Starting in Real Estate with Zero Cash
I am a real estate investor with properties in three states who started with zero cash. Here are three ideas for how you can get started with little to no cash.
Many would-be investors feel deterred simply because of the ‘no cash’ conundrum. I am here to tell you that if there is a will, there is a way (one of my favorite mom quotes!) Before I started investing myself it felt like a catch 22 – not able to get started making money because of lack of money. Read on for the entire story of how I got started and a few ideas for you to consider in order to start your own investing journey.
Borrow (rob) from your retirement. This is how I got started! For me, this was the easiest way to make my first investment deal happen. Speak to your financial planner and/or CPA for advice on how to go about this, but in most cases, you have several different options. Some 401k plans allow you to borrow your own money and pay it back automatically from payroll withdrawals, while other plans allow you to take a distribution based on age or current life circumstances.
Consider taking on a partner who has the cash. I know many people doing this! Taking on a partner might be a good idea for you if you have the ability to either manage the property or contribute in some other way to the deal. Many people think they need to find a partner who compliments their work style, but in many partnerships, we find the two best partners may actually contrast and contribute completely different skills to make the partnership function at its best.
Find a situation where your first deal is a property you rent and then sublease. This method is becoming more mainstream! This requires little to no cash, in fact many short-term rental arbitrage folks use credit cards to furnish their leased spaces. At a conference I recently attended in Nashville, I met many investors employing this exact method. You won’t have the benefits that come with owning the real estate, but you will have a means to start making cash to save up for your next investing deal.