What Should I be Doing as a 17-year old?

138 Replies

@Seth Ferguson

What's up Seth! Absolutely agree with you. Have scheduled to attend my local REI meetup and I'm looking forward to making connections and learning from those who have done what I'm striving to do.

@Cameron Dye

1. Save money!!!!

2. Don’t buy a car - Never new (cash only)

3. Careful accumulating school debt

4. Lean about how money can make money before you buy your first property. When you do buy know every line you are signing at the closing and who gets paid.

@Cameron Dye Get your real estate license and learn the game right away. After a year of working, you can now qualify for a mortgage, assuming you make pretty good financial decisions and are able to save up some money. Then buy a 4-plex using an FHA loan, and house hack that thing! Not only rent out the other units... but rent out your rooms in your unit too. And last but not least READ READ READ real estate and business books! You will be on your way to becoming a millionaire in no time!

@Cameron Dye

Join network club, play sports, write a book or work for someone to gain experience

@Cameron Dye congrats on wanting to be doing the abnormal. I have always heard find what part of real estate you would like to do. Find a mentor that has done what you want in real estate. This way both of yours and mentors values could be the same. Find out if your mentor has been through some kind of real estate slump. See how he got out of it. Robert saids you learn from more of your mistakes. Try to know your market. What best fits that market. That’s all I got good luck

@Cameron Dye If I were you, I'd read every single page in this forum, maybe some pages multiple times, read the comments, not everything is searchable as much as understanding what the different opinions and routes to take are. Everyone on here has different ideas and some things are one-size-fits-all systems that work every time, and other things don't work in markets that are proven in other markets... For instance a property on the border of a neighboring state could be extremely different in: Rent, Taxes, Laws, Tenants, Income Levels, etc, than one on the other side of the border. So one property ten minutes on the other side of the border may may 100% sense, in one and $0.00 in the other case. Great to see you on here! Let me know if you ever need anything. I also recommend reading every book you can on RE *try to avoid the fluff books and look for the timeless classics! I've read some books that within two seconds I could tell the book was written just to sell books. Any of the recommended books on here, and written by and offered by Bigger Pockets are worth starting with!

Awesome! You should continue reading as much as possible. I wrote a piece on building your network that should be helpful for you. I would talk to commercial brokers, investors, mortgage lenders, etc about all the different aspects of real estate investing and talk about their careers in real estate (two different things the former is about deplying capital, the latter is about making money on RE transactions to pay bills).

You can invest in real estate while working full time job ( you can learn more  here). Some people decided to work in a completely different industry than real estate so their salary and investments aren't based on the same asset class. You get a degree of protection from that in case the market turns, but you miss out on working deeply inside of the RE industry to spot opportunities as soon as they appear.

Regarding mentorship, I would set up chats with people in the RE industry, but don't make them too formal because people are short and time are wary of committing to a mentorship. 

Being the RE market is slowing down, you're young and going to college you have time on your side, so don't feel pressured that you're missing out. RE is a longterm game.

Good luck!

@Jordan Callaway

Thanks for the advice man. I’ve bought and read a few of the BiggerPockets books already and they were very valuable and insightful.

@Jordan Thibodeau

Wow. This is one of the most helpful replies I've gotten so far! The link you sent me to your writing was incredibly insightful and I love the way you broke down social capital into an easy to follow equation. Also loved what you said about givers, reminded me of something I heard Gary Vaynerchuk say that about how the best people who form great relationships give with no expectations or agenda. They give to give. Definitely going to download your connection tracker and give a try. I can where it could become very helpful. Thanks for your reply and the very helpful linked blogpost and I look forward to implementing these things at my local REI meetup!

 Skip college, start working and save all your money. Keep learning. Just my opinion

@Cameron Dye

Try to find likeminded people like your self at school. My brother found a friend. Everyday he would be the last out of the library along with one other person. They started talking as they noticed each other. Since he graduated, his new friend came to him for an investment in a vacant lot. His new friend also got another investor, his college professor who happened to be a land appraiser as well. The 3 formed an LLC and when in on this investment. Connections. Meet new people, recognize who the right people are. Most important of all remember why your in school, stay focused.

