Guidance on the first step towards Real estate Investing in NYC

2 Replies

Hello All,

My name is Abel, and I am a current part time college student residing in New York.

While many (including some of my family members) have suggested to me that I should wait until I finish school and get a career before investing, I believe that there is a way to get started without having to wait a couple of more years to fulfill my dreams and career goals. There are others out there my age (I am 21) who have hustled and started to build their foundations to where they want to be. Why can't I do the same? 

With that being said, I have read, researched, and even watched some videos that this website has to offer, and I am sincerely pleased with all the guidance that there is for beginner investors such as myself. What I am seeking at the moment is for some advice and mentorship on how I can get started as soon as I can, here in the city. I am fully aware that New York is very competitive when it comes to the real estate market, and for beginner investors, it can be quite tricky to find an affordable way to start out, especially when someone (such as myself) has little money to spare (I have several hundred dollars in my checking with several thousands that my mother put into my savings). 

My real estate goal (for the long term) is to build a portfolio of mostly pre-war walk up apartments (my interests are geared towards townhouses/tenements that contain over 6 families) in the lower west/east sides including parts of upper manhattan as well. My interest would be to preserve them and to make such properties livable and up to code, but mostly affordable as well. Some Landlords charge $4,000+ a month which is to my knowledge far above the average rent anywhere in the city! While I know and understand that it is unrealistic to get into such multi-million dollar properties from where I stand, I do have a plan as to how I can get started.

I firstly think it is wise to start in the outer boroughs, such as where I live in the bronx. Property values are around $200,000 to almost $600,000. In some cases it can reach to the higher 800,000s to almost 1 million, which is why I feel that I need to start my journey as soon as possible while the prices around my neighborhood are fair and cannot be out of reach. That being said, my street does get a lot of "ghost properties" over time due to poor management, illegal room conversions, and foreclosures. There is this property I have glanced at recently. It is a Two-Family dwelling building that has been illegally converted to about 10 SRO units and about 2.5 baths. The property has also experienced some damage on the side from a fire that started on the neighboring property a couple of months ago. It is currently vacated and dormant at this time. I was thinking that with such issues, I would be able to get it at a way cheaper price (trulia estimates it at $618,113) in order to get it operational again, and to get the appropriate licensing to have it rented out again. As time goes on, I would do the same with another property and so on until I can put down on a walk-up apartment building. My only problem is, I do not know how to start, nor do I have the money. That is one reason why I am writing this post.

I would like some guidance on how and where in New York I would be able to find the resources that are needed to acquire this property in terms of loans, maintenance, and attaining reliable tenants. I am fully aware and willing to put the time in for this to be a success and to build my dream of creating my portfolio of walk-up apartments. My only drawback is money, inexperience, and lack of a mentor, which brings me to the other reason of why I am here.

So that is it for the most part. It is indeed a lot to take in, but at the same time it means the world to me that there is a community of hard working people who look out after each other trying to accomplish the same goals. I am very honored to be a part of something so valuable!! I appreciate any help that can be provided for me, and with that note, I would love to do the same for anyone as I explore deeper and deeper into my journey. 

Thank you all for your help, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Best Regards,


What experience do you have in terms of construction and rehabs?

First: I would recommend that you continue to network with professionals in different fields: investors, developers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, RE attorneys, etc.

Second: A mentor is less likely to take you on due to a lack of knowledge and finances. If you are not a millionaire, as most of us aspire to be, then I strongly recommend you educate yourself on multiple levels. This will add value and lower the risk from a mentors perspective. One, learn about the market through the (free) help of experienced real estate agents. Two, get out there and network with contractors. Learn what the different processes are for building, constructing and grasp a better understanding of what the costs are for each type of job.

Third: Through BP’s guidance, it is very easy to find money, especially in NY. They way you do it is by looking for a GREAT investment opportunity, create a portfolio which includes market values, all possible expenses, selling costs, and net profit. If the NET PROFIT is 20% of selling prices or at least $20,000, I can almost guarantee that you won’t have an issue finding private lenders.

Finally: You can find private lenders through networking with attorneys and real estate agents, as well as other investors.

Best of luck on your endeavor!


Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here