Starting off need some advice

5 Replies

Im currently 16 years old and since I was 12 I grew a really big interest in real estate. My plan is to try and find a really good deal on a house, that I can put a couple thousand into fixing up and then listing it for rent or sale. That way if the flip happens it happens but I'm more interested in renting. I do not have to much money but luckily my parents have seen my ambition and curiosity in this type of investing and my dad has agreed to help me (he also has some interest). Currently we do not have our house paid off, about 2/3 so getting another mortgage will be risky. Right now we are financially able to take the risk. Really what I'm looking for is someone who can offer me some good advice on my plan. My plan might be terrible and someone might want to lead me in the right direction. A lot of people are going to take me as a joke for my age but if someone could just please give me a chance, I can guarantee your advice will not go to waste! Thanks a lot!!!

@Luis White welcome to BP. 

My advice is get knowledgeable about the business and your market. You are young and have plenty of time. So make sure you are patient and wait for a really good deal.

A lot of people are going to take me as a joke for my age

Only if you do. If you are serous and sincere people will view you that way. Being young you have a lot of advantages. You are Young, energetic, motivated, hungry, and ready to make your mark on the world. Who wouldn't want to work with someone like that. 

When you are my age you can talk about how  much more experience you have than some 16 year old whippersnapper. Until then promote the advantages you do have. 

Good luck young man


Thanks a lot!! means a lot Ned

Love your ambition!  I cannot even tell you what an advantage it is to know what you want to do for a living at such a young age.  I'm 41 and didn't get the real estate bug until a few years ago.  I wish I had known this is what I wanted to do 20 years ago!

With that said, I'd recommend you get a lot of education about REI first before jumping in. Learn how to analyze properties for either a buy and hold strategy (landlording) or fixing and flipping strategy. Learn about both of those strategies...the good, the bad, and the ugly. Learn about different types of financing and how they work. Learn about construction/rehab and its costs.

Start looking at listings for houses for sale and at rental listings.  Not necessarily to move on anything, but you will start getting a solid feel for houses prices and rental rates in your area for different neighborhoods. 

You will face challenges because of your age.  You literally cannot sign a contract with anybody...not for a house, not for a loan, not even for repair work...until you are 18.  But obviously your dad can.

When you turn 18, you will initially have no credit history.  Mortgage lenders don't like that.  Start working to build one when you're 18.  Get a credit card, make small purchases, and then pay them off each month.  And always on time!  Read up on the factors that will improve your credit score/report.  The good news is, people start off with a good credit score.  They then just have to add to their history and maintain the good score they are automatically given.  It is MUCH, MUCH easier to maintain a good credit score than raise up a bad one. 

Aside from the advice above, I would say get a job.

Find a job that will teach you to hang drywall, lay tile, lay carpet, frame, install baseboards, fix toilets, etc etc you get the idea... This will not only give you some skills on how to do these things, but will give you an idea of what to look for (and what you don't want) when searching for a property. You may even find a rehabber/flipper to do some work for off craigslist (sweep floors, paint, sand drywall, etc) - any luck if you work hard they may mentor you. 

Since you aren't able to get a loan or sign contracts (without your parents, which is great that they support you) I'd focus on things you can do, such as education. Learn the ins/outs of every strategy you'd like to try - you mentioned possibly flipping, but mostly renting. Figure out what area you want to focus in, what housing costs are, what rents are, etc. 

I've seen 16 year old's that are smarter than some 40 year old's, so that makes no difference. It only matters how much ambition and knowledge you have. Close a deal of your own at 18, then see who thinks you're a joke. 



That is awesome that you have such a strong ambition and are trying to start so young a Very close Friend of mines daughter started a multi million dollar company at age 14 with a little help from her parents but not much and she made all the decisions on her own. I hope you make it happen and good luck to you.

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