To buy or not to buy, that is the question. However, the answer should be obvious, according to real estate mogul Sean Conlon. In fact, not making real estate a priority can be the single biggest mistake you make. Speaking on CNBC, he said real estate still leads to prosperity.

“I am a true believer that you save every penny and you buy your first house. And that is still the fastest path to wealth in this country.”

In fact, Conlon, who hosts “The Deed” on CNBC, came to the U.S. with just $500. Today, he owns his own real estate mortgage company. He saved his money and eventually bought a property. That was nearly 25 years ago. By 1996, he was a millionaire.

“I understood fairly quickly that real estate is a tangible path to wealth.”

And that holds true today. Americans can build their portfolio through real estate. Too many millennials are missing the boat when it comes to home ownership. As it stands, you really can’t build meaningful wealth until you own some real estate. It makes sense to build wealth for yourself rather than paying rent and building wealth for someone else.  While renting is cheaper than buying in all corners of the country, Conlon says buy! He also says that his success has stoked his belief that America is the land of opportunity.

“Kids growing up anywhere in the rest of the world, regardless of what you see in the news today, America still holds a place in most people’s hearts and minds as the place where you can be anything. And I believe after 26, 27 years in this country, it is still a country that rewards hard work. You can really make it here.”

For agents, real estate provides several avenues to wealth. It also pays to think ahead. We may not have the exact same path as Conlon, but we can find our own path that leads to a great life and even early retirement. Alex Milshteyn, team leader, Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel in Ann Arbor, Mich., told RISMedia anyone who is in the real estate business for the long haul will face the challenge of creating a sustainable future.

“When I turned 30, after several successful years in the business, I made a rock-solid decision: I wanted to have the flexibility to retire at age 40 if I want to. I don’t know that I will want to retire then, but I know I want the freedom to be able to. So I sat down with a financial advisor and we mapped out a plan to get me there.”

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