Why I got started in Real Estate (even though I was about to be a doctor)

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For those who don’t know me personally, I am a graduating medical student who will be a practicing physician in a few months.

Although I am busy interviewing for hospital positions, finishing med school requirements, and simplifying personal finance topics for my friends, I also have a love for real estate.

I know this may seem quite random, and to be honest it’s a field I got interested in fairly recently. Let me explain.

Many people outside of the medical field believe doctors are rich. While many physicians make a high income and don’t seem to be struggling outwardly, I can tell you that many docs aren’t nearly as well off as you may assume. They go through numerous years of grueling training, are saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, and have financial pressure to purchase things (like a new home, a decent car, their kids’ education, etc) with money they haven’t quite earned yet. As a result, many physicians stay in debt for decades and end up working long hours on the brink of burnout to finance the lifestyle everyone else assumes they can afford. I didn’t want this to be me.

Although the general advice for physicians and other high income earners is to live below your means, pay down debt, and gradually save for retirement, I wanted a different life.

I didn’t want to be stuck paying down student loans in my 40s. I didn’t want to sacrifice meaningful relationships with my family and friends for my career. I also didn’t want to have to work 80+ hours, 6 days a week for the next 10-20 years of my life in order to afford the lifestyle I coveted.

If I was going to be different than a lot of other docs and create a life for myself that I would be proud of, then I needed to do things a little differently. My first step was learning about finance.

Even though my day job as a physician would pay me a decent wage, I soon learned that I wouldn’t be having nearly as much money as a thought.

In fact, when you account for the high tax burden which is often 25-30% of one’s income (for a single person with no kids), student loans (which averages around $200,000 for most medical students), basic living expenses, and retirement savings, I wasn’t going to have nearly as much money as people assumed I would have as a physician. So, while personal finance helped me learned the basics, I realized that I was going to need to increase my overall income and decrease my tax burden if I truly wanted to live the life I had always dreamed about.

When I started doing my research, I realized that the majority of rich people I had read about created wealth in one of two ways: by starting businesses or by investing in real estate.

Now I don’t know about you, but as a soon-to-be physician who was about to sign a contract to work extraneous hospital hours for the next 3 years, the last thing I wanted to do was start a business. I simply didn’t have the time. Besides, I also didn’t think I was creative enough to start something worthwhile since all of my “inventions” to date consisted of “smart phone app ideas” that already existed. (God bless my friends who graciously listened to my ideas and mustered up the strength to be supportive. I am convinced you all are angels.) Thus, with my lack of creativity and time, I began looking into real estate.

I started off by doing some basic things. I read lots of books, started networking with brokers, and went to meetings for real estate investors. As I continued to increase my knowledge, I realized that real estate was a hidden gem. Investing in good real estate deals had several benefits. I could…

  • Increase my net worth  

  • Have more cash flow that would increase my income each month

  • Save money on taxes

  • Invest in it using other people’s money

  • Protect my own money from creditors and lawsuits

  • Use it as a method to save [more] money for my [future] kids’ education

  • Acquire the resources needed to work part-time or retire early quicker

Now I realize that the idea of real estate investing may seem daunting at first, especially since there are so many different ways to invest. That’s why I have started this blog. I will explain the advantages of real estate investing a little more so that you thoroughly understand the benefits (and risks). I will also talk about what kind of investing I plan to do, explain how it differs from simply buying a home, and write about my journey up until this point (aka how I got started, how I felt as a female in real estate, what happened when I submitted my first offer, etc.)

My hope is that by reading this blog you will gain a little insight into real estate investing and at the very least be entertained by both my successes and failures in the field (trust me, I have both).

To summarize, I got started in real estate because I wanted to increase my income, lower my taxes, and build wealth. Although I am a graduating medical student who is virtually guaranteed a high salary as a doctor, most of that money will go to towards taxes and paying off my student loans. Real estate investing allows me to make more money (in a way that is mostly tax free) so that I can finally start to build my net worth. My goal is to make enough money to adequately save for retirement, pay back my student loans as quickly as possible, give generously to charities, and still have enough left over to work part time live and play a meaningful role in the lives of my family and friends. Real estate investing gives me a chance to reach these goals much sooner.   

Tell me, are you ready to get started on this real estate journey with me? What topics would you like for me to address first?