What would you do with 30K?

36 Replies

Hello Everyone! This might sound like a no brainer to most of you but I want to hear your thoughts about this situation.. If you are only starting out in REI (no experience and don’t know anyone personally who could help you) and you have 30-50k, would you spend that on a mentor that will guide you step by step on buying properties (almost guaranteed you’d find a great deal fast!) or would you spend that straight on buying deals all on your own (which could probably turn out as a bad deal?) Will appreciate your thoughts!

If by mentor you mean a guru that is selling a program I say absolutely don’t do that. If by mentor you mean a friend or family member that has been successful then ok. Everything the gurus will teach you can be found in books, online, and right here on BiggerPockets. This isn’t rocket science you don’t need to pay $50,000 for someone’s “secret method.”

I would spend your time researching the area you want to invest in. Join a group for free and gather ideas and opinions .Make contacts on here and where you live and eventually you will feel confident to make your first 50,000 deal. That is the process that worked for me. Patience and persistent study. 

First get educated because a fool and his money is one big party . You need to be reading the right books and doing research on BP for atleast a couple months to understand real estate investing basics before you start throwing around money . Do not pay into some guru conferences or system that will mentor you . If only Use that 30k to actually buy real estate! Advise on here is free going to a local REI club meetup is free . Talking with seasoned investors on here is free good books can be bought online for under 20$ each

REI can potentially mean something different to each of us. Decide whether you are looking to buy and hold, traditional flip, live in flip, etc. Then search BP for a local real estate Meetup in your area...then listen. find the person that is killing it in your space and engage them in conversation. Listen to what others are saying about them. Take your time and see if they are someone you can trust and respect. If you have the capital to invest and an idea of the type of investment, you should be able to take your time and do your research. Bring them the deal and offer them 50% of the deal in exchange for their experience. You will either win or learn. You will learn far more and much faster by doing than you would from any guru course.

There is an ugly side of real estate investing. All these “No money down” gurus and their snake oil. They prey on people that have watched too much HGTV and have a few bucks in their pocket. Nothing worth doing is easy. It’s the same as these diet and exercise programs that say you can eat what you want and work out 10 minutes a day and have the body of your dreams. It’s all BS. Read lots of books, listen to the podcasts on BiggerPockets, and stay engaged on this forum. And above all work hard and save $$$$! You need money to invest in real estate. Anyone that tells you different is either trying to sell you something, or delusional.

Agreed with @Jonathan Hulen . Paying for a mentor is the absolute worst decision. Read books, get out and network, and research potential markets you're interested in.

Focus your time on analyzing deals within your market and jump on something that makes sense. Even if you lose a bit of money on your first deal, you'll still learn way more than any guru could teach out, and you'll still have a property to boot.

I would recommend multi family buy and hold rentals for maximum cash flow  . Not sure the direction you want to go , but The only way to truly understand home value in your area is call up a local realtor and actually go see houses . Go look at dozens of them . Form a good relationship with a realtor and request getting an mls report emailed to you daily . All that is free and will train your eye to know what a 30-40-50k house looks like so you’ll spot a bargain when it pops up .DO NOT blow the little bit of money you have on a mentor or some high dollar conference or investing system  

@Shirley Frias

I would start with my first deal. Decide what niche you want to focus on. Ask yourself these questions- 

1. How will you finance the deal 

2. What location and tenant class you are comfortable  with

3. Learn how to analyze a deal 

Quote: "would you spend that on a mentor that will guide you step by step on buying properties (almost guaranteed you’d find a great deal fast!) or would you spend that straight on buying deals all on your own (which could probably turn out as a bad deal?)"

I think it's a stretch to assume that it would probably turn out to be a bad deal.  I would guess most successful investors did not start out paying $30k for a mentor.  I just bought my first property, after 3 years of doing my researching, inching forward and sometimes losing momentum entirely.  I didn't purchase even a dime's worth of "advice" along the way.

Please don't spend that money on anything other than your first purchase. I'd pay cash for a fixer upper, fix it up, rent it out, and then pull the equity back out to do it again.

So far, all of your feedbacks supports using the money to jump into buying the first property. That’s what my initial thought process was, but as many of you who may have attended real estate classes that offers these types of ‘systems’ or ‘gurus’ that costs thousands of dollars, they make it sound so enticing that makes you think the other way. So right now I am still not willing to spend 30k for what they offer but I am thinking of all the time and effort that is going to save me if I pay them to help me.

They offer “great systems that is proven to work”. I will have access to their programs/checklist/premade contracts/ templates as inspiration and guide for flipping. You guys are right that I will certainly could learn this online or by reading but what is 30k if they could help me make hundred thousands of profit in return? And get me there faster vs if I would do it myself. Another thing is if their system is truly effective then I could save myself from doing many mistakes many new investors make?

Please straighten me up. All thoughts are welcome.

If you're really desperate to give away your hard earned money, then go ahead and sign up for a guru. 

What you're asking for doesn't exist. The responsibility is on you to learn and no guru class will give you deep insight that you couldn't learn on your own through reading, networking, and hard work. Guru or not, you're gonna have to put in the time to learn so take responsibility for your own education. 

Think about it this way- if you went to university, did you learn simply because you paid tuition and were handed a bunch of books? Nope, you learned things because you put in the time and effort it requires to learn whatever it is that you're studying.

If you're mainly looking for templates, you can always just buy them outright. Heck even BP sells templated docs. Worst case, you can hire a lawyer to draft up whatever docs you need.

