How did you start?

161 Replies

I was just wondering how everyone started their endeavors into the Real Estate world. How old were you, what was your first deal, and just what brought you into Real Estate. Just thought this might be interesting for everyone to see how we all got started..

Good idea for a post - I've stickified it! 8)

I started by investing in a condo to live in. It gave me a good idea what would be involved in owning a property. I think condos are a great way to start, but it is important you understand what you'll have to deal with. Board of directors are often difficult to deal with, and don't always have your interest at heart. I could go on and on, but I'll keep it brief.

From that condo, I moved into multi-family properties. It was a step up, but not that different. - just a lot more maintenance. The biggest issue was learning how to deal with tenants.

My first investment I went 50/50 with a friend to buy a condo to live in b/c prices in the area were high. I got orders in the military the day after we closed that had me moving immediately so I never even moved in, just took the boxes back out to the truck and drove to the next destination. We rented that place out and that experience pretty much got the wheels turning.

I think we put about 5% down total, and each provided half that amount so I paid out $5,900 cash plus closing.

Pretty much everything happened by chance and just got momentum somehow.

My first deal was a s/f that we purchased for $49k. I was 23. We put $20k into it and it appraised for $115k. It was a nice deal and I learned a lot from it.

I got in because I loved the work. I still do.

My first deal was a rehab. I waited a long time (1yr) to find a great one. Bought for $4k put $9k in it and sold it for $49k. Then I decided to hook up with a birddog. Landchasers finds all my deals now quicker than I ever dreamed. Now I buy multifamilies that cash flow $300 mo. after I pay someone to manage them.

Yes Landchasers is a company in Indy. They birddog for investors and oversee rehab projects as well as refer property managers. It is basically a full service company that helps an investor do great deals without putting a lot of time in.

Originally posted by "mblaff":
Yes Landchasers is a company in Indy. They birddog for investors and oversee rehab projects as well as refer property managers. It is basically a full service company that helps an investor do great deals without putting a lot of time in.

Does Landchasers only operate in indy, or do they have other offices in other areas of the country? Do they have a website?

It all started with a middle of the night infomercial. I looked up the particular "guru" that was selling the course online and found a great message board that advised me not to pay for what I could get for free online.

After a few months trying to figure it all out and LOTS of guidance from some very generous people on that message board I braved my first deal. It nearly ended up in a law suit - which was thankfully averted using advice and support of my "online friends".

I ended up making a few thousand dollars and never bought the house! (They bought me out of my contract.)

Anyway, it was a rotten yet wonderful time and it makes me laugh whereas it used to make me want to stick my head in the sand.

Great post idea, by the way.

My first deal was a single family owner occupied. Bought in Rancho Cordova, Ca. for $56,000 sold 9 months later for $78,000. I said hmmmmmm......From then on I was hooked on the concept of making money off my dwelling arrangements.

Our first was our primary home, we moved in and sat on it for 2 years. Fixed it up a little bit, landscaping and a new garage door, some paint.

We sold it and had proceeds of 156K. I have been a real estate freak ever since.

My first property was a condominium in a golfing community. I had researched it well and it seemed to be a good investment with a great future. But then I went and rented it to a friend, and that's where things went bad. It really soured me on investing in real estate in general. But I was only 20 then and years later I realized that my problem was renting to a friend.

Since then, I make sure to do everything "properly" to protect myself and my partners. Even if I rent to a friend, I tell them that we need to do all the credit checks, etc., same as I would have to do with anyone else. And I have partners now that can help balance me out when things get too personal.

I am doing well now, but I always look back at my youth and wonder how much better I would be doing if I didn't make silly mistakes like that.

Hi All - I got started in Real Estate at age 18 working for a RE Attorney - then got my RE license - then started buying land. Later I we started a construction company and became licensed general contractors. We build for clients and also do spec homes and remodels. Now I am into rehabbing as a sideline to new construction. Its all a progression I guess until you find what you really enjoy in the REI biz.

Here's a little something for those who are new to RE investing and/or think they can't do it because they don't have money/credit/connections/whatever. We started in that very same boat just over 2 years ago... no jobs, no assets, didn't even own the home we lived in. I was in bankruptcy, had no credit cards, had never bought a house in my life... my partner worked in one of the lowest paying professional fields around so was never going to get anywhere working herself to death, and decided to quit.

Well 2 years to the day from our start in real estate, we are now paper millionaires. We also control over $6million in real estate personally and are showing other people how they can do the same thing, even handing them positive cash flow deals.

