Beginner Needs Play-By-Play


I want to get started in REI, but I’m confused on how/where to start.
I need a step by step “plan of action”.

I have been reading books, listening to audio books, gone to some training seminars, paid for some coaching…

And I still don’t know my first step.

I know I’m not stupid. But everywhere I turn someone else in selling a “Boot Camp” or training workshop, or mentorship, etc.

I don’t know who to listen to.
People on this forum say…Don’t waste your $ on the Gurus.
All of the info you need is on the web for FREE.

All of the “FREE” info, I’ve received is a selling tool to a $6k seminar!

I’ll break it down…

I am the typical case. I have no money and bad credit.

This is what I have:

  1. Getting Properties through Pre-Foreclosures/Foreclosures seem like the answer.
  2. Putting out ads looking for people in need of debt relief and checking the courthouse for distressed properties.

(It’s the “getting of the deed” process, that I’m really unclear about.)

(If it’s a candidate for a short sale and that whole process, I’m also unclear about.)

Is there someone that can fill in the blanks for me?
Can someone refer me to someone that can say…

“Do this. Do this. and Do this”

or even an inexpensive guru or coach, maybe a book or a website that explains this mystery and can get me on my way?

I know I can dance if I knew the steps.



I am the typical case. I have no money and bad credit.

This is VERY EASY. IF you have no money and bad credit, the very first thing you need to do is work hard to build your credit and obtain some money. Your credit is a measure of financial trustworthiness. If your credit is bad, then you will certainly need to fix it if you want to be successful in the real estate business.

There are 168 hours in a week. That is more than enough time to work two full time jobs and still have more than half the week left over for sleep!

Where should you start? Start by paying your debts!

Good Luck,



Here’s the hard truth. In this current lending climate, it’s VERY important to have some money and good credit ( FICO above 700). I think one reason you have no money is because you’re spending way too much time on courses, seminars, coaching, etc… If they were any good, you’d have a starting point. Here’s my two cents.

  1. Stop spending money on expensive courses, seminars, etc…
  2. Go on ebay and buy the Carleton Sheets program. I just bought one still in the wrapper for $40 . It’s a good beginners course with the step by step instruction you’re seeking. He has some no money down ideas that MAY work.
  3. Read " The Millionare Real Estate Investor" by Gary Keller ($20).
  4. Work your butt off to save money for investing.
  5. Fix your credit score. Pay your bills on time and try to open a few new accounts and use them once and pay them off the next month and don’t use them again.
  6. Building money and fixing credit can take more than a yr. or two. Use that time to read inexpensive books and join your local RE or landlord assoc. to tap the veteran’s knowledge. I’ve spent no more than $200 on RE education over the last yr. via books and Carleton Sheet’s program.
  7. A few more good books are, “The ABC’s of Real Estate Investing’’ by Ken McKelroy, “The Richest Man in Babylon” and " The Millionare Next Door”. Propertymanager has a book. I haven’t read it yet. It looks good. It’s ordered. Click on his link at the bottom of his post. He also has good no-nonsense advice from actual experience.

I hope that helps. Good luck. :beer

I have a suggestion for you if you are actually considering getting a second job to help pay down your debt. Get a part time job either at a home improvement store (Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc) or doing some type of construction or remodeling trade. Both ways will give you extra cash to pay down your bills and save up money, but they will also have an added benefit…working at a home improvement store will give you experience with home improvement and an ability to buy things with a discount. Getting a part-time job in construction would obviously give you good experience. If you learn how to fix/remodel things and what it will cost to do those repairs, you will be able to look at houses that need some work (that an average family wouldn’t want to live in that condition) and know if you can put some work into it and make it worth your while.
I am a “newbie” as well having purchased my first of hopefully many rental properties last year. During the past year, I’ve gained quite a bit of experience by doing my own repairs and remodeling. If you don’t learn to do as much as you can yourself, you’re going to give away anything you would’ve made to other people you have to hire.
While you’re working on bringing up that credit score and putting some cash back for a deal, educate yourself!! This site is a wealth of information from many people doing many different types of REI. Read through the forums and you’ll soon see who is experienced. You’ll also realize who is here to help and just how much time they’ve spent on here over the years helping others. I’ve read all the posts on many of the forums and have a notebook full of information. In addition to the other books phlemboy mentioned, I’d also suggest checking out your local library. It’s free and you’ll find several books on REI.
Also realize while you’re reading here, many people have differing opinions and are approaching REI from different angles. Find out what YOU want to do. Do you want to be a Landlord for single family homes? multi-families? a mix of the two? Do you want to rehab and sell? What about wholesaling? Commercial properties? Mobile homes?
Not everyone does it the same way. My first property is a 6-unit multi-family with all one bedroom units. Most people recommend starting out with single family homes (SFH) to get your feet wet, but my building has worked out well for me so far. If you have specific questions about my experiences thus far, you can send me a private message using the link at the top of the web page.

