Newbie from Houston living in Atlanta that needs HELP!

14 Replies

Hey BiggerPockets!

My name is Justin Phillips and I am an aspiring real estate investor from Houston, Texas, however I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia. I own and operate my own e-commerce business (active income) and Instagram marketing agency (passive income) that are both doing very well and have given me the ability to save a decent amount of side money this year. I am most interested in buy and hold single family/multifamily properties (multifamily is my preference), but I'm having trouble with deciding what to do for my first deal, so let me tell you all a little about my situation:

1. I have about 75k saved up and expect to have 100k by year end
2. I don't believe I can get loans because I have outstanding student loans that are currently in forbearance as well as debt that isn't mine but is in my name which is throwing off my debt to income ratio (thanks mom lol)
3. My mother is a broker in Houston and is willing to do my property management for 6%
4. I am a go-getter that is willing to work for free for a local mentor if necessary to gain knowledge (haven't found one yet but I won't stop attending events and networking until I do)
5. I have no experience with rehabbing/flipping (learning daily from YouTube University haha)

 With all that being said, what do I do?! Do I find a partner that can get loans and put down payments on multiple properties? Do I use the 75k as a down payment on a bigger multifamily deal? Do I buy something cash and start smaller? Do I start in Houston although I'm not there or start in Atlanta where I live for my first deal? Do I house hack something? Do I go to the tax deed auctions? Someone help! haha

Thanks in advance,

Updated about 2 years ago

Btw, my main investment goal is to create as much passive income as possible. Going for 1k units in the next 5 years (If your dreams don't scare you, they're too small!)

@Justin Phillips 

Welcome to Atlanta. I recommend that you join one of the local real estate investors associations to network and learn about investing.

Check out the Georgia Real Estate Investors Association. They have many educational meetings. 

Good luck and let me know if I can be of assistance. 

Hey Justin, welcome to Atlanta! It seems like you have a great start to your investment plans. 75k cash is a great start to your investment fund. Most investors will either use cash to buy the property and perform necessary repairs. The other popular option is to obtain a hard money loan which can have different qualifying terms and conditions. The best way to start is to determine the investment strategy you want to use (fix & flip, buy & hold, etc.) and the price that you are willing to work with.

Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.

Alec Granger
New Western Acquisitions

@Bill Hampton Thanks for the warm welcome! I have joined a few local meet-ups and will be attending them this week for the first time. I will check out the Georgia Real Estate Investors Association as well. Aside from that, I will give you a call later because I believe we can do some business outside of this in regards to taxes! 

Hey @Justin Phillips , welcome to Bigger Pockets. I recommend the first thing you do is create your "personal investment philosophy". Will you invest in condo's, townhomes. single family, mobile home parks etc? Will you do it alone or with a partner? Where will the properties be located? Who are the people you will be working with? Do some research on various investment strategies and pick one that interests you. Write down your goals and write down a specific plan to achieve those goals.

Of course the answers will change over time as learn what you do and don't. 

As far as Atlanta vs Houston - live where you want to live, invest where it makes sense.

Always feel free to DM me with any questions.

@Justin Phillips

Hello Justin, welcome to Atlanta and BP.

The first thing you need to do is determine your investing criteria. Are you looking to invest in Single family homes, multi family, etc.

Since you have a decent amount of funds saved you, have multiple options. Best advice I can give is to take time to learn about the different ways to invest in real estate and then pick a niche that you feel fits what your trying to accomplish. Knowledge is invaluable in this industry. Take time to learn how to do a market analysis, how to analyze properties, etc. Map out your investing strategy before you start investing. It will make things easier in the long run.

Honestly, if you have real estate connections in Houston, it might to easier to buy your first property in Houston.

Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me with any questions you may have and I will help any way I can.

Happy Investing!!


@Justin Phillips hi! You got some good answers here. I would like to add that invest where you live give you the chance to be very hand on and gives you the opportunity to put in some sweat equity. ;)

@Justin Phillips Buy cash, Paint,flooring easy upgrades rent. Appraisal and get cash out loan worth 80%. Repeate also known as BRRRR. 1. Do you have a salary and credit that is bank friendly? 2. Do you have a local comercial lender? 3. Do you have a LLC? You can turn 75k into 200k worth of asessets and cash flow $1,000 plus in 120 days.
Hey @Marc Brenner : Since I have read your comment I have done just that. I know it doesn't matter to you but I am going to write my investment plan down just for myself or anyone else who cares to see.

I plan on investing in multifamily homes in the surrounding cities of Atlanta (and hopefully some closer to the city as well). I will focus on upcoming cities like union city, lakewood and etc. I will acquire these assets by using my own capital for the down payment accompanied by debt services from local banks/credit unions. I will buy the homes, rehab them, rent them, then refinance them into a better loan in which I then pay myself back and use the left over cash to get into more deals! The property will then be a buy and hold asset I will keep for the long term and sell whenever I feel necessary. Feel free to give any constructive criticism please!

@Canesha Edwards:

I am going to go for multifamily! In fact, I have my eyes on my first duplex now and I am hoping to close this week! I have taken the last few months to study this game and I feel decently confident but I will admit I think I can improve my analysis abilities. I have connections in Houston but I am here in ATL, so I wanted to get hands on with my first project, let me know what you think about that! I will send you a private message now and I definitely appreciate the advice! It will not go misused!



Hey @Jingru Sui :

I agree that investing where you live is a good way to get your hands dirty and that is what I plan to do. Thanks so much for the support! And you're right, I have been getting amazing answers, I love BiggerPockets haha!

Hey @Isaac Hebron :

I think I am going to stay away from sinking all my cash into one deal but I am going to use the BRRRR method for my investment strategy! I'm super excited to get started and get some cashflow created!



Originally posted by @Isaac Hebron :
@Justin Phillips find yourself a slam dunk deal and you won’t have the mindset of sinking all your cash. You will say I want to invest all my cash in this deal because it’s a slam dunk. I was in your shoes before.

Good point! Now it’s time to find that slam dunk haha!