First steps? - Posted by Neil

Posted by eric-fl on July 31, 2003 at 10:20:23:

Checkpoint is a good cert. You might want to consider getting a CCNA (one test), and then try parlaying yourself as a WAN/VPN type guy with security rolled-in, rather than as a pure security guy. You have, as I’m sure you know, several factors working against you. One is that you are in the Northeast, which is a terrible I.T. market right now, and the other that you were in security, but with no degree or clearance. In all honesty, I think it will be tough to get back into that game directly.

As for the guys who approached you, you need to ask yourself, “why?”, if they already have so many resources at their disposal? Is there something you bring to the table they don’t already supposedly have? If you don’t have a clear answer to that question, a healthy dose of skepticism is called for.

As to their having “a lot of resources”, let me guess - they can get all the lumber & tile wholesale, already have the tools, know-how, etc. I’ve heard all that before. The thing with those types of people is that they are hit-or-miss; in other words, when the time comes that you need them, they may or may not be available. After all, look at the title - JOURNEYmen, implying they go from one job to another. Not to put them down, in fact, I envy them - I just don’t think that’s the type of person you want to enter into a long-term business arrangement with.

As for the Real Estate gig specifically, you have come to the right place to learn. That is good, because you do have much to learn. I don’t mean that as a putdown, but, to answer your question, 15k per flip is nowhere near realistic. I also see you making a classic beginner mistake, one I made myself - you’re spending a lot of time on “research”, and looking for houses. Researching isn’t going to make you any money, and neither is looking for houses. It’s the sellers you are looking for - the motivated ones, who are willing to do all this crazy “creative” real estate stuff. They are a small subset of the total seller population, but they are out there. Your first job, as a real estate investor, is to find them. That’s where the money is.

In your situation, you should be focusing on strategies that will make you some money the fastest, and researching is not the way. Certainly, though, do read as much as you can on this site, and go to the library, bookstore, wherever, to learn even more. It would be hard to learn too much about the business, and certainly you should know more than you do now. So focus on learning, rather than researching, and then finding those motivated sellers in your market. And don’t forget my advice about a stopgap job from the previous post - find something, anything, that pays more than unemployment, as fast as you can, and preferably in line with what you want to do.

First steps? - Posted by Neil

Posted by Neil on July 30, 2003 at 24:28:13:

I have been recently laid off from work.
Same old story, I dedicate my life and
end up with nothing to show.

I am 26 and living back at home,
despite making over 50k a year in IT security

I do not wish to go back working for someone else.
So I began investigating what I can do with no collage education.

I found this site.
First off, THANK YOU.
The info here cannot be priced.

I have gotten together with 2 old High school friends,
one a Framer the other soon to be Journeymen.

We are going to begin taking baby steps into the RE game.
I am begining to read every article, top down like suggested,
every forum.

While I do this though, can someone give me some examples
of how you made your first steps?

I am extremely nervous about starting (Alot of money etc)
and I dont have alot to start with (Maybe 20k between the 3 of us)
But its this or I continue to make someone else rich, which isnt working.

Thanks in advance.
Back to reading

Re: First steps? - Posted by eric-fl

Posted by eric-fl on July 30, 2003 at 16:03:40:

Neil, I also work in I.T., making someone else rich. What’s extra fun for me is, I work in a small, privately held business, so I can DIRECTLY see the ownership getting richer each year, rather than some far-off, abstract stockholder. But enough about me.

I have often thought of what I would do if I were suddenly laid off, seeing as how I work in I.T., and that’s what we do. My situation is a bit different than yours, though. For starters, why were you only making 50k if you were specialized in security? That’s a 90k skillset, with SANS or CISSP certs, and they’re not THAT hard to get. Of course, nowadays, you also almost need a security clearance for security work. If you have one, you can almost name your price, and you are selling yourself short. If you don’t, well, as I’m sure you know, you can’t just go get one, so you’ll have some decisions to make.

Like for starters, how you’re going to eat. 20k between three people ain’t that much, and if you’re talking about pooling money, you’re talking about a partnership, which is not a recommended form of organization for this business.

Consider how much YOU have in savings & credit. If the time comes to where you find a fixer-upper and need your friend’s skills, contact them and maybe partner with them on THAT deal alone. Always keep the legalities on each transaction separate & distinct.

Next, you’ll need to decide on a strategy you want to implement. One of my favorite sayings is that it’s trite to ask someone what their goals are, when they don’t even know what the possibilities are yet. So, you need to learn about what is, and isn’t, within the realm of both possibility, and probablility (sometimes the 2 are vastly different).

In the meantime, you may want to try getting a JOB. If not in I.T. (which I most certainly understand), then in something, so you’re not draining what little savings you have while you are learning. Recruiters and staffing people call this a “stopgap” job, and it has become a part of the new American economic lexicon, in this seemingly never-ending recession. Oh wait, that’s right - the NBER came out last week and said the recession ended years ago - GREAT! I feel much better, how about you Neil? Nice recovery, huh?

But enough acidic sarcasm. One thing you may want to consider, in your stopgap job, is to get a job more closely aligned with what you are looking to do. For one, few people are more knowledgable about transaction mechanics than title agents - they close deals for other people all day long. Think you’d learn anything there? Or what about as a non-licensed assistant to a real estate agent? “Top Producers” in Real Estate frequently need to hire administrative help, just to handle their case load. While 98% of agents s*ck, the other 2% are what we called in the Air Force “Sierra Hotel” - Sh!t hot. Yes, believe it or not, there are some really impressive agents out there, who can teach you a lot about business in general, and many of whom’s practices can be emulated as a real estate investor. They may be hard to find, but worth the look.

HTH - good luck! Let us know what you decide to do for your next step.

Re: First steps? - Posted by Jasonrei

Posted by Jasonrei on July 30, 2003 at 11:30:35:

Learn property values. Be able to go into a neighborhood and know about what any home there will fetch. Pull together some rehab money. Find someone who will loan you money to buy. Run ads & post signs saying you buy houses. Contact the owners of vacant properties.

Re: First steps? - Posted by Neil

Posted by Neil on July 30, 2003 at 21:22:26:

Thanks eric
Alot of good info there.

Reason Im so underpayed right now has alot of factors built in.
(My certs are more *nix and Checkpoint oriented)
Im in Connecticut, and only one Security mgmt
company would hire me, for whatever reason.

I dont have a security clearence (For shame) also due to
the inability to get into somehwere that requires it)

Everything IT related is tough out here, for the High
end jobs as ours, they just dont want to pay what its worth,
and 50k is actually doing pretty nice in this area at the moment.

Remember we live in times of outsourcing,
why pay me 50k a yr when they can pay 10k for 10 ppl via
managed services

As for the 3 ppl, is it really difficult?
Becuase they actually approached me, which got me
into looking more about the subject
(Hence I found this GREAT site)

and one way or the other I would like to work with these guys.

Of course I am always looking for a job, but I
wish I didnt have to.

What is an average for flips?
because if we can get 15k profit per flip one per month that
is already more than we make working for ppl.

Is this realistic?

Another reason why there are 3 of us, is that they
have alot of resources at disposal.
(IE they are in the game somewhat already)

Today I went to try and find how to get comps, tax sales, foreclosure.

I didnt make it there, but was told to look at Town hall records department.
Seem right?

I also spent the entire day going looking for "For sale by owner"
Found one nice house, in a nice area.
Going to call tomorrow.

Well Ill end it there and contiune research

Thanks again.