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I am 27 years old, single mom, with ++ support. My family currently owns commercial property and I have always been very passionate about real estate investing. I am a nurse and work full time, but wanting to explore this lovely world of investing, yet having no idea where to start (being as my education is medicine). I have read that a good place to start might be taking an accounting program  or perhaps the Real estate course to become a broker. I have applied to the OREA - ontario real estate acc. and am giving serious thought to doing this program. Im not sure if this is a good idea, it seems slightly costly and is a career that requires lots of time and attention with continue education (although I realize investing would as well). I just am worried this may not be the right path to travel down. Please give your thoughts, i appreciate any and alllll advice! :)


HI @Carrie W. and welcome to BiggerPockets.

Give our Ultimate Beginner's Guide a read.  Then think about your goals and time availability.  Many of the things that are called "real estate investing" are actually jobs.  Brokering, fix and flipping, property management, wholesaling, or developing are all jobs.  That is, you do the work, do a good job and then you get paid.  Most require significant cash.  Even wholesaling, which is often promoted by gurus and a quick and easy way to big paydays with little time, effort or money.  Don't fall for those sales pitches.

OTOH, true real estate investment means investing your money into an income producing property.  Its a great way to generate long term assets.  But does almost always require cash to invest.  It requires some time and effort to find and get your properties rent ready, but not much time once they're going.  Once in a while you will have a turnover.  And once in a great while you'll have some ugly situation like an eviction or major tenant damage.

Hey! Newbie investor here also. Between me and my friends. We find this is the best place to start. A few of us are licensed realtors which help us learn to value properties. And find decent deals. 2 of my friends do what is called house hacking. They buy duplexes and live in half and rent the other. One of them rents out his spare bedrooms to friends also Being most of us are married with children that is not plausible. But they seem to be doing the best as far as start up goes on our end.

If you want to stick with commercial the CCIM is a great place to take a crash course in commercial finance and the Urban Land Institute is great for finance and development. Both are pricey but the return on the investment looks very favorable.

For single family the BP universe is second to none.   The podcast, blogs, memberblogs, and forms are a great place to see the pro's and maybe most important the con's of each strategy.

Wow! thanks so much for the great advise! I am currently reading the ultimate beginners guide and enjoying! Barton, I love this concept and plan on a duplex as my first investment ... although not to live in. Happy to hear you feel the Realtors course is a good starting point, its hard to no which education is the best foundation to start with. 

Hi @Carrie W.  welcome to BP. Your question was best answered by @Jon Holdman  and I don't think I can do a better job. My personal opinion is that if you have a steady full time job or a career where you are not absolutely miserable, keep that and use your T4's and savings as your starter in real estate. I think it would much more challenging for you to change career and start from the bottom up. Don't forget that banks love full time employers. 

Also you have a great market in the tri-cities near you. If you have any other questions feel free to message or ask them on the forums. Good luck!!

Hi Ajay, I so appreciate or advise. I like what you said about keeping my full time job and banks liking that, (plus I do really enjoy what I do and need the steady income)  I was going to try and do the real estate course on the side, while keeping my full time job and somehow not lose my mind. Starting to think this might be a difficult plan and wondering if I'm better off taking some investment courses instead. That being said, do you have any recommendations for course? basically I am looking for any knowledge I can soak up to guide me through this and I'm reading like crazy! any books you might recommend? thanks again! 


Check out your local REIA group meeting and read a few books. The free Ebook from BP and Gary Keller's Millionaire Real Estate Investor are two good places to start.

But also remember, you cannot learn everything before you start. Sooner or later you need to jump in. You need to know some beforehand, but there's no better learning tool than actually doing it. Otherwise, you'll likely get paralysis by analysis. Good luck!

Hi @Carrie W.

Welcome! I'm also a mum and new to RE investing. I'm getting ready to purchase my first investment property... my goal is to get the first one before Christmas. Like you, I don't have any formal qualifications in the field (accountant, agent, etc) because my education was in another field (IT).

I've taken a few REI courses and read lots of books. Even though I feel like I could learn for years more before beginning, everyone says to get started and keep learning as you go. It's scary to think about making mistakes, but everyone does. Preparation and planning an exit strategy is supposed to help mitigate the risks so it's the the end of the world if things go pear-shaped. It would never really be the end of the world anyway, would it? :)

Good luck and stay in touch.

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