Newbie from Central Michigan area

14 Replies

Hello Everyone! My name is Lauren Baker and I am currently a college student at Central Michigan University. I have always been interested in home renovations, and am currently looking into buying a two unit rental property to flip. I am currently seeking to gain experience in Buy and Hold Investing, and Multifamily Investing. I am also actively involved in non-profit work and would like to become more engaged with the issue of affordable housing. 

@Lauren Baker First off. Welcome to BP! Get started reading as many blogs and forum posts as you can. Get your keyword alerts set up to help you find new forum posts when they become available. And listen to the podcasts. @Joshua Dorkin and @Brandon Turner are hilarious and they have tons of great info with their guests. 

What do you mean by "affordable housing"? And if you're not stuck in the dorms I would suggest finding a duplex or triplex and learn how to manage property and get your housing paid for at the same time while doing so. It may be a little added stress now but it'll be worth it in the end once you move on to other or more properties. 


Thanks for the tips, @Joe Ellis! By affordable housing I mean that besides making profits from REI, I also want to work with groups such as Habitat For Humanity to use my skills to also give back to the community.

I currently live in an apartment with friends during the school year, but next year I will be living with with my boyfriend full time in a duplex. We have been fixing our unit up with reimbursements from our landlord, but are looking further into buying the house. 

Thank you @Matt Pippin for your tip as well.

Hi @Lauren Baker and Welcome to BP. Pretty new hear myself but have learned a ton in the short two months or so that I have been on here. Best advise I can give you right now is to network, network, network and read as much, listen to as much, and study as much as you can. Local REI meetups are a great way to network and I strongly suggest looking those up and attending whenever they are held in your local area. Lots of newbies show up to these events regularly, so don't be intimidated. Every one I have been to so far, I have met tons of very welcoming folks who want to pass along their knowledge, their success and their friendship if you are willing to reciprocate.

Podcasts are tremendously helpful, so are the books. Invest time and a little bit of money in those and you will be surprised at the payback those will provide. And beyond that, make connections here with others that have similar interests and experience. Once you do, use the @ symbol to flag them when you are mentioning them. Just type @ followed immediately by their name exactly as you see it in their posts and after typing in a the majority of their name, a suggestion box will appear below the text box. Select the right name from that suggestion area and it will highlight their name and flag them that they have been mentioned. Folks monitoring their accounts will likely see that mention quicker and may not ever see it if you don't use that feature. Just my two cents...

I agree with @Joe Ellis regarding finding a duplex or triplex and starting right now. If you can do that while still in college, you will basically get all of your housing paid for you for the balance of your college career, be learning a very important part of the REI profession while you are at it and graduate with a fraction of the debt that your counterparts will be. In essence, you will be starting the game with a 10 yard lead on your closest competitor in a 50 yard race, tough to lose those kinds of races. But it will take a tremendous amount of time, sacrifice and dedication to do that...sounds vaguely like the recipe to success that I have heard somewhere else??? Sounds to me like you may already possess that kind of drive if you are already on this site and thinking about such a thing. Don't let anyone talk you out of it, it's not if you can do that, the real search is how you can do that and it is possible.

Best of luck to you and let me know if there is ever anything else I can do for you.

@Cory Mccarthy thanks for the tip on how to flag someone. I think maybe it doesn't work on mobile. 

My undergraduate degree will be completely debt free, and I am hoping I can achieve that for my master's degree as well. Thank you so much for you kind words and encouragement! 

@Lauren Baker , if you used mobile device to respond to me, it worked and I am using mobile here to reply to you and it worked, but I understand that it can be touchy at times.  if you mispell a name and backspace, sometimes it doesn't prompt correctly, don't know why.  Just play with it and it usually will correct itself.  Anyway, sounds like you are on a great path!  Keep it up and don't get discouraged or listen to any naysayers.  Stay focused, stay dilligent, and stay persistent and results will follow.  If you are ever down in the Flint/Fenton area, let's meetup and have coffee together.  I have a daughter that is a few years older than you that I am trying to convince to get involved.  I will bring her along in the hopes your story might convince her to give it some thought!

Merry Christmas Lauren Baker & all the best to you & yours !!

In your carrier & all you do in RE, I suggest you evaluate what you do from a Net Present Worth or Value basis. Keeping an eye on the potential impacts of taxes, fees, inflation, and deflation in the buying power of the dollar, especially if your involved in buy and hold for more than a few years. 

@Lauren Baker  Yep! Welcome to the wild world of investing. I started reading and learning at a very similar time - you can lay a great foundation in investing beginning in college, as I'm sure many people here can attest to.

Soak up resources, find mentors, go to local Real Estate Groups, play Cashflow with your friends (or on the computer, if no one else is investment inclined), and jump in.

I'd also highly recommend keyword alerts, so you know when people are talking about your local area.  Good luck!

@Lauren Baker

Welcome to BP, I wish I would have discovered this community at your point in life. I graduated college started making good money as an engineer and blew through a lot of it. I am in a good position now and luckily I discovered my passion for real estate only a few years out of college. I could be in a better position though if i would have invested more of my money early on, The financial knowledge that can be gained from this website will far exceed most things you will learn in school. 

Study up, read books, listen to podcast, and network. 

Best Regards,


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