How to Invest in Real Estate as a Teenager
If you're a teenager and you want to enter the real estate market, it should not be a surprise to you that the earlier you start the better. Here are some tips.
We all would have heard about how long it takes to pay off a mortgage, and so the younger you start, the younger you will be when it is all paid for. And then the more time you have to reap the benefits. But just how young is it possible to be when starting your real estate journey? Is it possible to start as a teenager? Or is this completely unrealistic? Let us have a look at just how you can invest in real estate while you are still a teenager.
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How old do you need to be to sign a legal document for real estate?
If you are wondering if there is an answer to the question: how young is too young to invest in real estate? Then the answer is actually 18. Simply because you have to be a minimum of 18 to sign legal documents. While you may think you are smart enough and have the knowledge required to be a great real estate investor when you are younger than 18, unfortunately the law states otherwise.
There is a slight loophole however, as discussed by Under 30 Wealth: you can invest in real estate under the age of 18 if you use your parents. It is not really the same, as it is technically your parents (or guardians) that are investing. But if you really were intent on entering the real estate world at a young age, it is one way to do it. Most people will purchase their own properties or investments at the age of 19 or 20, which is still plenty young enough to make the most of the returns in their lifetime.
How to get information about real estate as a teenager
Although you may be considered too young to legally own real estate, anyone under the age of 18 is more than welcome to learn about it. In fact, the early teenage years is the perfect time to learn as much as you can. Then when you do reach legal age, you will have a head start on those who are just starting from scratch. Real estate investing can be a real hit or miss, so the more you know, the more you will set yourself up for success.
The best resource for learning as a teenager is the internet. Chances are as a teenager you will be well versed in how the internet works, and so sourcing the information should not be too difficult. Just make sure that you stick to reputable sources and avoid opinion pieces as much as possible. Being a teenager does not limit your access to information, so no matter what age you are, you will be able to join in on any forums, podcasts, blogs, guides or courses.
How to get ready to invest in real estate as a teenager
There is more that you can do to prepare yourself for investing than to reach a certain age. While it is true that it is not possible to properly own real estate before you are 18, there are definitely things that you can do before hand to help yourself when the time comes. These are highlighted by Bigger Pockets as being the following.
- Begin building credit. Your ability to secure financing as a new investor will depend largely on your credit rating. So the earlier you start building your credit rating, the better you will be. Check with your parents or guardians whether you can become an authorized user on their account. Then you will reap the benefits of their positive credit.
- Save money. Even with the best financing available, you will still need some money down when purchasing your first property. So, the more money you have saved in your own name, the better. This could mean saving your pocket money, or even getting yourself a part time job outside of your schooling to put money away.
What are some benefits of starting in real estate as a teenager?
You may be asking yourself why it is a good idea to start in real estate as a teenager? While it may be true that with age comes wisdom, one common regret that current successful real estate investors will have is that they wish they had started earlier. None wished that they had waited. So, what are some of the main reasons for starting in real estate younger? Roofstock states the following benefits:
- Real estate investing is about long-term wealth generation. If you are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme, then real estate is not for you. Rather, real estate favors the patient. So it makes sense that the earlier you begin your investment journey, the younger you will be when it starts to properly pay off.
- Building real estate skill takes time. Real estate investing is not something that you just wake up one day and decide to do. It requires skill and knowledge and calculated decision making. And more often that not, the first investment will not be a big success. So, the younger you are that you start, the more opportunity you have to learn. And if you are younger when you make your first mistake, then the more time you have to fix it. Making a bad real estate investment at 19 is not going to ruin your life, however a bad investment in your 50s or 60s could.
Do not let anyone tell you that you are too young to start investing. The truth is that the sooner you start, the more time you will have to make the most of the returns that real estate can bring you. Starting as a teenager is not always easy, however it is certainly possible, and if you are determined and hardworking, there is no reason why you cannot start working towards a successful real estate career in your teenage years.
Charles is the founder of infoSpike.com. His real estate investing experience started in 2004 and he is currently focused on rental property projects. He enjoys learning about real estate investing, personal finance, and marketing. Read more about Charles here.