Paying $30k to Guru is a waste of money.

Two weeks ago, I saw an guru ad accidentally online. For curious, I went to the guru very first free seminar. The way they talked sounds very easy and attractive, many “no-experience” beginners bought their packet for the “next” 3-days class training.

However, from the table of contents, I knew the packet doesn’t really help or teach the beginners how to flip home. It is a waste of money. Of course I didn’t buy the guru packet and left quietly.

If you are willing to waste $30k on the guru packet, it is better to use it to buy the first deal. The best way to learn it is to experience it yourself. You will learn the process as you purchase more and more properties.

If the first deal is a good deal, that’s perfect.

If the first deal is a bad deal, it is the same as flush it to the $30k guru toilet already.

During the first deal, whenever you encounter any question, try to seek answer from BP. BP offer much bigger help than guru.

@Shirley Frias I bought my first two rentals for about 30k total so no I wouldn’t pay that to a guru.

In fact the only time I’d pay that to a guru is if the world was ending tomorrow.

I agree with most everything here, especially the resounding "NO!" to spending money on a guru. 

If you are brand new... I honestly feel like a simple flip or two in order to really build up some more capital and then move into some buy and holds. 

That way you aren't worrying about figuring out the BRRRR method for your first deal and can focus more on the rehab side for a couple deals, all the while educating yourself heavily in BRRRR and multifamily if buy and hold is your goal.

Originally posted by @Shirley Frias :

Please straighten me up. All thoughts are welcome.

I would encourage you to avoid paying a guru.  Even if you did, its not helping you learn about real estate investment and it’s important that you, personally, understand how it’s done.  

It sounds like you’re being motivated by two things - as you’ve written; 1) "The time and effort that is going to save me."  Respectfully, if you’re not willing to invest time and effort into learning about this, then real estate investing isn’t for you.   2) "Save myself from doing many mistakes many new investors make."  You can’t “pad” yourself from mistakes by paying someone.  Its inevitable that mistakes will happen and we all learn from them.  They empower us as we build our portfolios.

Finally, I'd suggest starting with a SFH. It's a great incubator to learn about investing.

This guru offer gives me this idea of a perfect/easy/no hassle real estate investing but the truth is , like most of you said, it still up to me. I still definitely have to put all the effort to make it all work. Experience and lessons (could be from mistakes) will make me an expert. I am so happy to be in this community who are honest and supportive. I don’t need a guru. Thanks guys!

Shirley, listen to me. Never spend money on a mentor. 

True 'mentors' dont work for paychecks. The best 'mentor' you can have is sweat equity. By jumping head first into real estate, you will learn more by that means than any other way possible. Not only by being hands on and by learning through micro-failures and setbacks, but also by opening yourself up to expanding your network. 

Hopefully you understand what I am saying. But just listen to me, I have met a few people that have paid $5k, $10k, and even $50k for mentors.... I have never met one person that said that they would do it again. All of them said that the info they teach you is basic at best and can be learned through BP.


In my opinion, best way to jump head in is to do FHA loan and own/occupy a duplex. Start small, be patient. Youll get there (-:

Originally posted by @Shirley Frias :

would you spend that on a mentor that will guide you step by step on buying properties (almost guaranteed you’d find a great deal fast!) 

I am going to go against the grain and say that not all mentors are a waste of money. But any mentor who promises that you are "almost guaranteed to find a great deal fast" probably is - at least in today's competitive market. Second, if a mentor program is going to take up all the money you have to invest, then it would not be a good use of your funds. How are you going to do any deals if you have nothing (or very little) left over? 

I'll tell you my experience since it's recent and I had $35k to spend. I searched the local BP group and found and excellent real estate agent who is also a seasoned investor and rehabber. We saw dozens of houses last summer, and I learned a ton. By the time a good deal popped up (in August), I knew it was a deal and jumped on it. I financed -- about $20k cash to close -- and did a simple but nice cosmetic rehab for about $15k. I refinanced 6 months later, pulled out $25k, and bought another 2 properties with a partner. I educated myself by reading lots of books, listening to the BP podcasts, looking at houses with @Marcus Auerbach , reading the forums here, and going to local REI meet ups. Put in the time to educate yourself, put in the time to network with others in the industry, build relationships, be patient, and you'll have success. Let the numbers guide you. Good luck!

@Shirley Frias What is the strategy you are specializing in to start with? If you don't know you, I would spend about $100 in books on real estate investing (look at Brandon's guide to books to read). You don't need a guru or paid mentor to start out. It will detract from what you are really focusing on. If you do look for a mentor, bring value to them by bringing them deals to split. You do the legwork but share the profits and they share their knowledge.

If you are looking to wholesale - right away I would spend it on developing and mailing out your marketing pieces.

If you are looking to flip - find some reputable wholesalers and start reviewing their deals and also spend some on developing and mailing out some marketing pieces to highly targeted houses in your neighborhoods you are specializing in. Best way to find the targeted homes is driving for dollars.

If you are looking to buy and hold - find a reputable wholesaler and a multi-family realtor that specializes in the neighborhoods you are looking in.

For the last two, you will also want to make sure your finances are in good shape. Make sure you have all your documents including tax returns, W-2s, and current bank statements so that when a project comes around you can work to get what ever kind of financing you are going after.

When deals come around. Run a quick analysis and then ask the BP community to check your numbers. You will get the support you need from group think and save a ton on not going to a guru.

I don't know much about the Chesapeake market but I am guessing it is pretty expensive so I hope this helps and gets you started in the right direction.

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