Am I dreaming too big

40 Replies

I’m a CNA ( nurses assistant) I’m very much interested in house hacking hopefully a duplex or triplex but sometimes I feel like it’s not for me my income is not great and I have bad credit should I just give up this dream ? Are there other people who do not make six figures that have succeeded in real estate? Where should I start?

Hey @Star Dawson .  First off, I haven't even made my first deal so I'm no pro but Ill get there someday.  From what I have read and heard on the Bigger Pockets podcast is that house hacking is the way to go if you are just starting out so im confident you are on the right track.  Also, there are so many ways you can find money to get a property, you just have to have a little creativity with a lot of passion and ambition! I can't give you much advice but what I can tell you is if you really want it, you'll get it! Good luck STAR!  ( you can also house hack 2 story homes or homes with a couple of rooms)

@Star Dawson

I would work on the credit, credit can get improved within 1-2 years of paying on time, and also save some money for a down payment (sometimes u can get a loan for 5% down or even less)

You can purchase duplexes for really cheap in some areas, you just need look for them.

I totally recommend you on purchasing books about real estate from amazon, theres good material out there.

I’ve studied 3 months (everyday reading) from books before making my first deal.

Nothing comes easily..

And giving up is for losers don’t you ever do that! And trust me I was born to a very poor family, we barely had food ain’t silver spoon’d, had no excuses why not to go into real estate.

Good luck!

Start reading all that you can get your hands on, go to the library if you can’t buy books comfortably, start with Rich dad, poor dad. Kiyosaki will tell you that making money isn’t really about starting off with a great job or a lot of money. 

Join local real estate meetups and talk to as many people as possible.  Get on Bigger pockets and get as much out of the free content as possible. 

I can pretty much guarantee you that, as a CNA, not only CAN you use real estate/househacking, then moving on to owning other properties, but you will pretty much HAVE to do something creative to elevate yourself. 

While you are spending the time learning and saving, also clean up your credit. You don't have to have a great score to get a FHA type loan, but good credit is vital going forward for everything that you need to do.

@Star Dawson You can always call a couple lenders to find out for sure if you will or will not qualify and, if not, what you'd need to do to become qualified. It's certainly possible. My wife is an RN making well under $100k and she worked while I completed school while we raised a daughter - along the way paying for 3 days of childcare a week and making payments towards my school. It took us 2 years to save a $10k downpayment this way but we made it and are closing on our first duplex in the next couple weeks using an FHA loan. It can be hard starting out for sure, but if you stick to a plan it will pay off. If you're not sure if real estate is right for you could start out like I did and read Brandon Turners The Book on Rental Property Investing to figure out what does and does not interest you. Good luck to you

@Star Dawson

No such thing as dreaming to big sis. I bought my first duplex a few years back and a 4plex after. The loan qualification requirements and down payments were the same. I was making far below 6 figures at the time but there were several programs out there to assist me. I found out about them by just badgering loan officers with questions until I got enough info to do everything necessary to qualify. Then I found a property that fit my criteria and bought it. I repeated the process. Now I’m working on acquiring a 12unit. I say all that to say if you want it go get it.

Originally posted by @Star Dawson :

I’m a CNA ( nurses assistant) I’m very much interested in house hacking hopefully a duplex or triplex but sometimes I feel like it’s not for me my income is not great and I have bad credit should I just give up this dream ? Are there other people who do not make six figures that have succeeded in real estate? Where should I start?

If it were easy then everyone would do it. If you want it bad enough then you'll find a way to make it happen.

In addition to the advice you've already gotten, I would recommend chatting with a couple local lenders to go over your financing options. Chances are there's a solution out there that you haven't thought of because you don't know about it. Yet. 

If you don't like what you hear then there are plenty of very smart people here that can throw in their two cents.

In the meantime focus on improving your credit!

@Star Dawson

Don't give up if it's what you really want.

You can look for someone with the credit and money and you supply the work and hustle. Head to all the meetups you can get to, you're in Houston, gotta be tons there.

If this doesn't work then just take some time and work on your credit score and save everything you can from your paychecks. A defeatist attitude definitely won't help. Gotta stay positive, have a plan and work hard on that plan and I promise you can and will make it happen.

Also, surround yourself with positive successful people (this may mean you have to remove negative and cancerous people from your world, ouch) and start or maybe keep listening to productive podcasts (Bigger Pockets, Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, etc...) and reading all you can to understand the process and educate yourself.

Keep your head straight and you'll make this happen just like you did when you got your CNA.

Sorry if this comes off as sappy or preachy but you CAN do this!!

Originally posted by @Star Dawson :

I’m a CNA ( nurses assistant) I’m very much interested in house hacking hopefully a duplex or triplex but sometimes I feel like it’s not for me my income is not great and I have bad credit should I just give up this dream ? Are there other people who do not make six figures that have succeeded in real estate? Where should I start?

I started in real estate investing when I was a teacher making $30k/year. I had about $20k saved up and bought my first property with that. I also learned very early on the power of partnering and OPM. You need to educate yourself continuously and begin talking with others around you (friends and family). Don't assume anyone will want to partner with you, but also don't assume they will not want to partner. Find ways to add value and the deals will follow, just be willing to take action!

You can hear my story on Biggerpockets podcast Episode 248

Originally posted by @Star Dawson :

I’m a CNA ( nurses assistant) I’m very much interested in house hacking hopefully a duplex or triplex but sometimes I feel like it’s not for me my income is not great and I have bad credit should I just give up this dream ? Are there other people who do not make six figures that have succeeded in real estate? Where should I start?

