Originally posted by @Cameron Dye :
What's up BiggerPockets community! My name's Cameron and I'm a 17 year old high school senior from Fort Smith, Arkansas. I'm going to college next year at the University of Arkansas to study Investments and Securities but my biggest passion is Real Estate. From the time I read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" I've been fascinated by the concept of real estate investing, specifically multi-family real estate investing. I dedicate almost all of my time to learning from the typical sources like books, podcasts, and youtube videos etc. My question is, whats the next step?
What action should/can I take now? I know I need to build my network and experience/knowledge and the best way to do that is to find a mentor and provide value, but what can I do at 17?
I have no aversions to working for a real estate agency or investment group and making cold-calls (for free, in exchange for experience and knowledge) or something like that, but is that something that's even possible for my age? My main concern right now is getting educated and developing the necessary skills to succeed in this field while also building up my network.
Any and all advice is greatly appreciated, I'm VERY ambitious and I have some pretty big goals so I'm very eager to get started with this!
Absolutely love your story. I see that others have really good recommendations on what your options could be, but I'd be happy to touch base with you and go over what I do and see if there's any aspect you'd like to learn about my business. I might steal some of your enthusiasm and energy in exchange for some real world deal experience. :)
That’d be great! Really appreciate it. What kind of things do you do that you think I could potentially implement one day soon?
Definite YES on the book recommendations. Both have been on my reading list for a while now but just haven’t got to them yet. Thanks for the advice!
SAVE, SAVE and SAVE money while gaining more knowledge in Real Estate until you’re ready to land on a first deal. You’re doing great at 17 and will be ahead of many other ppl.
Good luck on your journey !!
There has been some great advice already provided. You are way ahead of the game by starting at your age. I recommend that you invest in educating yourself and find a mentor where you can develop "hands on" knowledge. As others have said already, find ways to save money and begin putting it to use. Good luck!
@Cameron Dye Purchase a few abandoned Arkansas forest lands at the next Sheriff's Tax Sale and build a small portfolio. It's amazing how many friends you can make if you offer prime hunting land for lease.
1) Research real estate law and learn how tax sales work in your home county
2) Establish a friendly relationship and respect for local law enforcement while registering and using their tax sale.
3) Learn first hand the importance of paying property taxes
4 ) Build a First-hand Knowledge of Arkansas property owners who are in distress and willing to sell.
5) Understanding of modern GIS systems
AVOID BUYING A HOME OR NICE CITY LAND, these are usually going to be redeemed and cost much more at auction when compared to remote forest lands in Arkansas.
Sure, there's more to it but for the experience and low investment costs... you will be hard pressed to find a better investment for the dollar at your age!
If you can save money for a down payment/investments while working and living with your parents, you will be miles ahead of 99% of people. It is luxury that many people take for granted to live with their parents in to their 20s. If you can utilise that period to build up a lot of capital, you will only be better off. Many people instead squander that on partying and buying material goods. That being said, enjoy your younger years as much as you can because you only get them once.
Lots of great ideas here that are RE specific so I won't pile on. The one thing I wish someone had told me when I was younger was to think holistically about investing. Look into IRA's both traditional and ROTH as a means of diversifying investments in the long term. Roth's even allow withdrawals of principal without penalty. A great way to let your rainy day fund grow tax free with the upside of having what you put in handy if and when you need it.
The younger you start and larger the growth and the sooner you can hit that sweet spot of knowing you can get up any random morning, decide to call it quits and not have to worry about money 😄
Thank you for your reply! Definitely good advice to look at investing holistically. Appreciate it!
How much will it cost you to complete your degree? Do you plan to travel or take time for experiences?
I'm not sure I see that much value in a college degree, my business degree was ideal for being an employee but as an entrepreneur and investor I see no value in it. On the topic of travel and experiences, being young is something you only get once. Seeing the world and expanding your horizons is invaluable.
Are you coming to the FSM REIA meeting?
I'm sure you already got a lot of great advice here so read and re-read everyones comments regularly and work on applying them to your life. In case these were not covered I'll share my favorite options/ principles to do when you are young or starting out:
- Understand that almost every successful person or person in general is working to optimize their business/life and they would benefit greatly from having more time (free time).. leverage the fact that you have the one thing everyone else needs, find the people who understand the absurd value of time and give them yours. That's a great place to start.
- Say yes to all opportunities. (You can't predict the future. If you listen to successful people's stories they always seem to start seemingly far from where they end.. that's confusing but the point is you never know what opportunity is going to lead to your future so while you have time, take advantage of all opportunities, even the ones that may not make sense. With your age you can take ten opportunities that don't end up being much and still be ahead of most people so don't hesitate due to fear of being wrong, Ever.) Eventually you will get to a point were you can stop saying yes, and start saying no.. but this is wayyyy down the line when you determined your purpose and your life is on track and aligns with fulfilling your purpose.. for now keep saying yes to everything.
- Use your passion for investing, and focus it on personal finance if you feel you can't take much investing action at this time. I'm not saying there aren't opportunities where you can invest now, but especially being a college student you should focus on being a great student since you chose the college path, and throughout that process do everything you can to master your personal finances. Do your best to stay out of debt, you can afford to be extremely frugal so do that. Don't spend on credit cards, and work hard to generate income, and last find every opportunity to offset major costs... Scott Trench's Set for Life details a wealth of actionable tips but most importantly he covers the idea of house-hacking. If you are going to pay for housing at school this is likely the most important thing you can focus on off-setting. Keep learning and start taking action on finding your own house-hack however you can.
