Help me get started?

1 Reply

Ive read and read but still don't really know what I'm doing. Here's my situation, I am 20, in an electrical apprenticeship, but I want to own property. I make a small amount at the moment with steady large raises for the next 5 years with this job. Probably gross around 1600 right now. Not much, I know, but I want to get started. I figure Ill have to bird dog or wholesale first to gain some capital and its a great way to learn the business.

Now heres my questions, how do I find these great deals, and more importantly before everyone else? Do websites like foreclosure or work for those kind of properties? Should I be looking in the newspaper? MLS access is restricted to realtors right? So then should I be looking for a realtor to assist me with finding deals?

Being 20 years old I'm also worried about people taking me serious if I decide to do any wholesaling.

I guess my real problem here is how do I find deals before others do? Flyers, bandit signs? They seem to be everywhere..

Also for bird dogs does anyone have a contract that I could use? Or should I go have someone write one up for me?

For wholesaling I imagine it would be hard to buy anything with say no more than 2000 deposit, and I imagine it would be hard to get any clauses in there that would allow me to get any money back if it didnt sell in 30 days?

Please inform me, guide me!

Thank you all in advance,


Hi Matt, and good for you!

You seem to have a good head on your shoulders, and you recognize that birdogging is the best way for you to get started.

My first suggestion is to join the local Real Estate Investor's club in your area (REIA). There you'll meet like mided folks, and maybe even some who can help you out with local knowledge, etc..

In my experience, the best way for a young guy like you to learn the business AND find deals at the same time is to get in your car and drive around the neighborhoods you like. Stay out of the very best and very worst areas, and stick to middle ground. Stay close to home, and get to know those neighborhoods like the back of your hand.

What are you looking for? Signs of distress and vacancy. Overgrown lots, no curtains in windows, broken windows, piled up newspapers. Anything that would indicate the owner has vacated the property and is no longer caring for it.

When you see it, get out and walk around the neighborhood. Ask the neighbors what they know about the situation. Call the town or county and get the owner's name and number from the tax rolls (it's public information).

Find a local investor who's looking for these types of properties and ask him to help you understand how he approaches these types of deals. Tell him you'll do the legwork and bring him the deals if he will teach you the ropes and pay you a birdog fee for each deal.

You'll learn plenty, and make some money, too.