Well, on the other hand, there is no better investment than in your own EDUCATION. That being said, what you seem to be saying is you want or need a MENTOR more than a Guru. I say, you can spend a little $$ on some good inexpensive books on investing as a start - The Robert Kiyosaki serieis is a good place to start and they are very reasonably priced.

Next, find a real mentor in your area. You can arrange some sort of trade of services in exchange for their guidance. Do some handyman stuff for them or office work or phone-calling. It’s no money out of pocket for you, yet a chance to work with a real life investor in the biz.

Another suggestion - start watching CNBC on a daily basis. Understanding what is happening in the markets and the economy is key to successful real estate investing.

Thanks so much for your replies.

I have my own business which takes my whole day/night, so getting another job won’t work. The business is “cashflow bleeding” every month.
I have bet the farm and cannot walk away from it.
The credit repair is underway.

I need to get into the game with no credit & no money.
How do I make this happen?

Can anyone comment on the following courses?

  1. Rich Dad Education/Wealth Academy

  2. Ron LeGrand

  3. Financial Health Coaching Team

  4. Carlton Sheets

Welcome to the REI club and good luck in your endeavors!

Can anyone comment on the following courses?
  1. Rich Dad Education/Wealth Academy

  2. Ron LeGrand

  3. Financial Health Coaching Team

  4. Carlton Sheets

All of these topics have been discussed quite extensively. If you use the search function, which is located near the top of this page under your screen name, you will be able to locate those dicussions.

Enjoy and we look forward to your input! :beer

The very last thing you need to do is pay thousands of dollars for an expensive course. I would recommend the Carleton Sheets course as an excellent inexpensive beginner’s course.

What makes you think you could do any better with real estate than your other business?

As a business owner, you should already know that you can not run a successful business with no money and bad credit.


Okay, so you’ve bet the farm on your own business which is currently cash flow bleeding and consumes all of your time. How do you suppose you will find the time to be a successful real estate investor? Perhaps you should get your current house in order before jumping into a new career.

[quote author=71tr link=topic=35207.msg167424#msg167424 date=1205180819]

What type of business is it and why is it losing money? It sounds like you don’t have time, money or credit. These are just 3 of many vital things you absolutely NEED. I think if you were to find a way to buy RE without them, you’d eventually dig a deeper hole for yourself. Get your personal financial situation under control and build up some reserves before you even think about investing. During this time, get educated on investing without spending a ton of money.

Thanks for your input.

What about people who are making $ on their first deals?
Are these ALL a fluke?

This is why I need to do REI… to survive and get ahead.

Not the other way around.

Sometimes I guess you can lucky and get a good deal. But education will at least put you in the position to recognize a good deal when you see it. It’s going to take time, effort, education and discipline to get to the point where you can start REI. Your business that’s sapping your time and money needs to be turned around or dumped. It doesn’t matter how much you have into it. At some point you have to cut your losses and move on if you can’t turn it around. I get the feeling that you’re looking for REI to pull you out of your financial troubles. It can do that, but REI takes time, money,credit and education. All of which you don’t have right now. When you have your financial house in order, then start REI. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a larger hole you’re in now. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.

Now I’m curous abou that course. I never thought it would get good reviews.

Also, to the person starting out. If your business works you day/night, how can you do real estate? I’m sure it does take some time.

Actually the Carleton Sheets course is decent. I don’t believe it’s worth the $150 - $250 price I’ve seen. I picked one up for $40. Well worth the money. How can you go wrong?

I know where you are and paid 80k to get the answers do you want me to just list the answers ? Hey I understand your desire but the process costs money. Ive been to all the 30k dollar training programs and they work.

What about people who are making $ on their first deals? Are these ALL a fluke?

In some cases, it is just a fluke and in some cases the new investor has done their homework and does everything right. Your success or failure as an investor (or owner of a REI business) is not determined by one deal.

Sometimes I guess you can lucky and get a good deal.

Luck has very little to do with business success in the long term. Real estate investing is a very simple business. You can learn the basics in a week or two (if you work HARD). You certainly don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn this simple business. However, you MUST learn the business before you start or you will be on the fast track to failure.

Happy Investing,


I spent $50 and it works great. 80k is obscene when most of the answers are on forums like this for free.

Yeah, but then you can’t make any money trying to up-sell in the Discussion Forums!!


For myself when I found a mentor that didn’t charge me my business took off.

Find someone at your local investment group that is doing well for themselves and then befriend them.

Take their cars to get washed, walk their dog, etc. They can’t help but like you.

I managed to make friends with the president of a NYSE traded company by listening to war stories. He actually was in Auschwitz sister camp for two years and I learned a great deal as well.