Anyone begin their real estate journey in their late 40s?

190 Replies

@Sue K.

I wish I could meet you and just talk. Your views about people and children and legacy align with what I’ve observed since I was a child. In another post somewhere, you said ‘people change because situations around them change’. Likewise, performing the ‘due diligence’ around one’s estate so kids and relatives don’t quarrel has been my goal as well after seeing my parents’ siblings others grow distant from each other because of handed down properties without even all the paperwork in one place.

Originally posted by @Patrick Froehlich :

I am would like to start investing in real estate but am in my late 40s. Anyone investors on BiggerPockets start that late in life? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

 What will play a larger role than when you start is what ground work you've done thus far and your mindset. 

If a good savings rate, good credit score, investor-mindset,  etc. 

Tired of the status quo, running on a wheel until social insecurity kicks in? Have you had it?  Are you motivated?  Have a strong why or reason?   

Mediocrity and bumping along will get ya, not when you start. I'm also in my late 40's, I just reached I've had it sooner 👍

@Holly Hair , there are many different strategies to build wealth with real estate.  For folks who are starting out in their 40s-50s, one of the best ways to catch up to the folks who started earlier is to do very strong value-add deals.

For example, buy a property for $50,000, fix it up, rent it for 2-3 years, then sell it for $100,000 and do a 1031 tax-free exchange to buy two houses for $65,000 each, fix them both up, rent them for 2-3 years, then sell them for $150,000 each.  Repeat that strategy two more times, and in 10 years you should have 8 houses with over $500,000 in equity.

This strategy also helps minimize any taxes if you don't want to or can't do a 1031 tax-free exchange, since any asset owned over 1 year qualifies for long term capital gains.

If a person prefers for larger projects (apartments), then the project timeline is usually between 5-7 years to achieve stabilization and avoid major CAP-EX expenses like roof repairs and HVAC systems.

Buy and hold is well-suited for people who have a very long time horizon (20-30 years) and don't have a lot of time day to day to spend on it maybe due to working their way up in the day job or having young kids at home, so they spread their plan out over decades.  Fix, rent, and flip/upgrade helps generate wealth faster, but does take more time and effort today, so that is good for a person who maybe has older kids and/or kids out of the house and are comfortably settled into the rhythm of life and know how to optimally organize their time to accomplish more.

@Patrick Froehlich

I'm 46 and just got started this year. I decided to focus on buy and hold single family rentals to build some passive income. I Have one SFR with a tenant and 2 year lease in place have a second SFR currently under contract, which also comes with a tenant and a 2 year lease.

On the up side, my wife and I are empty nesters, so we have the extra income to save for the down payment on our next property. On the down side, not as much time to let the tenants pay down the mortgage and build appreciation and equity. There is still a lot of up side for the longish run. And there are lots of different ways to invest that have a shorter term goal than SFR buy and holds.

Do your research, pick what works for you, and go for it.

My dad is over 65 and just starting in RE (after seeing what my wife and I are doing --- we're 32). He's not looking for huge gains...just cashflow that's not tied to the stock market. 

He figures, if he can buy a couple good deals now, in 10 years, he'll be in great shape

@Patrick Froehlich

Hello Patrick I am 49 and just beginning. But my issues are the funds. So I have to work a little harder to build up capital. What I do right now IS get on BP EVERY DAY. Read articles join their Facebook groups, YouTube,webinars. If you have any questions or just need a little push let me know.. you got this..

Originally posted by @Sue K. :
Originally posted by @Michael Acevedo:

@Patrick Froehlich

Generational wealth is my goal. Although I am very young. If I was older, I would want to leave a real estate business that operates after my time. So I don’t think much of that time but more of what can I leave behind for my children to continue and grow. Getting started is all it takes. No matter what age.

 Honestly, don't expect any of your heirs to understand or want to run your business after you're gone.  I've learned this with my mother's estate in probate (from hell).  I've written my living trust to say that any real estate I own is to be sold and my estate is to be then divided with percentages to this person and that person.  So, if you want to leave something for your kids, just look for appreciation, and don't expect them to get along after you're gone.  That's a pipe dream, unfortunately.  Be sure and be specific as to which kid gets what and why and make a video that explains it, so it can be shown in court that you were sane when you wrote the will and trust.  Because it won't just be your kids, it will be their spouses influencing them and their kids influencing them and most of them arguing between themselves.  Money brings out the absolute worst in people.  Just sayin.  I think you're better off enjoying your own labors, and making sure you have money for your own healthcare in your old age (and don't expect your kids to take care of you), and if there happens to be anything left over for them - great.  But, remember, they are going to be capable adults who could do what you have done or are doing.  

 That’s sad, but a lot of truth spoken. 

Hi @Patrick Froehlich , to me it’s a lifestyle thing. I believe being genuinely into the moving parts of real estate investing such as the construction process, the numbers, marketing, and creativity make the process worth it no matter what. Even if you fall on your face, if you really love it, you’ll get back up and say “man that hurt, doing something I like”. So maybe the big question is whether you like the outset of real estate, if it sounds fun, exciting and worth getting hurt, and rewarded by, because you enjoy the process.

I'm 48 and finally bought my first investment property this year. Ex husband and parents were against the idea based on their limited experience without any education. New BF gave me the push I needed and got me connected to BP. 

