College Student 19 wanting to start

10 Replies

Hello,

I am currently a freshman still at home with a lot of free time. I have been interested in real estate since middle school and am certain it is something I want to do. I know I can be a little ambitious and anxious but I really want to start now. I have done much research and reading and have even interned at a commercial real estate bridge loan firm. I do not have a job and have about 1000 cash. I really want to get started in the business but am unsure of the right approach/path. Any help or advice is appreciated. Thanks

@Chris Stephens`

First things first: welcome to BP!

 Given that you're still in school I'm going to assume your budget is small: Ramen noodles for dinner small. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Given that assumption what I'd advise is simple: (1) join a REIA group near you. It's typically $250+ a year to join. It's worth every penny. Don't get sucked into the hype and feel like you have to spend $4k in order to get started. But DO get everybody's business card that you can.

(2) Look on Meetup.com and see if you can meet up with real estate investors in your area. There are a LOT of BP members who've started their own mini-REIA's this way. Get more business cards and get to know people.

Once you've formed a few relationships and have your bearings ask someone if you can shadow them for a day or two to see if you'd like to do what they do. Take notes, lots and lots of notes.

You might score a side-job this way. If nothing else learn to bird dog (property scout) for wholesalers. Start with Part One of the Driving for Dollars Bible.

I hope that helps!

Welcome to BiggerPockets! I would recommend taking the time to formulate a solid business plan and list of goals you want to accomplish in both the short-term and long-term. Also, it helps to begin networking with people here and like-minded real estate investors at your local REIA group, building those connections. You never know when you'll get a lead to a deal through someone you met.

@Jeff G.

Hello,

Thanks for the advice much appreciated. Will definitely look in the REIA group. I also try and pursue the path you had described or at the least learn more about it. Thanks

Welcome to Biggerpockets!! 

I know the first thing you want to do is "dive right in". While there are multiple ways to get started wholesaling, bird dogging, etc.

That being said there is multiple ways to get started. Sometimes it is important to get your building blocks set up. We are buy and hold investors. I have a masters degree and my husband a bachelors. We waited until we had our educations and careers. Than we saved one salary while living off the other. We used the one salary to invest in pure rentals with our W2 to use as leverage.

Even though we waited to get our "building" blocks into "place" we still have been very successful at lease in my "opinion". :) 3.5 year later we have 5 houses with another 2 in the works!

So there are lots of ways to be successful even if you wait ;) Check out the podcasts because there are lots of people who didn't!

The point there is no "right" way.  Just whatever works for you!

Good luck!

Chris Stephens` thank you so much for posting this. I am some what inquiring the same thing. I'm taking my brokers class. Now. @Jeff G. Great advice and I will listen. I have a buddy whole selling and he is willing to pay me half of his profit for bird dogging he is working with a partner. Right now I was thinking of driving around and looking. At the moment I been browsing real estate apps. Any suggestions.

One thing that can't hurt is to start building your credit. It takes time to establish credit (3+ years) but once you can prove that your able to pay back debts the banks will want to lend you more and more; which means more opportunities in real estate.

Here's a few rules you should keep in mind...

1. Never miss payments. Preferably, never carry a balance over to next month on your credit cards. Don't charge anything you don't have the cash to pay for right away. If an emergency happens, make sure you at least pay the minimum payment.

2. Do not not have any bills. Your credit score will not build just by not missing payments. You need to have payments that you can potentially miss to prove that your credit worthy. If you are on your parents phone bill, ask if they are willing to switch it to your name to start building your credit. You can do this with utilities, Internet, cable, etc... It's likely your parents don't need to build their credit at this point and would not mind giving you a head start.

3. Find some source of consistent income, or at least plan on it. Eventually you will need more money to get into real estate. If you have a way to accumulate a lot of cash, great! Go for it! If not, you will need to show income to be able to get a loan for your transactions. Parents/ relatives can help you if you have them but if you want to get money from anyone else you will need to prove you can make money. Even a part time job at the grocery store can help you qualify for a loan down the road. You will need 2 years income at the very least.

Good luck in your journey!

@Chris Stephens` I have to second @Roger Vi about doing what you can to build credit. 

I'd add two things:

Don't guess when you an know. I personally check my credit score about once a year at MyFICO.com. It costs money, about $60 for all three bureaus. But it's directly from the sources and not some 3rd party looking to sell your information to advertisers.

If you see anything inaccurate, write a challenge letter.

Don't go finance the world. Every loan officer on the planet is going to tell you to "build good debt" to replace "bad debt" or a non-existent credit history. Be careful with this advice. Wait until you've built up enough cash to (for example) buy a car and put 50% down. Then conventionally finance the rest: already having it on hand if you had to pay it off yourself.

About credit cards. BONUS 3rd thing! It's recently come to my attention that having more than a 50% balance on your cards may adversely impact your credit score. I haven't confirmed this so it may be inaccurate, but it seems worth mentioning. Personally, I pay my cards off in full every two weeks.

    $60? They got free credit monitoring nowadays! I use the mint.com one (I use all their products, love them). They are free for a basic credit score and will update it every 3-4 months for free. Many other credit monitoring sites out there.

    Also read something recently that says you need at least 19 credit accounts to reach the top credit tier. Just wanted to throw that out there, for a long time I thought they would lower your score for opening that many.

    Hey everyone thanks for the great advice. I will definitely explore building credit. I dont have a job but will start to look for one. I will most likely look for something part time. I hope this is ok?? (If not let me know) Also, is opening a credit card account the smart/best way to start building credit. Even though I do not have a job, I am lucky enough where my parents would most likely give me some money monthly as an allowance that I could pay of my credit cards, especially if they know that i am trying to build credit.

    2nd.

    I know someone mentioned joining a REIA group. I did some research on my local (which seems to be NYC) and I was wondering when it would be the best time to that?

    Thanks again for all the help @Roger Vi

     @Jeff G.

     @Elizabeth Colegrove

    Originally posted by @Chris Stephens` :

    Hello,

    I am currently a freshman still at home with a lot of free time. I have been interested in real estate since middle school and am certain it is something I want to do. I know I can be a little ambitious and anxious but I really want to start now. I have done much research and reading and have even interned at a commercial real estate bridge loan firm. I do not have a job and have about 1000 cash. I really want to get started in the business but am unsure of the right approach/path. Any help or advice is appreciated. Thanks

     Everyone above has given great advice here. Don't worry about wanting to do deals and buy property, you need more time, experience, and a lot more cash to do that. Focus on building a solid foundation to build on as you grow and mature. I'm 22 so I know exactly how you feel wanting to buy everything and be a big time real estate player right away, but honestly it just doesn't work that way. However, you can do the work now and get yourself set up for when you do have the cash and graduate college you'll be way ahead of the game. So first, get your degree! You're a freshman so make sure to stick with it and finish school, I just graduated with my business management degree and I am so happy I did. I have a job and am doing well, while my friends who dropped out and didn't finish school are struggling. Have you considered adding a real estate minor if that's offered at your school? This will give you more exposure to real estate. Work on finding an internship with a real estate company in your sophomore or junior year too, that way you can make connections and find a mentor to help you along the way. Hope this helps, keep at it man good luck.

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