Young girl wants to become Real Estate Investor

13 Replies

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First, good for you for wanting to get started at such a young age! You've already made a great first step by joining and participating on this website. Most of the information you need can be found here and if it's not here there is someone who can likely be able to get it for you. 

As far as women investors, I'm not one so I'm not even going to act like I have a clue if it's more difficult to do or not, but I can tell you that there are plenty of very successful women in real estate so it's definitely doable. I would suggest also finding some local Real estate investment clubs where you can attend meetings (with your parents permission) and meet some local people face to face.

Good luck and welcome.

Welcome to BP @Natalie Wilhelm 

he told me to educate myself more about the business first. 

You found the right place to do that. You might want to start with the Ultimate Free Beginners Guide

P.S. Would you say it's harder for a female to become a real estate investor than a male?

Only if you think it is.

And can a female make just as much money?

Have you heard of Babara Corcoran, She is one of the Sharks of "the Shark Tank" TV show. She started with $1,000 to start her real estate company and now has a 5 Billion dollar business!

Natalie Wilhelm

You should check out the Bigger Pockets podcast show #2. It talks directly about women in real estate investing. In fact, there a numerous women on the shows that have success stories. I don't remember all of the show numbers but they're all worthy listening to. That would be a great place to start.

Just remember only you can hold you back. Good luck.

At 17 you have a few months before you can sign on contracts but don't feel intimidated. I'm just getting started at this myself but I can tell you where your edge is. If your dad knows this business, start finding deals you think are good and ask him what he thinks. If he doesn't exactly know ask him who he would ask and go ask them. If you have someone on your side with his experience use it to build a network. In everything I've ever done knowledge and networking can cover a lot of hard skill deficits. 

I work with a few female investors and they do very well for themselves. Education and action are the biggest requirements for anyone. As a female, you will need to be overly educated (because there are stereotypes at work) to prove yourself initially and stick to a plan. Understand the stereotypes you will be faced with and try to counter them up front.

I started working with investors around your age (24 now). As a young investor, you will face different barriers than the older crowd (banks do not take you as serious, limited work history, "unrealistic" grand plans). Keep in mind, you are young and people will judge you for that as soon as they meet you. Always try to put yourself in the other person's shoes specifically... from their point of view, what would a 17 year old need to say, do, and prove for me to take them serious?

As to getting started: read, read, read and read some more until you are book smart on the basics. Then try to find someone locally who is doing what you want to do. There are TONS of opportunities for young, motivated individuals (esp if you head to college, my professor network was a giant catalyst). A real estate license also will not hurt, it gives you perspective to the buying/selling portion, broker guidance, and most importantly MLS access [your dad might have access as an assessor].

Sidenote: Keep your grand plan of owning a Ferrari a secret, for now. I have grand plans (that I am well en route of accomplishing) but they are best kept under wraps. Flashy goals put an age / immaturity on your persona that you are better off avoiding in the young category. Instead, replace it with short-term goals that are more "realistic" within the realm of investing such as completing your first flip by June 2015, or owning 3 rental units by Dec 2016.  That said, I do not discourage your goal one bit.

@Natalie Wilhelm 

Welcome to the community of investors.  It's nice to see young people interested in investing and I agree with your father that you need to learn all you can about it.  I would also hope that you will continue your education and go to college.

Anyone can flip homes.  Its not brain surgery and all you really need to focus on are the fundamentals.  Once you learn that its really about the numbers (hope you like math) then you should prosper.  It all comes down to how much you can buy the home for, how much do you have to spend to fix it up, and how much you can sell it for.

What you need to learn in between all of that is how to get the best deal (usually at the court house steps), how to deal with the contractors you hire and keep the costs down (this is hard sometimes), and how quickly you can turn the property as time is money (especially if you are working with hard money lenders).

The next local Orange County meetup of investors is:

Time of Event: 09/17/2014 at 07:00PM
Location: ROUND TABLE PIZZA, LAKE FOREST
Fee to Attend: Free

Please make sure your parents know that you are attending.

Good luck and never ask if a woman can succeed in this business or any other.  YOU and ONLY you are in control of your life.  You get what you put into it and don't let anyone stop you!  Go Girl!