So - whatever you do, DO NOT listen to those who say "you can't do that" or any other negative crap. I promise you, the ONLY thing stopping you from getting where you want to be financially - IS YOU. I can't tell you how many other people were sitting in the same seminars we were 2 years ago... took the same courses, read the same books... and yet they have done nothing, while we have done more deals in the last month than most people will do in a lifetime. We had no special advantage over anyone else, and in fact had a lot of DISadvantages with living in the San Francisco Bay Area where the cost of living is so insane. We now own our own home as well as multiple properties in several other states.

YOU CAN DO IT. Just have to get out there and DO IT. Oh and as I also mentioned, it took us 2 years. This is not "get rich quick" and if you aren't willing to do what it takes to survive for a MINIMUM of 1 year before you make a dime, then this probably isn't for you. Yes some people can do it faster than that, but another more accomplished investor predicted it would be 1 year before we saw any income from this, back when we were only 4 months in. And he was absolutely dead-on accurate.

So that's it for now... I hope someone finds this little story helpful and maybe changes their life forever as we have done. Since getting into RE, we have more mortgage debt, less credit card debt, more net worth, and more cash in the bank than at any other time in our lives.

Real Estate is dead, long live Real Estate! ;)

Jonathan

On my first deal, I purchased a home for 38K and my wife worked on it after work and on Saturdays. We purchased in Dec. of 04 and completed in April 05 after investing 19K in rehab. We sold home in June for 107K.
We have done 2 more rehabs and sold at nice profits. Then I learned how to buy with contracts only and flip. Then I discovered that this residential market was very hard. Now I am into Commercial stuff with less stress.

Wow, such inspiring stories from everyone! :D
I started investing in RE when I was around 24~25 yo. The corporate world can be very cold and harsh. I was a contractor, and our company was going through lay-offs. At that time, I sat next to someone who became one of my business partners and a good friend/mentor. I overhead her talking about taking a real estate seminar. Next thing I know, I went with her, learned some things, and within 6 months, bought a new construction multi-unit complex. Since then, I've owned a 4-plex, and a single family house as rentals.
I'm hoping to expand beyond this and grow in my investments.

I am truly a newbie and I just want to know all the steps. How do you find the deals? Are the rehabs you buy REO's, forclosures etc...
What is the first thing a newbie should do? I no nothing of the Real-Estate industry but I am willing to learn EVERYTHING. Any suggestions

The best advice I can give you is to read all of the messages on this forum. Every last one of them. When you see things that you don't understand just ask your specific question and we'll try to help.

Originally posted by "vanclute":
Here's a little something for those who are new to RE investing and/or think they can't do it because they don't have money/credit/connections/whatever. We started in that very same boat just over 2 years ago... no jobs, no assets, didn't even own the home we lived in. I was in bankruptcy, had no credit cards, had never bought a house in my life... my partner worked in one of the lowest paying professional fields around so was never going to get anywhere working herself to death, and decided to quit.

Well 2 years to the day from our start in real estate, we are now paper millionaires. We also control over $6million in real estate personally and are showing other people how they can do the same thing, even handing them positive cash flow deals.

So - whatever you do, DO NOT listen to those who say "you can't do that" or any other negative crap. I promise you, the ONLY thing stopping you from getting where you want to be financially - IS YOU. I can't tell you how many other people were sitting in the same seminars we were 2 years ago... took the same courses, read the same books... and yet they have done nothing, while we have done more deals in the last month than most people will do in a lifetime. We had no special advantage over anyone else, and in fact had a lot of DISadvantages with living in the San Francisco Bay Area where the cost of living is so insane. We now own our own home as well as multiple properties in several other states.

YOU CAN DO IT. Just have to get out there and DO IT. Oh and as I also mentioned, it took us 2 years. This is not "get rich quick" and if you aren't willing to do what it takes to survive for a MINIMUM of 1 year before you make a dime, then this probably isn't for you. Yes some people can do it faster than that, but another more accomplished investor predicted it would be 1 year before we saw any income from this, back when we were only 4 months in. And he was absolutely dead-on accurate.

So that's it for now... I hope someone finds this little story helpful and maybe changes their life forever as we have done. Since getting into RE, we have more mortgage debt, less credit card debt, more net worth, and more cash in the bank than at any other time in our lives.

Real Estate is dead, long live Real Estate! ;)

Jonathan

Jonathan, did you start with rehabbing first?