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Is It Too Late For You To Get Started Investing in Real Estate?

By Seth Williams – Jan 7, 2014 at 7:30AM

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Do you feel like you missed the real estate investing boat?

Do you ever feel like time is just flying by?

Do you ever look at your life and wonderwhere all the years have gone?

A few years ago, I hit a stage of life where I started becoming acutely aware of the fact that life was moving by at the speed of light.

As I've grown increasingly aware of this unpleasant reality, I've started to realize that "the future" actually isn't some grand vision of what's going to happen somewhere on the horizon. No, the future (for all intents and purposes) is happening right now.Today. These are the moments when you're going to make or break the plans you've had for all these years.

It was sometime around my 30th birthday when all of these thoughts started to hit me like a ton of bricks. All of a sudden, I couldn't keep telling myself things like, "When I grow up, I'm going to do something great!" The fact is, I am grown up and the journey is already well under way! If there was something awesome I want to do with my life, I'd better be doing it right now.\

Here's A Little Perspective:

The good news is – this kind of "heightened awareness" of the temporal nature of life is actually a very healthy thing. By embracing it, we can snap out of foggy monotony of our daily grind and start living each day with a greater sense of purpose.

As I've pondered this more and more, I've been reflecting back on some of the conversations I've had with people over the years. Whenever I talk with friends, family and colleagues about things like:

  • Cool business ideas
  • Dream jobs
  • Life goals
  • Family vacations
  • Working for yourself
  • etc. seemed like I would always hear a lot of reasons why they couldn't do what they dreamed of doing. For example:

"I'm too old for that kind of thing. That's a younger person's game."

"At my age, I could never get hired for that kind of job."

"The market is WAY oversaturated right now, there's no point in trying to pursue that idea."

"The economy is just too... (e.g. – hot, cold, good, bad, up, down, sideways, fill-in-the-blank) to get into real estate right now. It's a fool's errand!"

"I'm just too late to the party. All the good opportunities are LONG gone by now."

These Are The Lies We Tell Ourselves.
Why? I think it's because it lets us off the hook. It keeps us from having to actually think about what it takes to turn dreams into reality. It might even be a subconscious "defense mechanism" of sorts. After all – if we can find the reasons not to do something (however ridiculous those reasons might be), it will admittedly save us a lot of time, effort, heartbreak and pain along the way. 

Let's be honest – there is a price to be paid if we want to do something great in this world. Obstacles and difficulty is pretty much an ironclad guarantee (and most of us thoroughly understand this). Given the inherent risks that come with "taking the leap", it shouldn't surprise any of us that so many people just can't get started.

That Being Said – I've Got Some News For You.

If you think you're too old – guess what...  you are never going to be any younger than you are right now. Assuming you haven't already made the conscious decision to give up on life, here's an idea...  start looking past your self-imposed age restrictions and start using your age to your benefit. Believe me – a lot of young professionals would LOVE to appear wiser and be taken more seriously than they are. Having lived it myself for the past decade, I know that age is an assetIt's not always easy for young people to be taken seriously is the business world.

If you think the market is oversaturated – guess what...  succeeding in any business is about finding the right solutions to the world's problems - solutions that people are willing to pay for. If you've got the passion and creativity to think outside the box and establish an innovate new approach to solving the same old problems, there is no limit to what you can accomplish.

If you think the economy is to blame – guess what...  more than half of all Fortune 500 companies were started in the midst of a major recession or bear market. It doesn't matter where the economy is headed, you just need to figure out how your solutions will fit into the grand scheme of things. Over the past five years, I've heard a lot of people use the economy as a scapegoat for their refusal to get started. Personally, I saw it as one of the greatest financial opportunities of my life...  and anyone who bought real estate between 2009 – 2012 will probably tell you the same thing!

If you think you're too late to the party – guess what...  for as long as I can remember, I've listened to the exact same people, give me the exact same misguided objections, to the exact things that I've already accomplished. It doesn't matter how the world changes, people are always going to get hung up on the same, tired old things. It usually has very little to do with where we're at in world history, and it usually has everything to do with the fact that it's incredibly easy (and understandably human) to sit on the sidelines and play the skepticDon't allow yourself to be marginalized by skepticism.

Take It From A True Visionary:

Live Your Legacy
Do you ever wonder what your legacy will be? Everybody has one – whether they recognize it or not.

The truth is, your legacy is being created todayRight now. Think about the things you're choosing to spend your time on, because those might just be the things you'll be remembered for.

What are you doing with your time today? What will you do with your time tomorrow? Are you spending your energy and resources on things that matter?

Many of us make excuses to rationalize our inaction. Some of us live our entire lives treading water in an ocean of self doubt. And a few of us (sadly, not enough) have the guts to take some risks and put in the time and effort to power through the challenges and difficulties that come with anything worthwhile.

It's never too late to get started, and if you're asking yourself when the time will be right for you, I think you probably know the answer.

The only question is, will you do anything about it?

This article is Copyright 2014 BiggerPockets, Inc.

Seth Williams is a well-versed specialist in the realm of commercial real estate banking, land investing and residential income properties. He is also the founder of REtipster – a real estate blog centered on the discussion of business insights and innovative strategies for part-time real estate investors.

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