By: Michelle Wong
Many people what to give up when things are hard but do not want to stick to their path that they created for themselves. I honestly don’t know if it is fear of the unknown, fear of failure; fear that things will be harder. My view is if life was that easy, everyone would do it. It takes a selective few to really buckle down and suck it up when going through a difficult path that will have its moments of struggles. The thing is you can’t give up and quit. Sometimes the best things that come are through blood, sweat and tears.
Have I been through those struggles, hell yeah, but I couldn’t bring myself to give up and believe me I ask myself
why am I doing it. Then I think of my why. My why is simple, I want to represent the women, the culture, my family, myself and show the world that I made it to my destination. Coming from a background where I have professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs that made a path for them but also coming from a family where they frown on being your own boss. It is an oxymoron if you think about it. Here I am coming from a line of people that made names for themselves but also coming from an immediate family that were hesitant to take a leap of faith.
It took 34 years of my life to make a conscious decision to be one of those entrepreneurs, a be my own boss with my own hours, being a boss that also had to struggle to get a start on my own two feet and believe there were struggles. Working close to 20 years for someone else was hard. Why? at some point in your career you start to feel under minded, unappreciated and taken advantage of and most of all knowing your true worth. Money cannot be put on yourself worth. It was at that point that I took that bold decision and have not look back. It was an exciting and frightening experience but it was something I could not pass up. I needed to know where the path I took will take me and what will be the ending to that decision.
Yes I go through my struggles and my rough patches, but doesn’t? I have been fortunate that for each mistake I make or each rough patch I go through is an experience I learn that helps me become stronger. I’m grateful that I can fail forward that not fail at all.
By: William Morales
Should you use it to invest in real estate? Tough question to ask someone! I applied for business credit cards in 2015; the best thing at the time was 0% interest for a year!!! Not bad right? Flash forward to 2016 and the interest of some of the cards I have (8 in all) has kicked in, and wow, one card in particular is 22%!!!
Oh oh...A Problem
As you can see from above I have 8 cards in all, some have small amounts some larger, it’s a nightmare for me to keep tabs on 4 that I have used. Plus when I applied for business credit, with a company that specializes in getting credit for business owners, I’m at the mercy of the company, let me explain.
I Live Where?
Out of the 8 cards I currently have, I used 4 to invest in education and real estate, the other 4 I decided to close the accounts, now the problem has started, one of the cards, M&T Bank has me living in Colorado, I wanted to close that card, but since I live in New York city I have to show the bank proof that I do live in NYC and never lived in Colorado, So when you used these institutions you don’t know what they are telling the credit card companies/banks about you, we need to be careful.
So What’s the Solution You Say?
We need to apply for business credit, not a business credit card!
A true business credit card is a line of credit that is taken in the name of the business, under the business' credit. Activity, whether good or bad, is reflected on your business' credit report through D&B and other financial institutions, and the liability for any debts incurred and bills owed is with the business.
However, some companies out there offer "business" credit cards. These companies will often ask for a personal guarantee which I did, and will almost always ask for a social security number from the person applying for the card. If this is the case, the credit card is not a business credit card, but is simply a personal credit card which is used for the business. The business is not liable for bills and debts – I AM!!
How Do We Apply for Business Credit?
There are a few books out there that can show you ways to get a line of business credit, like “Business Credit Decoded: Discover the Secrets and Power of Business credit” by Ty L. Crandall.
Also go to YouTube and enter getting business credit and you will find videos on the subject or google articles on the subject.
There are many steps to follow in terms of getting business credit, and I think that’s better than getting Business credit cards from banks, believe me I’m paying for it. So I will now work on getting my business line of credit ASAP, and follow the steps of some of my mentors who are helping me.
Thanks for reading & until next time,
By: Michelle Wong
Virginia is now a Real Estate Market trend. Virginia is now ideal area for military personnel’s and their families to move and reside in. The prices are reasonable for modest income earners that what to move and change locations. It is military concentrated state and military/federal allowances are given to those that want to purchase a home. There is a need for more development in the area and to provide more affordable homes to those that live there.
