Advice for a 15 year old

73 Replies

*sarcasm* If I can turn the clock back to the hearty age of 2, by god there'd be no better age to get started in real-estate. Oh man, if only I had the foresight back then!

@Sannibel Carter yes get an LLC it's free in your state this can become a age business when you ready to use it . Get your credit perfect learn about the power credit . It will get so far in life . Can't flip fix it opens any business with perfect credit score . I wish I was told that . Please if you do any please go on you tube a learn and create a note book a ebook make money know .

@Sannibel  

Amazing that you are developing this mindset so early on. It will lead you to a great life. A good exercise is to define your core values and then align your actions in life with those values. If you want you can message me and I can figure out how to get you some info on this.  Go to local meet ups on Zoom or in person when they start happening and talk to people. You will start to figure out who has the same core values as you and will be drawn to learn from those people. 

Also if you are listening to podcasts and the guest gives out their contact info REACH OUT TO THEM! They will want to talk with you. Even if it’s a topic that you are not sure about ( business, RE, etc) you will still learn something that will become a part of you.    It may take you some time to fianacially get to your first deal and by learning now you will still be so far ahead of us that started much later in life. 

There will be distractions, challenges, people that will say you can’t, and by keeping your eyes on your goals you will pull through and grow.  Best of luck on this journey. 

If you are at all inclined, consider going for trade, like plumbing or electrical.  You can probably go to the trade high school in your area.  You can make 200K eventually in those trades, and you also can do a lot of your own work on properties.  Eventually, you will grow your real estate farm so big that you won't have to work as a tradesperson - but maybe you'll have your own plumbing or electrical company, and real estate too.

 1. Get a job and save as much money as you can. Disposable income is very alluring, you can get new clothes, get a new phone, buy stuff for your hobbies. Getting things like that is fine, but the more you can save the better off you'll be. Since you probably won't work that many hours, I would shoot to save at least 20%, although 10% is also a good start.

2. Don't drop out of school. Some people see real estate as easy money, and you can become a drywaller or laborer without a HS education. Don't. It's not worth the price you pay in lost earnings throughout your life. You can decide for yourself whether you want to go to college or not, but definitely don't drop out of high school.

3. Educate yourself. Check listings for properties in your area on Zillow or Trulia, listen to podcasts, read books about real estate. Learn to estimate costs for repairs. Have your parents/guardians help get you into foreclosed houses to take a look around. Have them take you to houses for sale to look around. Note what cabinets, faucet fixtures, lights, etc. are popular right now.

4. Buy a house you can rent out as soon as you can. I'm a big fan of multi-units myself, if you can get a duplex, rent out half, and have two roommates, you'll be making money hand over fist. It will be tempting to get a place to yourself as well. Try to resist that temptation, because once you live alone you'll never want roommates again. Plus, having roommates is a great way to make new friends when you're 18. If you go to college and they require you to live on campus, look for loopholes to escape that in your second or third year.

Best of luck to you.

@Sannibel Carter Good job reading and learning. Save your money so when you are ready, you can jump in without needing a loan. Also, go meet people, I have literally seen a house being remodeled and just knocked like “Hi, I’m an investor and wanna see your work.” If it’s quality, I ask for a card or at least the contact info. Network, read n learn, save your money.

Good luck Kid.

This is AMAZING! Good for you! If you're interested in becoming an agent in the future, I would suggest trying to work for an agent part time as an assistant.  This way you can learn the business a few years before getting licensed. 

@Sannibel Carter if you are looking to do some of your own flips volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. I'm not sure of their age restriction but I have volunteered with them and received some hands on training. Good luck keep learning, learning, learning and never be afraid to ask questions or for help.

If you've read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" it talks about take a job for what you can learn, not what you can make. I would try to either work for a contractor or real estate agent. Even if its just doing data entry or something, you can get in the space to be around like minded people. Make sure that you are actually learning though and not just being taken advantage of as a "Due boy." You are responsible for your own education so make sure you are asking good questions and taking advantage of opportunities when they pop up.

Wow congrats! Glad you are jumping on the opportunity and wish I would have done that better when I was that age! 

One thing to consider is you are growing up in the age of video and if you have any skill making Youtube/Tik Tok videos a lot of investors could use your skills to help scale their business by producing videos for them. If that fits you take those skills and pitch it to your most admired investor in town or person/business you would like to model. You could do it as an "unpaid" intern or you could even negotiate pay. Great resume builder plus you are taking their knowledge and making it into understandable videos, thus in a way teaching yourself. 


Even if you aren't a video extraordinaire you could use that same idea and apply it to skills you have. Any which way you do it surround yourself with people who are doing what you would like to do.

Congrats on taking amazing steps at such a young age!


@Sannibel Carter I would contact local property management companies are realtors. Explain you are a teenager looking for a part time job or summer job in real estate. Offer to help them with anything. Paperwork, dropping off yard signs, picking up keys, mowing yards, ANYTHING. Tell them you just want to work in the field and learn everything you can. Summer is usually a super busy time in real estate and I am sure someone could use the extra help. Once you have your foot in the door, do a good job and look for opportunities to take on more responsibility. Just being around the office you will learn a ton. You may do some grunt work, but they will also try to teach you things too.

Talk to your parents about your plans first. Good luck!

Now's the time to think about cash, not real estate. Get a degree in something that makes money. Doesn't matter what your passion is, do that on the side. You should look at a college degree like an investment property. Get the highest ROI. Develop that into a business you can do independently with no overhead - at least a couple hundred bucks an hour kind of business. That's your cash business, your fortress of solitude, the thing that puts you in a position to pass on overpriced properties or an overpriced market. You get cash going you can look at the market in 5 or 6 years and see what it's doing then to make a decision. This market now is not the same thing 5 years ago and was completely unrecognizable 10 years ago. It won't be the same thing in 5 years again.

