How do I start investing in real estate?

14 Replies

Currently serving active duty military and I plan on getting out soon. I would like to take advantage of the VA loan. I figure that this could be a great start for real estate investing. Likely would be the place I would live in for a few years. I just don't know where to go from here...

Any replies would be greatly appreciated!

Maybe buy a quad 4 plex and live in one of the units??

Hello Joel, it looks like your experienced with those type of units. Would you mind describing the process you typically go through?

@Austin Muller ,

Walk before you run. Begin by teaming up with a seasoned real estate investor with similar investment strategies as yours. Work with the partner(s) to learn the business as you seek formal education.

The real estate business can be a lot of fun and be very rewarding. At the same time, you must have skills and knowledge. The failure rate is around 80 percent even for those who attend real estate school.

I started doing wholesale flipping when I was 18yrs old. I feel that its the most risk free way of starting real estate investing. As long as you have some guidance and buy the property right. My mother always taught me - You make your money when you buy not when you sell.

If you don't buy the property right then you are screwed!

Welcome to BP!! You have the best resource imaginable here in this forum.

There are no shortcuts for sure. I recently started out by studying everything of interest here---every minute I had I was reading and writing notes. Pretty soon a direction started to take form in front of me.

It used to be that you had to buy expensive courses just to get the basics. Now you can get the basics here; find people that are experienced that you might feel would be a good mentor.

BUT I advise people to check with other students of the one you might like to have as your coach. I've had many contact me about various "coaches" charging huge amounts of money. Some I can recommend wholeheartedly; others I say "RUN"!! from.

Take your time in deciding what niche appeals to you. You wouldn't rush through picking a girlfriend or wife or a career. This business becomes a way of life and if you catch the crei bug it will be something you enjoy doing as much as or more than anything else.

Keep us informed of your journey : >

Does anybody know any real estate investors that I could talk to that live in Michigan?

Just use the search feature here and enter Michigan. start connecting with people and following them---read what they are doing. Real investors don't usually have a lots of time to chat because they are working :>

Hi Austin, and welcome to Bigger Pockets! Also, thank you for serving in the military.

I guess the first thing of concern is, do you know where you want to live when you get out? If it's Michigan, then a multi-unit with a VA loan might be an excellent idea. Live in one, rent the other(s), and then when you want to move you can rent out your unit, too. I think those loans have no down payment and low interest, so it would work out pretty good for you.

That's if you want to be a landlord. Some people here have brought up wholesaling. That is definitely another possible avenue.

Use this website to learn more about real estate. You have the advantage of being able to learn here before you dive in. Take some time and do so. Other Michigan folks are definitely here, and some will pop up for you along the way.

Finally, I would suggest going to some REIA meetings, which is an excellent way to make contacts. The one I usually attend, the Wayne County one in Southgate, might be a hike for you coming from Holly, but it would be great to meet you in person.

@Austin Muller , Welcome to BP. I am a newbie to the site as well(yesterday in fact). But I have been in Real Estate as a Landlord now for over 2 years.

Education and knowledge is key for sure. I had no one to help me and am glad I finally found this site. I am on my 7th and I think final Real Estate agent. You will learn that depending on the market you want, many of them do not want to work for you. They don't respond to emails or phone calls, then you miss the deals.

The first thing I recommend you do is read a book by Robert Kiyosaki called "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" if you haven't already. This helps you open your mind to new ideas and thinking. People I know thought I was crazy to get into Real Estate back in 2011. But I did it anyways. After reading this book last year I realized that my mindset was already on the track that Robert describes in his book. I knew I was on my way.

The next thing is like @John Knappmann suggested and which I'm finally going to my first on Thursday, go to some REIA meetings. I have not been able to do this because I travel for work and am not home much.

You need a good "Power Team" as Kiyosaki puts it. People make it sound easier to do than it really is. But you will find and build your team as you go.

I unfortunately have not had much luck trying to network with other local Investors (until I found this site yesterday). I meet some, we talk, they disappear. So either they are not what they say they are or they are greedy and don't want anyone learning their so-called secrets.

Here is how I see it. Everyone needs help to grow. Corporations don't grow by only having ONE MAN'S secrets. It takes a team of smart people. Robert Kiyosaki says "you don't have to be smart, you just have to surround yourself with people smarter than you". Go with your gut when you are building your team..

I live in Warren but grew up in Clarkston so I am familiar with Holly.

If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Welcome to BP and thank you for serving our Country!!!

