5 Ways Real Estate Investing Has Negatively Affected My Life

by | BiggerPockets.com

Real estate investing can be amazing. There’s a semi-famous quote that says the most number of millionaires have been created through real estate investments. However, there can certainly be a darker side to investing in real estate. Before pursuing a path in real estate investing, consider these five ways real estate investing has negatively affected my life.

Disclaimer: I consider myself one of the most fortunate people alive. I would not be the person I am today without this career path. Real estate investing has been a roller coaster of emotions. However, my journey has been worth every headache, breakthrough, bruise, and lesson.

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1. Friends and Loved Ones Distance Themselves

People grow and change. Friends sometimes grow together and sometimes not. This can be the same with loved ones, too. You may find yourself naturally growing, expanding your comfort zones, learning new skills, overcoming mental blocks, and safely risking your resources for financial gain. This may make a few of your less-desirable friends uncomfortable. Continue learning, growing, helping others, and investing. Never be bullied or intimidated to quit by negative influences or negative friends.

Pro Tip: Monitor your feelings. If someone is making you feel less than desirable, try bringing it to their attention. If nothing happens, perhaps consider slowly reducing the amount of time you spend together.

Related: Single Family Home Investing: An In-Depth Look At the Pros & Cons

2. My Graying Hair

I have made mistakes. So many mistakes. What I’ve learned so far, is “life goes on.” As hard as you may try, mistakes can, and will, happen. We should always aim to perform thorough due diligence with a clear picture of the specific real estate transaction ahead of us. Learn from all mistakes and do not beat yourself up unnecessarily.

Pro Tip: There are a few ways to learn, through trial and error and through other people’s experiences. Surround yourself with local mentors and experts. Make sure most of these folks are more active and more seasoned than you are with regards to real estate investments. Be curious and ask questions when you’re around these more experienced investors.

3. Personality Change (When You First Start Out)

After six months of active real estate investing, you will be a very different person than who you currently are now. While actively investing, you should ideally be speaking with buyers, sellers, brokers, attorneys, handymen, inspectors, etc. on a very regular basis. While speaking with some of these individuals, you will be lied to, made fun of, insulted, belittled, praised, bullied, encouraged, and more. You will be placed in situations you’ve never been through or even considered. Through it all, you should aim to learn and implement something new each day.

Pro Tip: Surround yourself with positiveness and motivation. Be open to adapting. The world can be a negative place, and we all need as much positive reinforcement as we can get.

4. Lost Nights and Weekends

While I certainly would not describe myself as a seminar junkie, I have spent many sunny weekends inside affordable seminars and classes in order to further my real estate education. These classes are often put on by your local real estate groups, real estate schools, city, or hardware stores. While in these classes, seminars, and events, we lose quality time with family and friends who are off having fun shopping, watching movies, going to the beach, or playing sports.

Pro Tip: While it can be very important to specialize within a certain real estate investing niche, there is much more to know about real estate if you are interested. Aim to be a real estate investing sponge. Attend real estate educational classes that don’t lead to sales pitches. Aim to learn a few lessons, and leave behind the information you don’t need. Look for very affordable classes held by active investors or real estate professionals locally. Grow your knowledge of real estate, make new friends, and ask questions along the way.

Related: 6 Reasons You Should Not Get Your Real Estate License 

5. Missing Office Parties

Some of the best memories from my old nine-to-five jobs were the office holiday parties. We got to see and spend time with work friends and colleagues in our “normal” clothes without the typical office hierarchy. If you have a traditional job, then I hope that your company has extremely fun holiday parties.

Positives…

All of these “negatives” are to be taken with a grain of salt. With every negative, there are usually some positives if you look hard enough. As mentioned above, every heartache and challenge has been worth the journey. Here are the upsides:

  • Friends and Loved Ones Distancing Themselves: In reality, we replace and upgrade old friends with newer friends. This is typically a very natural process.
  • My Graying Hair: These grays are badges-of-honor from many lessons learned.
  • Personality Change (When You First Start Out): We get to learn and grow regularly. As active investors, we are lucky to get a crash-course in human nature and real-world people skills that few other non-investors ever learn. This is really a cool thing.
  • Lost Nights and Weekends: Learning about real estate and furthering our money-making education is ideally something we should want to do. These classes are a great way to meet like-minded friends and future business partners.
  • Missing Office Parties: During the winter holidays I choose to spend time enjoying the company of friends, family, and business friends of my choosing.

When it comes to real estate investing, there are certainly many differences of opinions with regards to how and when to move forward. Always aim to have clarity in your decisions and clarity in the steps along your journey. Questions will always arise, so aim to surround yourself with knowledgeable investors. Use this website to search for local experts in your market and real estate niche. Aim to associate with quality investors and reject negativity that comes from uneducated folks in your life. Now continue forward to learn more and take action daily.

What are some of the pros and cons you’ve experienced since you’ve become an investor? Let me know in the comments below!

About Author

John Fedro

John Fedro has been investing in manufactured housing since 2002. John now spends his time continuing to build his cash-flow business in multiple states while helping others enjoy the same freedom he has achieved. Find John here.

