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Downturn Forces College Students to Invest

Due to changes in the economy, more and more young adults are turning to investing in order to have enough money to care for their aging parents and be able to save for their own retirements as well.

Two such young adults are Kevin Amolsch and Stephanie Jorgensen of Denver, Colo., who found themselves working full-time at a bank, going to college and wondering about their futures.

"Our parents had absolutely no retirement accounts, and they worked all of the time," said Jorgensen. "Neither of us wanted to still be working that hard in our 50s and 60s. ... More importantly, we want to take care of our parents just the way that they have taken care of us."

Even though they were only in their early 20s, Amolsch and Jorgensen decided to take on the complicated task of investing in real estate. They did research on the Internet and read books. Then they looked for properties that had been on the market for a long time.

They found that the majority of homes on the market were unsuitable for investors, however, since the sellers were looking for someone to pay full price. As investors, Amolsch and Jorgensen were looking to negotiate.

Investors usually find the best deals with sellers who are under pressure to close deals quickly, yet who don't need the money from the sales right away. Good candidates are landlords who are tired of dealing with tenants, or sellers who have moved out of state and already bought other homes.

Amolsch and Jorgensen had to talk with more than 100 sellers until they found someone who was motivated enough to sell to an investor. They bought two properties within the first year.

"If two college kids living off of rice and Top Ramen can do this, anybody can," said Amolsch.