Guest Contribution by: Alex Rae
The value of real estate
It was the famous Hetty Green, America’s richest woman during the Gilded Age, who stated, “I advise women to invest in real estate. It is the collateral to be preferred above all others, and the safest means of investing money.”
Now, Ms. Green was quite ahead of her time. With 90% of today’s millionaires having become so through owning real estate. It’s no wonder she gave this sound advice. Real estate is widely known to be the most tangible and predictable asset in terms of appreciation over time. And yet, so few women choose to invest in real estate…
Women in the real estate industry
I have some good news and bad news to report when it comes to women in real estate.
The good news is that women already play a significant role when it comes to decisions related to the home, 91% of decisions to be exact. In addition, 63% percent of all realtors are women! Women clearly have an understanding when it comes to the home and choices to be made. Women are also proven to be great savers and skilled at thinking long term… two excellent qualities for real estate investments.
However, despite their skill and the undeniable opportunity on the table, women are half as likely to invest. According to a recent survey conducted by Forbes magazine, only 29% of females are interested in investing in real estate. Combine that with the wage gap and the fact that women outlive their male counterparts by 10%, women retire with 35% less wealth on average.
I don’t know about you, but I have no interest in retiring without the maximum amount of money available to me. I do, however, have every intention of retiring comfortably, shopping often and traveling as I please. That is, after all, part of the American dream. Is it not?
How do I plan to achieve this and advise other women to do the same? You guessed it… investing in real estate. Not only is investing a smart investment for long-term goals, but it can also benefit you and your family in the short term as well.
So, how exactly does one start investing in real estate?
Well, I’m glad you asked. As with anything, you can start small and gradual, learn from others and begin to increase your knowledge on the subject.
Here are a few simple, low-risk ways to get started
- Begin consuming knowledge-based content such as articles, podcasts, YouTube videos and even social media can serve as an educational platform these days.
- Make financial acumen and wellness a priority. Learn more about managing your personal finances and tracking your spending vs. savings closely.
- Have conversations with those around you. Find out how they view money and if they have investment plans or ideas. Even if this idea scares you, you might be surprised how eager those around you are to engage in meaningful conversation.
- Find a mentor. Investing in the proper guidance can make all the difference in any endeavor and investing is no exception.
- Find your tribe. Begin to cultivate relationships with individuals aligned with your goals. They say we’re each a combination of the five people we surround ourselves with most often, so choose wisely.
Keep in mind as you learn
Make sure that while you’re learning and growing, you also understand that it’s a process and trust the journey. There will be mistakes, bumps in the road, and there will even be set-backs. It’s important that you focus on your forward momentum more than your setbacks and recognize every step you take toward achieving your first big investment goal. Rome wasn’t built in a day and investing is certainly not instant gratification. It takes time, patience, and risk management to be successful.
Ready to take the bigger steps?
- Begin owning vs. renting. Even if your first home isn’t your forever home (which it likely won’t be), building equity in your own property instead of paying someone else’s mortgage is HUGE in beginning to understand real estate investing.
- Consider having a roommate to help you cover part (or all) of the mortgage… See how we just went from the renter to the landlord there!?
- Convert your first home to an income-generating rental property once you’re ready to upgrade to a new home with all that money you saved by not renting.
- Consider living in a home that has a rental option such as a duplex or detached unit so you can utilize a renter and still have your privacy. This type of property is also highly sought after on the resale side.
- Choose a home you can add renovation upgrades to over time while it also appreciates naturally and therefore significantly increasing your return on investment
The future of women investing
Just as the wage gap is damaging to women’s financial health, so is our lack of investing. Because men currently dominate real estate investing, knowledge about the industry more easily passes on to new male investors. That’s why it’s so critical for women to take the time to learn about the industry and begin securing their own financial freedom and wealth.
It’s important for us to educate ourselves about investing, talk about money and to take control of our financial futures, for ourselves and for our families. As we make choices each day, we invest every aspect of our time and energy. Let’s make sure we’re investing wisely, investing in ourselves and investing in each other as females.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get the conversation started because there’s no better time than now to improve your financial wellbeing and independence.
Schedule here: https://calendly.com/alexrae
Hi there, I’m Alex Rae! I’m a Denver realtor and investor. I’m most passionate about assisting first time home buyers and helping women begin investing in real estate. My goal is to always ensure the trust and confidence of each client that I will protect their investment and better their future by building wealth through real estate.
With a family background having provided extensive knowledge pertaining to the value of real estate, I take a strategic approach to each deal and maximize client profits and savings on both the purchase and sale side of the industry.
As an advocate for the preservation of Colorado land and wildlife, I dedicate 10% of my proceeds to Colorado Open Lands, Land Trust Alliance, a state organization working to protect important natural wildlife habitats, maintain water quality, and preserve natural lands.