Best educational background/ college courses for real estate investing

6 Replies

Looking for input from everyone on what would be strong/ helpful college courses for my son to take to benefit him for future real estate investing. Little background info here.. I never went to college.. my mother was an alcoholic and I pretty much raised myself..literally.. we barely had a meal on the table every night let alone ever sat down to think about going to or applying to college.. at 21 i started a house cleaning business which is very successful.. I am now 44 and recently ( 2 years ago) inherited a 60 unit apartment complex from my uncle ( I was his favorite and he felt bad  about my rough childhood) it was managed poorly by a local company here I have been able to turn it around into a positive cash flow property.. I am still cleaning houses.. and managing my apartment complex.. I am looking to start buying homes near my apartment complex to expand my portfolio.. here is where I need your help.. my 16 year old son is starting to look at college courses.. we had a talk today about earned income and passive income.. i was explaining to him that even though my cleaning company was successful ( 13 girls cleaning over 100 houses a week) that I had a limit to how much i could earn based on how many hours me and my girls could work.. but with passive income it could be so much more.. he is so smart.. and me and my husband both own our own company's.. but I would much rather he get started now with real estate investing than spend 4 years and $100,000 on school loans to not use his degree in his field ( which I see a lot of my friends kids doing.. they go to school and spend 4 years and $100,000 and end up doing something unrelated to their major).. I know higher education gets your application to the top of the pile.. but I want more for my kids than that.. and of course feel real estate investing is the way to go.. I'm starting at 44 I am ok with trial and error... but  for an 18 year old entering college what courses/ majors would be best suited for real estate investment success??  PS.. I gave him a couple of my real estate investment books ( the typical ones off amazon.. rich dad.. how to invest in multi family properties ) to read....

Originally posted by @Rochelle Wilkinson:

Looking for input from everyone on what would be strong/ helpful college courses for my son to take to benefit him for future real estate investing. Little background info here.. I never went to college.. my mother was an alcoholic and I pretty much raised myself..literally.. we barely had a meal on the table every night let alone ever sat down to think about going to or applying to college.. at 21 i started a house cleaning business which is very successful.. I am now 44 and recently ( 2 years ago) inherited a 60 unit apartment complex from my uncle ( I was his favorite and he felt bad  about my rough childhood) it was managed poorly by a local company here I have been able to turn it around into a positive cash flow property.. I am still cleaning houses.. and managing my apartment complex.. I am looking to start buying homes near my apartment complex to expand my portfolio.. here is where I need your help.. my 16 year old son is starting to look at college courses.. we had a talk today about earned income and passive income.. i was explaining to him that even though my cleaning company was successful ( 13 girls cleaning over 100 houses a week) that I had a limit to how much i could earn based on how many hours me and my girls could work.. but with passive income it could be so much more.. he is so smart.. and me and my husband both own our own company's.. but I would much rather he get started now with real estate investing than spend 4 years and $100,000 on school loans to not use his degree in his field ( which I see a lot of my friends kids doing.. they go to school and spend 4 years and $100,000 and end up doing something unrelated to their major).. I know higher education gets your application to the top of the pile.. but I want more for my kids than that.. and of course feel real estate investing is the way to go.. I'm starting at 44 I am ok with trial and error... but  for an 18 year old entering college what courses/ majors would be best suited for real estate investment success??  PS.. I gave him a couple of my real estate investment books ( the typical ones off amazon.. rich dad.. how to invest in multi family properties ) to read....

 @ Jay Y.

Wow! What an interesting story. That 60-unit complex is going to be so wonderful. I truly believe real estate investing is the way to build wealth. That, and Vanguard Index Funds. 

One of the very best, most helpful-in-all-aspects-of-life courses I have ever taken was Speech 101. I was in a very welcoming class, and no one was allowed to make fun of anyone else's talk or topic, and I learned so much about speaking in public. It has nothing to do with real estate, and it has everything to do with real estate.

My husband is a computer programmer, and there are some jobs that are just never filled. Right now, anyone who knows Ruby can basically write their own contract. So while that isn't a course in real estate investing, Ruby programmers make a lot of money and are never looking for a job. The income he makes can go toward buying real estate, which can turn into a passive income stream.

He could start his real estate licensing courses now, and be done and ready to take the test when he turns 18, which is the minimum age to take the test. I live in Colorado, and it cost me about $3500 to get licensed - coursework, tests, background checks, etc. The first house you sell will typically generate enough commission to offset that initial outlay of cash. 

Point him toward this site. Don't go to a guru's "free class" that is advertised on the radio. Listen to the podcasts, join an REIA group, read everything you can on BP. Real estate investing isn't for everyone, but it is a great way to build wealth. Good luck!

A basic accounting class would go a long way so as to understand financial statements and ratios, cash flows and important concepts in real estate such as depreciation.

My own background is in high-tech, and although I don't agree with a lot of the brainwashing they make you endure during 4 years of university (and afterwards in industry), I will have to say that becoming an engineer/software developer is one of the best majors you can graduate with because you get a lot of "bang for your buck". For one, you only need 4 years before you can hit the ground running and start making a lot of money. It's a lot easier to become an engineer than say a doctor, or lawyer (with tuition these days, a whole lot cheaper too!). In the Bay Area, software developers are easily clearing $100,000+ directly out of college, on salary alone. It isn't unheard of to get a package around $150,000, once you factor in signing bonuses, RSUs, etc. That, and I think overall as a nation, there is a huge shortage of talented engineers, so demand is very strong right now... But the caveat is you must really like the subjects to do well... It'll be tough to grind out if you have no interest for it... As a whole, getting an engineering degree is not a walk in the park either, so it'll take a lot of hard work and perseverance... But if you can suck it up for 5-10 years, you can probably build a strong enough financial foundation (capital for rentals) to retire from that career prematurely... hmm, sounds kind of like my own plan!

With that said, @Rochelle Wilkinson your son is in a unique situation; you and your husband both own your own companies, so it looks like the entrepreneurial spirit is strong in your family. That, and coupled with the fact that you now have a 60 unit apartment and have plans on expanding the portfolio, it just seems to make logical sense for your son to follow in your footsteps (provided he has a strong, growing interest in REI). How about giving him some light tasks to perform on the rentals and gauge how he likes it? I think the books are a great starting point as well... If he's consuming those like air and water, then it's most definitely the right path for him... Maybe then, he can consider getting a real estate license?

All the best!

@Rochelle Wilkinson , since you already own a 60-unit complex, I would encourage your son to get his CCIM designation (http://www.ccim.com/about-ccim/what-ccim).  An RE license, is really only geared toward Residential; not true Commercial RE.  Having him understand Commercial RE and it's principles are key.  I believe he will need a College Degree, so have him continue on that path also.  I concur with @Jay Y. about Engineering (very diverse and it can take you anywhere; technical or business) and of course I'm biased because I am an Engineer.  Good Luck to you and your son.

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