The Four Biggest Excuses That Hold Back Rookie Investors

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Like I’ve mentioned on my website, video, and podcasts when I first began this whole investing journey I knew NOTHING.  Did I have fear?  Was I anxious? Of course I was.  However, what made the difference was the fact that I didn’t let those fears hold me back.  They were an obstacle not a roadblock.

So when I talk about the four major excuses, don’t think that I didn’t experience these as well, because I did.  That’s how I know they exist, I felt them firsthand.  Although these excuses exist, I encourage you to read ahead and think about which ones are holding you back and why.  After you determine your roadblock, start putting together an action plan to overcome it so that you can begin this exciting, lucrative journey.


Excuse #1: “I don’t have the money.”

This is probably one of the most used and most noted excuses of investing and it is the easiest and most plausible excuse to use, especially to others.  Other people don’t know how much money you have so we are able to state this to continue to prolong starting this journey.  The funny thing is there are ways out there, if you are determined, to buy a property with little cash or without any of your own money at all.

Now, as a rookie I want you to think about some of the ways that you may buy your first property without having to have saved a boat load of money.  Here are some tips:

 1. Buy a property at a lower price

      • lower price = lower down payment which is essentially where the bulk of the “cash” aspect lies.

 2. Look for programs that require a lower downpayment.  

    • For example, Homepath only requires a 10% down payment for investors vs. the normal 20% for a conventional loan.

 3. Find an Investing Partner

    • If you have a hard time coming up with some cash, find a partner to go in on the deal with you to help you have enough cash for the down payment.  This partner can be a significant other, family, friend, or colleague from work.

4. Get Creative with Financing 

    • Have a discussion with your realtor about approaching the seller to see if you can do seller financing. Usually this happens when the seller owns the property free and clear. This type of Financing allows you to draw up a contract, agree upon an interest rate and a downpayment with the seller and you pay the seller not a bank.  You take ownership of the property through the deed and the seller writes a note which becomes your mortgage.  In this case think of the seller as the bank. This is a good option if you have trouble qualifying with a bank.

 5. Find a Hard Money Lender

    • This type of lender doesn't necessarily pay attention to the credit of the borrower.  Their focus is on the property itself and its value, that way if you default on the loan they will be acquiring a property that has equity above the loan amount. These lenders are typically individuals who are lending money from their own financial wealth and are short term loans. But, this type of loan allows you purchase a property with very little to no money down.

Take it from me, if you keep allowing your excuses to dictate your financial future, you will be, as my husband says, spending your golden years under the golden arches.  Realize that the road to investing in rental property is not one way.  As you can see above, there are multiple avenues that you can take to obtain a property if you’re willing to think outside the box in terms of money.


Excuse #2: “I don’t have the time.”

Oh time...if only we could stop time or have more time, we could do so many things we dream about.  Well guess what, when we want something bad enough, we make time for it.  Think about it, we do this everyday.  Right now, I’ve got a million things on my plate, I’m a new mom, a teacher, an entrepreneur, a real estate investor and I am training for a half marathon.  I want all of these things and so I have to make time to fit them into my day, every day.

Yes, to be a knowledgeable investor, it absolutely takes time.  I’m not trying to pull one over on you and say it’s quick and easy and you can make money.  It takes work and it takes time researching property, viewing property, renovating property, fixing property.

But, allow yourself to see the other end of the spectrum; if you invest your time correctly and learn about the business and about the area and property you are investing in, the outcome can be fantastic - cash in your pocket, a higher net worth, and a brighter financial future.

Don’t think that you have to learn everything all at once.  Dedicate time each week to learn one area of the business.  For example, maybe one week you focus on learning about contracts and the next you learn about seller financing.  Allowing yourself to focus on one thing at a time can make this journey seem less overwhelming.

In essence, the time you put in is a short term sacrifice for a long term gain.  Knowing that ahead of time and realizing that investing in rental property is not a get rich quick kind of scheme is important for when this job gets frustrating or overwhelming.


Excuse#3: “There are no properties in my area.” or “The properties are too expensive in my area.”

