Forums / Property Investing / Help Needed! / 13 year old wants to become a property developer

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  • Profile photo of TomWoodTomWood
    Member
    @tomwood
    Join Date: 2014
    Post Count: 5

    I've recently decided that I want to embark on the profitable and potentially risky journey of becoming a property developer. I know I'm very young to be worrying about such a mature topic but I want to make sure I am put into the right direction so I can successfully ground myself in the fundamentals of property development and enter the profession with a head start. Since I'm still in my early years of high school and I'm going to be choosing my subjects in a year or so , I need some advice as to what subjects I should be selecting. I also need some advice on where I can gain some more knowledge about the field so I don't plunge into the field with know idea what Im doing. Any website links or contacts would be much appreciated! Also, I am thinking about going to Uni but am wondering what degree I should choose in relation to property development. Is it even worth going in the first place or just using the money I would've spent paying for my Uni degree to put towards buying my first property? My local Uni, University Of South Australia, offers a Bachelor Of Business (Property) but I'm not sure if it would be very beneficial or if its directed towards real estate agents, mortgage brokers etc. Finally,  do property developers usually have a second job to pay the bills or do they solely dedicate their time to their endeavors in property development.Thank you for your time, I would really, really appreciate any advice/feedback as I want to be as educated as I possibly can before entering the field.

    Cheers, Tom

    Profile photo of BrettBrett
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    @jimchap131
    Join Date: 2013
    Post Count: 22

    Having finished high school about four years ago my advice would be to make sure you do well in English as it is in my opinion the most useful subject by far. Geography may be helpful as well. 

    Being a town planner I deal with developers all the time and I would divide them in the following way:

    – 85% are first timers who are no more educated or experienced than you or me and usually dabble in small projects.

    – The other 15% are experienced developers with extensive experience of the development process. 

    School and University subjects are good for teaching you how to learn but are often not very relevant to the occupation that they lead you into. Unless you plan to become a builder that undertakes all of his own development work  then it would in my opinion be silly not to pursue a career in a separate field (one that may or may not have some relevance to development). 

    Town Planning

    Law

    Accountancy

    Construction

    would all be good fields to get into in my opinion.

    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
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    @catalyst
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 1,404

    Hi Tom,

    Good on you for thinking ahead so early.

    Where are you located?

    Have you heard of Nathan Birch? He started looking at property magazines at your age. He failed High School but still managed to make his first million by the time he was 21. He started in basic buy/hold. Google him. He's not a developer per say but his journey is interesting. Don't be put off by the burnt out properties, people mistakenly think that's where he made his money but he only did a few to video (of course he DID make money on them).

    Uni or not Uni is a personal choice. But if you are getting motivated now then I assume by the time you are old enough to start Uni you'll be well and truly on your way and won't have time. Most people start while working elsewhere as they need cash to begin. Some continue to do small projects while others take on bigger projects where they no longer need (or want) to work for wages.

    Best of luck.

    Profile photo of BennyBenny
    Moderator
    @benny
    Join Date: 2002
    Post Count: 1,366

    Welcome aboard Tom,

      Hey good for you to be considering these things at an early age.  I can only think your parents have been doing a fine job !!  smiley

      Your question led to a recollection of one of my earlier property investing "self-help" books.   Check out "Real Estate Riches" by Dolf de Roos.  Within the first five pages (I think, but REAL early in the book anyway) he makes mention of himself planning to go to University.   

      His comments re "what happened next" blew me away…..   It is well worth seeking it out and seeing what happened.  I am sure you will get a lot from it !!!

      Re studies, I'd say English and Maths – after that, you choose.   

    Benny

    Profile photo of streamlineinvestingstreamlineinvesting
    Participant
    @streamlineinvesting
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 171

    Hi Tom,

    As others have said, University is a personal choice, definitely not essential. I know in my university degree (civil engineering) I did not learn too much about how to be a good engineer, I learnt everything as soon as I stepped into the workforce, in the end I feel like the only reason I did the course to get a piece of paper which meant I could be an engineer. 

    I would be interested to keep in touch, I have a younger friend (about 17 now I think he is) and I have been trying to show him the light in terms of investing and achieving financial freedom, unfortunately he has never seemed interested in learning that sort of thing, I bet he will realise it when he is older and wishes he started doing it when I first started showing him! 

    But for yourself in your current situation I think you should use it to your advantage, and by that I mean is after focusing all on school of course, you should have a fair bit of spare time, so do not waste it, try and keep researching and planning for the future, so by the time you are able to start investing, you will have all the knowledge you need! 

    But feel free to drop an email, I would be happy to keep you in the loop with my next investments so you can see (almost) first hand every step of the way regarding investing in property. Hopefully you will find it interesting and perhaps make a decision if it is something you want to pursue in the future, and with the bonus of not having to risk any of your own money!

