New Investor Looking to Purchase in a Year

12 Replies

Hello all!

I just realized that this is what I want to do for my career but my wife is going to school and we will be moving back to live with family within a year.

I really would like to house hack as it seems like the safest way to get started and to save a lot of money for the future but I'm not sure what to do RIGHT NOW because we won't be able to purchase and live at the property for at least a year.

We are currently looking to purchase in Davis County or Weber County, UT as that is where my wife will be doing student teaching but the prices are crazy and, after doing numbers for a few dozen properties, I just can't seem to get the numbers to work.

So, in essence, should I just wait it out? Also, as a side question, it seems like very few properties list what the tenants are paying for rent, when that's the case, do you just estimate what you think the numbers could be for the sqft and average rent?

Do. Not. Wait. It. Out. DON'T.

If the numbers aren't working, get another job, take on more hours, do whatever it takes. I only have one regret in life, and I've done plenty of regrettable things, but my only regret is not starting real estate investing sooner.

If you're on Facebook, find the Weber County Real Estate Meetup group. They'll have a page. Join it. Interact. Start reading and interacting on BP forums. You'll find people here and on your local meetup who have the passion for real estate that will help guide your way.

In one year from today, if you take action today, you'll be so glad you did. In five years from today, if you took action today, you'll be wealthy. Do. Not. Wait.

What is your current living situation? I assume you are renting? I wouldn't wait if possible.


If you don't have the funds now there are ways you can obtain a down payment. Borrow from your retirement funds, borrow from parents, live below your means, pick up a second job... you just have to get creative.

I went from having little to no savings to purchasing 3 SFH in 6 months.

In terms of house hacking, are you talking about purchasing a duplex or a SFH and renting out rooms?

A good place to start is to contact a local property manager and ask for their opinion of what rent should be for a certain property for that area. I usually just take a look on zillow for what things are currently being rented at.

@Enoch Wolsey , hi and welcome to BP!

So the other posters are basically saying, "Dive in now."  And they've given their reasons.  I'm going to take the opposite view, just so you can see both sides of the coin.

You "just realized you want to do this as a career."  Okay, what are you doing now?  What kind of money are you making in your career?  How much do you have in savings?  Real Estate sales/investing/flipping/etc of any kind is a very intense "career".  Many of us do it as a side hustle (I do) in addition to our regular jobs/businesses.  The failure/fallout rate is staggering: something like 4 in 5 "really super highly motivated" posters here show up....bounce around for a few months...then disappear forever.  They never think they will flame out so quickly, but then they do.  Why will you be different?  Be able to answer that question before jumping from the ship you're currently sailing onto the dock of a new career.

Real estate as a career is hard work.  You get no sick days and no paid leave.  When you screw up, you eat the cost of your mistakes.  You don't get any benefits like health insurance (be ready to buy your own: it's crazy expensive unless you find a group plan of some sort that caters to real estate professionals).  There's no retirement matching fund, no dental, vision, or other types of "plans", so be ready to pay for all of that out of pocket.  Also, it can take 3-12 months before you start actually making any money.  That's why I asked about your savings.  I used to be a part-time agent, and several of the agents I met said it took them about 2-3 years before they started making any serious money (over $40,000 profit after their broker split, etc).  The ones who took off like rocket ships were already into sales, such as Mary Kay reps and the occasional (rare) guy or gal who was already a tested entrepreneur in another field.  Do you have experience working for yourself?

Who will finance your house hack?  If you have no W-2 (salary) job and your wife is barely out of school, banks are probably out of the picture for now.  We are in a hot market now, so do not expect a whole lot of Sellers willing to finance you.  Most will want all cash at the closing table.  3 years ago, it was easier.  It's not impossible to find Owner finance today, but it's a lot more expensive.

Just some things to think about.  I'm not trying to crush your dream, but we want to carefully consider what you're getting ready to do so it doesn't turn into a nightmare.

Best wishes!

