The fundamentals of real estate investing - Even my seven-year old daughter "gets it"

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

My daughter Aleah loves board games.  I think of some of them as "bored" games, but I do try to indulge when I can.  I am usually hoping for a quick game that doesn't require too much thought, like Chutes and Ladders, or a game that I actually sort of enjoy, like Yahtzee (at least there is some skill involved). 

The other day, she was begging me to play a game with her, so I asked which one she wanted to play.  Then I heard the dreaded response: 



I used to torture my own mother by making her play the long version of the game, which we would have to leave set up for days on end, it seemed. 


Aleah is seven, and her patience wears somewhat thin, so I am not yet required to endure marathon sessions of this game. 


The other night, she wanted to play her own special version of the game, which she called simply "Mario Version".  There was a box with Super Mario on it that served as the jail, and two small figurines of Mario and Luigi that we used as our game pieces.  If you went to jail, your guy went into the box, much like the famous scene in "Cool Hand Luke":

WARDEN: Any Mario character caught landing on the Go to Jail space, spends a night in the box!  Any father who won't play a board game with his daughter....spends a night in the box! 

If you haven't seen the movie, I apologize for the obscure reference.  If you have seen it, you are likely laughing now.

At any rate, I noticed that my daughter is very aggressive when it comes to real estate investing, usually buying any property within her means as she makes her way around the board.  To be sure, I would LOVE it if there were any properties with Monopoly-level pricing, because I could absolutely make a killing.  However, they would also have Monopoly-level rents, such as the paltry sum brought by Baltic Avenue (which I think is $6, if memory serves). 

Aleah once decimated me simply by buying all of the available properties that she could, even when it seemed unwise to the outside eye.  I am hindered by my adult "wisdom", while she forges ahead with impunity. 

What can I learn from this?

Well, most of the richest people that I know own a lot of property.  It doesn't really matter if the property was a steal when it was originally purchased.  Looking back over time, real estate is THE MOST SOLID INVESTMENT available.  I have some clients who purchased their first home in Cedarhurst, New York in the early 60's. 

They paid $66,000 then - it is now worth about $1.2 million. 

Monopoly was patented in 1935 according to Wikipedia.  Even so, I find it hard to fathom that you could buy an upscale property (like Boardwalk) for $400.  However, property values have absolutely skyrocketed since this game was devised.  Heck, they have skyrocketed in most places since I got into the business about 12 years ago. 

It appears that my daughter is far wiser than most would realize.  Even if it isn't necessarily the perfect time to buy, real estate is a solid investment for the long-haul.  I think you would be hard-pressed to find anyone to tell you differently.

If you are considering investing in Austin Texas real estate, I would love the opportunity to help you find the right properties.  Please feel free to call or email me anytime with questions.  I hope to hear from you soon.  Thanks!

Copyright 2008  Austin Real Estate   Jason Crouch

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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at  Thanks!


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Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~

You have one smart young lady.  You are raising her right.  May you have many more good game nights with her.  

Aug 04, 2008 12:48 PM #42
Peter Nikic
Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

Jason, I've seen some of your listings. big beatiful homes for not much more than boardwalk. I need to move to TX, I know you'll hook me up. I think the game is so real, people emulate it in real life.

Aug 04, 2008 02:35 PM #44
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Growing up Monopoly was one of my favorite games.  Perhaps I was always destined to be a real estate agent.

Aug 04, 2008 03:21 PM #45
* Rate A Home
Rate A Home - Saugatuck, MI

Jason, LOL, love it and what a great learning experience for Aleah. Great way to spend some primo time as a family as well, good for you for taking the time. Priceless.

Aug 05, 2008 02:49 AM #46
Randall Schrader
Competitive Insurance of Dundee - Dundee, FL

Take off the training wheels!  Try Robert Kiyosaki's "Rat Race".  It is Monopoloy on steroids.  You have a ton of real life decisions and run a constant balance sheet and income statement.  It's HIGHLY EDUCATIONAL!

