First Billboard Advice?

I am very interested in commercial real estate, and I want to start-out “small” and diversify my real estate portfolio. I think that investing in a billboard is a great way to start, as I have no previous real estate experience. I’m rather young, 22 years of age and just finished my bachelor’s degree, but am determined to research and hopefully soon gather leasing data/city ordinance data and eventually a sign on my first billboard. I’d love to start renting out my first billboard soon after purchase (or construction).

I am about to purchase the book “Big Bucks from Big Signs” and plan to finish reading it soon. I have been reading various topics on the forum, and am delighted to have found a billboard forum, such as this one.

My questions as a prospective billboard owner go as follows:

  1. Should I purchase an already “for sale” billboard? Is this the easiest and most risk free route for a beginner such as myself? Should I purchase a wooden structure or steel structure? Should I start in a rural area along a major highway outside from major competitors?
  2. Where can I find existing billboards for sale in my state, Texas?
  3. Should I not risk the purchase an existing structure, but rather, inspect a potentially good geographical area of investment where it will be completely legal for me to put up a sign according to city ordinances?
  4. If I do find an existing billboard for sale, can I expect to find a decent billboard in a decent geographical area for around $30,000 or $40,000? Or am I being unrealistic according to my budget? I’m assuming that the final sale typically includes title transfter of the leased area for the pre-negotiated lease terms (meaning, how long the billboard lease is valid on someone else’s land).

Thanks for you suggestions and comments,