If you would’ve asked me a few years ago about my thoughts on real estate investing, I would’ve told you…
Real estate investing? I’m skeptical about those kinds of investments. No thanks, I’ll stick to my safer investments like stocks or mutual funds.
Today, if you ask me the same question, I’ll tell you that I can’t even begin to think what my life would be like without real estate investing.
Weird how that works out, eh? 😉
Getting into something that you know nothing about is scary, we all know that.
And I often hear people telling me excuses like…
“I don’t have the money to invest in real estate.”
“I don’t want to clean toilets or deal with the headaches of being a landlord.”
“What if the bubble burst and the market crashed?!?!”
Before becoming a real estate investor, I was afraid to invest in real estate, just like everyone else.
In one way or another, I convinced myself that real estate investing was too good to be true and too risky compared to other investments.
Since then, real estate investing has become my secret weapon. It taught me skills that I thought were impossible to learn from an investment vehicle.
And the best part – you don’t need any special skills to start. 😉
What Inspired Me To Become A Real Estate Investor?
This is a question that I get asked quite often. Some people have even asked me if real estate investing is in my blood?
Although I don’t necessarily feel that real estate investing is in my blood, I have watched people in my family (especially my grandmother) invest in real estate.
Unfortunately, before I could ask her to tell me about her amazing real estate investing journey, she got really sick and couldn’t be the mentor that I’d always hoped she would be.
So in a way, I guess you can say that real estate investing is in my blood and that the language of real estate investing is not exactly foreign to me.
As a young child, I remember hearing a lot about real estate related topics. And like any child, I didn’t really think much of it.
Later on as an adult, I’d be naturally drawn to it, so I would just read. I learned and absorbed as much knowledge as I could from different sources.
On top of all that, I’m extremely good at handling my finances. Definitely, I have my dad to thank for that. 🙂
He was one of the millions of people who had read the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. The many lessons from the book had inspired him to change his way of living and investing.
Till this day, I’m very grateful that he had taught me (or some might say “brainwashed” me) those lessons at a young age; in particular, money should work for you and not the other way around. He reminded me that money should be spent growing the assets column and not the liabilities column.
At the start of my real estate investing adventure, all I had in my back pocket was Determination and Persistence. Coincidentally, my iPod had Beyonce’s “Run the world” on replay, which indirectly acted as the fuel to my “real estate investing” fire. 😆
Those two things were all I had when I started. But now when I look back, those two things (along with the lessons that I’d learned from my family) was all the inspiration that I needed to start my own real estate investing journey.
How Much Money Did I Have When I Started?
Starting out as a real estate investor in Vancouver is extremely difficult, unless you’ve got a lot of dough. Unlike many of my Millennial friends, I was pretty adamant about not using my parent’s money to start my investing journey.
No offense to anyone who did do that, but personally I didn’t want to be carried to the top of Mount Everest. I wanted to experience every step of that climb until I reach the peak of the mountain. 😉
Determination and Persistence were all I had; I didn’t have any money to begin with.
While on my 3rd year towards my computer science degree, I landed an internship at a reputable bank. I knew that real estate investing and computer science was on the opposite ends of the spectrum.
But in the back of my mind, I kept hearing Mark Cuban saying, “A goal without a plan is just a dream!”
So the first step in my plan was to save up a good chunk of money and I did everything that I could to save $100k.
It took me some time to achieve this financial goal.
Trust me, it wasn’t easy, especially when you’re on an entry level job’s income.
In addition to that, I had to make a lot of sacrifices all for the bigger picture. In fact, I was even working at my retail job on the weekend to get that extra income! #SheWorksHardForTheMoney
It was like being Batman, but a lot less cool.
Computer girl geek by day, retail job on the weekend/real estate investor wannabe by night.
So to answer the original question – I had $100k to start my real estate investing journey.
Some people might be wondering why I didn’t do the whole “no money down” strategy.
And the reason for that is because I didn’t want to jump into something that I didn’t understand enough about.
I wanted to be comfortable with the risks that I was dealing with.
Obviously, it’s impossible to prepare for all kinds of scenarios, but I wanted to avoid as much risk as I could. I didn’t want to end up getting a bad experience, especially when I was buying my first rental property.
How Many Rentals Do I Have Now?
Ahhhh… If I’d gotten a dollar every time someone asked me this question, I would probably be retired already. 🙂
I get it, it’s not every day that you meet a millennial being a landlord.
If you must know, I currently have 4 rental units and will be completing my 5th one around the end of this year. I own rental properties on the West and East coasts of Canada.
Why Should YOU Start Real Estate Investing?
There are so many things that you can learn from real estate investing.
Here are some of the many skills that you can learn from this awesome investment vehicle:
- Making money in your sleep
- Identifying and negotiating for a good property deal
- Importance of graduating from an employee to an investor
- Meeting new people from all types of industries
- Quitting the rat race and focus on things that make you happy
It is also very important to understand that real estate investing is not for everyone.
You’re going need a lot of patience along the way because this isn’t going to be a “get rich overnight” scheme. 🙂
However, if being financially independent and retiring early is something that you’ve always dreamed about, then stop dreaming and start becoming that person you want to be!
For the ultimate newb, here is a good place to start: “How to Buy Your First Rental Property?“.
Afterward, go to a local meetup in your area, read books, blogs and just keep educating yourself about real estate investing.
The more knowledge you obtain, the more comfortable you’ll be when it’s time for you to buy your first income property.
What are your thoughts on this?