Novice Questions =)

6 Replies

Hey everyone! I just joined BP a few nights ago and I'm really loving what I've seen so far. Everyone here that I've seen seems to be very genuine and helpful =) 

I'm extremely new to real estate investing. I got really interested in personal finance during college after taking a one semester course on the topic. I've read several Dave Ramsey books on that topic. In fact, I completely raided a bookstore one time and just got several books on all different financial facets. I ended up buying a book that caught my eye, "Millionaire by Thirty" by Douglas R. Andrew. I also bought "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley at Mr.Andrew's recommendation in his book.

That was when I started really getting interested in Real Estate. So far, my only experience in it has been the books I've read, the online discussions in places like BP, and browsing real state listings in the newspaper and Craigslist.

I would love to find a way to actually "take the plunge" and buy my first property, but like many others, I'm just kind of nervous about it. I'm 23 years old, I still live at home, and I work full-time right now at a local nursing home and make roughly $11.70/hour. So, money isn't exactly lying around for me. I got disillusioned before from this whole "dream" of real estate for that reason. It takes money to make money.  

However, browsing around BP the other day, I came across an article about investing when you're young. In it, the author mentioned my exact dilemma. Not having enough funds to get started. He also mentioned the idea of buying your first property as an owner occupant. That's an idea I hadn't yet heard of, where basically, you can buy the house for a much lower down-payment (or even possibly no money down) if you agree to live in it for one year.

I have 3 main questions at this point. 

1) Do any of you more seasoned investors have any experience with this? Or are you able to offer me any tips/advice? My thought at the moment is to try to buy a duplex as an owner occupant, and then rent out one unit and live in the other. That will hopefully cover the mortgage I would be making.

2) Brainstorming, I came across a thought yesterday. What if I rented out one unit, lived in the other myself, and advertized around the area looking for a room-mate to split my side with me? I could charge a lower than average rate. Possibly $400/mth with utilities included. I live in an area where there is a local University nearby, and I'm thinking that price would appeal to them. My purpose in doing this would be to save their $400/mth in my savings account so I'll have money for when I eventually need repairs/don't have the unit rented out. I'm aware there could be lots of flaws with this strategy. College kids can always be a risk, I would have to screen them very well. I'm not even sure actually if you can do this as an owner occupant. You may not want to actually be room-mates with your tenant, etc.

3) How do you feel about hard-money lenders? Have you ever had experience dealing with them? 

Thanks in advance for anyone who may have actually taken their time to read this! I love this site so much!


Kaylah Hennen 

read you post 1 and 2 sections you are on the right track now with FHA lowering the down payment requirement it would be an excellent time to look into.

Thanks Daniel! I know I've read different people make mention of how great a time it was to buy houses in 2008-2009 because of the recession. But what about right now? Is it still a good time to get into all this? 

@Kaylah Hennen  I am planning to do this next year! It will be a great way to start in real estate.  Check out BP podcast 99 which covers this subject. 

Sounds great David! I wish you the best of luck! I'll definitely check out that podcast =) 

@Kaylah Hennen  

You're the right age to try the house hacking method if you don't mind room mates. There's also the method of living in a house you're remodeling as a flip every other year. I tried that but I bought in 07 so I probably should have researched better than watching flip this house and signing a mortgage.

@Kaylah Hennen  Yes buying a small multi unit building (2-4 units) that you live in is a great way to get started.

Yes lots of investors work with hard money lenders. It is all about the numbers. If you can do a deal with hard money that you otherwise couldn't do, and it still makes financial sense- go for it.

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