14 Comments

  1. Erik Whiting

    Nicely written. The point I found most interesting and relate to is the way our associates/relationships change. My family doesn’t “get” real estate investing at all, except my uncle who partnered with me on a couple of deals early on. They are all Govt workers or employees working for “the man.” To them, putting yourself out there is a risk they cannot fathom, and when I talk about a new house or a new method of doing something I get a “that’s nice” look and smile, then it’s back to talking family gossip. I missed their interest at first, but now I don’t worry about it and discuss it instead with my fellow business buddies.

    • Jennifer Shuler

      I really agree with your comments. My husband and I are currently working on closing our 4th rehab property and we had to learn early on that we had to be our own cheerleaders. Most all our relatives thought we were crazy to risk the little bit of money we had to start investing in real estate. We just stopped trying to explain why we were doing it (in our early 50’s with no savings) and kept pushing ourselves to learn and grow. It’s sad how most people these days are more negative than positive. You have to be a risk taker as investing in real estate is such a roller coaster ride, and most people just can’t see far enough ahead to try it. That’s okay though, we learned to just enjoy family time without talking about our projects so much.

  2. I like your take on the struggles that come with real estate investing, especially when an investor is just getting started. If tenacious, most investors will reap such positive financial rewards that they just suck up and deal with the negatives. When things seem stressful and overwhelming to us (and they still do sometimes after 15 years), my husband usually pulls out an Excel spreadsheet that shows all of our growing real estate assets and we just say “no big deal, we’re rich” (which is kind of joke since we don’t live that lifestyle at all). Anyway, on a final note, the other big positive as an investor is getting to provide good housing to good people over the years. People in our homes have gotten married, had babies, gotten new jobs, and generally thrived while in our homes. Not everyone of course, but enough to make us feel we are adding some good karma out in the world.

  3. Ryan Schroeder on

    On the positives you missed (unless I missed it) having many more stories to tell than you would otherwise have. As a result, you are either a lot more entertaining or that much more of a bore at parties (depending upon whether you go on and on or not). You likely meet more interesting people from a much broader spectrum than you otherwise would if you just stayed home in your cul-de-sac and you have much more opportunity to serve as man servant or maid servant to people who can’t quite figure out why their drain is slow (because they threw the wrong thing down it) or why their radiator is broken (because they have the valve turned off) or why they ran out of hot water (because they took a 45 minute shower).

    On the negative side you missed that if you admit to being a landlord some folks will automatically interpret that to mean either slumlord, or guy who just sits on his behind and collects rent from the poor tenant and is rich as a result. You also missed the opportunity to be called in the middle of the night because the “spots” on the notty pine paneling are moving (honest to god that has happened to me) or my boyfriend threw a rock through my window and I need you to come fix it, or I am in jail and I wanted to make sure somebody knew (so they called their landlord instead of their mother who lived in the same city)!

    Great article, great topic. I have a weeks worth of stories. I’m sure most landlords who have been in the business any length of time do. Sometime I’m going to write a book to contradict those folks who talk about how getting into this business is all roses and apple pie! After 30 years I have found a way to make it all work, but as with anything else it has its challenges…which we often forget to mention.

    Thanks

  4. Rick Grubbs

    Good article. Probably the biggest for me has been not having the daily stimulation that comes from relationships with people you work along side each day. We have to make it a point not to become isolated by going to REIA meetings, church, and resisting the temptation to spend too much time working alone.

  5. Rachel Luoto

    This is a great list. I’ve been active for a year now and everything you say is true – your personality changes and your friends don’t understand. However, you make excellent new friends and your change for the better – more grit, more discipline, more hope 🙂

  6. Brian Fleig

    I am just beginning the action phase of RE investing but have started or bought numerous businesses over the years. Along the way I learned that negatiivity from the people around you is inevitable. It’s human nature. What they are really saying is OMG I wish I had the guts to break out of the employee mold but I don’t so I’ll try to keep you on my level. I just smile and nod my head now.

  7. Andrew Syrios

    It’s good to see the other side of things, we shouldn’t hide the negatives to anything (and everything has negatives). That being said, like you, I believe the positives of real estate investment outweigh the negatives by a longshot.

  8. Michael Baum

    As someone who is beginning with short term vacation rentals, our experience is a bit different.

    Seeing as these homes are in desirable areas like on Lake Coeur d’ Alene, we are having to explain why we can’t just let all of our family and friends use the house.

    That has been the biggest problem. They don’t understand that it is an investment and the IRS rules are very clear on personal usage, whether or not it is us, the owners, or family and friends. It’s hard to tell them we have to charge them for their vacation time there.

    Seeing as we just bought it and it will hit the market this coming spring it hasn’t really hit the fan, but it has started. I don’t want to cause hard feelings, but it ain’t easy.

  9. Lindsay Chapman

    Love this article John! What a great outlook on life and seeing the many positives out of the situations you mentioned. “As active investors, we are lucky to get a crash-course in human nature and real-world people skills that few other non-investors ever learn.” <– so true! Everyday is a learning experience with RE investing and it can be challenging but it's always exciting 🙂

  10. Karl B.

    Real estate has helped me deal with issues (sudden repairs) and to not take things personally. It has also taught me a lot about dealing with people and to always trust my gut.

    I’ve also learned a ton in the DIY realm. There are drawbacks like you mentioned but the good things far outweigh the bad.

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