I received an email this morning from a young, would-be real estate investor here in Kansas City. Rather than talk about it I just thought I would share his well thought out questions and my answers. My hope is this correspondence will help someone out there as they begin to start their real estate investing journey.
Hello (name hidden),
I wish you luck. Proceed with caution but calculated risk. Years are your friend. You have a lot of them. Save a minimum of 5% of everything you earn, 10% is better. It will look ridiculous at first and you will be tempted to accelerate the process with too much risk. Again, time is your friend.
See my comments below.
I am contacting you today because I am a recent University of Kansas graduate who is looking to learn more about real estate investing and I am particularly interested in the Kansas City market. I happened to stumble upon your website and really enjoyed getting some useful information! I was hoping that you may be able to find some time to answer a few questions?
1) Who would you consider to be the top real estate investors in Kansas City in the last 10 years and why? I have no idea. I don’t think of it in these terms. You have to determine your plan and sit down with someone that can help you make a solid plan that is do-able and realistic.
2)What would be the top 3 things that separates the Kansas City market from the rest of the country? Affordability is first. Affordability is second. And affordability is third. We are median. The west coast looks at our housing prices and rent ratios and it looks like a candy store to them.
3) What would be a realistic goal for a number of properties to buy within a 5 year time frame on a salary of about $30,000 a year? So much depends on your strategy and starting capital. If you tell me your starting capital is zero, we’re going to have to save first. Now, you can use hard money…be careful. There is money to be made here but only by the determined and quick-witted. There will be dozens, no hundreds, no thousands of get rich opportunities for those starting with no money. Choose your advisers carefully. Very carefully.
4) What has been the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career so far? Not fully understanding how money works and how time is your best of friends.
Listen, I’ve blind copied a man named Ryan on this email. Should he be willing to respond to you it would behoove you to buy the man a cup of coffee (probably of the 12 oz beer variety). Ryan bought his first home with me at 21, I believe. We’ve clashed over the years as to the amount of risk he was taking but he came out on top. He’s smart and now in his mid-30s and owns over 125 doors.
As I said, he’d be an excellent “investor” for you to get to know if he chooses to answer this email.
As for me? I’d advise someone with limited capital to get a real estate license and learn to sell. You can be the “middle man” with little to no risk and make a serious living in an honorable and ethical way. Yes, it is hard. But so is everything worth doing.
I wish you luck on your search. Now that you are out of college you can begin to learn how life really works. Nothing is given. It has to be earned. It can, however, be earned in a way that you’ll be proud you accomplished your goal. Never set aside ethics. And never, and I mean never, set aside your dream. It can evolve and change and morph. But don’t quit. There will be plenty of nay-sayers. My wife and I like to reflect on them when we are sipping cold drinks in Mexico.
If I can be of any further assistance, let me know.
Thank you so much for your time if you have made it this far. I really hope to hear back from you! Have a great day!