Starting my journey

13 Replies

Hello Everyone! 

         My name is Cory Lee and I'm just beginning my journey as a Real Estate investor in Tampa Bay area of Florida. I have always envisioned myself Building Wealth through the aquisition of multi-family rental properties. But as I quickly found out, without adequate credit and funds it's very hard to get started. But as I continued to conduct research in the field I learned about wholesaling and short sales.  I purchased a program titled " four hour flip formula" by Mark Whitten.  But after studying the program I'm not all that confident that I can start closing deals by using that program alone as advertised.  So I was wondering if you guys had Any good advice . Thanks in advance! 

Hey man!

Don't purchase anything. Just network with people are are doing it now, and take action. Just get started with or without confidence. Everyone makes mistakes but you have to start somewhere.

@Cory Lee, Hello from Tampa, Fl. I too started to look towards Real Estate Investing as a way to build Wealth for my retirement, more than 30 years ago. The thing that people don't see is the Big Picture of what Investing is all about. I am a Futures Trader using a laptop, so, I can relate RE Investing to something like Buying a Stock to hold for a long period of time and Hope and Pray that it will eventually go Up in Value and make me some Money. Does that make sense? Same thing with a House. The problem is that Houses don't take care of themselves...The idea with Investing is that you are trying to use Leverage to make Money, ideally with, Other Peoples Money. I originally attended a hundred Get Rich Quick seminars and Home Based Business seminars, before I took the Carleton Sheets, Low and No Money Down course. I think BiggerPockets has a blog and course on Low and No Money Down RE proceedures. You can find them if you do a Search on Google for them. That is how I found BP. The other idea we use to make Money with RE is through Rentals and Flipping. That applies to the idea that Robert Kiyosaki espouses, which is the importance of making Daily Cash Flow, first. I agree with that. That is why I studied for fifteen years and ended up trading Futures on my laptop for Daily Cash Flow. Ia also have a small farm in Brazil and I studied how farmers survive and it involves making Money on a month by month basis, because your Bills come up on a 30 Day Cycle. I worked out my Investment Plan over 20 years, while I worked in the Oil Field, on boats and ships. I learned how to make Money with Mutual Funds and I saved $100K and bought eight rentals using mostly Finance By the Owner, or Leverage on duplexes in S. Tampa that gave me $200 a month in positive Cash Flow per apartment or house. This is a very hard way to make Money with RE. I don't know why anyone would want to get into this type of Plan with the Economic and Political situation we are in. Your looking for a way to Start. OK. You don't have Money to make Money with. So, you can take a course, get a RE License and be an Agent and learn the Professional side of the Business while you try and save up some seed Money to Buy a Deal on your own and I would suggest to make that Deal your own Residence. There is no better way to make Money than with Tax-Free Sale of your Residence, after you live in it for at least 2 years. You can also arrange, with Low and No Money Down methods, to Buy a Rental that you would live in and just move from one Tax-Free Residential Sale to the next one, for the rest of your life. What I have found when I present this Business Plan that the Government has outlined for the saavy Investor to do, is that they are married, with children and they can't imagine moving, like a person in the Military, every two years or so. Then, you can study on how to do 1031 Exchanges and Defer the Tax until your Profit adds up to the $250K that is the Residential Sale Limit and move into that one to make it Tax-Free after you live in it for two years. As a First Time Home Buyer you can use programs to Buy at the lowest interest rates and lower your property taxes. Take advantage of all the things you can to get started after you study, while you work in the Industry and save up your seed Money.

HI Cory!

My name is Anthony and I'm actually in the exact same boat as you are right now. I came to Tampa to go to Undergrad and I am planning on staying here long term. I already have a full time job but I have every intention of pursuing real estate as well, starting as a side job and developing it from there. My long term goals are definitely buy and hold, but I am  interested in getting involved in some other areas as well (wholesaling, flipping, etc.). I am fortunate enough to have some retired family members here in the area with some capital they are willing to invest, we are just getting into the process of analyzing our deals and breaking down the numbers and getting comfortable with what we are looking at. 

I have never actually been to one, but all of the blogs and podcasts and forums pretty strongly suggest getting involved with a REIA. I did some research and we have two here in the Tampa Bay area that I could find. I am actually planning on attending my first meeting with one of them on November 17th, it is the Tampa Bay REIA. The meeting is going to be held just on the Tampa side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

Like I said, I've never been to one and I am just getting started out myself. I am actually bringing my best friend with me as well to check it out. If you're interested, you should join us!

Not sure if this helps at all but I hope it does!