@Enoch Wolsey If everything else in your life is stable and good don't waste time sitting on the sidelines. I agree with @Jody Sperling to shift into high gear and make something of yourself. Find a second job if you have too. Always be learning, reading, and researching your market. If you plan to move in with family take advantage of it and SAVE CASH LIKE A MAD PERSON. During that time connect with locals, add value to people, and then find/create the house-hack DEAL. That's the fastest way to success in today's market. 

Do not wait, find cheaper properties where the numbers work and get started as soon as you can! One house can change your life!

How are you finding the deals? easier said than done- but finding an off-market deal from wholesalers could be a way to find a better deal. Just a thought - you could network with them through different BP forums + Facebook groups. 

@Jody Sperling I definitely don't want to wait it out, but I still need to obtain some money for a down payment and we are out of the state that we want to invest in right now (we are living in Idaho while my wife finishes school and then we are moving down to Utah). Thank you for the Facebook group idea! I would love to join it and go when I'm down in the area! So, if your recommendation is to NOT wait, what would you recommend I do?

@Joseph Vu I am currently renting with my wife at $890/month. I have looked at possibly getting down payment assistance but I'm unsure which one I would qualify for. I was looking at the Home Possible as well as HomeReady loans and they look like they might be good options. I do have a Cash-Value life insurance policy that I have some funds that I could use, but it's only about $6,000 (I just started it about a year and half ago). I also have been overpaying our car payment by $700/month to pay it down faster. My grandpa (who has done real estate with duplexes for a long time) told me that it would be a better idea to save the $700 and just pay the minimum amount ($400) so that's what I've started to do. 

I do make a relatively good amount of income with my wife (I make $28/hour working 40 hours per week and my wife makes $10.80/hour working about 20 hours per week). So I think we would be able to come up with the money relatively quickly. Unfortunately, because I'm also doing school (mine is completely online), I don't have enough time to get a second job but I have thought about it once I finish. 

I would love to hear how you bought that many houses and how you made money off of those deals!

Because my wife didn't go for the living with roommates option (I asked), it would have to be a duplex, triplex, or quad.

I did that as well but then I was thinking about it and realized that there are all of these properties with amenities that small multi-family properties will probably not have and think that they might need to rent for less, what are your thoughts? I mean, I might pay a little more to live in "My own place" but I don't know if that's a general consensus or not.


@Erik W. I am currently working as a Billing Manager at a utility billing company. I make relatively good money (see above). I currently only have about $7,000 saved up which is why I'm thinking I might need to wait before I get started with Real Estate. 

I was talking to my dad and he said that he also would like to get into real estate but I am not sure what a good deal would be considering that I want to live in the property and he just wants the cash flow. So, if I could figure out a deal I could possibly get some of the downpayment from him.

And I apologize for not being more specific with my original post, I would also like to do Real Estate as a side hustle as well until I'm "making a killing" with real estate.

I'm different because I'm more persistent than the average Jo, I have already done financial advising as a side hustle that brought me into the world of finance (and one of the reasons why I'm interested in real estate). 

And I totally agree with you, I already jumped ship from a previous job that I had to do financial advising and I really should have stuck with my job so that I had a steady income at that point.

I definitely didn't think about health insurance, (which is a big deal for me since I am a type 1 diabetic and asthmatic), so that is even more reason for me to stick with a more stable job for now while I'm building.

When you say 3-12 months making money, are you talking more specifically as a real estate agent? I don't think that's what I want to get into, I mostly want to get the benefits of having rental properties that I can receive rental income off of.

Once I get enough of a downpayment, I think I should be able to get a loan, my back-end DTI isn't terrible as the only thing that I'm paying for is the car payment of $400/month and we are making about 5250/month gross. My credit score is also relatively good at 766 for Experian and 755 for both TransUnion and Equifax.

@Jaron Walling Yeah! Pretty much everything in my life is stable, the only issue I have is not being able to get an FHA loan due to not living in the property since we won't be moving down to Utah for about a year. My wife and I are thinking about possibly living with her parents and saving a lot of money (hopefully about $2500/month) until we find a deal, (granted, we haven't talked to them about it since it's still a year out).

