All the Investing “Mistakes” I Made…

Real Estate Investors can rattle off all the advice for investors to get started: build a support team, get training, have ample cash reserves and then look for properties.

I took the other path:

I didn’t have much of support team

On our first deal we worked with a contractor who estimated the repairs at 17,500 to rehab the property.  After we put it under contract we started getting bids from all the different trades it would take and the total was over 30,000.  We had to find a new team with investor friendly pricing.  I think we ended up spending about 22,000, it was a great lesson and a lot of the trades we found we still use this day.

I  any other real estate agents or lenders and it took a couple deals to figure who I enjoyed to work with and who I didn’t.

I had enough money for only the one deal (and hardly enough)

Adequate cash reserves are important.  I would have probably survived if the house didn’t sell, but it would have taken me out of the game to buy anything else completely.

I didn’t have a tax strategy planned out

On the first deal I ended up paying a huge California Withholding Tax.  I got it back at the end of the year as part of my tax refund, but that was capital I needed that I loaned the government.   A couple deals later an escrow officer helped me figure out about California’s 593e Tax form that lets me pay withholding taxes on profits only.

I didn’t buy or go to any training/clubs

I think I was about 20 deals in before I went to any real estate clubs or bought any real estate training.  I really enjoy going to the clubs and real estate events these days.  The biggest benefit of training for me, is the motivation I get when I leave the training/networking events.  It is something about seeing other peoples success that makes me unbelievably motivated to make things happen.


Somehow, even with doing all these things wrong, my first deal was still profitable.  If I did that same deal over now, it would probably be more profitable… but that is what experience is all about.

I’m not advocating that you should be prepared, but remember, if you do everything above perfectly (unlike me) and never buy a house you’re not in the game.  Focus on the goal and the results you want and most of the above will fall into place.

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4 Responses to “ All the Investing “Mistakes” I Made… ”

  1. No training on your first 20 deals? Not even a late night infomercial course? Well done Steve!

  2. Mike Z says:

    Love the topic. As a Buy and Hold guy my largest mistake as been thinking I can do it all alone and a silent lone wolf. I can tell you the last 2 years I have been an open book to people that ask and I have made some nice friends, stayed motivated and made better deals. You never know where that one idea or key contact will come from.
    Thanks for all the support Steve you have been great to talk with throughout the year!!!

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  4. says:

    Can someone e-mail me a good program to buy, that I can go through while over in Kuwait so I can get start Veteran Real Estate Investments when I get home.

    THe plan is to start with wholesaling and rehab, sfr’s and sfh’s and reselling to investors or buyers.

    Also, would you recommend me getting a salepersons license and cutting out some realtor fees????

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