Let me preface this by saying that I recently took my first “real” job in Real Estate and am actually making “real” money in Real Estate. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made money in real estate before and I’ve played the real estate game before, but I’ve never made it my sole source of income until recently.
That being said, I have loved real estate for a long time. If you read my first blog post, I mentioned that I used to buy posters of skyscrapers and cityscapes while in college. I would read books about real estate and think about the days when I could be involved.
My family didn’t teach me to love real estate. I don’t have anyone in my past that really told me much about it. Honestly, I was that young kid who got a real estate license whom no one should have trusted as their realtor because, at the time, I didn’t know anything about the process of buying and selling real estate. I took a few classes and passed an exam. No “real” knowledge, but I’m a real estate professional. No big deal.
You’ve probably all heard of Rich Dad Poor Dad, written by Robert Kiyosaki. If you haven’t, it’s worth your time. I’m not saying it’s the best and most important financial book out there, but it is very motivational and at the very least gets you thinking about money in a way that most of us didn’t learn growing up.
I started reading this book one summer early in my college years. I was searching for what I wanted to do with my life. I had recently changed my college major to business finance and was trying to figure out where I was going to take my future. I was probably thinking about money at the time and how I would get more of it. The funny thing is, most realtors don’t make “real” money.
According to the BLS, real estate agents earned a median salary of $39,800 in 2013. The best-paid earned about $98,090, while the lowest-paid earned approximately $21,240. The highest earners worked in the metropolitan areas of Lake County, Illinois; New York City; and Ocean City, New Jersey.
Maybe I loved real estate because I get to help people fulfill the American Dream of home ownership! The more I got into it, I realized I didn’t really like showing people 10 houses and driving all over town just to walk into a house that they didn’t like the color of the walls and then leave and have to start over again. Some people are great real estate agents for home buyers and sellers, but that just wasn’t my cup of tea. I wasn’t a very good realtor for the average home buyer.
The first house I bought was a foreclosure with nasty builder grade carpet, stains covering flat painted walls, no appliances, no light fixtures. However, I saw the potential in the house instead of seeing what was on the surface. I saw the value that I would be able to create once I put my touch into it. I tend to look at houses differently than most.
I ask again… Why do I love real estate?
It’s taken me a long time to actually put my finger on it, but I love real estate because I can help add value to my community by taking something that might be run down or vacant and add my touch to it to make it beautiful for the first time or for the first time in a long time. Community builders quite literally shape the city landscape. Whether it’s a small community or a major city, builders, planners, and developers put their fingerprint on the community with every building that is preserved, built, or torn down. One can create tangible assets that make an immediate impact on society.
There are many aspects about real estate that make many people happy. The fact is that real estate affects each and every one of us. Whether you’re a home owner, business owner, renter, or squatter, you are participating in the real estate game. For me, I want to be actively involved in how real estate shapes those around me.