Moving to USA as a 27 year old with $100k, open to any advice!

6 Replies

Hey guys,

So I'm a month or two away from completing my move to the United States, Pittsburgh specifically, and I need a whole bunch of help figuring out what I should pursue once I get over there, so I've started doing some research.

A bit about me:

  • As per the title, 27, moving to the US from New Zealand, and have around $100k cash at my disposal
  • Fiance lives in the US, and makes around $40k a year
  • Have experience flipping houses, done 4 to date, I'm competent at and confident with most aspects of construction and project managing
  • Have experience being a landlord, although I suspect I'll have to relearn most of it with the different laws and such
  • I have no college level or professional qualifications, I just finished high school, attended university but dropped out to pursue real estate
  • A very fast learner and willing to lead or work under someone.

So that's basically my background. As for my goals, long term definitely would be making a large amount of money, either salaried or working for myself, so anything in the short term would hopefully be leading to that.

As for short term options, so far I've thought of a couple. First would be to either flip houses, or use the BRRRR method full time to accumulate a nice portfolio. This seems to be the riskiest option, but would yield the most reward. Secondly would be to pursue a degree in either finance or real estate, and try to break into the commercial world when I graduate. I have very little knowledge about CRE, but find it super interesting and would like to do it as a career, any insight into positions or salaries would be great. The third option would combine the 2, flipping houses while I study. Obvious benefit here is the degree at the end of it, plus rehabbing would allow me to make money whilst attending college.

If I did go the college route, what would be preferable, a degree in finance from a better university, or a degree in real estate from a less known university? 

I'm basically just after any advice possibly, what would you do in my situation, what should I avoid? I'm looking to hit the ground running, so feel free to connect with me too, I'd love input from anyone!

Thanks for reading the giant wall of text, I'm sure there is so much I could add too, so if there is anything you'd like to know, please just ask!

I think a combined approach could work out really well for you. 

There is a pair of brothers here, very popular on television, called "The Property Brothers" that essentially lived what you are proposing. They bought a cheap property in college, fixed it up, rented it out to fellow students, and funded their studies and living expenses that way. Upon graduation they became very successful brokers/flippers/developers -- and then TV personalities.

I am biased in favor of BRRRR or Buy/Hold vs Flipping because of the passive income, tax benefits, and long-term overall rate of return. I don't know how much of your 100k you are carving out for investing, nor do I know what type of earnings you need on an annual basis to live off of, but with that kind of pot, I would think you'd be able to do fairly well in BRRRR or Buy/Hold in Pittsburgh.

So your a foreigner and you dropped out of college to pursue real estate and you got 100 grand burning a hole in your pocket ... um you better start making better choices if you want to make it big in real estate .

@Daniel Akerman Thanks for that! I'm pretty familiar with their show, never knew that's how they got their start though, really interesting!

In terms of buy/hold vs flipping, I really need to become more open to buy/hold because the market in western PA is so different to where I'm coming from. In Auckland, NZ, the rental income doesn't even come close to covering the mortgage, so all properties are essentially cash flow negative, and some quite heavily so. Pretty much everything relies on the appreciation of the property to make money, which is obviously a totally different game.

@Hadar Orkibi Yes sir I will be entering on a Fiance Visa - K1 (Hopefully, interview should be in a month or so). All my property investments were in and around Auckland, such a competitive market!

@Dennis M. Not going to dignify that with a response, other than to say you don't know much about the choices I made, and you don't seem like a very nice person. 

I'm not a fan of traditional education and career path, though I know it's a well worn one. Having an education is never a bad thing. Thinking you can't make it without it is a bad thing.

Conserve your cash! Do all you can without it or you're apt to become sloppy because of that comfort cushion.

For RE you may want to reach out to the local investment groups to learn more and meet folks.