Newbie going from Hong Kong to Philadelphia, PA.

19 Replies

Hey all! My name is Maritsa and I’m a complete beginner in real estate investing. I haven’t even invested in my first property yet.

I currently live in Hong Kong but am moving back to Pennsylvania in 2 weeks. I’m so excited and ready to get started in real estate and hope to begin once I’m back in the States.

I’ve been working in media management for almost 10 years. Branding, print/web design, social media management and marketing. I feel that my skill set could benefit my real estate business.

I found BP on YouTube while searching “real estate for beginners” videos and I’m hooked! I’ve got big goals. I’d like to be earning 10k a month in no more than a years time. I feel that I’d like to start with a multi-family home or duplex. This way I could pay off the mortgage while living rent-free. Eventually, I’d like to invest in apartment complexes but I suppose this could change the more I learn.

Thanks for having me! Looking forward to getting started and being a part of the BP community!

Welcome to BP @Maritsa Cortes !

I got my start in a similar fashion - moving from Hong Kong to Maine. Back in those days I had to prepare by ordering a bunch of old fashioned things called "books" and have them shipped over to Hong Kong. Biggerpockets wasn't nearly the powerhouse it is today. 

I "house hacked" a duplex as my first investment. Looking back I wish I had gone with a 4-unit instead.

Lots of great info here on the forums and the BP Podcasts. Stick with it and you'll learn a ton!

@Maritsa Cortes Welcome to BP community! You'll find a ton of great resources.  I'd second what @Ryan Murdock suggested. You should find a residential multi (2-4 units) in your area and start with house-hacking. Not only you will save on rent, but you may also be eligible for FHA financing.

I'd also recommend to start reading books on MFH real estate investing and listen to other podcasts in addition to BP. 

Feel free to PM me if you'd like additional recommendations.

Best of luck!

Welcome to BP!  Although pretty competitive, PHiladelphia is a great market for MFH's at the moment.  I think you'll be very successful in the area.  Best of luck!  

Originally posted by @Brendan Markle :

Welcome to BP!  Although pretty competitive, PHiladelphia is a great market for MFH's at the moment.  I think you'll be very successful in the area.  Best of luck!  

What is so great about it? You might find some multyfalimy in questionable areas, but who would want to house hack there. The OK zipcodes are a battle field right now. A lot af people from out of states looking to park there cash. As to me, I can't compete with cash buyers. Properties are flying with the blink of an eye. And FHA buyer are driving prices up to the point that not only there is no cash flow but you are going to be in negative. You can tell economy is going strong. The question is for how long?

@Maritsa Cortes Yes, as a matter of fact there're a lot of great podcasts. Here're just a few I like:

  • Lifetime Cashflow with Rod Khleif
  • Wheelbarrow Profits with Jake and Gino
  • Biz women rock (podcasts don't have to be RE only, they can be general education/motivational too!)
  • Miracle Morning with Hal Elrod (another great motivational podcast)
  • Old Capital
Originally posted by @Maritsa Cortes :

@Ryan Murdock Thanks Ryan for your feedback! Why would you of have gone with a 4-unit instead?

Because it's the biggest multi unit you can buy with typical owner occupied FHA-type financing. I bought duplexes when I started and looking back I really wish they were 4-units for that added cash flow.

Hi @Maritsa Cortes welcome to the tribe ;-) I'll second everything @Ryan Murdock and @Alina Trigub said and will add education, mindset, and patience to your list of challenges.

Not to be a party-pooper, but to accomplish $10k/month passive, residual income right out of the gate might not be very attainable. Personally, I'm not such a fan of books, blogs or podcasts that have quite deceptive titles suggesting that creating substantial wealth and financial freedom is attainable in a short amount of time. For 99.99% of us, it's not.

Check out some of the BP calculators and run a few numbers to get an idea on what it takes to reach that level. @Brandon Turner  has an eBook named "Seven Years to Seven Figures" that outlines a great foundation of what a future scenario might look like. 

I also highly recommend to any entrepreneur, real estate or otherwise, to put Kate's Take on their essential must read/listen to podcast/blog to learn how to make Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant & Time-bound (SMART) goals.

The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Real Estate Investing is another great free eBook to boost your foundational knowledge.

Enjoy the journey and feel free to reach out into the forums or send me a PM for more help.

Maritsa,  welcome back to the USA the greatest country in the world.  I am sitting here with my $10.00 Casio calculator and I suggest you try the same exercise.  Start with the $10,000 a month you want and then figure ok I have run the numbers on this duplex or triplex or quadplex and I expect to get about $$$$$ per month in positive cash flow.  If you assume $200 per door which is a very nice number you NEED 50 doors.  You never mention how much cash you have to invest.  Let’s assume that you buy 12 quads and each one costs 300,000 that would be $3,600,000 with 20% down you need how much to accomplish this

Drum roll please

$720,000 plus some money for emergencies and cap ex.  I am not trying to discourage you I am simply trying to point out that unless you are starting out with a lot of cash getting to $10,000 a month within a year doesn’t seem likely.

Good Luck, and keep us posted


Hi @Maritsa Cortes welcome to the BP

In West Philadelphia I was born and raised.  I am also new and I have spent the last year studying real estate and investment.  In addition to this I have spent the last year saving up money to begin investing with.  I too am looking into multi-family properties in Philly. 

I agree with @JJ GONZALEZ II, the BP calculators are a great way to run a few numbers.  The fastest way to reach your goal would be through flipping houses.  But that is also the riskiest.  If you want the fastest way to get the 10K each month would be through house flips (which auction, foreclosures, etc would require 100%) you could use a hard-money loan.   This comes with about 12% of interest, but it could still lead to you reaching your goals.  

If you are in need of leads I can recommend Alexander Brian Frederick as a New Western Acquisitions in Philadelphia (whole-saler). He has 10-30 deals in philly every month and he can send them to your inbox.

The best real estate Pod cast hands is Bigger Pockets.   Some great books to check out: 

  • The Complete Guide to Investing in Duplexes, Triplexes, Fourplexes, and Mobile Homes by E.E. Mzazier
  • ABCs of Real Estate, The Book on Estimating Rehab Cost by J. Scott
  • The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller
  • The Riches Man in Babylon
  • The Book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner

Happy investing.  

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