Aug 05, 2008 03:07 AM #47
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Jason - my son is just turned 4, and I know we'll be going into the Monopoly stage soon - I'm looking forward to it!  I can tell you had plenty of time to think during your last game - but you've made some excellent points - it really is all about being in the game for the long haul. 

Aug 05, 2008 03:55 AM #48
Debi Ernst
St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors - O'Fallon, MO
GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate

Jason - The game of Monopoly brings up alot of old memories.  You can really tell alot about a person by how they play the game.

There are those of us who play Monopoly with rules of "grace", and there are those who play Monopoly with a blood thirsty look in their eyes.  It's kind of funny really...well, sort of...Let's just say that we've learned not to play with certain members of my husband's family...  :)

Aug 05, 2008 06:07 AM #49
Ross Quintana
Real E Smarter - Spokane, WA
Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966

Spokane Washington Real Estate Expert It's the same as the cash flow game, you realize that being slow to move is not a winning strategy. I agree the games don't lie, getting going is the hardest part.

Aug 05, 2008 08:37 AM #50
amy steele

The first time my husband and I played Monopoly together, he was just positive he was going to kick my butt.  I ended up wiping him out in an hour and a half.  He used to regale me with tales of when he and his brothers would play and the games would last for days, and money would be stolen and then credit cards came into play...

an hour and a half...


Aug 05, 2008 11:26 AM #51
David Thomas
West USA Realty, Scottsdale, Arizona - Gilbert, AZ

Jason, Amen - real estate is a great investment  - your daughter has a great future in front of her if she keeps thinking that way.

Aug 05, 2008 01:35 PM #52
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD


Your daughter seems to have it down pat. She is already an investor, someone who goes ahead and buys property without being overly worried about the temporary ups and downs of the real estate market.

Aug 05, 2008 02:56 PM #53
Thomas Hargreaves
TriStar Financial Services - Eugene, OR

Monopoly is a great game to teach kids about Money... another good one is  Cashflow 101 for kids

Aug 05, 2008 05:15 PM #54
Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains

Move over Donald Trump, Aleah is closing in!  She sounds like a smart one for sure and has learned from her successful dad.  Great story Jason.  Aleah, you rock girl!

Aug 05, 2008 11:54 PM #55
Hope Goss
Ventura Property Shoppe - Ventura, CA
Ventura Real Estate

We used to play this game for hours and hours.  My kids play it on their consoles and computers now.  Not the same thing.

Aug 06, 2008 02:07 AM #56
Paul Francis
Francis Group Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes


The beauty about Monopoly is that the prices and rents are fixed at numbers that make sense... Buying $400,000 homes and only being able to rent them out for $1,200 does not make sense... something that a lot of people have learned in our neck of the woods...

If simple fundamentals are followed, real estate investing can be one of the easiest ways to build wealth for the average person... and it's as simple as knowing the rules for Monopoly.

(My daughter is still in the Chutes and Ladders stage -- just turned 5 -- Monopoly is next!)

Aug 06, 2008 05:46 AM #57
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Jason...I hope you shared your gold star with Aleah.  If not, she should double your rent!


Aug 07, 2008 01:30 PM #58
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Perhaps we should all play Monopoly with our children and grandchildren to teach them about real estate investment.  I never though about the board game as a teaching tool until I read your blog post!

Aug 07, 2008 04:35 PM #59
Doris Freeman
Broker/Agent, Realtor, Madison-Gibson-Crockett

Great post, talk about memories, I used to love that game.  I don't think my grandkids even know what it is.

Have A Great Day

Aug 09, 2008 03:17 PM #60
Harrison K. Long
HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney


Your daughter Aleah is wise about real estate investing, buying all of the available properties that she could.

Harrison K. Long, Explore Group

Aug 11, 2008 04:46 AM #61
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

THANK YOU for all of your suggestions about starting Aleah (and my son, too) on the Cash Flow game.  I need to look into this very soon, while she has the interest.

Aug 15, 2008 02:40 PM #62
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Jason Crouch

Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
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