As we write this blog post, most would consider that the Ventura County real estate market is tilted heavily in the sellers’ favor. Any home that is priced reasonably can expect to see multiple offers within the first week or so. If you remember when home prices were rising before the last crash, you can probably think of a handful of people that you know who decided that they wanted to get into real estate. That might have been in the form of getting their real estate salesperson license or buying properties in the hope of selling them in a few years and cashing out the equity from appreciation Once again, we see that more and more people are becoming interested in dabbling in real estate. While studies show that 90% of the people who say they want to get into real estate never take action, there are a few things that those who are serious can do to transition into real estate. In today’s post, we will look at three different ways that can help you get into investing full time.
Find a real estate related job
One of the best ways to get into investing full time is to find a job that is already part of the real estate field. This way, you could theoretically still earn a paycheck while simultaneously be on the lookout for properties that fit your investment goals. Many of us with other full time jobs know that it is hard to find time to dedicate to reaching their real estate goals. If your full time job is already in real estate, the road becomes much easier. Some examples of jobs you could pursue are real estate agent, contractor, appraiser, or property manager. If this is the route you choose to take, keep in mind that you are not guaranteed a paycheck in some of these jobs. If you are a traditional real estate agent, you theoretically do not get paid unless you help a client buy or sell a home. Since the average agent in America does only 3 or 4 transactions a year, you can see that may not necessarily be the easiest way to earn a living. For those with the dedication and work ethic to be successful, this could be a great way to jump start your investing career.
Team up with your spouse
For those married couples who share the same real estate goals, a great way for both of you to become full time investors is to do it one person at a time. Although this is increasingly difficult in Ventura County, if one of the spouses makes enough income for the whole family to live on, this could be a perfect opportunity for the other spouse to leave their job and invest in real estate full time. With this method, there is no stress with worrying about where the next paycheck will come from and if you will be able to pay your bills or put food on the table. However, it is very important for both of you to be on the same page and have clear expectations. You need to understand that real estate may not bring in any money right away and it could take time to reap the rewards. This method could end up backfiring if the spouse that is still working their 9-5 job complains that the other is not contributing to the finances. Again, make sure you both set realistic expectations up front and that you continue to be on the same page through thick and thin.
Jump in with both feet
Although this last method could work very well, it also comes with a high level of risk. The third option is to just quit your current job and dedicate yourself full time to investing. Obviously anyone can do this at any time, but ideally you want to know that you have enough money in the bank for you to live on in the short term even if you were not to make a single dime. The amount of money this should be will depend on your risk tolerance, but we would recommend having at least 6 months to a year’s worth of expenses saved up. I think most real estate brokers recommend that the new agents not expect to make any money within the first 6 months, and I would think that estimate would be higher for investors. In any case, knowing that you have to “sink or swim” can be a strong motivator for some to reach their goals.
As you can see, there are options for getting into full time investing. While none of them may be any easier than the others, they each have their own set of pros and cons. One may be better suited to your particular situation while another may be too risky for you. Whatever the case, please know that becoming a full time investor will take a lot of time, dedication, and hard work. Despite what all the radio commercials and TV infomercials may try and tell you, real estate is not a “get rich quick” scheme. While a very few may find those rare home runs right away, this should not be expected or you could find yourself in some serious financial hardships.