@Cameron Dye

Keep on top of your GOALS!

Monthly goal-

Yearly goal-

5 year goal-

A book strongly recommend reading is Unscripted by MJ DeMarco!

You can read the first 6 chapters for free



Long-Distance Real Estate Investing by David Greene!

@Cameron Dye

Thanks for posting this man:) I'm 18 and have been doing the same things your doing(podcasting/reading/speaking with loan officers etc). Cool to see that other young people have interests similar to mine!

My situation is a little more concrete because I'm a college freshman. I'm going to William and Mary on a full ride, have 0 other debt and want to buy a multifamily house that will cash flow for me while I'm in school and then allow me to live for free/cheap after college. I've also been building my credit and stockpiling all of my overage/salary money.

Find a job and starting working to build income. Need money for real estate. Price tag of entry is not cheap 

@Cameron Dye Its so awesome that you are realizing the potential of real estate so young, definitely keep your ambition to always learn more!

I would suggest start learning about wholesaling run down properties. The greatest thing about wholesaling is the only thing stopping you from doing a deal right now, is the knowledge you are missing. No cash is needed, No credit is needed. Look up Max Maxwells videos on wholesaling.

The only other thing I would recommend is its really important to stay patient and trust the process!

Good luck to you!

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!

Wonderful to hear this.

Just remember one thing.... don't forget to smell the roses along the way.  Life is all about balance, don't mean to preach, but its important to reward yourself along the way.

@Cameron Dye

Build your credit by getting a credit card and pay it off every month

Get a job with a property management company. Maybe you can get a discounted rent while in school

Analyze deals so when you are ready to buy you know what makes sense

Good luck

@Cameron Dye

Don’t work an hourly job that all your peers are working for $10 an hour. You’re more valuable than that. Get your RE license. Find deals, network with investors and builders and the people you go to school with. Get a few transactions under your belt while you’re in college. Depending on how much you have to pay for your tuition, you should be able to get your undergrad degree in 4 years and have a size able chunk of change (30-40k) when you graduate for your first property, house hacking a multi family preferably.

My junior year of college in the fall I worked a desk job on campus. Long boring hours, made like 2k. My spring semester of junior year I assisted a realtor. Better hours, more enjoyable work, made 4k. My senior year I started handling transactions on my own, showing houses, getting deals. Made about 30 throughout my senior year. Graduated and bought a duplex.

All that to say, don’t settle for a job that has no upside (working at a university library for example) just because it’s comfortable. College is a great time to try things out. If I fell on my face senior year and had no transactions, who cares! It wouldn’t have mattered. You can’t do that once you’re in the real world.

First of all, you are BRILLIANT to be asking this.  The mere fact that you're doing so is a great indicator of your future success.

I know you're getting some excellent real estate advice, so I'll button it on that subject for now (not easy, but I'll do it anyway).  But DO call me in the future when you're ready.

Right now in your life, there are BIG traps -- credit cards and education.  Avoid those, and you'll be okay.

I'm speaking as a Ph.D. -- Don't pay for any education/training that doesn't DIRECTLY bring you money.  Make sure whenever you lay a dollar out, you get lotsa dollars back.  So don't pay for sexy college degrees.  I'd rather see you go to NTTS and drive a truck for a few years until you get your investment game on.

Everything else aside, the absolute biggest move you can make is to "househack."  As soon as you can, own a property where you live in it and receive rental income.  At first, maybe you only break even.  But that's way better than renting.

Good luck.

@Alexis Bliss

Thanks Alexis! Definitely appreciate the response and advice. I'm planning on househacking while in college with an FHA loan. Would this be a good start? Thanks again.

Learn finance in school

Job in real estate (Apraisal would be ideal, constructon would be great too, anything that help you learn ARVs and rehab costs.)

Build credit yes, but STAY OUT OF DEBT!!! No credit card or car loan... Just get an apartment and put the utilities in your name and pay on time. 

Your network IS your net worth

(And practice staying humble as a millionair in your twenties!! LOL)

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