I am very new to real estate. I bought a condo in Seattle just a few years ago as my primary residence. It was the perfect unit for just me, a huge studio loft with many closets and a small kitchen. It was perfect, then I got pregnant with Logan.
I was working in restaurants. I made a great living and was happy living in the city. It was my passion, my dream to run a restaurant with my friend and that came to light shortly after Logan was born. I thought it would be fine doing the same work and being a mom but I soon realized I couldn’t have my cake and eat it, too.
I’m a huge believer that everything happens for a reason. The dream restaurant was short-lived, so I went back to serving at a high end steakhouse. It was exhausting, and I was sold a deal that wasn’t exactly what was discussed after I thought I asked the right questions about it. I decided to get my real estate license and work with my stepdad, who had been in the business for nearly 30 years at that point.
Working with an agent who has been in the business seemed so ideal. It was mostly listings so that’s what I started out doing. But instead of really learning the ins and outs, I was slapped on a listing and had to force my way into doing any of the work. I spent most of my time working the thousands of leads and doing CMAs at his home office.
I started to notice issues with some of the deals we were doing. In fact, I noticed them in the first deals we did. The problem with working in fine dining is that you develop this eye for the most minute details. When I’d ask about them, I’d hear all the justifications I didn’t really know about or understand. But when I noticed that the clients weren’t being heard, I knew something was wrong. My final straw was two-fold. The buyer’s agent did a bait and switch, and it wasn’t called out. It was a mistake on our end for paperwork, and I was thrown under the bus for something I didn’t know about. On top of that, I was virtually showing my brother and his fiancee houses for his PCS to JBLM for at least two months. Out of nowhere, they put in an offer with my stepdad. He couldn’t let someone else win, so again, he threw me under the bus without them knowing.
At the same time, a friend started a virtual brokerage. I told my stepdad and the Designated Broker I was done. I wanted them to release my license, and I wanted off the deals. I couldn’t have anything to do with this horrible work that was being done for these people.
At this point I moved back to my hometown of Lakewood, a former suburb of Tacoma, and was renting out my condo. I knew this was the ticket to my retirement and Logan’s college fund. I Googled “rentals” and the first thing that popped up was an older video of Brandon Turner on the Bigger Pockets YouTube channel. I was hooked.
For over a year I binged. I took in every podcast I could and read every post in every group. I had analysis paralysis. I wanted to take the leap, but was scared. So I decided to sell my condo and use those funds to deploy in better investments. I also teamed up with a group in Central WA that wanted to expand. It was my goal to buy three houses this year to flip, and I ended up with six. Given, I had a lot of help, I doubled my goal. I started with this group this year, in March of 2021. It has definitely been an uphill battle, but worth it because I have my Little Logan by my side. He absolutely loves coming to work with me, and can even identify some components of a house! He’s only four!
I’m not just a single mom, but I’m solo. My pregnancy was a total accident and his father is not involved at all. I knew this going in and decided to just do it by myself. I thought, ‘If I could move to NYC and do it on my own, I could take care of a child on my own.’ While I do get a little bit of help from some friends and family, I’ve got my son pretty much with me all the time. That is why I love investing. Logan gets to “work” with me. Showing houses is a lot less flexible. You’re at the mercy of your clients. Going to my own projects, I can do whatever I want and have him be my sidekick. I now only work with clients that are okay with Logan being around at any given time.
Despite all my setbacks in real estate, and even in my life, I will not give up. I will fix everything I need to be able to provide my son with the life I wish my mom gave to me. I want to set him up for success, not failure. I feel that real estate is a great tool to be able to do that. People always tell me how much they admire what I’m doing, and I just feel like it’s my obligation to Logan to make sure I’m setting the right example and taking ownership of everything I need to. If I blame others or rely on systems that are broken, I’d probably never get ahead.
I am so incredibly grateful that real estate investing gives me the freedom to be there for Logan and be able to make a living for the both of us as well. He has forever changed my life for the better.