Soon to be senior in High school looking for advice.

15 Replies

As both the title and description say, I'm about to be a senior in Wisconsin, through the help of a family member I realized how great REI can be. I'm thinking of going to a community college, as to avoid large amounts of debt, and major in Electric Engineering. This is in one part a way to finance my investing ventures as well as a fall back should everything go South (Fingers crossed). I'm planning to invest in either the Madison area or Milwaukee area seeing as they are the closest large metropolitan areas, I've also wondered if looking at growing towns/cities would be a good idea i.e. Sun Prairie. I've read some books but I'm still looking for tips/advice.

Some of my burning questions:

Should I save as much during my college years and wait till the market is good to buy/I find a relatively good property?

Is there anything else legally that is needed to lease a property other than owning the property and a contract for the tenant?

What would be some good ways to find team members or mentors in the areas that I've mentioned?

What are some good motivational tools that you use to keep you focused on your goal?

What are some other general tips that can be useful when starting out?

Any and all responses are greatly appreciated, I hope that this will be my starting point in a great investing life!

Good questions. @Victor Martinez Lazaro , I'm 27 and from Milwaukee myself. I went to school for nursing, but while I was in nursing school I read almost everything imaginable on investing. Particularly in the stock market. I didn't buy my first property until just this year, but that property and my debt was paid off with the frugal saving I developed in college and some of the major wins I had in the market. A $5k investment in Facebook (FB) grew to $35k, I doubled my money in Starbucks (SBUX), parked money in stocks like Visa (V), PepsiCo (PEP), Trex (TREX), Exact Sciences (EXAS), etc. 

Study all aspects of investing. The bull market has run for over 10 years, when equities pull back, we'll more than likely see real estate pull back as well. This site is actually an awesome resource for meeting people, especially other motivated investors. Remember, invest in what you're comfortable investing in. Also, avoid the just be extremely cautious. I lost 80% of the first $2k that I invested. In addition to equities and real estate, start a Roth IRA right now!

Consider attending your local REIA meetings. These meetings present opportunities for learning and networking.

You seem like a perfect candidate to house hack. If I were in your shoes I'd be looking at multifamily properties. Live in one unit while you're in college, rent out the others. 

Good job being so responsible at such a young age btw. I wish I would've seen the light when I was that young.

@Victor Martinez Lazaro

Definitely look at househacking a 2 or 4 Plex for your first deal. You can utilize low down payment loan options like FHA (3.5% down) and get your feet wet in real estate investing. This is exactly what I did and it was the best education I've gotten so far!

@Victor Martinez Lazaro I don’t live there anymore but I grew up in the Madison area. I still visit often. I also studied engineering in college.

My advise is do nothing until you finish school. Focus on school. Electrical engineering is no joke and that should consume most of your time. When I say "do nothing" I mean don't buy anything. Educate yourself on REI and save money to avoid student debt. Then get good grades to get a good job, to be able to buy Real estate.

The Madison area is booming, the city or any surrounding suburbs I think can be a good investment.

90 percent of all people who start engineering (any engineering) don’t graduate with that degree. So if you want to finish, you are going to have to put in the work, which is often much more than 40 hours a week.

Feel free to message me if you ever want to chat more.

Originally posted by @Victor Martinez Lazaro :

As both the title and description say, I'm about to be a senior in Wisconsin, through the help of a family member I realized how great REI can be. I'm thinking of going to a community college, as to avoid large amounts of debt, and major in Electric Engineering. This is in one part a way to finance my investing ventures as well as a fall back should everything go South (Fingers crossed). I'm planning to invest in either the Madison area or Milwaukee area seeing as they are the closest large metropolitan areas, I've also wondered if looking at growing towns/cities would be a good idea i.e. Sun Prairie. I've read some books but I'm still looking for tips/advice.

Some of my burning questions:

Should I save as much during my college years and wait till the market is good to buy/I find a relatively good property? Everyone has different capacity.  I was not mature enough to deal with this when I was in college but that doesnt mean you cant make it work now.

