I talk to a lot of real estate investors through email, Facebook, and in my coaching programs. One of the most common questions is, “how do I get started if I don’t have the money?” There are a lot of gurus who teach real estate is the answer to any financial problem. Real estate can be an awesome way to invest your money and build wealth. It can even be a great way to make a lot of money when you have very little. However, real estate investing is not easy, and if you want to make a lot of money, it will take time and sacrifices. If you have very little money and want to change your life, this article can hopefully give you a realistic idea of what it takes and how to succeed with real estate.
What is the first thing you should do?
If you don’t have any money right now, don’t feel bad. Most people live paycheck to paycheck, and 15 percent of Americans live below the poverty line! America is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and it is important to remember we still live in one of the best times ever. Some sources claim 50 percent of Americans lived in poverty during the 1800s. Even in the 1950s, up to 30 percent of Americans lived in poverty. While some say the American dream is dead, I disagree and believe this is a great time to be alive.
If you are low on funds, you have the ability to change that. Changing your attitude about money, changing your spending habits, and changing how you think about those who have money are all ways to improve your finances. If you have bad money habits, real estate will not solve all your money problems. It is important to save money, invest it wisely, and have a plan. Floating through life hoping things get better rarely, if ever, works.
Real estate will not magically fix your money problems, but it can be a great way to invest and build wealth. However, you also need to work on basic money management. Here are some questions I ask people who tell me having no money is their biggest problem:
- Besides investing in real estate, what are you doing to fix the problem? Have you looked for a better job, an extra job, another job, or asked for a raise?
- Do you have a budget and know how much you spend? Most people have no idea how much money they spend or what they spend it on.
- Do you have a car or house payment that is too high compared to your income? Lenders do not care about how much money you can save when they give you a loan. You should not buy the most expensive house or car you can.
- Have you talked to a lender? Lenders can give you an idea of if or when you can buy a house. They can also help with credit problems, debt-to-income ratios, and give you things to work on. Talking to a lender is free!
- If you have another business besides real estate, should you be focusing on it instead? A lot of people lose focus and try to do too much at once. I always tell people who are trying to become real estate agents to avoid trying to be investors at the same time. Focus on one career, and once you have mastered it, expand.
Too many people rely on real estate to fix all their money problems without looking at why they have no money. The better off you are financially, the easier it will get. Here are some more articles to help you fix money problems:
What is the best way to invest in real estate if you don’t have funds?
Being low on money does not mean you cannot invest in housing. It makes it harder, and you need to realize it will take sacrifices and hard work to make it happen. If you want it all to be easy or don’t have time to dedicate to the process, you will probably be broke the rest of your life. Sorry to be blunt, but most people want the easy way out, and easy rarely, if ever, works. The best way to invest in real estate if you don’t have the money is to buy a house to live in.
Many people cannot buy their own house because they have bad credit, bought a car that was too expensive, or don’t control their finances. All of these problems can be fixed, but again, most people will not make the sacrifices needed to fix them. I drove a 1991 Ford Mustang as my daily driver for 10 years before I had a car payment. I always made my payments on everything, even if it meant making sacrifices in other parts of my life. Gurus love to claim you don’t need good credit to succeed, but it sure makes life easier.
When you buy a house for yourself, do not buy any house on the market that you or your family love…buy an awesome deal. Again, it takes sacrifice. Getting a great deal takes time, research, patience, and the ability to do some work. Most people don’t want to make those sacrifices. If you make those sacrifices and get an awesome deal, you can earn tens of thousands of tax-free dollars from your house. Or, buy an awesome deal that you only have to live in for a year, and rent it out once you leave. Buying the right house can be life changing and set you upon an amazing path. You can buy houses over and over again as an owner occupant as long as you live in them for a year.
If you need more help on both how to buy the right house and the house buying process in general, check out my book: How to Buy a House: What Everyone Should Know Before They Buy or Sell a Home. The book explains how to buy houses with little money, how to get the best loan, which houses to buy, how to find agents, and much more.
What if you can’t buy a house yet?
Many people may have to wait a couple of years before they fix their finances or can buy a house. If you cannot buy a house on your own yet, do not give up hope! There are ways to make money in real estate without getting a loan. Stay focused on fixing your finances, and don’t assume real estate investing will fix everything. When using these techniques, you still need to work on your credit and savings. Wholesaling can be a great way to get started in real estate and is often taught as the easiest way to make millions doing so. Wholesaling is difficult, and it takes time to get systems set up. If you are looking to earn extra money or start a new career, you could also become a real estate agent. You can even flip houses with little to no money if you find the right people to work with. Buying rentals is another way to invest in real estate that can be done with little or no money .
What is the first action you should take when you have no money and want to invest in real estate?
Many people get overwhelmed educating themselves and trying to figure out the best course of action to take. There is a lot to learn, and there are many different techniques that can be used. To keep track of everything, you need to have a plan. You must write down your goals, the steps you will take to reach those goals, and when you will complete those steps. This will give you a road map to get where you want to be. You do not have to write out a fancy 50 page business plan. Get a notebook and just start writing down the things you need to work on. Write in it everyday, and eventually you will see the right path for you. While making your plan, you can write down other ways you will improve yourself financially. Things do not magically change overnight, but making small changes every day can lead to big changes in the long run.
Real estate is an amazing business, but you have to work hard and smart to make it work for you. It will not magically transform your life when you have no money, no credit, and are not willing to work hard to change things. Real estate can help you make more money, but at the same time, the more you improve your financial situation, the easier it will be.