We have a team and contacts that reside in Virginia that help us find homes to wholesale, fix and flip, and buy and hold. Future plans to develop are also in the works. Great locations to market are Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake and Richmond. Prices are reasonable if you want to invest in those areas, purchase prices vary by area but you can invest in those areas for under $300k, which is less than in the New York market. It is expected to grow, the real estate market in Virginia and it is becoming a popular area for Real Estate Investors and consumers.
We are planning to go visit soon in the next pending months to look at areas and market more to sellers and buyers in the area. We have sent direct marketing, letters to sellers that want to sell their home quickly and find buyers that want to purchase them. We are quickly expanding in the Virginia Market and help sellers sell their home and buyers find homes that are affordable or possibly rent a home until they can purchase them.
Our team reviews the properties for us and we then send different proposal options to the sellers and see which one they are comfortable accepting. The key to successful expansion is having a team that resides and operate in the area. Trust is also a key component to have the business flow in another state.
By: Michelle Wong
The new trend as of four years ago is renovating brownstones. Most high end real estate brokerage firms have been taking these rundown brownstones and modernizing the interiors of the buildings. They keep the exteriors integrity intact. Brownstones are common during the 19th century and are part of New York landmark and its history. We have them in Manhattan and Brooklyn. These buildings are a real estate investors dream. Originally in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s brownstones were being sold for mere $1. The proposal for selling these buildings for a $1 is to encourage investors and home buyers to purchase them and fix them. The reason behind that is to give neighborhoods a makeover and circulate a better real estate market. As time went by and we entered the 2000’s the market changed and the market started to rise steadily and there were drastic make over in Manhattan and Brooklyn. After the steady rise in the market value after 2010, the Brownstones became prominently more expensive to purchase. One of the last buildings that were available was in Harlem.
The architecture and structure is after the Victorian era and the start of the peak of the late 1860’s. The term brownstone came from the Tirassic-Jurassic sandstone material the buildings are commonly made out of the concept of the structure came from a company from Wisconsin called the Bass Island Brownstone Company which operated from 1868-1890. It was most used in government buildings along the eastern coast of the United States, primarily in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia. This architectural structure that was once used in government buildings and commercial buildings were then introduced into the residential market. It became popular in the urban areas of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Most structures have 3-4 floors, which can easily be a 2 family home.
Maryland, which also have Brownstones also have the much popular Rowhouse which are similar to Brownstones but did not have the grand entrance or the structural landscape with stone stairs on the outside that go up to the entrance of the home. Philadelphia also had both structures in different areas of the city.
Now in the present a Brownstone is worth in the Upper 2-3 millions of dollars or even higher after renovation. If you are looking to invest in a Brownstone you might have to pay at least a million dollars that is moderate shape. It is remarkable that what was once a giveaway is now worth millions. There have been a few that were demolished in New York City because of the severe damage it has in the internal structure of the buildings. The most iconic structures in New York City are the Skylines and the Brownstones.
By: Michelle Wong
The beautiful province of Puerto Plata is located in the northern part of the Dominican Republic, with a population of 321,597 residents. It is primarily known for the beautiful beaches, amazing resorts and hotels, and for the tourist destination. Apart from other province Punta Cana, Puerto Plata is the second popular tourist destination. Tourists from all over the world come to visit the Dominican Republic and especially Puerto Plata.
Puerto Plata is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Isabel de Torres Mountain, known for its agriculture and architecture designs by the European and Canadian immigrants that settled in the area in the mid-16th century. There was and still have influence of British, French, Italian, German, Canadian and other European countries. It brought great influence in the culture that is known today. The Victorian era had great influence in the northern area of the Dominican Republic; the clothing, architecture of residential homes, commercial hotels, etc. The city of San Felipe de Puerto Plata was founded by Canadian immigrants. They also brought with them the architecture style of bridge formation, created the Guinea Bridge in 1879. It was not until after the Restorer War, that heavier influence in modern architecture came in place. It was the modern architecture in this area that influences the change of construction of buildings and resorts and hotels.
Puerto Plata known for the picturesque views, the natural beauty of the beaches, it is also known for the various attractions. Puerto Plata has many recreational activities for tourists to participate in: Cable Car, Zip lining, Snorkeling, Windsailing, Aquariums, Museums, Boardwalk, Live Dance Entertainment, Horseback Riding, Quad Riding, Kite Boarding, Safari Trail, Hiking, Waterfalls and Parks.
