5 TIPS FOR MILLIENIALS LOOKING TO INVEST IN REAL ESTATE
by Victor E. Bomi, ATLCO Real Estate Advisors
1. SAVE TO INVEST
We have all heard the age old sayings about the importance of saving (which is true) – but it is also important to remember that saving to save – without a goal is not financially prudent in today’s day and age of less than 1% interest rates the banks give to “savers.” This interest rate doesn’t even beat inflation so really in actuality you are losing money.
So when we recommend that millennials save to invest – what we mean is that you should have an overall investment goal that you would like to accomplish with those savings. Real Estate provides you with an opportunity to put your money to work, instead of having it just sitting there inside of a bank savings account and losing value due to inflation.
Historically real estate investing has provided investors anywhere from 8%-15% returns and has been the #1 creator of wealth in the world. Don’t let the bank take your money and make money with your money (because that is what they are doing essentially when you just leave it there in a savings account via loans, etc.).
Saving money in general is a foundational action to creating wealth, but investing it wisely is what gets the ball rolling to create wealth – the earlier you get started investing the more money you are set to make. The last point I would tell you is that before you actually do start “saving to invest” – remember to accumulate a “rainy day savings fund” – a separate savings account funded with up 6 months’ worth of your living expenses for unexpected financial emergencies.
2. Get To Know Key People
One of the great things about investing in Real Estate is that a lot of times you don’t need to “re-invent” the wheel. You can shorten your learning curve by simply surrounding yourself with great people who can help you accomplish your real estate investing goals. Real Estate by nature is a people business, so you need to be willing to get out of your comfort zone and go out and meet the right agents, other investors, contractors, architects, real estate attorneys, cpas, etc for you.
One of the most important resources you can have on your team is a Real Estate Investment Advisor – which is a little different from the traditional Real Estate Agent – because they specialize in working with real estate investors and helping them create a solid investment business plan that is tailored to your overall investment goals. Here At ATLCO Real Estate Advisors – we provide a one stop shop for our investors, have all those resources mentioned above and have helped many investors get on the right track when it comes to real estate investing. If that is something you may be interested in be sure to get in touch with me.
3. FOCUS ON INCREASING YOUR CASHFLOW
A lot of people will tell you that you need to build your credit score & pay off your debts (which is true you certainly do) – but if you place your focus on increasing your cashflow – then you can accomplish building your credit and paying off your debts much faster.
So if this means, getting a second job, creating a business, asking for a raise, selling on amazon or ebay, or just becoming a passive private lender into real estate deals, having more disposable income puts you in a much better position to get into the real estate investing game faster. All of this is easier said than done, but just remember you can do it – if you focus and put your mind into it.
4. ELIMINATE UNNECESSARY EXPENSES
Basically what I am saying here is to be frugal and live within your means. It is okay to drive a used car that is reliable if it means that you don’t have to pay a car note every month (car notes are expenses of depreciating assets) or unnecessary credit card debt. If you need to forego going out to eat all the time and making more home cooked meals to save more money – do it. Basically, the key here is to understand that sometimes you have to sacrifice a few luxuries in the short term to get to your overall long-term goal faster.
Don’t get caught up “keeping up with the Jones’” and trying to out-do all your friends around you who are driving Mercedes Benz or BMWs, yet are living paycheck to paycheck. Consider reducing your housing expense by “house-hacking” – buying a duplex and essentially living in one side, while renting out the other to someone who will pay your mortgage each month via renting.
Another way is to simply just rent out an apartment with a friend that is inexpensive while you focus on building your cashflow. Living a frugal and focused lifestyle actually also helps you create discipline even as an investor – because you will know not to just throw your money away at just any real estate investment opportunity unless it makes financial sense for you. Make a list of everything you usually spend money on every month in an excel spreadsheet, analyze your overall monthly income and compare it to your monthly expenses. Always remember to maintain a monthly BUDGET and always be spending LESS than you EARN each month.
5. RAISE MONEY TO INVEST
Sometimes you can feel like you don’t have enough to get started investing in real estate – and that is okay, most people will not. The good thing is that you may have friends or family members who do, who you may be able to talk to about your real estate investing goals and if your relationships are strong enough, they will usually give you a test run to see how you do. I would recommend that if you go this route – the most important thing you should remember is that your reputation in this business is very important and doing business with integrity is what will keep you in business for a long time.
At my company ATLCO Real Estate Advisors one of the things that has kept me in business for so long is simply placing a lot of value on our relationships we are building with our investors. Another thing that would be important to remember if you decide to obtain funds from friends or family members is to have a promissory note on the terms and expectations of the business relationship.
Having access to people who are willing to invest with you will help you get in the game much faster and gives you a leg-up on most of your investor competition. When raising money, even if you don’t have the experience – it is important to work with a team that does so that you will know how to successfully invest and get your investors their principal and returns on investment at the end of the project.
These are just a few good pointers that will get you started and on the right track towards becoming a successful real estate investor. If you are serious about taking your investing to the next level – then get in touch with us.