    Profile photo of TomWoodTomWood
    Member
    @tomwood
    Join Date: 2014
    Post Count: 5

    Thanks so much everyone, I really appreciate your feedback and will definitely take it on board. In regards to Catalyst's post, I'm from South Australia and I had a look at Nathan's website and found his story really inspirational, especially considering he failed school and ended up establishing a multi-million dollar business. Benny, I spent a good few hours reading that book you recommended and I've definitely learnt a lot about property investment/development, especially the financial and strategic side of it as well as having a good laugh at some of his stories. Hey streamlineinvesting, I'm definitely going to work as hard as I can in school so if I later decide to go to Uni, I'm on the right track and I will definitely invest some of my free time towards educating myself about the property investment field. I will make sure to pop you an email sometime and not the same mistake as your previous "apprentice". 

    Profile photo of Daniel_95Daniel_95
    Participant
    @daniel_95
    Join Date: 2013
    Post Count: 25

    I really love hearing stories like this about kids motivated to invest so early and don't follow the normal route to the rat race.  I've just completed my hsc and will be completing a bachelor of commerce/law but my main focus is to get into property ASAP just like you.

    Seeing as i'm in a similar position to you, i'd recommend you read as many books and online articles as you can. The impact these had on my mindset and thought process was staggering. Buy a few mags and watch Nathan birch online, it's really helpful. Over time you will become knowledgeable enough to work out your own strategy to achieve your personal goals, but for now just learn about investing in general. 

    The subjects you select for school won't make much difference at all, they all have very little relevance to the real world, the main benefits they can have is in your analysis skills. For the hsc ( YR 11-12) i would strongly recommend you do economics because i found that's the only subject that is somewhat related to the real world. You will learn basic concepts about how the global economy works,  although you would learn this at a later stage i think it's better to learn than wasting time doing a subject with no benefit to you in the long run. 

    Doing a uni degree won't really help for property development, it's all based on your contacts and personal experiences. Go into a profession you enjoy and will allow you to maximise your borrowing capacity, i wouldn't go into property development as my only career path initially. If investing/development allows you to retire early then go for it, but i wouldn't have it as my sole focus. 

    Profile photo of Daniel_95Daniel_95
    Participant
    @daniel_95
    Join Date: 2013
    Post Count: 25
    streamlineinvesting wrote:
    Hi Tom,

    As others have said, University is a personal choice, definitely not essential. I know in my university degree (civil engineering) I did not learn too much about how to be a good engineer, I learnt everything as soon as I stepped into the workforce, in the end I feel like the only reason I did the course to get a piece of paper which meant I could be an engineer. 

    I would be interested to keep in touch, I have a younger friend (about 17 now I think he is) and I have been trying to show him the light in terms of investing and achieving financial freedom, unfortunately he has never seemed interested in learning that sort of thing, I bet he will realise it when he is older and wishes he started doing it when I first started showing him! 

    But for yourself in your current situation I think you should use it to your advantage, and by that I mean is after focusing all on school of course, you should have a fair bit of spare time, so do not waste it, try and keep researching and planning for the future, so by the time you are able to start investing, you will have all the knowledge you need! 

    But feel free to drop an email, I would be happy to keep you in the loop with my next investments so you can see (almost) first hand every step of the way regarding investing in property. Hopefully you will find it interesting and perhaps make a decision if it is something you want to pursue in the future, and with the bonus of not having to risk any of your own money!

    Show me instead, i'm keen :P

    Profile photo of thecrestthecrest
    Participant
    @thecrest
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 990

    Hi Tom.

    It doesn't look like English will ever be a problem for you.

    Your motivation stands out – you post your first query today at 1337 hrs and by 2224 hrs have already spent a few hours reading the recommended book.

    Somebody sign up this rising star for heavens sake.

    Keep your parents in the loop, keep doing what you're doing Tom, you will be a big success.

    Cheers

    thecrest

    thecrest | Tony Neale - Statewide Motel Brokers
    http://www.statewidemotelbrokers.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    selling motels in NSW

    Profile photo of TomWoodTomWood
    Member
    @tomwood
    Join Date: 2014
    Post Count: 5

    Thanks so much for your advice Daniel, I really appreciate being able to hear from a variety of different people that are involved in investing/development. 

    Profile photo of TomWoodTomWood
    Member
    @tomwood
    Join Date: 2014
    Post Count: 5

    Thanks Crest, I am trying to make the most of the enormous amount of spare time I have learning about investment and entrepreneurship instead of boring my brains out, wasting my life on Snapchat, Facebook and all that other crap. I think that investing my spare time educating myself will be something I definitely won't regret in the long run, well hopefully not if I manage to be successful!

    Profile photo of Daniel_95Daniel_95
    Participant
    @daniel_95
    Join Date: 2013
    Post Count: 25
    TomWood wrote:
    Thanks so much for your advice Daniel, I really appreciate being able to hear from a variety of different people that are involved in investing/development.

    No worries mate

    TomWood wrote:
    Thanks Crest, I am trying to make the most of the enormous amount of spare time I have learning about investment and entrepreneurship instead of boring my brains out, wasting my life on Snapchat, Facebook and all that other crap. I think that investing my spare time educating myself will be something I definitely won't regret in the long run, well hopefully not if I manage to be successful!

    This !

    With this attitude you'll be successful !