Hi @Sannibel Carter love your attitude and I am sure you have a great future ahead of you. Everyone has a different path but I can tell you that every dollar will count in the beginning so save, save, save. I use to save my birthday money, small jobs, then all the way through my college (I was lucky and my parents paid for my education) so I used all the money I made from serving towards my first house. I bought my first house cash...renovated it with cash...and lived there for years without a loan which helped jump start my next 5-7 years. 

@Sannibel Carter I’m 25 and bought my first rental property at 24 and inherited my grandmother’s house as well. I paid for my first house with cash, so after a little bit of upgrading the furnace and hot water heater and adding central air, everything after that will be profit!

Oh and these deals will come, don’t be desperate and try to jump on something that’s too good to be true, just be patient, it’ll happen! It doesn’t happen overnight. I tried to buy a few before this and they all fell through. This one popped up one day and by offering all cash, I saved over $15,000 on the sale price (got it for $35,000!) so just keep looking and you’ll find something! But you’ll do great!

Jeeze!  Spend the next three years learning as much as you possibly can.  Even just one deal when you are 18 is enough to give you such a step up in life compared to other people your age.

Find people who are working in real estate and ask them if you can do an informational interview with them for career research purposes.  Someone once told me, 'appraisers want to be brokers, brokers want to be owners, and owners want to be developers."  While this may be true, each of these professions is not for everyone.  It would be good if you could interview one of each, and you'll probably notice you identify with one more than the others.

Another suggestion is visit your local Town Hall or City Hall to research the permitting process, and then take it one step further and sit in the audience of a Planning Board or Zoning Board meeting.

I'd also recommend volunteering for Habitat for Humanity as much as possible.

Good luck! 

There are always a # of great investors in any town or city.  Find out who those people are.  Go work for them on weekends, holidays, summers, even if unpaid.   Learn construction side if you can.  Maybe electric one summer, plumbing the next summer, framing the next summer, brick laying the next summer, landscaping one summer, and roofing one summer.  If you decide to go to college work for a realtor/broker/investor one summer and while you are in school, work for a CPA one year, work for a lender one year.   When you graduate you'll be smarter than 97% out there.

@Sannibel Carter

My son is 15 and I wish he would ask this sort of question.

To really give you good advice, we need to know more about you.

Do you have cash to invest? What skills do you have? What books and courses have you taken? What parts of what you have learned resonates the most? Do you know specifically how you would like to serve as a real estate investor?

What are your aptitudes? What is your DISC profile? Where do you want to invest.

I think practical experience is best, especially when you are young. Books can be informative and inspiring but without any practical experience, simply theory. Some books are outdated or misleading or narrowly focussed on a niche market. Studying too much can also foster "analysis paralysis" Also, find mentors if possible and figure out how to spend time with them.

When I was 11, my parents moved to a farm in northern BC, Canada. My dad hired some carpenters to help us build a log cabin with timber from our land. I "helped" peel logs and set joists. I hauled wood for the stove, hauled snow to melt fir water, dug outhouses every few years, changed the propane tanks as needed so we could have lights. I missed hot and cold running water and electricity from my previous life in the city. Eventually we got plumbing and electrical. I helped wire the house and laid plumbing pipes to the sewage lagoon.

After high-school, I worked as a drywaller and roofer.

After I got married, I had very little money so I would renovate trashy houses to live in (often while we were living in them).

I worked as an electical contractor and then trained as a home inspector and eventually a commercial building inspector. So I have seen the inside of many houses.

I started investing in real estate notes (lending on mobile homes). I think my first note was for $10,[email protected]% Then I bought some raw land at a tax deed sale for $6500.

I am about 33 years older than you and I think my experiences are more valuable than books.

And I honestly think I would be further ahead if I had done less reading and more doing. But I don't know.

So go get some experience doing something RE related. Befriend RE investors. Tune your "BS-ometer" to be able to discern who knows what they are doing and who is just talk. The best way to gain discernment is by doing and watching others do (over time).

Everyone is gonna give you slightly different advice and it’s all great, but I’m 28 now and wish I had gotten more involved at your age. Just working for someone for free for 6 months, in construction, property management, a realtor, anything real estate related. I just heard the quote again yesterday “if information were the answer we’d all be millionaires”. Learn information while you hustle and work somewhere, why wait? Just make a quick phone call to three friends or people you know in the real estate field this week and see if you can help, it’s that easy to get in

@Sannibel Carter

My couple thoughts are:

1. Character and integrity are huge. Focus on building yourself up as being a person of integrity which will help you in all areas of life including business. The longer I live the more important qualities such as honesty and persistence are huge assets for a person.

2. You are 15 with big dreams but likely not a ton of money. I recommend starting a small company to increase your overall knowledge as well as hard work. Start a small landscape company, buy and sell small items on ebay for profit etc. Start anywhere to make some money and save. Radical Personal Finance is a podcast that at times bounces around various income streams and jobs that you might not think of

3. Open a Roth IRA. I wish i had done this when i was your age. $ will grow tax free and be worth a ton by the time you are 50 or 60. Seems like way off... But trust me life goes by very quick!!

4. Learn from failures and mistakes. We all make them. The key is learning from them and having the rigor and persistence to push past difficulties. You will make mistakes... Learn from them and dont give up.

5. Education is huge! Work hard at school and learn what you can. Get out of high school and college early and take running start classes. Find a career that makes money whether economy is good or bad. Keep college costs low and consider online college. Banks will wsnt to see reliable income source of job before lending... So focus on this.