When Opportunity Knocks

Do you open the door?

Almost everyone says yes but very few actually do.

I have spent a lot of time talking to people about a strategy I use in real estate over the years. Most of the time this information goes in one ear and out of the other. Today I feel vindicated. Call it sheer luck, perhaps serendipity but this morning, the newspaper deliverer made a mistake. When I went outside to pick up my newspaper, there was a copy of the Democrat and Chronicle. I don’t own a D&C subscription, so you can see how it was fate. On the front page in today’s paper was an article “Funding for zombie house fixes approved”. The article discusses a program in the Rochester area that allowed the city to fix houses that were vacant or had been foreclosed on and sell them to residents who would be first time home owners at affordable prices. Sound familiar?

If you’ve been following me on Facebook or happen to know me, this is what I do for a living. I even teach it to those willing to learn. It pays my bills and allows for a lifestyle which my family and I greatly appreciate. Back to the article, this program the city runs was put on hold. That means there were no funds to fix or sell any houses. That’s a setback if you’re aware of issues associated with the income gap and some of the common banking practices within our communities. Chuck Schumer did some work and long story short, there will be funding for the program. This means that the city will be able to resume fixing and selling these homes.

In other words, this is more proof that there is “Gold in the Ghetto”. It’s long been my mission to help create as many millionaires as possible. As Jay-Z put it in the song Boss, “Over here we measure success by how many people successful next to you. Here we say you broke if everybody else broke except for you.” This is far from saying that the only value in these neighborhoods is in real estate. Our neighborhoods are loaded with a wide variety of people with an even wider variety of skills. When we leverage our capabilities with our resources, we will begin to lay the foundation of building safer, better and more productive communities that are often the topic of discussion and less of reality.

Although the amount of people giving me the side eye when I tell them how and why I earn my living the way I do is slowly diminishing, this article that showed up on my doorstep out of pure happenstance, is external proof that my cause is justified. The city may have a different end goal than I or the typical investor may have but the product is very similar. It’s an investment in the community and the people within it. I like to take it a step further and teach people that home ownership is not the end goal and how to further build wealth.

It’s not just me, real estate in low income neighborhoods isn’t this high risk investment in which you are doomed to lose your money. That’s all hype and dare I say, born out of stereotype? Governments make the same investments and also benefit from its success. There are thousands of these zombie houses waiting to be fixed and sold to families that need them. The only question is who is going to own the deed to the property?

I hear someone knocking at the door, are you going to open it?

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