Hello! I will start with a little background about myself. I am a West Virginia University graduate. I studied Journalism and Public Relations with a dream of wearing a pretty suit every day and working in corporate America. I followed that dream to Charlotte in 1995 where I worked for the Corporate Communications division of a large bank. I also worked at night in a restaurant to make ends meet. My jobs were always in the hospitality industry in high school and college and it was in this setting I felt most comfortable. I could not wait to leave my day job and get into my restaurant uniform every day. I soon learned corporate America was not for me and hospitality was always my calling. I also was sure the only person I wanted to work for was myself. Eventually I quit my day job and went to work for a local caterer. I immediately knew I wanted to own my own event and catering business.
I left no time unspent and at 23 years old I started Occasions Catering. I started the company as a one woman show and grew it into a high-volume corporate catering company until I sold it in 2018. I was always frugal with my money and was intrigued by people who built wealth for themselves. I started reading and taking classes at the community college on investing. I told my business coach I was doing this, and he suggested I look into real estate as a vehicle of investing. I had a lightbulb moment one day when I was sick of being broke and told myself if other people can do it, I can do it too. I was determined to explore how to build a nest egg with real estate. Around the same time ( I was 25 years old) I had purchased my very first home and my mind set changed to not make it my home sweet home but to make it an investment home and a rental property for someone else to live in. Here began my bootstrap way of buying properties. Living in the home for a couple years, renting it, buying another and doing the same process over and over. I learned how not to fall in love with a house. I don’t get emotionally attached to any home, including my primary residence.
Over time I built up enough confidence with myself and my lenders that I began purchasing as an investor. I did a couple of 1031 exchanges and bought always with the goal of long term holds. I never flipped a home, although I have done major remodels between tenants. I am the landlord and the property manager of all my investments (we will talk about why I manage my own properties in another blog post). Current day I have three multifamily properties, three single family residences, a short-term rental and a commercial fourplex. I also have two plots of land; one of which I am currently having plans drawn for a multifamily unit. I tell you this information because I want you to know that if I am capable of building assets through real estate, so are you. Some people ask me if I inherited money, have a partner, or have family that passed the properties down to me… no, no and no. I am self-made and self-funded (well through a bank but by maintaining great credit history).
This brings me to why now. When I sold my catering business, I knew my new job was going to be landlording and being a real estate investor. When I realized that I need and wanted more cash flow a month I entertained a broker offer that was put on my plate but I had to get my real estate license in order to join the firm that reached out to me. I was one of the odd balls that absolutely loved the real estate classes. I even looked forward to taking the exam. I was determined to pass all of it the first time and I did. The original offer (the whole reason for me taking the class and exam) was put on the back burner and in September of 2019 found myself with a license and an uncertainty of what to do with it. I knew if nothing else I can broker my own deals. However, being a person that likes to share anything I have, whether it be tangible or knowledge, I knew I could help others get started in owning a home or owning a rental property.
So here I am 21 years after buying my very first home capable of helping you do the same. I have a lot of knowledge under my belt and a lot of real estate experiences. I have had amazing brokers representing me and some that did not even show up to the closing table. I am not a pushy salesperson and could not be if my life depended on it. I am just not wired that way. What I am is dependable, responsible, hardworking, responsive and I don’t let people down. I also don’t back down easy and I am an authentic communicator. I like to talk about the real stuff and ask the questions that matter. I am never going to sell you something that is a total mistake just to make some money. Money is my motivator in my own real estate investing, money is not my motivator for assisting you in building your wealth through real estate.
That in a nutshell is why real estate and why now. Thank you for reading my story and I look forward to the next time.