First things first, I am an unexperienced student, so if any of the info in here is incorrect, please correct me.
As the title suggests, I’m trying to get an early start on real estate investing. I’m an 18 year old CSE major going into my 2nd year in September. I’m planning on graduating fall 2023, so I have 5 semesters left for my degree. My plan after getting out of school is to start working full time as a software engineer, or something along those lines. Since I plan on living with my parents for a few years after graduating, most of the money from my job would end up being saved and hopefully will go into some rental properties. My current plan is to get an FHA loan on something like a 4-plex, live there for a year and then see how it goes from there.
I live in central Connecticut, and I don’t have any really steady income except for my current summer job landscaping with a family member. I should have about $8k by the end of summer, but I’m assuming a lot of it will go into school expenses this coming semester. I most likely won’t have any student loans since my parents are paying for tuition, while I pay for things like gas for the commute and any class expenses. From talking to a few people in my family who have rentals, I should expect a good 4-plex to cost around $300-400k here with about $2k monthly cash flow. These are the numbers that a family member is getting, so I’m hoping to get something not too far off, but I’m also aware of the many things that could go wrong. Anyways, from what I’ve learned, an FHA loan can cover investment properties from duplexes to 4-plexes, though I’ve read of different places only offering up to a certain amount of units (duplex only FHA loan for example, with no triplex or 4-plex loan options). From what I saw, FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment instead of the typical 20%+, which makes it a viable option. This would mean having a down payment of about $14,000 on $400,000 property, plus any additional expenses for the building itself. Now, I don’t have that kinda money just yet, so I was thinking about becoming a real estate agent and working whenever I have time to try and make some commission money.
Now, this was just for some info about what I’m planning on doing, and I saw that a lot of people get their real estate license, whether it be for working and getting commissions, or to access the MLS. I haven’t looked into it too much, but I know there’s gonna be some money upfront needed, and money yearly to keep the license. I’m thinking of getting my license, and maybe start working as an agent in my free time during school or full time throughout breaks off school (summer/winter break). I don’t know if this is even realistic since it might take a lot more time/work than what I’m thinking, but I guess that’s why I’m here. In CT, a real estate license requires 60 hours of classes, and then passing the test. Since I have 3 months until school starts again (end of august/beginning of September), I was thinking of dedicating this summer to getting my license, and starting work. I don’t know how hard or how long the process is, but I’m assuming 3 months would be enough to get a license between classes and test taking. I don’t know if this is a good option as I would end up going back to being a full time student after these 3 months with an hour long commute to my school and back everyday, 5 days a week.
So, I have a few questions now:
How can I get a head start for my investing “career”?
Should I go for a real estate license? If I do, would I be able to realistically make money while in school (full time)? What else should I consider looking at?
I don’t think this would be a waste of time, but I am trying to get as much information, and possibly money as possible before investing any money into rentals. My plan is to get my first property by the time I’m 21/22, and then keep going from there.
Sorry for the long post, and I thank everyone in advance for any information provided.