Either one of these can be a legit problem.  Let’s say that you live in a pretty rural area where it seems that all of the younger generation is moving away and the housing market just seems to be depreciating.  There are two ways to look at this:

 1. Don’t invest in your town, but in a steady and stable area

    • I totally understand this dilemma.  I grew up in an area where this exact thing is happening. That’s ok to not invest in your local area, invest somewhere else.  Now this may be scary, I know, but do some research about neighboring areas to see if there is a town that has a steady market and demographic.  Keep in mind, you don’t have to invest in a constantly appreciating market, while it may be nice depending on your goals as an investor, stable markets are great places too.  Once you do a little research, reach out to a realtor from that area to learn an insider's perspective.  Download our Free checklist to learn about what things to look for when researching an area.

 2. People will always need a place to live.

    • Even if your local market doesn’t seem like it will ever appreciate and you do not feel comfortable investing out of town, you may have to align your goals as an investor to your particular market.  Remember, there are always going to be people who need to rent.  Especially in an area that may be declining, you may find that there will be more renters than home owners.  If this is the case, understand that you are not buying a property for appreciation sake; therefore, monthly positive cash flow is going to be your key to deciding whether a property is a good investment.

3. What about when the properties are too expensive

    • Refer back to #1- invest in a neighboring town.  This was exactly the challenge that we faced with our first rental property.  Where we lived, the prices were too high for our budget and the property taxes were even worse.  So we did a little research and bought our first property about 40 minutes away in a neighboring town where the taxes were lower, the prices were lower, but the rents were still fairly high.  As a result, we are making great cash flow and invested in a property that didn't break the bank on our first try.

Yes, it can be scary to invest in an area not in your comfort zone, but remember as an investor IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS.  If the numbers don’t work in your town, find a place where they do!


Excuse #4: “I don’t know enough to invest.”

This is where we come in and the exact reason I began RentalRookie.  You may not know anything, but there are so many resources out there for you to learn- you just have to want it.  Like I’ve said a million times, I knew nothing when I started and now, by no means do I know everything, I’ll always be learning, but because I wanted it I’ve learned a ton in only a few short years.

There are three main things to focus on when investing in rental property: finding a property, analyzing the numbers, and managing it.  Finding a property requires you to do some diligent research and take the time to view the properties so you begin to get a sense for what you are looking for and what things to stay away from.  For example, when you view a property you’ll automatically focus on the cosmetic makeup; however, those are easy fixes.  What you may not think about is to look at the skeleton of the property: the hot water heater, the roof, the plumbing, electrical, windows, air conditioning unit.  These are the big ticket items that you NEED to check out when viewing a property and the more properties you view, the more you learn about what to stay away from.

It’s all about the numbers, this potentially could be the most important part of the process--running numbers.  As an investor, emotion needs to be set aside and the numbers are the major determinant for whether or not to invest in a property.  If you find a property that you just love, but it’s going to cost you money every month, you need to evaluate if that matches your goal as an investor.  Me, if a property cost me money every month I run in the other direction.  I want money coming into my pocket, not out of it.  Having a spreadsheet that you can quickly input information to see if it yields positive cash flow or the annual ROI is essential.  Thankfully, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Download our FREE Property Analyzer to make sure that the numbers work for your goals as an investor.

Yes, it can be intimidating and scary, but let us and other individuals out there that are sharing their knowledge guide you through the process.  Just like in anything else that is new, you will make mistakes, but you will learn from them.  Take the advice from seasoned investors, realtors, lenders, and others who know about this business and use it to help you.

I hope that if you took anything away from this it is that, yes there are fears and there are excuses, and the same ones tend to hold people back.  But there are realistic explanations and guides to help you treat these roadblocks as simply obstacles along your investing journey!  I want you to succeed and I want you to feel secure in your financial future.  Investing in rental property can bring you those things, if you invest yourself into learning and being knowledgeable about the field and making smart decisions, the possibilities are endless and that in itself is exciting!

Resources mentioned in the article:

  1. Free checklist
  2. finding a property
  3. analyzing the numbers
  4. managing it
  5. FREE Property Analyzer

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