As a single 27 yr old living in suburbs of Washington D.C and working in the corporate world after graduate school, I was not completely satisfied.  I have always been the kind that likes to stay busy, engaged in variety of things, and have always had an interest in learning how to generate additional income through various ventures.  After spending significant amount of time and effort searching and evaluating several passive businesses, I finally decided to dive into real estate.

I started with first purchasing my own property at the age of 25.  This gave me the fundamental understanding of process and challenges associated with purchasing a property.  Given that I was single, I rented out the 2nd bedroom in my condo, which basically covered 80% of the mortgage payment.  It felt pretty good to have your mortgage payment covered, and this gave me ample room to go out on the weekends and take several trips every year.  Moreover, I was able to save large portion of my salary.

After purchasing my first residential property in the form of a condo, I started looking at the local residential market for opportunities.  I quickly found a realtor that had experience with investors that could offer advice for location and types of properties to buy as well as experiences from other investors.  With limited knowledge of the area, I decided to stick with properties within the same town that I lived.  As I saved for the down payment for the first investment property, I started to look for properties which took a few months.  Shortly after, I was able to acquire my first property within 3 miles of where I lived.  I repeated the process for 5 more residential properties in the span of 3 years, and built a small portfolio.

In summary, following are the key steps in getting started while working 9-5 corporate job:

  1. Understand your market: Search for properties in your area and understand the price points that properties are being sold at.
  2. Find a realtor: Find a realtor with experience in working with investors. They can provide tons of resources and advice that can help you get started.
  3. Find a good lender that can do multiple loans: Generally, these are small banks/lenders that can not only offer multiple loans but also offer great rates. Build a relationship with 1-2 lenders – it will save A LOT of time and effort while going through the process.
  4. Find a closing attorney: the same formula applies here, shop for closing attorneys offering the lowest closing costs.
  5. Maintaining the property: Always keep reliable contractors on hand: Employ variety of contractors so you can choose from the ones that are more reliable and cost efficient. Very Important to have at least 2-3 contractors that you can rely on that can do variety of tasks (plumbing, leaks, paint jobs, etc).