Q: I am a stay home mother (domesticologist), but however I do work on the weekends for a local hospital in GA.

I would like to get into buying property for resale and buying property for rental. However, I do not have alot of money to start this project. I have been looking in the paper for rental properties for sale that are already occupied. I would in the long run like to set most of the income aside for retirement age and funding for my 3 small children’s future education. I spend a lot of time in the public schools volunteering, supervising, going on fieldtrips etc.

I know I will never retire from a company, but I want to put something aside for later.

My husband’s income takes care of our household. Although we are putting 6% savings into his 403b and his company matches 3%.

I have always enjoyed Business and I would like an opportunity to get a 4 unit bldg to start.

What should be my first step??

A: If you’d like to get started in real estate, the best thing you can do is to get your salesperson’s license. Classes are relatively inexpensive, and it won’t take long. But getting your salesperson’s license will give you the basic knowledge you need about the home-buying and selling process. I think it’s an excellent way to start your career.

Once you’ve received your license, you should activate it and find a company that will allow you to work part-time to develop your skills. Even if you’re looking mostly for yourself, you’ll be able to watch professional real estate salespeople shop for their clients, negotiate contracts, and follow-up on the details that will help get the deal done.

Finding property for others will help you learn how the local area market works. Once you have an understanding of the true value of properties in the area, you can begin to shop for yourself. And, you may have earned some money from your part-time endeavors to use as a down payment.

Of course, you don’t need a real estate salesperson’s license to buy and sell homes, but I think the coursework is an excellent first step.

Jan. 1, 2004.