Every real estate investor has a favorite deal.
It may be the very first deal, the deal where most profit was made, the deal that wasn’t attractive at first but turned out to be a gem or the deal that brought the most heartaches in all aspects but still made it through to the end.
This is a story of my favorite deal – actually an entire village full of deals where we made our mark.
It was an old gated subdivision, situated at the heart of a highly residential city, south of Manila. The average lot size was just 50sqm, small enough to be affordable and spacious enough for the demographic it serves – starter families. Each lot holds a 2 storey structure, mostly developer built, giving a sense of uniformity that’s pleasing to the eye. 3 bedrooms adorn the second level, with the living, dining and kitchen on the ground level. 1 car can fit in the garage.
As a neophyte investor, I was limited by experience, funds and connections. But this village provided the training ground, one property at a time.
It started with a broker I met via my mentor who has a townhouse listing in the village. She recently sold a house and wanted to go beyond brokering and pursue investing.
A partnership was formed, with assigned tasks based on our strengths.
We worked together on structuring the deals and crunching the numbers. We made sure that the numbers made sense, setting purchase limits, budgeting construction costs and ensuring proper selling prices.
She built on her connections within the village to find properties that we can buy at a good price. I can clearly recall a very hot and humid day we walked around and scouted for townhouses for sale. We didn’t mind, we were excited to make deals. She took charge of the document exchange and processing.
I worked on the prospectus, presented to investors and generated funds for the project. We even put our own money knowing that it shows our commitment to see this project through.
One by one, we bought, renovated and sold townhouse units. Some deals went like a breeze, others took some time. We had a buyer who needed to sell and trusted us to handle his unit and we delivered. Another seller who previously bought from us a house with a vacant lot beside, also needed to unload and contacted us for the job. Months went by without takers. We need to sell so we got creative. We decided to sell the house first and the vacant lot can wait in the future.
A few years passed, we learned to build homes from the ground up and decided to revisit the vacant lot and build a house – our last piece of property in a village that grew on us, that will be our legacy.
We encountered quirks along the way, didn’t sell as fast as we wanted but we did it eventually.
9 transactions of brokering, buying, selling, and finally building. The sale of the house we built was bittersweet. This quaint village gave us a lot. This was where we started, learned and grew. And most importantly, a strong friendship and partnership among two lady real estate investors was formed.