You can expand or shift at a later time, but spreading yourself too thin in your early career is a bad move.
So where should you start? If you want to develop a good feel for true worth, and learn the ins and outs of sale, resale, financing, and turnover, one of the best moves is to go into wholesaling real estate.
Where other forms of real estate investing are based in either development or speculation, and tend to run high risk for property that may never materialize in a fulfilled form, wholesaling is based on real value: the resale of existing properties.
A wholesaler is looking for properties to "flip," either by reserving the property through contractual assignment of marketing rights, or by owing for a brief time and then reselling for a profit based on markup of undervalued purchases, improvements, and services provided by the wholesaler.
There is little, if any "vaporware" in wholesaling.
The properties are real, they exist in real locations, and have substance that is in the control of the wholesaler.
The initial investment, if any, tends to be smaller, and is much more easily controlled, with more options for handling bad markets and slow moving properties.
A wholesaler can turn over a property immediately, bundle a property with other properties and sell to another wholesaler operating at a different level or in a different sector of the business, or a wholesaler can rent in a variety of ways, making sure that his or her initial capital is never tied up for long in any particular property.
Wholesaling real estate is the ideal form to look into during a down market, also.
Rising markets sell dreams.
Falling markets sell certainties, and what the wholesaler has to offer is a certainty.
People involved in the speculative forms of real estate investing think they are high rollers, and they take the risks of high rollers.
But they lose like high rollers, too, when the odds are against them -- and now, if ever, the odds are against them.
The wholesaler is involved in a quieter form of real estate investing.
Based on existing property, on small deals and slowly built collections of property, the agent involved in wholesaling real estate learns the trade on the ground level, expecting smaller returns, but steady returns.
As a beginner, wholesaling also allows a businessman to improve the fiber of his or her own community.
In starting small, and going into real estate investing on a scale and in an area of familiarity, a wholesaler can develop the sort of customer loyalty and regional good will a doctor or a dentist can develop: seen by the other members of the community as adding value, improving business relationships, and creating worth, a wholesaler has a chance to be a benefactor of the community, not a stranger coming in to strip a neighborhood and leave it empty of all its prior value.
Wholesaling real estate can be the black-hat bad-guy role, but it does not need to be.
The scale can be controlled, the risks can be controlled, and the methods used can be tailored on a tight level to the needs of all involved.
There is no completely safe form of real estate investing.
Investment is built on risk and daring, and capital can be lost.
But of all the approaches, wholesale real estate investing allows a newcomer a great chance to learn, one option at a time, how to manage the risks, and reap the benefits.
Wholesaling can start on the level of an intense hobby, and grow, over time, into a true career in real estate investing.