Is there anything else legally that is needed to lease a property other than owning the property and a contract for the tenant? you will want to make sure that you have adequate insurance and as accurate of a budget as possible.  Some condos may have restrictions on the ability to rent if it is not owner occupied.  Its not a bad idea to set up LLC as well to limit your liability.  

What would be some good ways to find team members or mentors in the areas that I've mentioned? I'd be happy to help connect you however I can. PM me if you would like to talk further.  Its not what you know, it is who you know!

What are some good motivational tools that you use to keep you focused on your goal?  I have my goals at my desk and I make daily lists of what I would like to get done.  This helps to keep me focused and to prioritize daily.  Try to focus most of your energies on the things you want the most and your biggest goals.  it can be easy to get lost in the details.

What are some other general tips that can be useful when starting out? keep asking questions.  Sometimes people starting can hesitate to ask because they don't want to look or feel dumb.  NOT asking questions feels safer because you dont expose yourself or open up but in my opinion is more stupider or the most dumbest (*poor grammar intentionally*).  Put yourself out there. 

Any and all responses are greatly appreciated, I hope that this will be my starting point in a great investing life! Good luck Victor!

Hey Victor! 

Wow - I'm sure we all wish we had discovered this path in life a lot sooner so kudos to you! Setting a goal of buying a multi unit and living in a portion of it while you rent the rest would be a great way to get started. Getting connected at a local REIA will also aid you in finding mentors and team members. Start asking questions and learn what you can from anyone that is willing to give you the time. Once you're ready to get started you'll have a wealth of knowledge that you can put to work. If you're looking for a mentor specifically figure out a way you can add value to what they're doing. People will be more willing to work with you if you have something that you can contribute to the goal/vision they are trying to reach. To stay motivated listen to podcasts, stay connected on Bigger Pockets, go to REIA events, read books... keep immersing yourself in the real estate world and surround yourself with people who share the same passion. A business book that may help you during this stage is "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport.

Good luck as you start the journey! :D  

@Andy Crooks

Thanks for answering my questions! 

I have a good bit of confidence in my self-control, and hopefully I can walk my talk! 

Insurance and a budget will most definitely help, I'll keep that in mind when purchasing my first property. 

Whenever I can find the time I'd like to meet some of the people you'd recommend!

I'll try to make these two into a habit, it sound like it'll do wonders in motivation!

I plan to always ask questions! I'm still new so I won't know much and I know asking questions now will save me pain in the future.

Thanks for the luck and the great advice!

Originally posted by @Victor Martinez Lazaro :

As both the title and description say, I'm about to be a senior in Wisconsin, through the help of a family member I realized how great REI can be. I'm thinking of going to a community college, as to avoid large amounts of debt, and major in Electric Engineering. This is in one part a way to finance my investing ventures as well as a fall back should everything go South (Fingers crossed). I'm planning to invest in either the Madison area or Milwaukee area seeing as they are the closest large metropolitan areas, I've also wondered if looking at growing towns/cities would be a good idea i.e. Sun Prairie. I've read some books but I'm still looking for tips/advice.

Some of my burning questions:

Should I save as much during my college years and wait till the market is good to buy/I find a relatively good property?

Is there anything else legally that is needed to lease a property other than owning the property and a contract for the tenant?

What would be some good ways to find team members or mentors in the areas that I've mentioned?

What are some good motivational tools that you use to keep you focused on your goal?

What are some other general tips that can be useful when starting out?

Any and all responses are greatly appreciated, I hope that this will be my starting point in a great investing life!

 Study emerging patterns of rent control.  If you haven't already.  California will have it on the state ballot for the second time in as many years.  Coming to a city near you. A friend has a rental in Oakland and if the place is vacant for (I forget) 2-3 months she has to pay the city like $6000.  And California is looking at the rent control for the whole state.  There is a generation of younger renters and a generation of impoverished longer living senior citizens and neither segment is happy with the rising rents. Add in that there has been little construction in the last 20 years and that many units are becoming Airbnb taking stock off the rental market.  Not a good recipe for the current stock of housing.

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