To quit my day job or not? - Posted by QStaff

Posted by qstaff on August 11, 2003 at 24:13:22:

It’s not Ph.D. vs. RE–it’s about the grass being greener

To quit my day job or not? - Posted by QStaff

Posted by QStaff on August 05, 2003 at 22:36:42:

I have dabbled in real estate investments for the past 6 years to supplement my income as a professor. I like my job and benefits but want to get out of the Northeast, and I’ve done all right with real estate as a summer hobby. At present I own 3 investment houses, have 140k in cash, and no debts except mortgages. I tried the landlording thing (my mother manages my properties) but found buying low in cheap areas, squeezing out the equity through a re-fi, then lease purchasing has given me the most cash and least aggravation. I want to get into owner financing and selling mortgages. I no doubt need a course on this as I’m clueless. At any rate, I make on a part-time basis in real estate almost what I do as a professor; I just don’t get the benefits, but I have a corporation etc.

Am I crazy to quit a secure job with the state (even if I do have to subsidize it)? I know only I can ultimately answer this but I’d love to hear from anyone who quit his or her day job. Thanks

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by rm

Posted by rm on August 09, 2003 at 11:34:28:

I just quit my “job” as a RE agent about 8 weeks ago.

I’ve never been happier.

Yes, it’s a little scary in terms of cash flow, but only when I think about it- which I don’t.

I’ve already made my money on a few deals (bought them right). I’ll have to wait awhile to realize the profits.

You might try a leave of option to “test the waters.” Is the job market fairly good in your field? Could you re-enter without too much trouble if things don’t work out?

A very wise entrepreneur once told me, “At the end of your life, it’s the errors of omission regret, not the errors of comission.”

You’re only crazy if you’re spending your time doing something you don’t enjoy.

Best of luck!

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by NoName

Posted by NoName on August 06, 2003 at 14:24:54:

Dear QStaff, Anne, and everyone:

It was actualy funny to read this thread. Here is why.

I was gearing up to start a Ph.D program next month September. I hoped to join academe, you know, become a Professor. I figured I would be done in 2 to 3 years. This is because I have transferable credits from my Masters classes. In any event I will incurr debt (student loans) to complete this program.

Well, I have been frequenting this board, and devouring books, and material on real estate. I have not done any deals yet, but I can see it. I can see the potential. And I know I can do it, big. ACtually I have it all planned out already.

So now I am begining to wonder…Why incurr debt to get a Ph.D in 2 to 3 years, when I can get a “Ph.D” in Real Estate by reading this board, and actually getting into this vocation. No course material could be better than the material on this board.

I was just wondering… what if…what if…

Just wondering…

What to do…

What to do …

Cheers !

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by Ken (Fl)

Posted by Ken (Fl) on August 06, 2003 at 11:43:51:

Remember that currently REI is the thing. It is considerably easier now to make money with the high interest in REI. When things turn down (which always happens) will you be so willing to be in it full time?
Just a thought, not trying to sway you one way or the other.

God Bless

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by IB (NJ)

Posted by IB (NJ) on August 06, 2003 at 10:11:32:

Went full time 2 mos. ago and haven’t regretted it one bit. The timing couldn’t be better as I have been pretty busy doing deals that I wouldn’t have been able to do had I stayed at my job.

Personally, I wouldn’t leave until I had 3 things:

  1. Guts or the attitude that you can be successful doing this fulltime.

  2. The ability to sustain cash flow as it is integral to you STAYING in business. Thus you really need a full understanding of what you’re doing and what needs to be done to make it profitable.

  3. Some cash reserves. Probably enough to pay your living and business expenses for the nxt 6 mos.

Since you say you’re tired of the Northeast, I assuming you’re also contemplating moving to a new market once you quit your job. This is highly risky as the learning curve to understanding a new market could be pretty sharp. Add this to trying to learn REI at the same time, and you could find yourself in a little trouble trying to do everything at once. I would stay put a little longer, get a better understanding of REI, and build up some cash reserves. You may also want to take brief trips to your intended destination to get a feel for the market before you plunk down your hard earned cash. Good luck.

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on August 06, 2003 at 09:50:48:


I quit my tenure-track faculty position in May to do real estate and mobile homes full time. I do not regret it as my personality wasn’t suited to the position (very low tolerance for BS), and the things that drew me to grad school in the first place (a chance to immerse myself in interesting questions and spend a lot of time solving problems) were not part of my faculty experience. I do regret leaving behind the questions that motivated me, and hope to return to them someday, but in the meantime I can say without reservation that my days are now spent immersing myself in interesting questions and solving problems!

If you want to get into buying and selling notes and contracts I suggest John Behle’s course materials (and boot camp) which are very reasonably priced. We also have been very satisfied with materials by Kaiser, Bronchick, John Hyre, Lou Brown and Lonnie Scruggs.

Feel free to email me if you have questions. Sounds to me like you have it already figured out, nice job.


Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by Joseph Zimny

Posted by Joseph Zimny on August 06, 2003 at 04:19:26:

Taking a step back for a second, the point of investing in real estate is to build wealth. You are much farther ahead of most investors with your full-time state job that provides benefits, as well as time to work on your second career in investing.

My sense is that, unless you really don’t like teaching / researching anymore then the extra time you would benefit from leaving the job wouldn’t translate into greater ‘wealth’. You’re not a business professor are you? :slight_smile:

It might make sense, however, for you to set a financial target, continue to work until that goal is met and then leave. That’s what I might consider.

hope that helps.

good luck.

Joe Zimny

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by Qstaff

Posted by Qstaff on August 09, 2003 at 17:31:33:

My job is really great–just not the money, but still it has become very hard to get a tenured position as a professor, and since I’m not a huge cheese in the academic world, if I left–that would be it. Actually I took a half pay sabbatical leave this year (it ends in mere weeks) and I mostly I starved but then made a decent pile of money (more than I’ve ever seen anyway. But it makes me happy to hear people have done it/are doing it and not starving. I just want to establish a more consistent cash flow.

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by Qstaff

Posted by Qstaff on August 09, 2003 at 17:35:19:

Before you ditch the Ph.D program, you better go buy some property and see if you like what all it entails.

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by Qstaff

Posted by Qstaff on August 09, 2003 at 17:37:55:

Point well taken, but I do my investing in depressed rural areas where real estate is a perpetual flatline anyway. I did make some dough on a Manhattan apt. though.

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by Qstaff

Posted by Qstaff on August 09, 2003 at 17:53:10:

I know there’s mad great money in mobile homes, and I have wanted to dabble in that area but don’t really understand the whole picture. It’s good to know that there’s someone else out there crazy enough to bail on tenure-track (although I’m tenured LOL).

If I wanted to do simple things like make a mortgage for a house and then sell the mortgage (as opposed to getting a loan)–which course do you recommend most?


Thanks for the suggestions on courses–exactly what I need.

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by Qstaff

Posted by Qstaff on August 09, 2003 at 18:07:14:

You’re absolutely right and I love teaching, but you see, I’m a poet and I want a job that I like (have to like it) which provides the most money and gives me the most flexibility to write. Now real estate is a subsidy to teaching which is a subsidy to writing–and quitting the teaching position would eliminate the middleman as it were. But I do love my benefits, no lie.

But I think setting a financial goal is the best idea for me. Before I bail on the job I’d like to have some education and experience in the real estate area I want to pursue. I started investing almost accidently. I had a house in a small town I wanted to sell and nothing was selling, so a friend suggested instead of selling the house, buy another one. Then I got into some debt and my banker suggested refinancing two houses–then I was debt free, and I started using houses like credit cards that someone else paid back. Then I started reading about all the other possibilities…

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by DEON

Posted by DEON on August 06, 2003 at 15:28:29:

HI, first I wanted to say that this site is awsome. Now here is my story; in feb. of this year I left my job at the post office to go full time in re. investing. Let me also say that I do not regret it at all and I have never felt happier or have the freedom to do or go where ever I want. But, as was mentioned here, you need to make sure that you first, have the guts, cash reserves and also educate yourself. All 3 of which I know I have. Like someone said, “The time to get into real estate investing is yesterday”. Hope this helps.

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by rm

Posted by rm on August 11, 2003 at 07:16:03:

Establishing a more consistent cash flow is simply a matter of consistently marketing.

heres what to do - Posted by Izzy (NY)

Posted by Izzy (NY) on August 10, 2003 at 24:56:13:

take a sabbatical for a year. My father is a professor and he did that when he tries opening his own school…

or cut your teaching hours…

i emailed ya.

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by John

Posted by John on August 10, 2003 at 24:10:38:

Before you ditch the RE program, you’d better go get a PhD and see what it entails?!?!?!?!
Only if YOU want to.

Why fall back on real estate?

Why not the reverse; fall back on PhD.
Give R E the credit it deserves.

Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on August 10, 2003 at 12:38:20:


Creating and selling a mortgage is a lot harder than it sounds. I don’t know anyone who’s done it. Line up credit with banks, hard money lenders and private investors- that will be much easier.

I suggest you search the archives and read everything by Merle Wooley who had a beautiful system in place for using private money to buy houses.

Mobile homes are so much easier than houses, I wish I hadn’t waited 4 years to dive in. My first year of buying real houses I bought a duplex and two single families. In my first 7 months of buying mobile homes I’ve bought 11. The secret is to find a good park manager. I stongly recommend Lonnie Scruggs and Ernest Tew’s materials on mobile homes- the principles are germaine to all real estate investing and the courses are sooooo cheap.

good luck,


Re: To quit my day job or not? - Posted by Noname

Posted by Noname on August 13, 2003 at 13:32:11:

Hi John:

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Could you clarify your response, though. I didn’t quite understand. I know this is all up to me, but are you saying that RE should be the fall back, if the going gets rough; or are you saying the Ph.D should be the fall back… I want to hear your thoughts in full