A math teacher thinking of real estate

17 Replies

Hello everyone, 

I'm Ryan. I'm originally from Arizona but moved to California two years ago to teach high school math in Stockton. I'm 27, and my wife is 24. We are hoping to retire as landlords with cash flow that will sustain a comfortable retirement. At least that's the plan for now.

For the next two years, I will continue to teach math (not my dream job) while my wife is in nursing school. After that I hope to break into real estate somehow ( I've yet to decide exactly what I'll do—I'm in the early stages of education/exploration). We remain unsure as to whether we will want to move back to Arizona or stay in California, so I figure that over the next two years, I will try to get a real estate license in both states. 

Right now, I'm looking for a solid real estate course I can take in California. So here's my first BP question, intended for the Californians in the community:

What real estate course would you recommend?

I should note that I would prefer an online course if possible (I think that's approved in California?) because I teach school until the evening, will be traveling throughout the summer, and will be supporting my wife through a pretty rigorous nursing program in the fall. Your thoughts?

Hello @Ryan Dixon and let me be the first to welcome you to BP. BP is not only a great networking site, it also has tons of information on real estate. With access to free online videos and courses, the learning never stops! You came to the right place for REI.

Welcome to BP. The ultimate guide to real estate investing is a wonderful resource for you. The networking on this site is amazing too. All you have to do is reach out. I would highly suggest you find a local meet up and attend a real estate club meeting. 

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Hi Ryan - Welcome to BP. Congrats on figuring out that real estate is a great financiallong term strategy! I wish I would have started at 27! I could have but I still believed the corporate promise back then I Guess:). Or maybe it was because I sucked at math in school:))).

Anyway, I have one question for you; why are you so focused on becoming a realtor? What benefit do you see in that with regards to property investing? I dare to say that 95% of the people on here that are actually property investors and landlords are not brokers or even agents.

As a recommendation, I would strongly advise to listen to the Bigger Pockets Podcasts. Start with all the subjects from the last 2 years or so that you think appeal to you and then once you are hooked listen to everything else newest to oldest. it is free, entertaining and in just a few weeks it will give you a pretty complete "education" on everything that is out there. It will not tell you exactly what to do but its GREAT foundation material especially since it takes you through all different facets of the real estate "agame".

Good luck finding your in!


Hello, @Ryan Dixon ! I used to be a nurse in Sacramento at UCDavis Medical Center. Best wishes to your wife in her studies. Anyway, I am going to use Rockwell Institute's totally self-paced online classes, so add that to your list to check out. They have coursework specific to CA (and WA, which I will use). I have heard them recommended on BP before, and if you search for them on BP you may get more info (I haven't tried that). 

Go get em! :) 

I'm a high school math teacher not much older than you.

I've been owner occupying, then moving out and renting out the places since 23. Started with duplexes.

House hacking is the way to go. Forget the online courses. Nothing like the school of hard knocks.

Welcome to BP!
I agree with Chris V. Vast majority of people don't have their realtor license. Nothing beets a good network of people, on and off of BP. So if your really interested in getting started, get out there, go to local meetings and ask questions on BP.
Why wait I was able to break into real estate at 21, not having a lot of money. I'm sure you can get a great loan if you just took the time and looked for lenders. You might like the podcast the 5 c's of making every lends say yes.
But anyway this site is a wonderful place to start learning from other people's mistakes, and to get great information in a short amount of time. Check out the pot casts and read the free books. It's a great place to start. Good luck!

@Ryan Dixon Welcome to BP! This site in itself will provide far more information than any course you might take. However, a course might be a good way for you to get a structured introduction to some of the basics and explore different areas of real estate to find out what aspect appeals to you.
Personally, I began my real estate career in appraisal, then real estate sales, back to appraisal and now I believe I have found my true calling in real estate lending. Eventually, I plan to do some flipping. What I love about real estate is that it is intellectually challenging because you can never know it all; always more to learn!
Since you are close to Sacramento, Los Rios community college has a good real estate curriculum and the majority of required courses are available online. Super affordable; great way to get your feet wet.

@Chris V. Thanks for your response! I plan on getting a real estate license in large part because of what I heard on the BP podcasts. I'm about 20 podcasts in, and number of people I've heard interviewed have recommended just getting the license regardless of what role you want to play in real estate, partly because it gives you access to the MLS. I am also thinking about eventually becoming a certified property manager, which seems to require some real estate experience. Mostly, I just want to open doors for myself, and getting the license isn't that expensive relative to other educational expenses (unless I'm missing something).

Additionally, teaching math isn't my dream job, and I am interested to see whether I might enjoy selling real estate. If it doesn't work out, I certainly have a back-up plan. I may go to grad school in a few years.  But I'm thinking pretty seriously about trying realty on for size before I drop $40k to do that. 

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@Dan Baker Thanks for the tips—you're right. This site is full of great information. As soon as my wife gets out of nursing school, we plan on breaking into real estate. In the mean time, we're trying to self-educate as much as possible. 

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