Newbie from NW Iowa, Question about education

5 Replies

Hi all, 

I'm kinda new to the real estate game. I'm a 50 year old Industrial Mechanic, so I can fix just about anything, and my wife is a Industrial Electrician who has went on to get her engineering degree. We own 4 total properties, two of which are rented out. We found these and paid a total of $12,000 for both properties. The bad thing is one is rented out to our daughter, so rent is hit and miss, and the other is rented to a friend's mom who is retired, both are rented out at about 200-300 below market value. We are still positive on cash flow, about $400 a month combined. 

Most of the posts that I read sound like you should be a real estate agent to find the deals. My question would be what can I do to educate myself on the business so I can grow. Is there certain classes (accounting, finance, etc...) that I could take that would help me? Should I try and get my real estate licenses? Right now I could not afford the pay cut. I quit school in tenth grade and have never been to college, and did I mention i'm 50? I really think I could make this work, just the money stuff is what frightens me. 

Thanks for any replies and advice

 Richard Rowe

Hi Richard. Welcome to BP! This forum will be a great resource to learn more about investing. I have also found that joining a local or fairly local real estate investors association (REIA) is a great way to learn localized operating information. There are a couple down in Des Moines and one in Mason City. I am not sure if there is anything in Fort Dodge right now. It sounds like you are off to a great start, so I would recommend you keep doing the deals that make so much sense you can’t say no!

I second Spencer's advice; networking is really important! It's how I found several of my deals including some that were strictly off market. As far as getting your real estate license, that doesn't really help with finding more deals. You could just as easy find an investor friendly agent with experience that can comb through new MLS listings for you. You might not find red hot deals on MLS, but it can be a treasure trove. IF you find something you like, make an offer. Just make sure to protect yourself with the right contingencies. Lastly, Bigger Pockets is an amazing resource for education. Hopefully it can shed some light on the stuff that frighetens you about real estate. Good luck on your journey!

Thanks for the advice. I know I need to meet more people that are doing this, and be able to learn about the business. I'm not really looking to get too big, just enough to help with retirement here in 10-15 years. I read the forums as much as I can, and there is great information here, but I'm still a little shake when it comes to the financials and taxes. I just need to make up my mind to take a few classes at the local community college. 

@Richard Rowe , welcome to BP! Like you i am also new to RE but you are ahead of me in experience since you have been wearing the landlord hat for a while.

I would look here on BP and see if there is a local BP meetup. This should be a good place to start. Since joining 2 months ago I am also a forum/podcast junkie. I listen to the podcasts every day from work. I have learned a lot so far.

Regarding taxes, you would want to talk to your current CPA about it and how it would affect your retirement. This being said some CPA do not like real estate and do not know how to handle it for their clients. I am hoping my current CPA will be able to help me out once I finally find a deal to buy.

 Good luck on your journey!

If the financials are the part you are least confident about I think it would make a lot of sense to start working with an accountant. Find one to do monthly statements for your rental business and see if you can sit down once a quarter or one a month to talk about how it’s going or what to look out for. This could be the same firm that prepares your tax return each year.