Is being “freaked out” on your 1st deal normal ?

8 Replies

Just put our 1st offer on our 1st property.

I’ve run & re-run the numbers, it’s a good investment for the long run(which is our goal, buy & hold), but is it normal to be “freaked out” worrying about the deal penciling once you own it ?


Take this opportunity to learn how to control it if that's your personality and/or inclination. I know a few people who couldn't control their "freaked out" feelings and stopped a good thing because of it. If the numbers work out, and are real numbers, there's no reason not to do it.

My husband and I have entirely different tolerances for risk.  I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie and he is prone to worry.  I believe you need a bit of both as an investor.  Trust your numbers, but also learn to be comfortable with expecting the unexpected.  Nothing will go EXACTLY as planned... it is the big picture outcome that matters in the end.  If this deal falls short of your expectations, you will have learned loads of information that will help you on your next deal.  If this deal exceeds your expectations, then enjoy your success.  Either way, you have moved forward, and that is awesome!

In my experience, yes it is normal to be a little freaked out on your first deal. Which is why it is important to have a mentor and to know the math on the deal. 

Having someone you can trust in your corner who has done it before and can ground you when you feel like you're losing control is a great asset. Do you have someone you trust that you can review the deal with? Do you have any family or friends that have invested in real estate? Have you meet any investors in your area that you could reach out to? If not then look for a meetup going on in your area and see if there is someone there you can connect with. Most investors will happily take a few minutes to help newbies. 

If you don't have a mentor and don't have time to find one then I'd recommend focusing on the math. What is the worst case scenario? What is the best case scenario? Imagine both, run the numbers on both. At the end of the day you probably won't encounter a scenario where you lose 100% of the property where the insurance won't step in to make you whole. So what is the absolute worst thing that can happen and what is the likely hood of that happening? On the grand scheme of things, of all the things going on in the world, your worst case scenario probably isn't that bad and the likelyhood of it happening is very slim.

Now what is the best case scenario? This first property has the opportunity to change your life and set you up for a very strong financial situation. What is the likelyhood of this happening? Probably a lot better than sitting on the couch hoping someone walks through the door and hands you a suitcase full of cash. As said many times on the BP podcasts and as I have experienced in real life. Your first deal is the hardest, but very rarely does someone stop after their first deal. If that math is good then take that first step and put yourself in the position to take the next one. 

Good luck. In my opinion what you're feeling is very natural which is why you lean on the math or connections with more experience to help level out the emotional roller coaster ride which is real estate. It's a fun ride I hope you decide to get started!

Seems normal, it's a big decision. Run your numbers conservatively. Ensure you are buying below FMV and that you understand your exit strategies. Things often are better on paper than in reality. Owning homes cost more than most people allude too imo.

Depends...I backed out of my first two deals because they weren't deals at all. I massaged the numbers way too much and as I started going through due diligence I began to realize that these weren't good deals. I wasn't really "freaked out" because that is not really my personality, but if you feel that you are missing or forgetting something, I would highly recommend finding someone in your area who is more experienced than you who would be willing to look at the numbers with you. The real estate agent I used had been investing for 10+ years so it really helped to run things by him. He even helped me on my first deal that I found through an owner on Craigslist. 

Remember, it is never too soon to back out if something just doesn't seem to jive or if you don't have a good feeling about it. Just make sure those feelings are well placed. 

It's absolutely normal.

If you haven't done it already, you should start another post, titled "Is this a good deal?" and list all your numbers for more experienced people to evaluate here on BP.  A mentor in your area like Jonathan Bombaci suggested would be far better but Bigger Pockets forums are helpful to point out if you are making any mistakes in your analysis. 

@Roy Covert I 100% guarantee despite your best planning that things will turn out differently than expected. That is why you have an emergency fund and why you plug in a safety factor to your numbers. Beyond that, sellers cover up problems. Tenants will sometimes do damage or not pay rent. Every faucet, furnace, roof, water heater has a limited life. Sometimes things that "should" last 20 years go bad in ten years - sometimes they last 40 years. Natural disasters strike, flooding, cold, heat, snow, tree branches, fires, random acts of vandalism, etc. will happen. Anything imaginable can go wrong day one or not until year three or five. It is completely unpredictable.

The point is things will go wrong. Take smart steps to reduce risk, such as tenant screening, insurance, safety and mechanical inspections. When things do go wrong, deal with them quickly and understand it is part of the business. 

This business can eat up you and spit you out, if you let it. Some excitement and fear of the unknown is normal, but you should not be "freaked out". Challenges lie ahead and if you can't deal with that, it is better to back out now.