I happened to lose my W2 job in March and found a role as Disposition Manager at a big local flipping company- so what I've found is that even with only 2 years of really studying and immersing myself into real estate investing strategies, conferences, books, Tony Robbins stuff.... there's a HUGE difference in my level of knowledge and PROFESSIONALISM compared to younger folks I meet. 

They have all the drive and energy, but not the experience, not necessarily the people skills or relationship skills. Now my W2 career has been in sales and sales leadership, so I have invested a ton in mastering people skills and communication, deals of all kinds. 

This business (real estate investing) is more about the people and how you work with them, communicate, and follow through than age or experience. If you can win over the people, you'll see it's more than numbers on a property. The vision with people is so powerful. That's how I always know who my buyer is, too. They talk about the property with vision and about what it can be. 

I am confident that I can grow my portfolio faster with the experience and knowledge that I have gained in life as I have more tolerance for risk with this vast knowledge base. And, it is absolutely possible to kill it later in life with focus, goals and massive, intentional action. (That's the Tony Robbins coming out there!) 

Good luck!

I'm 42 with a license in Real Estate but I'm a stay at home mom. Just bought my first property in January. I have no funds so I got a hard money loan. It is tough but it is never too late! 

@Erik W.

Thanks Erik! A lot of wisdom here. We actually are doing just this with a current rental...the capital gains gives us $100k profit right now that we could turn a.round to buy o5er properties OR keep it for the three years left on the mortgage and it will be completely paid off...generating a steady rental income. (We do have at least $80K cash to invest in other properties without needing to sell that original one). Thoughts on that?

@Holly my wife and I are 52 years old and are just trying to pick up our first home after studying for almost a year on how to do it right. It was discouraging realizing I didn’t start earlier but I’m not responsible for what I didn’t know. But now that I know, I am responsible! I can’t cry over spilled milk. I’m just grateful that at 52 years old I still have the energy to try to get ahead to the best of my ability. Hope you knock it out of the park Holly! would love to hear how your journey goes as well as others who started late.

@Holly Hair , depends on your goals, but in general I am not a fan of debt investing.  I prefer cash partnerships, for many reasons.  You get all the benefit of leverage that you get with debt in terms of being able to lock up more property to grow quicker, pay cash to get better pricing, and avoid transactions charges, and you don't really give up much more than what you would paying interest to a bank.  Then as the deal flourishes, have things set up to buy out your investor's share, or simply liquidate at a set time agreeable to all partners, take your share, and go conquer more deals.

You are in a great place now with $100K profit to invest and a solid rehab project under your belt.  I think with your track record you should be able to find 1-5 other people with some decent cash lying around looking for a better return who can invest with you.   Let's say you pull in $500K of capital to add to yours.  I don't know what houses go for in your area, but if we estimate $100K per project for purchase, closing, holding, and rehab costs then you and your partners could do 6 houses together, then sell, rinse, repeat every 2-3 years or so and scale out to 12, then 24, then 48 etc. within a decade.

@Patrick Froehlich hello there, I think your asking the wrong question. I started at 39 years old and when I started it wasn't an age thing but more like,

Why do I want to go down this road at this age ??

For me personally I got married at 37 and we were going to start a family. I want to make sure that my wife and child (especially) are taken care of and that I am building a foundation to change our family tree. It's not for my gain as much as what I can leave behind once I pass.

I am turning 41 in 6 days and I currently have a paid for home and three rentals (2 single, 1 mulitple) that was in 4 years.


I hope this helps.

@Patrick Froehlich

My father didn't buy his first rental until he was 70. Then he bought 3 in about a year and lived on them further into retirement (this was after he lost a ton in the stock market). So it's never too late.

I started in Real Estate in my late 20's, didn't get serious until I was able to walk away from my contracting business after getting injured in my late 30's, then semi-retired I started a real estate note business in my late 40's and haven't looked back since. And the business in my 40's, which I still run today (now in my early 60's) has taken me all over the world, led me to write a book for BiggerPockets, and do such large deals I couldn't even imagine way back when.

I don't know that if I could do it all over again that it would be possible to do that at a much younger age. I found there's a lot of advantages to starting later. More life experience, a bigger network, and you also might have better access to capital - whether that's a larger retirement account or equity you can tap into. Plus, I can tell you raising capital now is much easier than if I was 25 years old. There's a credibility to someone who has been around the block.

So it's really about accelerating what you can leverage now to make up for lost time and exponentially build wealth.

@Patrick Froehlich absolutely! In the book the Alchemist, it says “what one desires the most, the universe will conspire to make sure he succeeds.”

You can do it, KFC wasn’t started until Kernel was 66 years old, Vodka was invented by a 98 year old woman! Never give up!

@Patrick Froehlich , I started age 46-ish, and I’ve closed three deals in two years (summer 2018, summer 2019, summer 2020) — LOVE it!!

My biggest advice is to really think through what you want out of this venture. My philosophy is that I will not rent out anything I would not be willing to have my family live in... so I have bought three nice 3 bed/1-2 bath single-family rentals and am enjoying my journey so far!

Good luck!!

@Greg Scott I’d love to hear more about the group that taught you how to buy properties where you bought 9 in the following year. I just started my journey in 2018 at the age of 40 and feel like I’m in the same boat as you described. I have two properties (1 per year), and will likely have a third in a couple months but I’m scaling so slowly. Feel stuck. Anything you can share that helped you finally scale so quickly would be appreciated a ton!