How to get started/what to look for

8 Replies


Myself and two of my other friends are looking at buying a multi unit property/building. not one of us has ever had any experience doing so, but we all have some capital to put forth. basically we want to learn the ins and outs and the business together on 1 property, and then maybe expand for ourselves once we've learned the ropes.

How should we go about getting started, and or what should we be looking for? All three of us are going to be living around Penn State area, and most properties there are relatively low in costs, but we're not sure how to gauge anything.

Basically we'd ideally like to buy one, live in one of the units, and rent the other(s) out until we're done with school, or decide to move on to something else altogether.

Any feedback would be great!

Thank you for your time.

hey man don't rush into anything. Look at the podcasts on this site listen to the advice on the forums and try to find local real estate meetup groups and also read up on partnerships cuz most times they don't work out and if they do they always come to an end at some point

This could be something that would work out great, or be a complete bust! The main thing I would work on first is a business plan stating who is going to take care of what aspects of landlording. As long as everyone does their fair share of work and works together I think this would be way better than renting. Definitely make sure you educate yourself as much as possible while doing this. Read books , blog posts , STAY ACTIVE IN THE FORUMS! That is where I learn just about everything. I think the best way to learn though is to go through it firsthand. You can read every book on the planet and still not be ready to be a landlord or deal with partners. Just make sure you can handle being in business with friends and it doesn't ruin the relationship. Sometimes friends are more important than business
Also as John S. says check out the podcasts. Those are by far my favorite learning tool given to us by Bigger Pockets!

Welcome to biggerpockets and good luck with your Penn State 

real estate investing.  Listen to the podcasts under the " learn " tab.

immediate team members you will most likely need upfront:


Local lenders 

Real Estate agent

Real Estate local attorney

Property manager

Contractors: plumbers, electricians, painters, handyman, and etc

Access to Google maps

Personal scanner and printer for documents

Googledrive or dropbox for property pics


Myself and my friends have been trying to push through a good portion of the podcasts, and I myself have been trying to read many books that have been recommended for real estate. i've only gotten through a couple, but i'm working my way through. I have also been collecting some of the real estate books that have been mentioned a few times on this site as well.

Thank you all for your advice. I welcome as much as people are willing to give.

Thank you

@Thomas Knight

 I am a real estate agent in State College (Penn State). First off congratulations on embarking on the journey to investing. It is an awesome career once it starts working. And I would like to welcome you to Happy Valley!! Second, I am concerned about your research of the area here as you say prices are low. I can tell you that the immediate area around Penn State is a very strong market. There are many many investors here just for that reason. When a property lists here and is available for rental (permits are strict here) it is usually gone within days if not the same day it's listed. The status or permits on a property here are huge. Also, as far as appreciation, in 2013 the school district surrounding Penn State appreciated 5%, in 2014 4.5%. Check out our website at for weekly market stats or my Youtube and facebook pages for videos of stats and tips.

We are expecting more of the same if not higher this year as we had an awesome Spring season. 

Your plan is a great plan and one that can work, however, I would suggest doing alot more research on the housing market here, the rental regulations from the different townships, and employing a Buyer's Agent to help you (I'm available). In PA there is no cost to you for a Buyer's Agent's services, it's paid by the seller. I can tell you that if you are looking at low cost properties, those "Good Deals" are few and far between. They are low cost for a reason.

Good luck on your venture and feel free to contact me if you would like my assistance. 814-574-9012

It sounds like a good idea

You need a place to live so you have your first tenants.  You can self manage the property because you are right there looking and seeing everything.  Make sure you do a complete inspection and or have it inspected.

It will keep you occuppied and hopefully out of trouble,  You will learn alot.

Run the numbers yourselves and on BP.  

It's a great real estate course be sure you get college credit for it.

I think it's wonderful and you can make money renting it and it sounds like it will be easy to sell

Get a cleaning person for it.

good question ...I was recently thinking about posting a similar question..

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