- Gain experience. Do this anyway you can. Maybe get your realtors license if that interests you, I would probably try and get in touch with an investor however you can to see how you can help them (back to tip one, free time). The other big benefit to you is there are usually a lot of tasks an investors does that can be delegated so after finding investors, find out their biggest problems, and see how you can help or at least take some of the tedious tasks away from them.
- Don't underestimate personal growth/ self-improvement. This is where I still focus a great deal of my energy, at the end of the day if I haven't worked hard at being the best version of myself (as cheesy as it sounds).. can I really add any value to anyone else? Should I? Instead use your time to listen to and learn from geniuses like Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn and on and on... keep feeding your mind with powerful content and work on applying it to your own life. If you can truly master your own life by always learning and consistently encouraging personal growth, everything else will take care of itself. As famously explained in The One Thing: "Put the man together, and the world falls into place."
Sorry for rambling or any grammatical errors, I hope you can take some value from this.
Be patient, work hard..
the fact that you are asking these questions suggests you're off to a great start.
Do we have one in Fort Smith? I’ve looked online but the only local one I could find was in Little Rock. If there’s one in Fort Smith I’d love to attend.
That’s some great advice Ryan. Definitely will look to implement what you said into what I’m already doing. I really like what you said about how successful people are always looking to optimize their time/business and helping them do that can be a great way to provide value. Really good way of looking at it that I’m sure will be extremely helpful to me. Thanks!
@Cameron Dye First, in my own opinion, be careful in who you listen to in NWA. That market has taking off and is now no longer a market for smart investors. There's a lot of over paying on properties and the rents aren't high enough to make a good ROI. Most "investors" there, are banking on appreciation but as you can see right now and across the country a plateau or even decrease in home prices. The best advice I can give you is to really communicate with lenders, contractors, property managers, etc to establish a spreadsheet of cost that it really takes when purchasing a property. BP teaches you a lot of stuff and you can guess all you want of how much things cost to put in the calculators here, but from the hard lessons I've learned over the past year and a half going through multiple contracts on properties, what it truly cost to close is another thing. Also, if you need some connections to build a team in that area, PM me. I can send you some names and numbers.
One other thing, if you didn't go to a community college in FS, consider NWACC to save some money until you have to go to UofA. The same professor teach at NWACC with the same curriculum for a third of the cost. Good luck.
I largely agree with you. The degree could be perceived as little more than a great way to rack up student debt. The reason I’m pursuing my college degree is so that when I am starting out I can have a steady stream of earned income to invest with until I get to the point where I can afford to do real estate full time. Just like I have a passion for real estate, I also have a passion for the equities markets and that’s why I’m choosing security investments as my major. I feel I can learn about real estate well enough outside of school, but I want to be skilled in both regards (stock and real estate investing).
Thanks for the advice Nathan and your offer! I’ll definitely take you up on that! Also, I’m sorry to hear that there is so much speculative investing going on NWA, banking on appreciation etc. Even from what limited knowledge I have, I know that is not a good thing especially in a high market like we have today. I was hoping to focus my investment efforts in the Little Rock area when I get to that point, but this is based largely off things that I have heard and I’d obviously do my own research before making that decision. What are your thoughts, if any, on the market in that area? Do you think it’s plagued by the same issues as NWA?
Lots of good advice already mentioned. If you can, house hack a property near the university and rent to students. Pick up something on terms, and the income will also help pay for your education in school and in real estate! If you need to, I am sure that if you find a good property, you could find an investor to assist if you don't feel you could do this on your own.
@Cameron Dye Tough to say. I don't look in that market for multiple reasons haha. It really just depends on what kind of investments do you wanna make or what your goal is. Choose your markets wisely is all I can say.
@Cameron Dye hey man congrats on the early start and passion to become a investor. I agree with nick c 100% I would just like to add something. I would definitely try to live below your means and save up for a down payment . Good luck with everything my man
It's nice to see motivated high school students. My personal opinion is if you truly want to be in real estate then you don't need college. I have many colleagues including myself who went to college and ended up in real estate which college added nothing to the experience. There is one reason to go to college if you are not looking for a specialized field: networking! If I knew what I do and know now at your age I would find a person/company to attach myself to and work for free. Pick up a second job/side work to pay your bills, whatever it takes. Do as much as you can for this company and when they see your effort they will reward you with knowledge and experience. I personally wish my parents invested in a multi instead of college for me. There is nothing like real world experience and while books can help, it is always different when you are right in the middle of something and you have to figure out a way to solve the problem. As many here have mentioned make sure you are pursuing this because of a strong why/passion not because of the paycheck. Believe me, if it was only for the money I would have quit a while ago. Best of luck to you.
1. Build credit and save money.
2. Read every book you can and interact on the BP forums.
3. Join the meetup app and see if you can find your state's real estate investor association. Network as much as possible.
4. Analyze properties in your desired market at least once a day.
These 4 things are relatively cheap/free and aren't restricted by your age!
Good luck, Bro!
1. read every real estate book you can get your hands on (rich dad poor dad )
2. listen to bigger pocket pod cast and grant cardone
3.SAVE EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR YOU CAN !!!
4.you will know what to do if you follow those steps
Free eBook from BiggerPockets!
Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!
- Actionable advice for getting started,
- Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
- Learn how to get started with or without money,
- Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
- And a LOT more.
Sign up below to download the eBook for FREE today!
We hate spam just as much as you
Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate
Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing