Should I go to college, For Real Estate Investing?

13 Replies

Hey, so I’m still in high school and I’m trying to figure out if I should go to college or go directly into Real Estate. I’ve heard the the college degree is losing its value and I would have college debt to start.

It depends on what you want to do for a living.  You could work for a while and save up before going to college or work part time while going to college to reduce the amount of debt you accrue.   There are lots of jobs where you need more experience/education than what you'd get from a high school diploma. Trades such as construction, electrician or plumber are good reasons to go to college.  There are some degrees as interesting as they may be, are not worth pursuing.

Originally posted by @Josiah Patrick Zebarth :

Hey, so I’m still in high school and I’m trying to figure out if I should go to college or go directly into Real Estate. I’ve heard the the college degree is losing its value and I would have college debt to start.

 You should go to college to get the job to get the income to plop down 25% over and over and over again.... All the fancy "get rich with no money down!" stuff is for the most part BS unless you're someone with a decade or so of sales/marketing experience. So if that's the route you want to go, then you need to go to college, to get the sales/marketing job, to get the experience, to get the deal that's going to make you money with little/no down payment. 

Hey Josiah,

Are you committed to pursuing Real Estate? If so, why go to college first? There are plenty of other ways to make money. What are you passionate about or motivated to do? 

@Josiah Patrick Zebarth you have multiple options, however, as @Chris Mason mentioned you need to have a decent income to make sure you're able to consistently put down 25%

It's okay to not go to college just make sure you working your plan to have the money to be a real estate investor.  

There are thousands of successful real estate investors that didn't go to college, however, I'm sure the number of  successful real estate investors that did go to college outweighs the ones that did not go.

Go to college! I did it the hard way working two jobs for 23 years. Living on 30% of my income, house hacking, living in my travel trailer for 7 years. It wasn't easy but I was very disciplined and retired at 42 but I also increased my streams of income to currently 8. If I had went to college I could have retired a few years earlier.

@Josiah Patrick Zebarth Follow your passions. If you truly have a passion for Real Estate, BP is the best online education you will ever get. Get your RE license and take it from there. If you have other passions and are truly gifted in an academic discipline then a college degree may be the way to go. And hopefully your major is one that can land you a decent paying job after graduation. Just make sure you analyze the cost of your education including the opportunity loss (income) during those 4 years. I see way too many college graduates with a sociology or liberal arts degrees who can't get a job paying more than $30K a year. Those types of numbers don't justify a college education. On the other hand, majors like engineering, accounting, marketing, can land you a job starting at $65k per year. Best of luck!

Just throwing this out there since I have a HS senior and we've been looking deeper into which direction to go for him.

He is interested in construction and loves custom woodworking.  My other son, an 8th grader, loves electrical and metal working. So far. LOL 

If you like the trades, there are apprentishup opportunities.  We found a non-profit that places youngsters with employers, then skill assesses and trains them in the classroom to earn their certificates.  His 'net cost' will be positive. Ours is called CiTC- Construction Industry Training Council. 

Going into real estate is too broad of a goal.  My boys have been working with/for their LL/investor dad their whole lives.  They can do well in real estate as tradesmen, learning the acquisition and finance side as they go.  They will have zero debt and applicable skills.  An option if you're trade-inclined.

Hi Josiah,

I do agree with you that college degrees are losing its value and it really depends on what you are trying to major in. I know many people in tech with no college degree making $200k+ so the degree is not a requirement.  Also getting in debt $100k+ really delays your growth and handcuffs you to the system.

I think you need some clarity and also people who want to be a real estate investor. REAL ESTATE INVESTOR, in the beginning, is NOT a profession.  It's not something you say hey I'm going to to do it and make a full income right away.  Unless you have $1m to work with upfront which you and 99.9% of people don't being a real estate investor is part-time in the beginning.  

To be an investor you need 2 things. 1 Money. You can't be an investor without it.  Just like Chris said.  Without a down payment, you are just dreaming at this time. Think about the word "Investor"  What are you going to "Invest" with if you ain't got nothing?  2. Knowledge.  Gotta know what you are doing.  Once you have those 2 you begin as a part-time investor. 

