Real Estate Investing at a Young Age From Someone Who Owned Chelsea Market in His Twenties

Chelsea Market started my real estate investing career, but here’s a secret to help kick-start yours There’s a reason why “get rich quick” is a concept that many chase after but few achieve. For the most part, with real estate investing, there is no secret to how to make money with little time, effort, or skill. Rather, the “secret” to earning money in real estate is all of these things. My experience has mostly been in commercial real estate, being the co-owner of the luxury hotel chain Gansevoort Hotel, former owner of Chelsea Market, and other properties. But many young, first-time real estate investors may choose the residential real estate path. Investing young is smart regardless of which you choose.

Time is a real estate investor’s best friend

Time is an investor’s best friend. For this reason, real estate investing at a young age (such as in your twenties) is a great way to make the most from your investment. After choosing to invest in commercial real estate for a myriad of reasons, I made one of my first investments when I was in my twenties, and I had the time to watch the property grow from the early ’90s until 1999. I turned the 3.6 million square foot property in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District into the Chelsea Market complex, and when I sold it, it was for a nearly $45 million profit. Additionally, with time, you can decide if you want to make real estate investing your side-hustle, or build it into your full-time job, like Sydney Torres, from CNBC’s ‘The Deed’.

Make an effort, make money

In real estate, as with most things in life, you take out what you put in. Use your youthful motivation and drive to begin investing. Many first-time real estate investors invest in live-in flips. Flipping a house is a great way to make a profit, but you must be willing to fix it up (painting, changing windows, etc.) Use your enthusiasm while you’re young and energetic to make these changes.

For real estate investing, use your skills and confidence 

By definition, young investors lack the life experience that older investors may have. However, other skills can prove just as important. For example, having a strong grasp on technology opens doors in terms of reading up and interacting with real estate experts. A willingness to try new things is also important. And don’t forget to be confident. When I purchased Chelsea Market, it was one of my first major investments, and it was scary. But the project helped spark the conversion of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District from a tired industrial enclave into one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods. My confidence to dive in helped make that happen.

Investing in real estate is a smart idea for individuals in any stage of life (because of the leverage, tax write-offs, etc.). But, while uncommon, investing in your twenties is ideal. Instead of getting rich quick, consider getting rich smart.

For more tips on investing in real estate, check out my Twitter.

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