Oh, and you need to make a plan! Without a plan, things can fall apart fast. I know. This happened to me when I first got into rentals back in 2008. It ended bad for me in 2009. My credit is still trying to recover... ha ha ha...

Good Luck and hope to see you growing your dream soon.

I can echo what @John Knappmann and @Aaron Yates said... the local REIAs are great. There are several - the MREIA in Troy, Renegade Detroit Investors in Berkely, the one John mentioned, the Ann Arbor group... all good places with different feels.

There are a lot of us Michigan folks on here, so keep your eyes peeled. The keyword alert tool is excellent, take advantage of that one. And just keep talking to people! Success comes from action. Good luck!


Welcome thanks for your service.

Visit 3 REIA clubs gather info meet people.

See below what happens at a REIA meeting and how to find them.


Your First REIA Meeting

One of your most valuable activities that you need to do ASAP is attending your first REIA club meeting. The networking, deal making, team building and source of local education will be found at the meeting. You will want to get the most out of you time at the meeting to make it a profitable experience. So let's get started.

Finding the Meetings
Lets check out "Real Estate Investment Clubs" Massachusetts on Google. The first result produces ten REIA clubs across Massachusetts.

I visited several of the club sites and found additional clubs listed. I notice a search site for National REIA I follow the link to Massachusetts. There are three clubs listed which are associated with the National REIA. This is important because you will get additional benefits through National REIA.

You can also search Yahoo, MSN or Google groups with the same search criteria. Some of these groups have an online only presence where you can visit and interact in advance.

Prime the Pump
Let say you have selected the group but find that the meeting is two weeks away. You need to prime the pump. Go onto the clubs website my local favorite is Eastern Massachusetts REIA When looking at a club I want to see a variety of activities and educational opportunities.

I look to view who is listed on the Contact Us page. I would select at least one staff member and contact them. Ask them about the club, how many members and how many show for the typical meetings. Tell them you will be coming to the next meeting. They will be looking for you ready to introduce you to certain members.

Business Resources/Vendors
Check out the listed Business Resources/Vendors for the club. Call several, tell them you will be coming to the next meeting. Ask them what they think about the group. When you see them at the meeting they also will be introducing you to different people. This will jumpstart your networking.

30 Second Commercial
You need to develop and practice a couple of different 30 second commercials. You will use these when speaking to other who ask “So what are you doing”. It does not have to be too detailed. You can describe further anything they question you about.
If the meeting begins at 6:30pm SHOW UP EARLY. Get there at least 15 minutes early. This is a great chance to speak with the club officials and introduce yourself. The meeting will begin with an open networking session. In a very relaxed setting you are encouraged to interact with everyone else. Your goal is not to simply collect business cards, rather collect conversations then business cards. When speaking always ask the other person what they are doing, ask a couple of questions to continue them talking. Eventually they will ask you what you do. This is the opportunity for your 30 second commercial.

HINT: Members of the REIA will have formal name tags, new people like you will have paper nametags. You want to speak to everyone with a paper tag. These people can be a great resource for you. Some of these people come to the meeting because they have money to invest. Find them they might as well invest with you.

The seats are taken when the networking period is over. You will hear some general announcements and an introduction to the topic and speaker for the evening.

A guest speaker will present a topic for their presentation or training opportunity. Often this will be paired with a pitch to buy something. You will get excellent information from the presentation and learn about opportunities.

Coming Club Events
The group leader with describe the events coming up over the next 3 months or so. Listen carefully find the session that will be a benefit to you.

Who has a Deal
One of my favorite parts of the meeting is when the members with a deal can stand up in front of the group and present a deal to everyone. Watch the different ways properties are presented some are more effective than others. Model your future presentations after the exceptional ones. Some people will have pictures and further information to give in the back of the room. Talk to these people about the deals later. Learn how they push the good features of the deal.

End of Meeting Networking
Don’t be in a rush to leave. You have a second chance to network. Make the most of it. ?

On a personal note, I suffered from "analysis paralysis" for quite some time. But you will have to pull the trigger on an investment to get into the business. Just make your first purchase as calculated as possible.

J Scott has two great books available in the BP store. For $29, the books are well worth the cost.

@Austin Muller

Hi Austin,
I specialize in Michigan investment properties. Your dollar can really stretch and you're ROI is 18% or more. I can't advertise here. Let me know if you'd like to talk about the opportunities there.

@Austin Muller ,

Consider asking bank officiers for real estate investor leads. Better yet, ask to be introduced to investors. This may be a more reliable way to find serious investors.

I even ask the people at my bank to share my information with like-mined investors and those offering potential investments.

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