17-year-old Investor Seeking Advice

14 Replies

Hi guys,
I'm a senior in high school and I am very interested and very serious about investing in real estate. I understand some of the basic concepts of real estate investing, but I do not understand how to go about finding good investment properties and how to invest in such a property when I find one (Can anyone recommend a book for this?). What are the benefits of flipping vs. renting properties? I pointed out my age to make it clear that I do not have a lot of money, so I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction to go from here. Perhaps some recommended books regarding the "need to knows" about mortgages, incorporating properties, etc. From what I understand one of the best places to look for real estate properties in my local area is the classified ads in the home/real estate section of the newspaper, but I would appreciate it if someone could correct me if I am mistaken. I don't know much now, but I'm willing to learn :wink: . Thank you :D !

P.S. I live in the Dallas, Texas area so if anybody knows of a real estate investors group nearby where a young, novice investor like me would be welcome to ask and learn, I would appreciate it. Feel free to contact me for this or any other reason. Any feedback regarding this post would be overwhelmingly appreciated. Thanks again!

60+ views of this thread and still no replies :shock: ?

If you are a seasoned real estate investor in the Dallas area interested in mentoring me for a few months while I do your grunt work please contact me. Thanks again :D !

17 is a great time to learn. Be patient. Seems like you want to make a fortune in the next week or something. It takes time.

For someone your age, I'd recommend starting out as a bird-dog. You first want to learn all you can about real estate. I'd actually get a book from a real estate principles text. You'll get a good base of knowledge. I can't really recommend any particular books, but reading up at forums like this one, and reading articles will teach you a ton!

Flipping vs. landlording are two totally different ways to go. Landlording brings in fairly consistent cash flow for a long term. Flipping works best in a market where prices continue to appreciate. If the market turns, flipping is certainly not the way to go.

You need to learn a lot more before jumping into anything. Why not intern at a realtor office. It is a good way to learn a lot. You can also go to some real estate club meetings and pick up info that way.

Take your time. You have more of it then most of us. Hurrying will not not get you there any quicker.

On the other hand, Go Get Em! You seem energetic and ready to go. Use that to your advantage. Good luck to you! :mrgreen:

yep interning at a realtor's office is a good idea... you can also volunteer if they are not willing to pay you

Thank you for your replies :D .

ToneyJ, thanks for your recommendations- I am currently enrolling in a real estate principles course at my local community college. I'm not in yet, but hopefully it will go through (so much paperwork when you're still a minor :roll: ), and I'll post here when it does :mrgreen: .

I am also considering applying for an internship, but I'd like to expand my knowledge base first before I jump into the action. Thanks for the input :wink: !

An internship is a great way to expand your knowledge. The hands on experience that you gain (and more importantly the information that your mentors will provide you) are invaluable experience. How many professors get rich by "studying" ?

(Some do by the way... but not nearly as many as those that get real world experience and put their money where their mouth is!)


Sounds like you are in a very similar situation I was about 5 months ago. I wanted to get in the market, wanted to get licensed, etc. So I finaly got off my *** and did just that. The advice you have recieved is very good advice......going to work for a real estate agency, etc., maybe interning there. However, why should you just intern and not get paid, when you can get paid while you learn and get FREE real estate investing classes as well. If you are interested in knowing more, please send me an email to [email protected] I would love to give you some ideas as to where I got my start and what it has done for me so far. Hope I can help, good luck to you.


I'm now attending Real Estate Principles I & II at my local community college. It's a single class with both courses combined, but it's a long class- 5 hours each day every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until mid-September. I just finished my first weekend of it and breezed through the first exam, because it didn't cover much more than simple definitions and fair housing laws :wink: . I am very grateful to have an instructor that is interested in keeping the students interested; He only answers to "Super Dave" :superman: . I am the youngest person in the class, and consequently, I think I have the least experience handling my own finances. So, I'm trying to figure out how I can take a self-study crash course on mortgages and finance principles before the instructor assumes everyone in the class already knows the basics :oops: . My current plan is to find some books at the library for this, but any ideas (or book recommendations :D ) would be welcome. Wish me luck :mrgreen: !


I'm wishing you all the luck my friend. Man I can't remember when I was 17 but I'm sure wasn't thinking of Real Estate at the time. I commend you for all your efforts in the Real Estate world.