 Hi Star,

I used to work 3 jobs and never made six figures in a year. After losing everything and starting with less than $0 in my pocket and terrible credit (lost several properties in foreclosures), I have acquired over 1,000 apartment units and there are months...that I make six figures!

So it's possible.

So continue believing in your dream, but put a plan in place and work that plan everyday.

Start with this:

Read my 3-part story to inspire you and get you educated on what you need to do. Learn from my mistakes, and do what I did to generate the cash first so that I can pay off my debts and survive. Then you can do deals on your own and attract private money.

Here is my story in 3-parts (long but worth reading):
Part 1
https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/55/topics/690349-from-bankruptcy-to-1-000-units-part-1-thru-the-dark-tunnel

Part 2
https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/55/topics/692382-from-bankruptcy-to-1-000-units-part-2-rising-from-the-ruins

Part 3
https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/48/topics/695243-from-bankruptcy-to-1-000-units-part-3-how-to-build-an-empire





First thing you need to do is get your credit fixed while you are still learning about REI. Use a free site such as Credit Karma or something if you want. Sit down, figure out what you need to do. That should take 1-2 years and you can spend this time researching all there is to know about house hacking as well as FHA loans.

Best of luck!

Star, I see most people have already told you this, but do NOT give up. Real estate investing, like anything in life, takes time. Don't get overwhelmed by looking at the whole journey all at once. Just focus on the next steps:

1. Work on improving your credit. You'd be amazed at how quickly you can get that fixed. - https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/improving-credit/improve-credit-score/

2. This expands on No 1. but focus on improving your personal cash flow which means spend less than you make. Do whatever you can to live frugally and only spend on what you need. Meanwhile, work to make extra money any way you can. That may mean learning more so maybe try to go from CNA to RN. (Look for a job where they will cover your education expenses! In healthcare, a TON of employers will do that! Just ask!)

3. Save up. First time home buyers get the BEST deals on financing so you won't need much. There are a lot of programs that only require 5% down and sometimes even less!

And not to get too far ahead, but if you don't make a ton of money there are also programs out there that only sell houses to first time home buyers who have LOWER income! I'm not sure about Houston but in my home town (Richmond, VA) they are selling beautifully renovated houses to people with lower income levels. When you have better credit and a little money saved, call the Houston Housing Authority to see if they have any programs for lower-income individuals. Better yet, call them now and talk to them about your situation and see what the requirements are and see if they have any programs that can help you with the first steps I mentioned above. http://www.housingforhouston.com/contact-us.aspx

You can do it!!!

    @Star Dawson the truth is - there are many people who started with no credit or money of their own in real estate. It's all a myth and perception that a lot of people walk around in their head with. I'd say keep dreaming big. It's better than not dreaming or shooting for anything at all. Hang around individuals that are doing the same thing you desire to do. You should look into FHA or even VA loan if you have ties. It's not hard to do. House hacking is a great strategy to get started on the right foot to build wealth. Just be patient, keep pushing and things will happen for you.

    You should absolutely house hack a duplex!  I bought a duplex one year ago and have now scaled my portfolio to 91 units.  Continue to learn the game and get started as soon as you find a deal that makes sense. 

    Hey Star

    I think your dream is well within reach.  If it seems "too big" try breaking down "how to get there" with smaller steps and smaller goals to get some wins along the way.  I highly suggest figuring out what money you have coming in every month, but also going out.  See where you can cut, see if you can get a part time job, sell stuff on ebay, etc and put it all in your saving.  See how you can help your credit score. Pay off some debt. Turn your car into a library by listening to personal finance and real estate podcasts. Keep learning, keep working at your dream.   Good Luck. 

    Start by learning to save and invest in the stock market. Save up a down payment. Concurrently focus on growing your career and salary. As a cna, you will be pretty limited. Gain an RN, or move over to the business side of healthcare with higher salaries.

    Originally posted by @Star Dawson :

    I’m a CNA ( nurses assistant) I’m very much interested in house hacking hopefully a duplex or triplex but sometimes I feel like it’s not for me my income is not great and I have bad credit should I just give up this dream ? Are there other people who do not make six figures that have succeeded in real estate? Where should I start?

    As I believe Zig Ziggler once said; A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins!

    I agree with everything people have said about more (REI) education. Every BP podcast is like getting a free $20-$30 audiobook on real estate investing.

    I actually know that you can have your credit repaired in a number of weeks (not necessarily years). I would also agree with starting that process  Asap, as well. 

    I would also recommend connecting with other investors in your area, and on BP in general. Feel free to reach out to me anytime.

    I am currently in your market (Houston) Which has super inexpensive duplexes available regularly.  You just have to keep looking.

    The main message that I have for you is; Never quit! 

    Hopefully this helps 

    @Star Dawson

    No dream is ever too big. My favorite quite:

    “The greatest danger for most of us;

    Lies not in setting our aim too high, and falling short;

    But setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."

    ~Michelangelo

    Best of luck & crush it!

    @Star Dawson I’m in a similar situation. I started working on my credit about 8-9 months ago and I’m already over 700! I make a median income. I focused and getting my bills/expenses lower. Eliminating what bills I could. The. Even though I felt like I couldn’t save because I was making enough to get by, I opened a savings account and made an automatic weekly deposit in order to “pay myself first” like Robert Kyosaki talks about. It’s made a huge difference. I’m able to get my bills paid and still save at a slow steady rate. I’ll have enough for a down payment by next June! It takes tome I. The beginning maybe a year maybe 2yrs to save that first down payment. But once the ball is rolling it will pick up speed. They talk about exponential growth in real estate. Stick with it!