I’ve always had an entrepreneur mindset and knew working for someone was not for me.  Having just about every side hustle you could possibly think of; selling candy, clothes, sneakers, basketball, football and baseball trading cards.  If you can think of it, I did it.

After graduating school, the schemes continued while I worked professionally in commercial real estate.  At that time, I started to think about owning properties, but I wasn’t quite sure how to get it done. I worked diligently to learn at work, read books, watched YouTube, and talked to people but just couldn’t find my way in.

After going through many iterations of that cycle, a friend approached me about how to make the leap to purchase my first investment; It was a two-bedroom, one bath property located in the developing Southeast D.C. neighborhood of Anacostia.  I went from “how do I do this?” to someone willing to hold my hand and show me.  All the time i put in was finally beginning to materialize.   

I found the property on the HUD website, HudHomestore.com, that auctions foreclosed homes.  The starting bid was $50K with multiples offers already in place although it required a substantial amount of work.  I made the bid with the intent of putting money in to renovate using the FHA 203K loan program. 

This loan offers borrowers the opportunity to purchase a home using 3.5% down, opposed to a conventional loan that requires 5% for a single family, or 20% for investment properties.

Given this scenario I won the bid at $70,000 and decided to put in another $50K in repairs, making my all-in costs $120K.  The down payment for the loan costs $5,250 and roughly the same for closing cost.  All in, I needed $10,500 to close.

At that time, I was fresh out of college with no money and working in Commercial Real estate at the entry level paid next to nothing.  I told a friend of mine about the opportunity and he was all in to assist with the acquisition costs.  We both brought $5,250 to the table, to make it happen. 

The rehab took approximately 6 months to complete, and the property looked amazing.  I lived in it for 1 year and then decided to lease it to a friend (Tenant A). 

The mortgage payment was a whopping $850, and Tenant A paid $1,000 per month, netting $150 that was put towards reserves.  He lived there for two years before moving on to work at an apartment community where he received a discount on his housing.

Prior to him leaving we were able to market the space and conduct tours.  Within weeks were able to find Tenant B. 

He moved in the space at year 3 (2014) paying $1,500 per month with his rent escalating 5% annually.  All in, for both residents, taking in $61K in rental income

We decided to sell once Tenant B notified us of his plans to vacate.  He left in September, and it took a month to renovate the property.  Shortly thereafter, it went on the market for sale on the second Thursday in October, with all offers due by that Sunday.

The list price was $340K and we received several bids with the winning offer coming in at $366K on an escalating bid. 

By this time the mortgage was paid down to $100K.  Through operations and sale, we made $276,661 using a formula that I have replicated several times.   The final detail of the payout is as follows:

After a going through this experience, the ups, downs and ultimate successful close out with the sale of the property, I realized how rewarding real estate could be and learned how to mitigate the risk associated to it. It gave me the confidence I needed to fight through the anxieties and finish. This was the beginning of my journey with Real Estate Investing and I’m excited to bring you along on the ride with me as I give you more insight into my success stories that can also be yours.

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