Twin brothers who turned a single house into nearly $8 million of property say too many people have the wrong idea about investing in real estate

Kelly chris edwards
Kelly and Chris Edwards. Courtesy of Kelly and Chris Edwards

When brothers Kelly and Chris Edwards bought their first house for $88,000 in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2002, they didn’t know much about real estate investing.

Today, The Edwards Companies owns nearly $8 million in assets, and works with private investors through its investing arm, Edwards Capital Partners.

More than a decade after that first house, the brothers caution beginning investors not to look at real estate investment as a get-rich-quick plan. “We always use the analogy of the tortoise and the hare,” Kelly told Business Insider.

“Jump on the internet and it says get rich quick, everyone is wealthy. But it ain’t that way — it’s just not. The book is childish, but we have copies sitting on our office shelves reminding us of why we do what we do. If you’re just starting out, keep in mind that it’s not a ‘get rich overnight’ plan. It’s kind of a ‘get rich slow.'”

“I remember one night, at probably 1 a.m., our buddy came by the house after leaving the bars,” Chris said of their early days. “Kelly and I were painting. He was in banking, and we were the guys people were scratching their heads about and thinking we looked like the dumbest guys in the room. Now, we look like the smartest guys in the room. It’s amazing what 10 years of good hard work will do.”

That said, even adjusting your expectations won’t help you unless you decide to actually get started.

“We have a lot of peers and friends who come to us and say, ‘I want to do this, will you sit down with us?'” Chris said. “We do it, and then a year later they call us back up and say they’re still considering making an investment. Finally, we get to a point where we’re like, ‘When you’re serious about it and need help, let us know.'”

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