@Stephen Brown I think that's a great idea! The only problem I'm running into is making sure that my wife can get to the school that she is going to be doing student teaching at.

@Jeffrey Donis I've just been looking on a few of the different websites that I have found online that real estate agents have set up notifications on. Do you have any BP forums or Facebook groups that you suggest?

THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE FOR ALL YOUR INPUT!

I would love any more thoughts and opinions on what I should do. 

Also, I have looked into getting quadplexes but most of them seem like they might be out of my price range at $650,000-$850,000. Granted, I'm not completely sure because I don't know what most of them are renting at. Do you think that getting a quad could be in my price range and still cashflow?

Honestly, @Enoch Wolsey , if the only thing you did was join that Facebook group, you'd be a crucial step closer to taking action, but if you can get another stream of income coming in today, it's worth the grind. Whether gig work like driving Uber or adding a part-time W-2, find the money so you can buy. @Jaron Walling suggested house hacking. If you can make that work in your lifestyle, it's the best wealth building tool you'll ever have.

And a big part of why I stress the real estate group is that there are people who want to lend their money to people like you. If you hustle, invest smart, and give a ton of value to your local market, show willingness to work and listen, someone may surprise you with an offer or a loan that could change your life.

I owe the majority of my success to one Omaha investor who saw my energy and heart and started giving me tips and introducing me to key people in our market. Best of luck!

Originally posted by @Enoch Wolsey :

@Jody Sperling I definitely don't want to wait it out, but I still need to obtain some money for a down payment and we are out of the state that we want to invest in right now (we are living in Idaho while my wife finishes school and then we are moving down to Utah). Thank you for the Facebook group idea! I would love to join it and go when I'm down in the area! So, if your recommendation is to NOT wait, what would you recommend I do?

@Joseph Vu I am currently renting with my wife at $890/month. I have looked at possibly getting down payment assistance but I'm unsure which one I would qualify for. I was looking at the Home Possible as well as HomeReady loans and they look like they might be good options. I do have a Cash-Value life insurance policy that I have some funds that I could use, but it's only about $6,000 (I just started it about a year and half ago). I also have been overpaying our car payment by $700/month to pay it down faster. My grandpa (who has done real estate with duplexes for a long time) told me that it would be a better idea to save the $700 and just pay the minimum amount ($400) so that's what I've started to do. 

I do make a relatively good amount of income with my wife (I make $28/hour working 40 hours per week and my wife makes $10.80/hour working about 20 hours per week). So I think we would be able to come up with the money relatively quickly. Unfortunately, because I'm also doing school (mine is completely online), I don't have enough time to get a second job but I have thought about it once I finish. 

I would love to hear how you bought that many houses and how you made money off of those deals!

Because my wife didn't go for the living with roommates option (I asked), it would have to be a duplex, triplex, or quad.

I did that as well but then I was thinking about it and realized that there are all of these properties with amenities that small multi-family properties will probably not have and think that they might need to rent for less, what are your thoughts? I mean, I might pay a little more to live in "My own place" but I don't know if that's a general consensus or not.


@Erik W. I am currently working as a Billing Manager at a utility billing company. I make relatively good money (see above). I currently only have about $7,000 saved up which is why I'm thinking I might need to wait before I get started with Real Estate. 

I was talking to my dad and he said that he also would like to get into real estate but I am not sure what a good deal would be considering that I want to live in the property and he just wants the cash flow. So, if I could figure out a deal I could possibly get some of the downpayment from him.

And I apologize for not being more specific with my original post, I would also like to do Real Estate as a side hustle as well until I'm "making a killing" with real estate.

I'm different because I'm more persistent than the average Jo, I have already done financial advising as a side hustle that brought me into the world of finance (and one of the reasons why I'm interested in real estate). 

And I totally agree with you, I already jumped ship from a previous job that I had to do financial advising and I really should have stuck with my job so that I had a steady income at that point.

