What can a 17 year old do to prepare for a future in Real Estate?

9 Replies

I’m 17 years old and want someone to point me in the right direction of what I can do NOW in order to prepare myself for a future in real estate investing. I’ve been readings books and watching videos for months so far. So far my plan is to learn a trade to work in the meantime before I buy my first investment property, but I want to know if there’s anything I can do before I move out of my parents house to prepare myself. Any books I can read or tips to point me in the right direction?

@Ramon Medrano

I would start networking locally at real estate meetups. Listen to podcasts and read books.

Here are my favorite books:

Multifamily Millions by Dave Lindahl

The ABCs of Real Estate Investing by Ken McElroy

The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings by Steve Berges

Commercial Real Estate Investing by Dolf De Roos

Trump: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received by Donald Trump

Tax Free Wealth by Tom Wheelwright

Commercial Real Estate 101: How Small Investors Can Get Started and Make It Big by David Lindahl

Raising Private Capital: Building Your Real Estate Empire Using Other People’s Money by Matt Faircloth

The Definitive Guide to Apartment Marketing by Josh Grillo

Investing in Apartment Building by Matthew Martinez

Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate by Brian H Murray

The 7 Secrets to Successful Apartment Leasing by Eric Cumley

2 Years to a Million in Real Estate by Matthew Martinez

Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands by Jorge Newbery

Commercial Mortgages 101: Everything You Need to Know to Create a Winning Loan Request by Michael Reinhard

It’s a Whole New Business!: The how-to book of syndicated investment real estate by Gene Trowbridge

@Ramon Medrano you sound like an amazing 17 year old!

I would absolutely follow the very first piece of advice that Charles gave you and start networking now. There are probably many meetups in your area that you can go to and start networking with investors in Houston that are crushing it. If I had to guess, I would bet that you could find a few people at one that would take you under their wing seeing you as a go getter. 

Go talk to as many people as you can and figure out where you can add some value to their investing business. Learning a trade is a great idea and can get you in some doors, but learning how to invest full time would be even more valuable. 

You got this!

Originally posted by @Ramon Medrano :

I’m 17 years old and want someone to point me in the right direction of what I can do NOW in order to prepare myself for a future in real estate investing. I’ve been readings books and watching videos for months so far. So far my plan is to learn a trade to work in the meantime before I buy my first investment property, but I want to know if there’s anything I can do before I move out of my parents house to prepare myself. Any books I can read or tips to point me in the right direction?

 As soon as you hit 18 you can sit for your real estate license exam. That's the move you really want to make. It will allow you to get into the business and earn some money while working it from the ground up.

I would first try and save money.  Real Estate is capital intensive in order to have enough capital to pay for a down payment.  This is probably the hardest thing getting started, money for a down payment.  You can use a hard money lender for any renovations you may need to perform and then refinance to pay back the hard money lender.  But defiantly start saving.

Second, I would start reading books, watch youtube, attend local real estate meetups, listen to bigger pockets podcasts.  Try and learn as much you can.  During this time, I would also recommend thinking about how you would like to operate your business.  Before I started, I researched online software to help me with managing my rental property (listing, rent collection, document management, accounting, etc.).  Some people just use spreadsheets to track things and a PO Box for mailing checks, I wanted a full online software suite to help streamline my business.  Even though its expensive for me right now due to scale, I thoroughly enjoy the ease of use.  Think about processes you want to have and how they work will save headaches when problems arise.  

Third, I would recommend taking some accounting classes at a local community college or college if you don't have any knowledge or experience in this area.  Managing your budgets, financing, and bookkeeping is important in any business.  If possible, also try and find a class on real estate taxes (there is also a bigger pockets book on this subject as well).

Originally posted by @Ramon Medrano :

I’m 17 years old and want someone to point me in the right direction of what I can do NOW in order to prepare myself for a future in real estate investing. I’ve been readings books and watching videos for months so far. So far my plan is to learn a trade to work in the meantime before I buy my first investment property, but I want to know if there’s anything I can do before I move out of my parents house to prepare myself. Any books I can read or tips to point me in the right direction?

Hi, Ramon,

Yes - networking will be a great start - a great first step.

Second step would be to start now to break away from the "my own money and credit" crowd since you likely have neither. Start learning how to obtain funding for your deals. Start learning how to build business credit - it can be more important than personal credit, but you'll need both to get started.

In fact, devote the time you have before turning 18 to getting educated. You may need your folks' financial help to get your education unless you have credit of your own. If you can get them on board with you and your plans for your business future, that would be a big plus! ... your first "lesson" in finding funding. Folks will discourage you from paying for education, but you get what you pay for, and "The School of Hard Knocks" is -THE- MOST EXPENSIVE education around. Education doesn't cost, lack of education costs.

Becoming a licensed agent has some advantages, and also some limitations. Learn what they are BEFORE you choose that route. Agent / broker training teaches a lot of the legal aspects, but does little or nothing to prepare you for your first investment deals.

Congratulations on considering a world most folks only dream about.

Don't do what your friends do- don't finance an expensive car, don't go into consumer debt to "flex" on Instagram for your friends, save your money and live frugal. Read, read and then read again. Also, attend some meetups and offer free labor to some seasoned investors and get your hands dirty. 

I second @James Wise   advice its dirt cheap to take the pre license course.. you learn the vocabulary of the industry and the basic laws..  if you want in the industry get in it.. trying to start as an investor can be pretty tough and a long slog.

Get PAID to learn.. you will find more valuable contacts generally speaking by doing deals with them.. it worked for me.

@Ramon Medrano - Man, do I wish I was thinking like you at age 17.  Since you obviously are ambitious and smart for posting this question my suggestion for you would be to map out a plan to get your first investment property.  What I mean by that is, you know you want to own one, now you need to list all the steps in between "not owning an investment property" and "owning an investment property".  Sometimes it helps to work backwards.  Picture being at the settlement table where you are signing all the closing docs.  What was the step right before that?  Who is there?  A realtor?  A lender? A seller?  You need to put together a plan to find each of those people.  Who will you be working with once you've purchased the property?  Plumber, electrician, carpenter, handyman, landscaper, listing agent....you need to put together a plan to find each of those.  How are you going to meet all of these people?  Networking, cold calling, research.  Put together lists of places you can go, websites you can go on, people you can talk to to get you closer to meeting the team you see before, during and after you purchase your property.  How are you going to get industry professionals to take you seriously because of your age and since you have no experience?  Put together a credibility kit.  Almost like a resume.  What have you done that's impressive?  What character traits do you have that will set you up for success?  Even if you don't end up showing this to anyone it is a good exercise to convince yourself that you are worth taking seriously.  If you have confidence in yourself others will too.  How are you going to get the down money?  How are you going to get approved for financing?  Maybe you partner with a family member.  Maybe you can wholesale some properties to build up some capital.  You will have a ton of questions but if you write them down then you can tackle each one individually, and finding answers to some of them will end up providing answers for others.  It can seem daunting but if you organize it, your brain can start working on it.  Just like you would create an outline before writing a long paper, you want to create an outline of the steps involved to buy a property and then follow it by filling in the details along the way and at the end....almost as if by magic, you will own a property :)  Good luck Ramon!