Hi everyone, I'm still wrapping my head around the concepts and terms so please bear with my ignorance :) I'm currently renting an apartment close to my current job, and I think I'm ready to make the jump to owning/pursuing investment properties.
As a recent grad, my credit history/savings is limited, but I am working on that.
I'm thinking of inquiring about a few condos and single family homes I've seen in the area. Hopefully I can find something to move into by about August at the earliest. I would have to contact a realtor to help me along that process.
I've also done some research and found local REIA's for meetings to attend. I'll give them a call later during the week to inquire about their mentoring programs and meeting schedules.
I read through the beginners guide, and also have the podcasts queued up.
As far as putting myself in a better position, would owning be a better position at this starting point, or should I continue renting and place my focus elsewhere?
I think that a good place to start would be to live 'rent free' by purchasing a multi-unit. The cash flow from the second unit should allow you to live cheaply, or rent free. You can then continue saving and pursuing further investment opportunities.
@Alex Bourdos is most likeyl correct on the "living free" concept. It amounts to the same as investing for the same amount of money each month. The nice part is that it tends to be easier to acquire MFHs via owner occupied status than investment. There are a few areas of the country where it might make more sense to buy a SFH, but MFH generally make the most sense.
Look up FHA loans, VA loans if you are a vet, NACA.com, Homepath.com and http://www.hudhouses.com/. All of those are inexpensive ways to get into property.
The final piece to becoming a serious investor is to become an expert on everything in your geographic area of choice. Start with the physical properties (flips, Buy and Holds, rehabs) and move into more complicated items (notes, liens).