    Try not to limit yourself just to real estate, read up on a variety of areas. I love this blog, even though some of the interviews may not be directly related to the field you want to go into, learning about the mindset of these successful people is really valuable.

    http://www.secretentourage.com/

    I'm not sure if i can link other sites? Sorry if i'm not.

    Profile photo of Brother_ManBrother_Man
    Participant
    @brother_man
    Join Date: 2014
    Post Count: 1

    Tom, it takes a bigger person to take initiative and choose a different path than other kids who waste their time on facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. Like others have said you are on your way to be a successful person, I wish I was wiser when I was your age. I second what Benny said about studying English and Maths, especially Maths, it will definitely improve your analytical skills and even though I only been in the property industry for 2 years, often you need analytical skills whenever you face unsuspected situations and "between a rock and a hard place" types of situation. Finally, familiarise your self with good property sites such as: http://www.realestate.com.au/buy, http://www.rent.com.au/, http://properties.mitula.com.au/, to get your head around different types of property, their locations, prices, etc.

    You'll be right, mate.

    Cheers,

    Brother_Man

    Profile photo of wilko1wilko1
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    @wilko1
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 510

    Good choice to start young. Like any pro in any field when you ask master violinist when they started playing. they respond with 2 years old. 

    Your choices I see which you should structure your school courses and potential uni courses should

    revolve around one of 3 things to be successful in property development.

    1) you can work on being the money. The person with the money that puts it in to

    get into deals. This means starting to save now. Getting a after school job and perhaps putting a focus more on a part time or casual job then on playing as many sports. Now I'm not saying sports are not important at school. But unless your a top level or chance to make it athlete. Sports end up a social thing

    later in life and not a means of financial freedom. 

    2) work on being the builder, property development/ construction involves building or will at some stage. Becoming a builder / businessman. Enables the people with the money to then work with you in joint ventures. As you have the skills of construction and they have the money. 

    3) work in a field relevant. Ie town planning (the most useful degree for spotting real estate opportunities that will make money) and develop your career into a business. Which you can then use the money to fund relevant property development ventures.

    As a first step though I would work on money. Saving a large deposit will give choices when you turn 18. 

    Profile photo of kateej03kateej03
    Participant
    @kateej03
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 112

    Hi Tom.

    Although I agree with what everyone has said getting educated etc, can I just say make sure you are having fun! Hang out with friends and have fun, don't take life too seriously at this point you are still so young!

    I am 23, started at 19 and have bought 6 properties now and I think I'm in a pretty good position in my life. My point is you won't be able to buy until you are 18, so take some time to enjoy life and enjoy being a kid – time goes so quickly and you will be 30 before you know it!

    Kate :)

    Profile photo of Jamie MooreJamie Moore
    Participant
    @jamie-m
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 5,069
    kateej03 wrote:
    time goes so quickly and you will be 30 before you know it!

    Kate :)

    Come on Kate! Now you're making me feel old!

    ….off to book a place at the retirement home.

    Cheers

    Jamie

    Jamie Moore | Pass Go Home Loans Pty Ltd
    http://www.passgo.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Mortgage Broker assisting clients Australia wide Email: [email protected]

    Profile photo of kateej03kateej03
    Participant
    @kateej03
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 112

    Haha Jamie I didn't mean to imply 30 was old! But for Tom it is more than double his age!

    Profile photo of Jamie MooreJamie Moore
    Participant
    @jamie-m
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 5,069

    lol – good point. I doubt I even knew what a mortgage was at 13.

    Cheers

    Jamie

    Jamie Moore | Pass Go Home Loans Pty Ltd
    http://www.passgo.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Mortgage Broker assisting clients Australia wide Email: [email protected]

    Profile photo of ducksterduckster
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    @duckster
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 1,674

    If you wish to borrow money then you need to prove you do not need the money. If you can't prove you have a J.O.B (just over Broke) to pay for a loan then borrowing money will be challenging. This is due to the credit reforms that borrowers have to be able to service the loan. Read lots of books. http://www.businessmall.com.au/.

    Profile photo of Paul B.Paul B.
    Member
    @paul-b.
    Join Date: 2013
    Post Count: 70

    Hi Tom,

    If I was you I would focus on choosing subjects you enjoy during high school. You will be confronted with many distractions in your last couple of years (many alcohol related) and your motivation to focus on studies will be challenged. If you are enjoying school you will be more inclined to devote time and effort and this should manifest itself into decent marks and improve your options for going to Uni/TAFE etc. I feel that your education doesn't really gain momentum until you graduate from Uni/TAFE and get thrown into the workforce.

    There are many components of property development and it is very hard to be across all fields. I would suggest focusing on a particular aspect and become proficient in that field.  While working in your chosen field, network and make contacts in other relevant fields. You can then rely on these people (many you will meet during Uni/TAFE) to strengthen your postilion as a property developer.

    I undertook a Town Planning Degree and work as a Strategic Planner for a local Council. Directly and indirectly through my work, I rub shoulders with Councilors, developers, engineers, marketers, scientists, architects, administrators, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, bankers and solicitors which I consider potential resources to assist me in my ambitions as a property developer.

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