Real Estate Investment Opportunities
There are over 70 resorts and hotels located in the San Felipe de Puerto Plata area, all located on the beach front. There is a big market for Real Estate Investment in Hotels & Tourism. Since November 1995, there have been incentives for foreign investments. There are natural treatment for foreign investors and minimum restrictions in investments and free access to the international currency through local banks and the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic.
I took the opportunity to visit Puerto Plata for business purposes as well personal time for relaxation. I went on a business trip look at the residential and commercial area that I could invest in. There are many land and building for sale for investors. There is plenty of land for development and creation of new resorts. Many investors that come into the country are American, Canadian, European, Latin American and Asians. The resorts that are being constructed now are designed and built by European architects and/or engineers. There is much potential to continue to grow the country and make a great profit with great rate of return.
Iberostar Hotel Costa Dorada
Lastly, upon my visit to Puerto Plata, I stayed at the Iberostar Hotel which is an international based company originated in Spain. It is located 25 minutes from the Puerto Plata Airport or the formal name of the Georgio Luperon International Airport. The Iberostar Hotel Costa Dorada is all inclusive 5 star hotel with 540 rooms situated in 10 buildings on the premises. It has all that is needed without leaving the premises. Just feet away are the beaches, pools, restaurants, nightclub, spa, etc. There is a security safe in each room, air conditioning, complimentary drinks and coffee in each room as well. There are also balconies in each room. Laundry service 24 hour service with 48 hour delivery service. There are Shopping store and convenience store located by the lobby of the hotel.
It has 5 restaurants: El Mercado, El Bohio Palappa, which are all buffet style restaurants. They serve hot and cold buffet foods. They serve breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. Depending on what time of day you decide to dine, you would have to go to one or the other. There are also 3 a la carte restaurants called La Acienda (Mexican Cuisine), El Rodieco (Brazilian Cuisine), and Hashiriu (Japanese Cuisine) The 3 a la carte Restaurants serve dinner from 6:30pm-11pm but with reservations. Both El Mercado and El Bohio serve typical Dominican Cuisine and some American Cuisine. They serve in 4 time patterns: 7am-10am, 10am-12pm, 1pm-4pm, and 6:30-10pm.
There are 3 huge pools with bar service from 10am to 7pm. You can lounge in the pool or along the lounge chairs and waiters will come over and take your drink order. If you want to snack while you take in the sun the El Bohio restaurants is only 50 feet away. They also have private water aerobics classes that you can take in the morning. They also have outside recreational activities you can partake in: tennis, diving, and snorkeling, quad riding which are all near the hotel area.
If you want to relax and have some R&R, you can use the Jacuzzi, steam baths and massage parlor; which you have to set up an appointment prior to attending. There also beauty salons to have your hair done or manicure and pedicure. You can also request a professional make-up artist to apply your make up for an outing.
There are also nightly entertainments: Night club and 3 bar lounges. La Fuente, El Bohio Aqua Bar, La Plaza Lounge Bar and Route 66 Night club. All of the bars and lounges serve late night snacks. No reservations are needed. Lounges and bars open from 11pm-3am. The night club is open from 10pm-3:30am.
The Philadelphia market has been on the rise in the past five years, it is a hot market to invest and to purchase a home if you're a homebuyer. For the past 3 months we have been researching and looking at properties.
Philadelphia is very much like New York City with diverse streets and eclectic feel to the architecture there. In Delaware County has a very familiar feel to Brooklyn where at night it comes to life and young families come out and celebrate the evening. In the bordering area of Delaware County it has a tranquil feel of Westchester. Beautiful homes with acreage of land, perfect for family reunions or block barbecues.
We have traveled to Philadelphia on two occasions to see the area for ourselves, see the properties that we can close on and meet local realtors, residences, in which we want to build a team.
The market is hot in Philadelphia and for less than $100k you can obtain a townhouse, rowhouse or a duplex. Owners and sellers are willing to listen to how we operate in investing and would consider as an option. The key to finding great deals are connecting with local realtors and lead generation from direct mail. The combination of the two gives you a better chance of connecting with motivated sellers. The other part of this formula is having an option the seller would agree with.