Hey Cory, welcome to the real estate investing journey! I live in the Indianapolis area and I'm a Real Estate Broker, I own a property management co., and I also own and manage 22 units personally. So, I wear several hats. Been doing this for about 20+ years and have also done some flips along the way and don't feel flipping is "all it's cracked up to be" by the gurus that advertise it and sell the programs. 

Have you considered a buy and hold strategy, for income and long-term investment? Of course, with that strategy, personality and time constraints come into play as well. Just another option to look at ... and best of luck to you!

@ Rosston Smith thanks for the advice. Im definitely doing my due diligence right now as far as research is concerned.

@Anthony Novak  thanks for the invitation. I would love to attend the meeting. I'm going to sign up now. I've notice that you get to come for free to a first meeting, so I definitely plan on attending. We can meet there and network some. I would definitely love the opportunity.

@Barb Getty thanks for the support. As I mentioned buy and hold is my overall plan. I just wasn't sure how much buying and holding i could do at the moment with limited resources and building credit. At the moment i have lexington law repairing my credit and I'm saving for a down payment. I currently have about $1500 but i figure around tax time i should have about $10,000 and my credit should be in ok shape. But i was wondering if i had any other options in my current position to acquire rental property. I've looked at seller finance properties, but I could   Only find a few, and the few i could find, need alot of rehab work and i can't really afford that right now.  

Wholesaling is a good place to start. Connect buyers and sellers. In Florida we have the beauty of being able to assign contracts, so the up front capital is minimal. I'm a wholesaler myself, if you needs any advice let me know! 

Hi Cory, I am an investor and wholesaler here in Orlando. Welcome to BP.

My advice to new investors is to start wholesaling properties. This is the quickest and best way to get started with the least cost.

First pick a neighborhood that you are either in or close to. Driver around all the streets and look for vacant houses. There should be some. Then look in the county assessors website to find the owners. it should give their name and mailing address. Send them a letter telling them you found their house to be apparently vacant. But if it is obviously abandoned, say so in the letter. Tell them you will pay them cash for a quick close.

Many times the owners don’t update their mailing address with the county so you may get the letters returned. I use to get the most updated info. It costs me $24.95 a month but it is well worth it because it also gives me email addresses and phone numbers.

If you are going to buy the property, fix it up and then either sell it or rent it then you are through.

But if you want to wholesale the property to another investor, then contact a local RE Agent to give you a list of all the houses in that neighborhood that have sold in the last 5 years with all cash. This typically is investors. Then again go to the assessors website and find their name and mailing address. And again use to get the best and latest contact info.

Once you get a response from the seller of the vacant house, negotiate a deal to buy it for all cash. Then immediately contact all the cash buyers you just found that buy properties in that neighborhood and tell them about the house and would they be interested in buying it.

Once you have done all that with that neighborhood, go to the next one and 'rinse and repeat.'

I hope this helps.

Steve Anderson

@Account Closed Thanks for the advice and the offer of support. I did have a couple of questions though. After taking a wholesaling course online, they made it seem as easy as find the vacant house, get it under contract, and sell it to a buyer. Is it really that easy? And what challenges should i expect during this journey? Because my rational mind says that if it's this easy, wouldn't the market be saturated with wholesalers?

First issue is to find the owner of a vacant house. Then if you find them, getting them to sell the house at a price you can sell it for. Then you get it under contract. Then you have to find a buyer with all cash. Then you have to find a reputable title company to close the deal the way you need it to be closed. 

Finding the deal is the most critical part. If it's a real deal, it will sell. You can use county records and the internet to locate the owner. To know what to offer, use the MOA formula and then deduct the fee you want to make from there. Plenty of investors will buy at 70%. You offer using the FAR BAR As-is contract which you can find online. Give yourself at least a week for the inspection period, 2+ would be preferable. In that period find a cash buyer. Hard money buyers will probably be too complicated at first to work with. BP is a good place for this, plenty of info out there on how to find cash buyers. Assign the contract to them for an assignment fee which is the difference between what you bought it at and your asking price. Florida Association of Realtors has an assignment doc you can use...... Repeat! 

Research each step in depth of course. PM me if you need additional advice! Good luck, hopefully we can work some deals together once you get going! 

Updated over 2 years ago

If you don't find a buyer by the time your inspection period is up, cancel the contract and you'll get your earnest money back (which you deposit in the first place to a reputable title company).

Many times the county records does not have the latest address of the owners. I use as a skip trace service and they give me the latest address, emails and phone numbers. It is only $25 a month and well worth it.

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