisdom your willing to share!!

Steve Vaughan's profile image
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Steve Vaughan#1 Personal Finance Contributor
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Steve Vaughan#1 Personal Finance Contributor
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Replied Jul 21 2023, 08:07

@Sean Head thanks for sharing a bit about yourself and your goals!

I'm also 52, just on the other end.  Looking back 21 years ago when I started in RE, we reduced our housing expenses  to bare bones and haven't had a car payment since 1996.  

The biggest part of this transition is having goals and recognizing problems.   You're well on your way.  Welcome to BP👍

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Travis Turner's profile image
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Travis Turner
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Travis Turner
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Replied Jul 21 2023, 09:12

Love the process! Have to start somewhere, at sometime. No better day than today. Establishing the right team will be very important. I’d be happy to help, we are in this realm and can be a good resource. Feel free to connect

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Replied Jul 22 2023, 00:10

@Sean Head Hi Sean. Setting your goals is a great start. If you only have a 10 year goal plan get a notebook and break it down. Set 3, 6, 9 month an 1 year goals. Then 3 year, 5 year, and 7 year goals. Make the first years goals more attainable and the 3,5,&7 years goals bigger.

Then draw up your plan to get there. Interview some banks, including the one(s) you have accounts with. Get your pre-approval for your loan so you know what you can buy and feel comfortable buying. Figure out what type of property you want to buy. SFH, duplex, 3-4 unit. Say in 3 months I will have analyzed 50 of these properties. Then by 6 months I will have made 20 offers. And if you get one accepted then you do your due diligence and attempt to close on it.

Keep reviewing and refreshing your goals. Learn management as you go along. Attend local Real Estate Investment meetups. Network. Save up for your next down payment. Rinse and repeat.

As long as you take into consideration all your expenses, your repairs and maintenance, your CapEx which is setting aside a small amount each month for Capital Expenditures like a new roof or an HVAC, and a vacancy allowance you will be fine and you will not fail. Become a Bigger Pickets Pro member so you can use their Rental Calculator to analyze as many deals as you can to get used to analyzing properties and knowing good deals.

You’ve got this! Step by Step!

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Sean Head
Replied Jul 24 2023, 06:21

Thank you everyone for your reply. I am trying to digest everything I read and listen to on the podcasts. It’s a ton of information. And I realize it’s literally small steps. But I see so many positive things about real estate and getting in them I see a podcast short from David that says it’s a tough market and don’t expect cash flow deals. And I am not looking for a get rich quick deal. I want solid investments that will bring us money for our 10 year plan. I have added some milestones to our 10 year plan. And now I have used the BP calculators a few times trying to analyze a few properties to see what they actually look like on paper. Wow what an eye opener!! Things that on the surface look good when you add all your safety’s like maintenance, vacancy, capital ex, etc you find out quickly that it really isn’t. So it’s a learning process and I am excited. Now starting to look for an agent in our area, but still skeptical… scared for sure. But thank you all for the support so far. 

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Robin Simon#1 Private Lending & Conventional Mortgage Advice Contributor
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Replied Jul 30 2023, 06:59

Welcome to BiggerPockets, not too late to start!  I think you are on the right track, can't recommend the BP bookstore, blog and podcasts enough

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Bruce Woodruff
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Replied Jul 30 2023, 07:09

@Sean Head It is never too late! I started much earlier in buying RE, but then life got in the way and took me out of the game for years. When I got back into it, I was even a bit older than you. 

I also had a strong construction background ....this will give you a HUGE advantage, it's almost like cheating I think sometimes. :-)

Here's what I would recommend - buy a severe fixer in a neighborhood that is bad but getting better fast (gentrifying) make the house really nice and then rent for a couple years. Sell when it's worth 2-3 times what you paid and do it again. Your construction skills will make this possible....

Good Luck!

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Replied Aug 22 2023, 07:39

Hey Sean,

As others have said-- it's never too late to start! Welcome to the community. If you've never done something before, it's no wonder you're scared. Growth is scary, but I encourage you to push forward. It sounds like you have a great network of folks to lean on to get started. The one thing I would advise as you get going:

Realize that you don't have to do everything. You have a skillset that is valuable in the marketplace (a good GC today, in particular, is worth its weight in gold). Use that to get into deals. Figure out a way to use what you know how to do best to get some equity in deals that you otherwise wouldn't have been able to get into.

Everyone on BP was once where you were. You're in a great spot here!