I definitely didn't think about health insurance, (which is a big deal for me since I am a type 1 diabetic and asthmatic), so that is even more reason for me to stick with a more stable job for now while I'm building.

When you say 3-12 months making money, are you talking more specifically as a real estate agent? I don't think that's what I want to get into, I mostly want to get the benefits of having rental properties that I can receive rental income off of.

Once I get enough of a downpayment, I think I should be able to get a loan, my back-end DTI isn't terrible as the only thing that I'm paying for is the car payment of $400/month and we are making about 5250/month gross. My credit score is also relatively good at 766 for Experian and 755 for both TransUnion and Equifax.

@Jaron Walling Yeah! Pretty much everything in my life is stable, the only issue I have is not being able to get an FHA loan due to not living in the property since we won't be moving down to Utah for about a year. My wife and I are thinking about possibly living with her parents and saving a lot of money (hopefully about $2500/month) until we find a deal, (granted, we haven't talked to them about it since it's still a year out).

@Stephen Brown I think that's a great idea! The only problem I'm running into is making sure that my wife can get to the school that she is going to be doing student teaching at.

@Jeffrey Donis I've just been looking on a few of the different websites that I have found online that real estate agents have set up notifications on. Do you have any BP forums or Facebook groups that you suggest?

THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE FOR ALL YOUR INPUT!

I would love any more thoughts and opinions on what I should do. 

Also, I have looked into getting quadplexes but most of them seem like they might be out of my price range at $650,000-$850,000. Granted, I'm not completely sure because I don't know what most of them are renting at. Do you think that getting a quad could be in my price range and still cashflow?

 For FB you could look up your markets and type "Wholesaling" or "Wholesalers Real Estate" into the search tab under groups. There are lots of FB groups for my markets and there should be some for yours. For BP, you could go to the wholesaling forums if they have them- I have not personally looked for them but I am sure they have single family forums. You could make a post and mention that you are looking for wholesalers in those areas. 

@Enoch Wolsey First thing, have you spoken with any banks to see if you can even qualify for a loan? That would be the first thing to do because if they can't even qualify you for a loan due to debt or something, then you may as well focus on saving or trying to find some alternative options like a seller finance deal.

Second, if you do find a multi-family, the bank will count part of that expected rental income toward your income which helps qualify you for more. Third, I assume you plan to graduate either in December or next year May, which is why you say you won't be in Idaho for a year. Would you be opposed to waiting a few extra months after you finish school to move to UT? You already have jobs so unless there is something waiting for you in UT that you have to move there as soon as school finishes, then why not buy now and wait 1 year to move back to UT? There are some bank specific programs that help first time homebuyers and maybe even some additional government programs now that could help to have very little or no down payment.

As for the rents not showing on listings, some do and some don't publicly, but if you work with an agent, they should have access to or at least can get you that info. But you can use some comparable rents if you just look what is available on websites like Zillow. And lastly, you can still start now without having to live in the property. Just buy a rental property to start even while you continue to rent where you live. There are some local banks that will do a 10% down investment loan. $7k may not be enough since the lowest priced properties are around $200k unless you buy a mobile home. But if you find one that the seller will finance you may be able to get it for $7k down or less. Maybe a rent to own option as well and rent it while you are here and then rent it out when you leave. Or find a partner and put your money together to buy something. It may seem scary but you can also buy out of state. You can find cheaper properties in other states where $7k will work for a down payment. You and your wife will need to discuss what is best for you and your goals. That may mean selling the car and getting something cheaper. Even a $400/mo car payment can affect your ability to get a loan.

@Enoch Wolsey

One way to go about things could be to use a reverse timeline. If your timeline to purchase and live at the property is a year, what are the items and actions that all need to happen prior. Those are the actionable items you can handle now. When this year flies by you want to be in position to meet your timeline then, not begin your timeline then. 

The pandemic has shown that many have put off goals and projects to wait for things to return to normal. While the majority may be in this phase it provides a great opportunity for those who remain disciplined in focus to get the most they can out of the times we find ourselves in.