Have fun,

That's crazy!

I'm also 17 and learning how to invest in real estate.

Hey if there are any investors out there in need of a personal assistant or need help, please let me know. I want to gain some hands on experience through work.

Oh yeah, I live in Des Moines, IA. So if you live here, go ahead and contact me. I check my e-mail everyday, every hour!

[email protected]

Rocky - Great to hear that you're looking to get things going for yourself so early as well! Congrats for looking at improving your future at such a young age. Much success to you!

Chris I would have to say it's very impressive to see a young man wanting to invest. I wish I would have known what I know now at 17, life would be a lot easier. Keep up the good work, I am a newbie as well at 23, so I'm rooting for you! :D

Hi Chris,

I'm 22, and here for the same reason as you. I can't offer any advice yet on the actual real estate side, but I can offer this. as soon as you turn 18 I would apply for 1 credit card, or any other form of credit, just to get the ball rolling. Thats what i did, and as better offers came across (high max limits, lower interest rates,) I would cancel the current card, and apply for the new. By the time i was 20 I had a small income, but had a GREAT credit rating. I was able to get my house with 0% down and a great rate.

when i was 16, my dad set up a joint account for me at the stock broker he worked with. My initial investments when i was 16 were sold off when i was 20, this is of course short term/risky investment strategy, but those profits helped me get by when I first bought my house. we rented it out within 3 months of buying. money was tight at first.... until that rental income started flowing... so the sell of those stocks helped cusion the blow a little, and then helped upgrade a lot of the house after renter moved out (and we moved back in).

basicaly traded a $1500 investment when i was 16 for about $40-50k in equity now at 22. I'm still very small time but getting there. just wanted to offer this small back ground because it helped me substantially when i bought my first house.

i should point something out... credit cards can be dangerous for some .... i used mine maybe ONCE a month. by a new hat OR video game, OR DVD, or 1 other thing that is cheap. when the $25 bill came in, i paid it off every month. don't put your trip to vegas on this card for your senior trip :protest:

Chris - I'm sure you've heard the "Do as I say, not as I do" thing more than you care to, but....take the advice!!

Almost 40 here, and I have made a 15 year 'career' of making other people money...a lot of money!! I have been in the public sector in the development world and cannot tell you how many times I have "made the deal, saved the deal" and the other guy has made the profit. But you know, I have been good at it and that WAS my job... to make the other guy profitable...after all, it was him that took the risk!

I have taken tons of real estate courses, had a license, negotiated property acquisitions, etc. and always chalked it up to 'doing my job'. I have had the luxury of being inside the inner sanctums of big money developers doing big money deals..Fortune 100 companies. I always figured I'd be in the public sector and underpaid for it.

What I seriously forgot about after doing this for 15 years, was all the knowledge that I was gaining.. I was going to be able to take away with me for free :wink: Now that I have finally 'smelled the coffee', things will be different 8) I cannot tell you why I wasted all this time...

If I can give you any advice...take all the opportunities along the way to learn something that will take care of YOU and YOUR family over the long-term. Build your life 'portfolio'. You don't have to grind people into the carpet along the way, just learn from every experience. Put yourself in the right places..you won't regret it!

That said, I would seriously try to get an internship with a GOOD title attorney, title company or a local developer that has an interest in teaching as they go. You will learn things there that you can not learn in school...and you will get an unbelivable education on this stuff from the 'inside'. Not to pick on my own profession as an RE Agent but taking the real estate course, which is a great introduction to the subject, will only get you to undertsand how to sell or buy for others...not neccessarily for yourself.

And by all means...ask as many questions as people have the interest in answering :wink:

Chris and Rocky,

That's awesome! Keep that attitude and don't give up educating yourself! It will pay off! I started out in the mortgage industry when I was eighteen, started out in marketing when I was 17. I'm now in my mid-twenties with a great resume and two books of business.

I haven't started investing in real estate yet but know a great deal about mortgages and finance. I think I've spent most of my time earning commissions for other peoples deals. The best part about it is I've gained an equivalent of at least two college educations and got paid for it!

The one thing I can say is never stop educating yourself and be innovative. Good luck out there!

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