Quick Life Question.... - Posted by Jim NJ

Posted by brandoncbsre on May 26, 2009 at 07:44:27:

… a Vulture Capitalist!!

I do see your point. I buy forecloseures to rehab and either resell or rent. I do feel that I am investor and have multiple exit strategies in mind when I buy. If however, I bought and rehabbed a property that would not make sense as a cashflow rental than I would agree 100% that I would be speculating in that case.

Thankfully I had the foresight to seek properties that can work as rentals…my first 2 flips were flops as flips but working out good as rentals.

Quick Life Question… - Posted by Jim NJ

Posted by Jim NJ on May 24, 2009 at 19:56:18:

I just had a couple quick life questions. I’ll try to keep it short. I’m 30 now and recently lost a job. It was a dead end job, so it was probably for the better. I’m at a point in my life where I really don’t know what to do.

I was very interested in Real Estate Investing in my early 20’s and studied it extensively. I purchased and went through a lot of the courses. I actually visited and posted on this site daily. I’m not so sure that conventional Real Estate Investing is for me, though. I’m not exactly a people person. Are there any ways to invest in real estate without having to be a salesman or anything? To put it this way if there was a way to invest in real estate without having to deal much with any people I’d do it in a heartbeat because I’m very interested in the business side of it and figuring out deals, but I know that that is highly unlikely.

The reason I ask all this is because I recently had a relative pass away and will probably be inhereting around $50,000 later this year. And being that I lost my job I feel like I am at a critical point in my life and need to really decide what to do and I feel I have an opportunity to do something with my life being that I’m inhereting this money and I don’t want to miss the opportunity.

So basically all I’m asking is for some advice from anyone out there asking what they would do if they were in my shoes, a 30 year old that just lost his job, no college degree and doesn’t know which direction to go. And someone that doesn’t want to blow an opportunity with the $50,000 he’s inhereting.

Should I pursue any avenue in Real Estate Investing? Should I start my own business? Or should I just sit on the money and leave it in the bank and try to go find another dead end job that doesn’t pay very well?

I’m just looking for help on figuring out which direction to turn at this critical point in my life. I truly feel that this is the fork in the road in my life where it could go in the direction of becoming very successful or going completely wrong. Any advice is GREATLY appreciated.

Thank You,
Jim NJ

Re: Quick Life Question… - Posted by Gene

Posted by Gene on May 26, 2009 at 15:44:56:

Honestly you would do well by working on your weaknesses rather than just doing what your are comfortable with.

I recommend you get a SALES job. Being a good sales person is an acquired skill…and can be a very profitable career if you take it seriously. It is pretty easy to get commission based sales jobs…because you only get paid when you land a sale.

The skills you learn will be amazingly valuable to you as you build a RE investing business part time.

Re: Quick Life Question… - Posted by Natalie-VA

Posted by Natalie-VA on May 26, 2009 at 08:24:38:


As others have alluded to, I would get a job and start real estate as a part-time venture until you can generate enough money to quit that other job. Put that money in the bank.

In answer to your other question, I’m not much of a salesperson or a people person, but I am a full-time investor. I buy most of my properties at foreclosure auction. Are they the best deals around? No, but I can’t stand taking calls from unrealistic sellers, etc. I’d rather just look at a house, crunch my numbers, and buy it if it works for me.


Re: Quick Life Question… - Posted by Rick, the Probate Guy

Posted by Rick, the Probate Guy on May 25, 2009 at 07:27:08:

Jim - here’s my experience:

When I was about your age (34 to be exact) my employer fired me (because they had this silly rule about people showing up and doing the work they were being paid to do). Anyway, it had sure taken them a long time to get around to firing me and I appreciated them doing it because I didn’t have the guts to quit.

Now, I had been doing real estate on the side for years by that point (sometimes when I should have been doing my j.o.b.) but didn’t have a regular cashflow from rental or resale profits. I wasn’t confident enough to believe that I could make a go if things unless I had a regular income.

A friend help me get a j.o.b. as a loan officer at large mortgage brokerage that specialized in sub-prime mortgages (before the industry had a name!). I was terrible at it, the training sucked, the manager thought that I should be an expert from day one (I guess because I drove a Ferrari convertible in those days).

Anyway, after four months I hadn’t made a dime, I wanted out, they wanted me out, and I was gone.

But not exactly to square one. While I had really learned the business, the seed was planted that:

  1. I really loved the private money part of lending,
  2. I could learn it as I went along
  3. It was very realistic that I make a good enough living at it that I’d have excess funds for which to invest and grow that nest egg.

Jim, I was realistic that before I could be an investor, I had to make a living and pay the bills first. That’s probably most every investor’s initial challenge.

So, I found a small hard-money broker to work for and after a couple of months felt I had enough understanding of the business that I could go off on my own, and that’s what I did. I never regretted it.

And make no bones about it, there are two sides to making money in real estate: Real estate investing and the BUSINESS of real estate. They are not the same.

