I have been interested in real estate development for the past 6 years and have been reading/studying the business on nights and weekends while working full time in the construction industry as a project estimator and now a project controls manager for a heavy industrial contractor. I want to separate myself from those that only have construction experience and have had the urge at several points in my career to switch careers and go work in real estate development as an analyst but have realized that while I feel confident in my ability to build real estate models, I would get smoked by guys my age with a strong finance background or someone with a MSRE.
So, at 28 years I am trying to be realistic and it is starting to feel like nothing will happen unless I start buying properties that have room for me to add value and build a track record at a small scale. I have around 90K saved up and have around 40k in my 401K that i would have no problem pulling from to fund my first deal. I feel confident that I could raise another 150k using immediate friends and family but the property would need to be a "home run" before some of them would trust the deal. The fear I have is with that being literally the only money I have, how will I eat for the next 5 years? Would I be better off taking a pay cut and working for a large developer? Then I would be 35 with a little more experience and more industry contacts?
Has anyone been in a similar position? If so, what did you do?