By: Michelle Wong
The Dominican Republic is a hot spot and great vacation destination for travelers.
It has become a destination also for foreigners that are looking to find residence
while they work in the country. In the past 10 years, the Dominican Republic has
become a very popular area for foreigners like Germany, United Kingdom, Spain,
Venezuela, Italy, Colombia, Argentina, etc to call this country their second home.
Many foreigners relocate because of the business they have or the companies that
they work for change locations. This also means a great opportunity for the
builders, developers and real estate brokers for the vast growth in the real estate
market. There is a large amount of money being invested into the Dominican
Apart from the hotels and resorts being built, there is a rapid growth with
residential development. There are more apartments and condominiums being
built in the city of Santo Domingo and the smaller city of Santiago. The larger
residential homes are being built in the outer areas such as La Romana and Bani.
The homes that are built are being bought by outside investors that have money
to buy in these upscale areas. Such clients are celebrities such as Julio Iglesias. He
bought his home back in 2011. There are European based real estate investment
companies that have opened offices in the Dominican Republic. They offer
exclusive properties for sale that are newly constructed.
There is also construction of commercial real estate as well; there is construction
of office buildings, clinics, outlet malls, restaurants. There is an increase with
American themed restaurants in the city of Santo Domingo. From Pinkberry to
Applebee’s, they have most of the American chain restaurants. This also boosts
the economy in the country because it generates jobs for the natives that live in
the country. There is such potential for growth in this Caribbean Country.
By: Michelle Wong
The United Kingdom is very hot and in demand market for real estate. The sale for
properties in the London area have doubled and the value for homes and
apartments mimic the prices for homes and apartments in New York. There is a
big need for townhouses, brownstones, homes and apartment buildings
renovation and development as well. There are older properties that need
renovations and modernizing. There are also many parcels of land for sale for
development. Certain areas of the UK especially in the London area are ideal for
There is also a need for affordable homes and home owner friendly mortgage
companies. I spoke to many residents and business owners that are from the UK,
they expressed an interest of having a US based company that can work the real
estate market and help develop homes that residences can afford. Many want to
have the luxury of owning a home or get into their first homes.
By: Michelle Wong
The market is changing and the new trend that has been introduced to the US real
estate is solar efficient products. This is a trend that started overseas and used
more commonly in Europe and certain areas of the Middle East. Many European
countries use solar panels on the commercial real estate and are steadily used on
residential real estate as well. The government implemented the idea of going
green and using solar panels to lower the use of electricity, creating natural solar
energy that converts into electricity, reducing the manpower electricity and
voltage use. It also helps lower the overall cost of bills. This method of solar panel
was introduced a few years ago to the US, but it was in the past 2 years that the
demand for solar efficiency took place. There are development companies that are
using this method to build homes with solar efficient concept, which the federal
government funds if it is within their guidelines and standards.
There are companies that sell solar efficient products that invest in development
projects that would use their products in the building of the properties. Other
companies would let consumers rent their solar panels and give them a discount
upon installation, homeowners can benefit from this type of deal.
This phenomenon is going global, other countries in the eastern board such as
China in the Asian continent is taking the opportunity to use solar panels in the
residential and commercial spaces.
By: William Morales
Many people don’t want to invest in Real Estate because of the three T’S, Tenants,
Toilets & Termites, and I understand completely. But there are other ways to get
into Real Estate without involving yourself. Many new companies are now opening up investing
opportunities for everyone like crowdfunding.
What is crowdfunding ? It’s the practice of funding a project or venture by raising
small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via online. So you
can invest your money without being involved, in other words a passive investor
where you sit back and collect, now I’m not endorsing crowdfunding, you have to do
your due diligence before investing in any of these projects.
Another way besides these funding portals, you can invest in a REIT, what is a Reit?
A reit, or real estate investment trust, is a company that owns or finances income
producing real estate, Reits provide investors of all types regular income streams
through a dividend you can get either monthly or every quarter depending on the
So don’t feel you have to be a landlord, just do your research you have plenty of
choices to be in Real Estate.