@Account Closed  It's never to early to start learning. Your dad being an appraiser gives you a huge advantage, as he can teach you everything on the various ways to value properties. If it's possible, work for him when you can or tag along when he's doing appraisals. That would give you a first hand look at properties, what he looks for etc. 

What are you planning to major in at college? Business, Finance, etc. are great foundations for real estate. 

Learn the basics about the business before you decide what area you want to get into. There's so many areas of real estate, so start doing your homework, and then decide what route to take. Joe listed the meetup we have in Lake Forest, you're welcome to come if you like! Bring your dad too. 

@Natalie Wilhelm  Welcome.

@Ned Carey is right. Whether you think you can or think you can't you're right!

@Account Closed  really immerse yourself in this site and try to get a sense of what strategy speaks to you - buy/hold, fix/flip, wholesale, etc.   Learn the basics of that strategy.  Then you can reach out to the community here with more in-depth questions.   Maybe you decide you like the yellow letter strategy, for example.  Learn about it, send your first letters, and team up with a partner (your dad would be a good start) to fund your first buy or flip.  

I am not an expert at any of these strategies necessarily, but feel free to reach out further to me or anyone else above with future questions.  Again, welcome. 

@Account Closed  I've got no idea what it is to flip a house at 17, but I started buying rental property at your age. 

Point being: Young women can invest, and do so successfully. 

The interesting thing about starting young - We have a lot of time to screw up, and a lot of time to recover from screwing up. 

P.S. Haven't you heard that women of our generation are out earning our male counterparts? 

Natalie, 

I highly recommend pursuing your real estate license, you won't be able to sit for the exam until you are 18, but you will be able to take the classes and study. You can also take the classes for free at community college as a senior in high school. I would also recommend the bigger pockets meetup as well as the http://www.womensinvestclub.com/Pages/default.aspx

they meet in orange county. 

Originally posted by @Aaron Montague:

@Account Closed

A few Suggestions:

1. Go to work for a contractor. Haul lumber, pound nails, sweep and do all the junk that hired labor does. You'll be right there in the thick of everything while the building is happening. Ask questions and get your work done quickly and safely. The contractor will love you.

2. Start paying a % of whatever income you have into a "real estate" fund. This forces you to get used to the concept of budgeting. Real estate takes a great deal of financial dedication, so starting young is always an advantage. Plus you'll get used to working with multiple bank accounts.  This is the kind of example you want to show your investors (father in this case) to prove you have the basics of bookkeeping down.

3. Remember you have the unique advantage of being a "kid." This is not a view of the world we see much here on BP.  You also have a willing investor in your pocket, which is awesome!!

4. Keep at it. If you stick with real estate through senior and college, you can can say you've been in and around the business for 10+ years by the time you are 30. Most folks haven't even found BP by that age.

5. Ask endless questions.

Good luck and enjoy the site!

 Regarding #1, I would actually see instead of doing the physical work yourself (or in addition to), see if you can find a female real estate investor in your area who would be willing to have you shadow them for a while.  If you can contribute to their day in a meaningful way, while learning, that would probably be great.

If you have the mindset and desire to actually do the physical work, that's great too because then you get a better idea of what's involved when you do it versus just reading about it or watching someone else do it.

Budgeting is also important.  There's definitely ways of running simulations on a real estate investment. Take a property, and you can estimate some things that might need to get replaced on it.  Define strategies for how you could get the money (you can find lots of discussion on raising capital on BP) and estimated costs for various items.

Look around your area for finished retail homes to see what styles and finishes are popular and what is selling in your area. Then you'll know what people are expecting and that will help with the previous point.

Good things to learn:

- If there is a course that assists in writing proper business correspondence, that's very helpful.  If you need to raise private funds or write thank you letters or other correspondence to investors, or colleagues you definitely don't want to appear unprofessional.

- Most "kids" these days know a lot about technology but being able to use particular apps out in the field can be beneficial.  (Estimating, proposals, emails, etc.)

- Some type of sales course can be helpful; especially negotiation skills if you're going to deal with many contractors.

There is lots you can do to prep for these type of things.

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