People who are agents and brokers, appraisers, title and escrow staff, are in the real estate business.

Even people who buy and sell for quick profits, are in the real estate business, not investing, if they don’t hold property or notes. This is real estate speculation. Tell many such a real estate person that they are actually speculators, not investora, and you’ll watch them turn red with anger.

It’s really just professional gambling, the game is real estate, and the gambler hopes the cards are stacked in his/her favor. I’ve gambled countless time on this myself and most of the time I’ve made money.

So, with this in mind, when you have at stake is: your time, your ability to pay your current bills (and perhaps support a family), the opportunity cost of not developing an alternative career, and perhaps your inheritance. Personally, I would take the inheritance part out of the equation and pretend it doesn’t exist. That forces you to make choices based on your ability to make a living now, and perhaps value your education (formally or informally) of real estate, whether it be some facet of the business, or investing, or both.

Your best investment is in your education however you ought to me mindful and realistic that you need an income before you dare invest. And I feel that your best bets will be made with money that you earned in this business rather than money you inherited. (Read this last sentence twice!).

See you at the REI clubs and the seminars!

I disagree… - Posted by michaela-CA

Posted by michaela-CA on May 26, 2009 at 16:19:13:


in my opinion it’s better to find a niche that uses your strengths, than forcing yourself to learn something you don’t do well. If you’re good at something then that confidence will come through and help you. If you’re not comfortable with people than that will come across as well and might hamper a sale.

There are so many different niches in Real Estate, that there’s bound to be something for everyone.

I suck at details, so I hire people that do the detail work. Same with many other things.Works for me. I make plenty of many with the things I"m good at, so I can afford it. Otherwise I’d be starving trying to get better at something I hate.


Re: Quick Life Question… - Posted by Natalie-VA

Posted by Natalie-VA on May 26, 2009 at 06:24:13:

I just turned red in the face. :slight_smile:

I make a good living buying and selling for quick profits, but I don’t think I’m a speculator. IMO, a speculator is hoping for an upturn in value. I am buying under market value. I know that I’ll make money selling just as much as the landlord buyer knows he’ll make money renting. Nothing is certain. It’s all a gamble, isn’t it?

Love your posts, by the way.


Re: Quick Life Question… - Posted by Texas-Trader

Posted by Texas-Trader on May 25, 2009 at 23:42:06:

Rick is right on with the advice he gave you about removing the inheritance out of the equation.

Rule #1. You have to have some income to pay the bills before you can think about getting rich or becoming a investor.
Rule #2. You never risk any money you have.
Rule #3. If you can’t do it without using your own money, it’s probably not a good enough deal.
Rule #4. Get a coach you can trust.
When I was your, I went to work for a High rise developer at minimum wage just to learn the business.

One of my income streams is the note business and I buy and sell notes all the time without using any of my own money.

Re: I disagree… - Posted by Gene

Posted by Gene on May 26, 2009 at 20:34:51:

Working on my weaknesses rather than my strengths is something I learned from a remarkable coach many years ago.

It has served me well in athletics, business and in life.

I’m sure there is an easier road I could have taken…but I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be where I am today without a bit of sacrafice.

As far as you statement “If you’re not comfortable with people than that will come across as well and might hamper a sale.” That’s kindof the point of my post…wouldn’t it be better to fix the problem rather than try to avoid it in every deal…

I know from my experiences that not being able to talk to people well would be a HUGE disadvantage in RE…Even the reo’s I have purchased. Its all about communication.

Re: Quick Life Question… - Posted by Rick, the Probate Guy

Posted by Rick, the Probate Guy on May 26, 2009 at 07:04:24:

Natalie - I would never want to say anything that was inappropriate to you.

For many, many years I considered myself investing when I bought (way) undermarket and resold for retail. I would have never considered myself a speculator and, frankly, found the term somewhat perjorative and derogatory.

Then, I had this little, innocent conversation with an oldtimer (one of those eye-opener conversations that are a bit discomforting but well worth the time).

He made the observation that I was speculating every time I bought and sold a property.

I countered that speculators buy low and resell when the price goes up, and that took time. That speculators might even buy at retail price intending to hold or resell to developers at a later date.

The conversation was a bit maddening, but the net result was that I thought the thing that somehow separated me from “speculators” was time.

I finally recognized that, whether I own a property for an hour, a day, a week, or eleven months, I’m still speculating that I bought it under sufficiently below-market terms to make a profit.

I still don’t refer to myself as a speculator (there are a lot of other terms that I’d prefer to describe my real estate buy/sell practises, “Bottomfeeder” being my favorite).

I think that “Bottomfeeding Opportunist” is a better descrption for what I do.

Re: Quick Life Question… - Posted by Natalie-VA

Posted by Natalie-VA on May 26, 2009 at 08:21:48:

Well, if you’re a bottomfeeder, then I’m a vulture!