My Real Estate Story: Vicki’s Unlikely Journey Into Real Estate

My Real Estate story is a OneSavvyDollar series where we interview millennials who have successfully invested in real estate because; “real estate is an imperishable asset, ever-increasing in value. It is the most solid security that human ingenuity has devised. It is the basis of all security and about the only indestructible security”.- Russell Sage.

Can you tell us a bit about you?

Hi, I’m Vicki from Atlanta, GA (Decatur). I am the youngest of three with two older brothers. I am a single-family home investor. I enjoy obtaining homes through creative financing. However, I am not closed-minded about traditional financing.

When did you decide to get into real estate? What was the aha moment for you?

I was in high school. My mother was a real estate agent & she ended up buying this custom-built home which was a place I was able to call home.

It was a 5 bedroom, 5 in a half baths & a 3 car garage. She made the 5th bedroom (which was downstairs) her office. I would go into her office & she would leave uncashed checks sitting on her desk.

One check would be for $30,000 $50,000, $10,000 and I asked where did all this money come from? So at the time, the money was the “Aha moment” for me.

To build wealth, you can either start a business, invest in the stock market or real estate. Why real estate?

Real Estate was passed down to me from my mother. It was something that I was introduced to. I fell in love with the beauty of houses and also, having careers passed down is a wonderful thing.

It’s the same as if your parents were a doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc. You naturally pick up those skills & become attracted to it for the most part.

Most people think you have to quit your job to invest. Did you keep your job or are you involved in real estate full time? How has the experience been (either way?)

I kept my jobs even though it wasn’t full-time. I would work as a freelancer, part-timer, or whatever you want to call it. However, I would work way more than 40 hours in a week because of the many jobs I had.

But now, I’m in real estate full time; it keeps me busy and I have guidance from my mother. A person does not have to quit there 9-5 to start any type of business they want to create.

Tell us about your first home/deal. How did you find it? How much did it cost and do you still own it?

My first wholesale deal was a virtual one. It was a mobile home that sits on the state line of North Carolina & South Carolina. I had no idea what I was doing however, I took information from some of everywhere to get the deal done.

I went through a HUD-approved site to find the deal. The deal cost between $25,000 I believe. I can’t remember the exact numbers but I sold it for near $50,000 because I pretty much sold the contract and never actually owned the property.

I submitted a $500 earnest money deposit and I had 30 days to do the deal. I used the buyer’s money to close the deal because I didn’t have any.

As of today, I’ve never seen that property in person, I did everything virtually.

What are some mistakes you made during your real estate journey?

I haven’t made too many mistakes but what I can say is to not procrastinate. Personally, my mom has trained me to understand that there is a “gray” area in real estate and life.
However, she is still working to get me to see that because I just can’t see it most times. LOL!

Was there any time during your journey where your friends and or family challenged your plans to get involved in real estate?

I didn’t haven’t a single person to challenge me about getting into real estate to be honest. Before real estate, I had a life in media and one of my uncles challenged me concerning that.

Do you invest in state or out of state and which would you consider to be harder?

I like investing in state. A person can invest anywhere but I like to see my investments when I want. I don’t think either is harder than the other.

If you put the right things in place then none of it will be hard. You can get a property manager in or out of state. It is not hard at all.

What markets do you primarily invest in and which do you avoid completely?

I invest in the Georgia market primarily. Others are avoided because of my personal choice. However, investment properties can be gotten in any state.

Let’s talk about leverage: would you advise reinvesting your profit to pay down the loan or acquiring more using your profits?

No situation is considered a “one shoe fits all.” A person have to view their personal situation and be able to make a sound decision that fits their life. Where you reinvest your profit could benefit you depending on your personal goal.

Personally, it was acquiring more cash flow assets and be able to pay my own regular bills, buy more assets, and then pay down the debt. Please understand that there is good debt and bad debt.

Good debt is something like “I just bought this investment property for $20,000 and I had to borrow $325 cash from my brother” versus “I just put a down payment on a new escalade & I had to pawn my laptop until my next check come in in order to catch their sale”

Were any resources such as blogs, books, podcasts particularly helpful to you to get started? How did you find the inspiration to get started?

Yes! All of those are a big help. Any kind of information a person can read or listen to is information that is needed. Not only for real estate but for life lessons.

So get all the free information that you can find. My mom was the inspiration; she likes to help everyone. When I got started, podcasts weren’t a big thing.

Blogs were around but I didn’t use them. I pretty much used my mother, coaching programs, and news articles. Later, other stuff became available. As I got older freedom was the inspiration along with helping people

If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would INVEST MORE! Invest every single dollar. I have almost zero regrets because I was obedient to the universe since I was a kid so I wouldn’t do a single thing differently.

What advice would you give anyone who is trying to buy their first home or become a real estate investor?

My advice for a person would be for them to; find what lane in real estate they would like to master, study it, and be an action taker. Just do it.
Who cares if you mess up? Those people don’t know you; silence the laughs by becoming that millionaire. What you do need is the know how, the ability to speak to people, and the ability to accept the word NO!

How can our readers keep in touch with you?

You can reach me on Instagram. I interact with everyone so come & laugh, get educated & motivated.

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Congratulations Vicki! Wishing you much success in your real estate investing journey!

About Ogechi

Hello, I'm Linda Ogechi. I'm a financial educator, real estate investor, and founder of OneSavvyDollar. I write to empower you into saving more, paying off debt, increasing your net worth, and building real wealth so you can achieve financial freedom

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