I was lucky enough to have a few real estate investors in my family & close family friends. Early in my life, I did a cursory review of those that were & were not involved in real estate investing. It revealed a dramatic difference between the two groups. Those that were involved in real estate evidenced a stable and secure financial future. While those in the other group varied in financial security.
I recognized about 1/2 way through college that I wanted to become a real estate investor. I decided at this point to give my attention to financial prosperity, so I began reading various authors on the subject. The authors that really struck a chord with me were the ones that discussed investment real estate and the various benefits of investment real estate. For the rest of my time during these college years I plotted my potential course. How was I going to do it? I had desire but very few financial resources.
What did I have that would allow me to pursue my goal? Since I had little to no financial assets available to me, I sifted through what advantages I did have at my disposal. Post graduation from Ohio State University, I found a job in my related field of study. That gave me the main qualifier for mortgage qualification - a stable income. My VA benefits I acquired from my service in the Marine Corps, allowed me access to a VA mortgage (nothing down). I had the minimum requirements needed to purchase my first home/investment! I quickly located a two-family building & bought it. It was my first step toward building an investment portfolio.
There is was, a start. I bought my first investment property. At the time, I was not able to articulate the exact variables that pushed me to become an owner of this particular two-family. Now I see them, and I am able to articulate why it was a great buy. Today, without the ability to articulate those qualities you would summarize your assessment as a hunch or it just felt like the one.
Well I had it. I was off and running into uncharted territory for me. I was uncomfortable & nervous. All the 'what ifs' ran through my mind. As I settled in, I knew what my overall goal was - acquire an investment portfolio. Now I had my first property of the portfolio and I had to go to work to discover the hidden potential within it that would allow me to maximize my investment. That investment was my donated labor - sweat equity.
I assessed the two-family building and identified exactly how it would look, and what features it would have. This plan was developed as a long term goal. At the time, I did not have the resources available to accomplish these renovations but all effort I placed into the investment was movement toward accomplishing my development plan. I was not going to waste my energy/investment by redoing renovations and improvements. Having a plan in place allowed me to concentrate all of my energies and bring my efforts to the highest efficiency.
I am very grateful for those people that allowed me to watch them as well as those that gave me guidance during my investment decisions. These people have allowed me to profit from their experience and mistakes.
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Isaac Newton.