Now you need to figure what job can I get that I can make the highest income without going to college.  This should be your number 1 focus.  I wouldn't even think about looking at houses or learn investing skills at this time.  My sole focus would be generating as much money as possible and creating high-value skills. 

@Joseph Ghobrial I’m definitely committed to Real Estate Investing, I’ve read 5 books now and have attended 2 live events. I can firmly say that I will not follow the hours for dollars system that is already broken. Real Estate is simply the best money-making strategy out there.

@Frank Wong Absolutely, I agree with you that Real Estate Investor can not be just a job, one has. Here is my plan, I will have generated $17,050, by the time I’m 19, through jobs such as a car mechanic, or any other job which is developing a skill. With this money and experience in the work force I move to a better market than where I live currently, ( the market can change dramatically in the next few years, so I won’t specify a specific place). I purchase my first house, using 3%, for first time home buyers,( good credit, and a job will be needed). Then rent out the basement and generate enough money to cover the mortgage. A year later, I move out and again by a house, 3% down. This enables me to use a Lease Option on my first property, creating cash flow. From this point on, I continue my day job and consistently duplicate my results, using partnerships, until I have acquired 25 properties, and possess passive income.

This strategy, I believe, is one that side steps college and still creates wealth through Real Estate Investing.

@Josiah Patrick Zebarth

The real question isn't, 'should I go to college if I want to work in the RE industry?'.

'What do I want to do in the RE industry, and will a degree make achieving that goal easier?' Is the question I'd ask.

I'll respectfully disagree with @Frank Wong . You can be a professional RE investor, defined as a person who buys, managers, and sells real estate, with no money working full time. Working at a RE private equity shop or institutional asset manger firm come to mind.

 All the hard data, not what you heard from strangers on the internet, point towards the fact that those with associates degree, on average, make more than people with high school diplomas. People with bachelors degrees, on average, make more than those with associates. If you don't have a specific competitive advantage and have no idea what you want to do, don't stack the deck against yourself, get a college degree. 

Originally posted by @Josiah Patrick Zebarth :

@Frank Wong Absolutely, I agree with you that Real Estate Investor can not be just a job, one has. Here is my plan, I will have generated $17,050, by the time I’m 19, through jobs such as a car mechanic, or any other job which is developing a skill. With this money and experience in the work force I move to a better market than where I live currently, ( the market can change dramatically in the next few years, so I won’t specify a specific place). I purchase my first house, using 3%, for first time home buyers,( good credit, and a job will be needed). Then rent out the basement and generate enough money to cover the mortgage. A year later, I move out and again by a house, 3% down. This enables me to use a Lease Option on my first property, creating cash flow. From this point on, I continue my day job and consistently duplicate my results, using partnerships, until I have acquired 25 properties, and possess passive income.

This strategy, I believe, is one that side steps college and still creates wealth through Real Estate Investing.

How much money do you have saved up? Are you a car mechanic now or have any experience? What are you really good at such a young age?

The fellow above has a good point about statistics, but you don't necessarily need to be a statistic, you just need to plan to make sure you are not one. One thing you could look for is sales, it pays okay starting and you learn a lot of things useful to become an investor. Sales can potentially pay a lot more, but you need to be experienced and good at it. If you want to be a full time investor, try to do something with overlap in the field.

Another thing you could do is get a bachelors with the goal of working for a real estate company. You would need to do internships and plan accordingly for that to make sure that you are employable in the industry. Using the money saved and experience, you can potentially make a lot more money than normal. 

@Josiah Patrick Zebarth go to college. Try to work your way through or attend a cheaper school and exit with a little debt as possible. It simply opens up your options. After graduation, you can do work that requires a degree, or work that doesn’t if you feel it gives you higher earning potential. Your choice. I think it gives you more options.

I've known a few people who have been really into REI and then burned out completely. I wouldn't bank on your career being REI. Do whatever puts you in the best position just in case your preferences/interests change later in life.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here