When to initiate the first move?

4 Replies

Hi all, I have been reading books and watching every seminar possible to prepare myself to invest in real estate (I believe I am addicted to the process). I know the only way I will be able to fully grasp the process and understand how people become successful while doing it is to see how it happens first hand, or do it myself. Here's the problem with that, I am only 18 and have not graduated high school although I will be graduating in 3 months. I have been accepted into a residential carpentry apprenticeship that starts mid summer and I will be making some where between $18-$22 an hour (I am not sure this is the path I want to take yet). Will this be enough to began my path of real estate investing? I guess I am asking what successful RE people like yourselves would do in my shoes. Go study something in college that would help me in the long run? Get my RE license? Don't start investing until I have completed my apprenticeship? Thanks for the help. Greatly appreciated.

You don't need a college education or real estate license. I recommend you build a strong foundational understanding of real estate investing.

1. Start with BiggerPockets Ultimate Beginners Guide (free). It will familiarize you with the basic terminology and benefits. Then you can read a more in-depth book like The Book On Rental Property Investing by @Brandon Turneror The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing by Spencer Strauss. In your case, I would also highly recommend The House Hacking Strategy by Craig Curelop.

2. Get your finances in order. Get rid of debt, build a budget, and save. The idea that you can build wealth without putting any money into it is a recipe for disaster and the sales pitch of gurus trying to steal your money. A wise investor will not try to get rich quick with shortcuts. If you can't keep control your finances, you are highly unlikely to succeed in real estate investing. Check out my personal favorite, Set For Life by @Scott Trench , or The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

3. As you read these books, watch the biggerpockets podcasts. This will help clarify and reinforce what you are reading. You can hear real-world examples of how others have built their investment portfolio and (hopefully) learn to avoid their mistakes.

4. Now you need to figure out how to find deals and pay for them. Again, the BiggerPockets store has some books for this or you can learn by watching podcasts, reading blogs, and interacting on the forum. There is a handy search bar in the upper right that makes it easy to find previous discussions, blogs, podcasts, and other resources. Biggerpockets also has a calculator you can use to analyze deals and I highly recommend you start this as soon as possible, even if you are not ready to buy. If you consistently analyze properties, it will be much easier to recognize a good deal when it shows up.

5. Jump in! Far too many get stuck in the "paralysis by analysis" stage, thinking they just don't know enough to get started. The truth is, you could read 100 books and still not know enough because certain things need to be learned through trial-and-error. You don't need to know everything to get started; you just need a foundation to build on and the rest will come through experience and then refining your education.

You can build a basic understanding of investing in 3-6 months. How long it takes to be financially ready is different for everyone. Once you're ready, create a goal (e.g. "I will buy at least one single-family home, duplex, triplex, or fourplex before the end of 2019") and then do it. Real estate investing is a pretty forgiving world and the average person can still make money even with some pretty big mistakes.

Women liked to be chased. I usually wait till the third date. Take her on a date or do an activity together. If she's into you and the conversation is flirty I'd go for the kiss. 

Wait what are we taking about?

@Andrew Carr , good on you for getting started so young. Being in the trades is a huge advantage as the relationships and skills you develop will pay dividends for the rest of your investing career. You'll also get the inside track on some deals (hopefully).

You should definitely use your time learning the numbers of real estate. How to analyze a property. Then practice, practice, practice. You want to run the numbers on hundreds of deals until you get the process in your bones.

At your age, it's going to be nearly impossible to get a mortgage on your own. What you can do is start preparing for that day when it comes.

  • Make sure you're building great credit. Lots of resources on the web about how to do this.
  • Save, save, save. Now is the time in your life to sacrifice a little so you can gain a lot later on.
  • Make relationships. With supervisors on the job. With GCs and builders. With property owners.
  • Attend REI meet-ups so you can start meeting people who are actually doing what you want to do.

Hi @Andrew Carr

My recommendation would be to get into your apprenticeship. Concentrate on that fully and give it the proper attention it needs. While doing that though sock away every dollar you can for the next phase. It is very easy to get into the spend mindset. Well I need these better tools, I need this better truck, If I rented in this pricey area I would be closer to work. Don't fall into it. Be very conscious about where the money goes. Instead of throwing $10,000 in tools on a high interest credit card, buy them from the last washout of the program who will let them go for a song.

Once you get where you are all in and set then you should have saved up enough for a nice down payment on a property. You will also have a good sense of the  work it needs.

Good luck!

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