real estate

Real Estate Buys You Freedom

I’ve been unconsciously immersed in real estate most of my life. I remember as a child being on construction sites where my father was building new homes on Long Island, New York. During elementary school when I wasn’t in summer camp, I’d spend hours at his real estate brokerage office playing under the conference table during meetings or just waiting to go home like every kid wants to do. In middle school, I acted as a personal assistant for him and helped prepare him for business trips and multi family auctions out-of-state, printing bid kits and flight info.

I thought my millionaire dad was a bum: a personal story

I come from a family of Haitian immigrants, who did their best to provide better opportunities for my siblings and I. Every since I could remember, I could pretty much have anything I could think of. I tend to believe I was always the true favorite as I was bestowed the title “JR.”

Another part of these better opportunities included growing up and living in Roslyn, New York. This is your typical affluent community of scandals, elite families, and highly ranked school systems. My family was wealthy however not flashy or pretentious. We had a big family so we needed a big house. We shopped at Kohl’s each year  before school. I still remember the year I rebelled against wearing the Shaq brand shoes that would surly prove I was poor. Strange, I never grew up learning about money, my father “job,” social status, etc. I was always a pretty sheltered kid who honestly could be called bubble boy! (Not anymore)

Real estate buys your freedom

Every time I came home, he was there. I don’t mean in the “meet me at the school bus stop” always there, I mean always, always there. My father was around so much so that you could call him a stay at home dad. He would drop my siblings and I off to school and be there to pick us up and transport us to sports, practices and events. He would cook breakfast and cook dinner at night (I was always ashamed of the smell of Haitian food) and was also always around on weekends.

Don’t get me wrong, it was great to have a role model whom I could always depend on. I got a lot of attention as a child, even with 6 siblings. As a high schooler, I would walk home praying that I beat my father to the mailbox to grab report cards. The Almighty failed me because he would already be home on the couch, at home watching a television show waiting for our arrival. I would think didn’t he have anything better to be doing?

real estate

Stealth Wealth

The key factor in all this was time. My father had the time to be available and focus on raising and caring for our family. We had pretty modest cars, so when peers would get picked up the latest BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Bentley, I would be ashamed heading to the minivan, how basic… I mean, being a soccer dad wasn’t cool!  

I don’t remember when it started but I was always called “White John.” My peers knew something I didn’t, I was different. We lived in the Country Estates. Our house was just as big and expensive as theirs. I would only temporarily be the awesome new black kid who would be picked for their basketball team during lunch. My fraudulent basketball skills would be quickly discovered the first week of middle school. I also didn’t get the free lunch in high school. I would pay daily with my father’s cash of course.

All that matters is how much money you have in the bank

Most people do not have this “luxury.” As a real estate developer and investor my father had the ability to create his life around want mattered most. With this sort of slacker on the outside/awesome on the inside role model, it’s no wonder that I fell in love with real estate also. I grew up seeing the flexibility being a real estate developer + investor can afford you. The most important of which is control of your time. Having income independence. This means owning or creating valuable assets that produce independent cash flow. In the words of my father, “at the end of the day, all that matters is how much money you have in the bank!” This can definitely be considered BORING on the outside. Be it was and is an important lesson that has lasted with me. 

It wasn’t until I was nearly 18 before I woke up or became conscious. What I mean by this is that it all finally clicked for me. I’ll spare the details but I knew one thing: I wanted to learn how to make money! What mattered most really was how much money you had in the bank, not so much the cars, or luxury brands.

The Black Fred Trump

Before getting into the family business I knew I wanted to have the best lifestyle money could buy. I needed to learn how my father did it! To be honest it still seems unreal and mystical. I did recognize the power of real estate.  I learned, real estate buys your freedom and gives you time. How would you like control of your daily schedule, control of your environment and location (with sizable portfolio) and best of all control of your focus and daily efforts (eliminate day job). Some questions I asked myself was how did real estate affect our housing and lifestyle? What kind of community did we live in and schooling system? Simply put it was a high-end community, the best schools, no wants anything.  Real estate allows the ability to dictate your income (more hustle, more money). Passive income is important because income generating business such as real estate supports your lifestyle so independent of another entity (like a day job).

We show you how to get started generating passive income so you can have more personal liberty and financial freedom. We do this by helping you determine which passive income path is right for you and get you started on your journey with our online community, education, books and tools. We talk about personal finance, building a business and living life on purpose.

4 thoughts on “Real Estate Buys You Freedom

  1. Brian - Rental Mindset says:

    So true. And really freedom is everything. I have so many friends who work work work at their traditional jobs, 60-80 hours a week, not realizing where it is taking them. They feel important, but don’t have the freedom to enjoy the money they are stacking up.

    1. I always thought traditional jobs were everything! I believe it was more so an insecurity of mine. Being proud of who I’ve become and the ability to gain real estate success at a young age, I’m very blessed for all my father time. I think our culture has prioritized feeling important and ego over investing time to the true importance of children.

  2. Great post! My grandfather was the epitome of stealth wealth. He would walk around wearing the same clothes he had bought in the 1970s, and it showed (plaid pants, lots of brown sweaters, etc.). Nearly all of his cars and trucks were fairly cheap, and many of them had dings and dents because he wasn’t the best driver. When my niece was about 6 years old, she said “Is Grandpa Jack poor?” Hahaha! He was worth probably $8 million or so at the time, and that’s after he had already given his 9 kids and 20-some-odd grandkids a leg up by giving them tiny slivers of the mobile home parks he owned, so they could afford to go to college. He lived in a (not-flashy) house that he loved where he could grow corn in the backyard and have a grove of avocado trees (side income), he had a couple of small private planes (think Cessna, not Gulfstream), and he traveled the world. He didn’t give a rip about clothes or flashy things, but he worked very hard and made smart financial decisions, and lived a very happy life. He was a huge influence on me.

  3. It’s funny, reading your comment reminds me of Snowball by Alice Schroeder. Warren Buffett gave off a particularly “poor” look with a disregard for new clothing and the flashy life… we know what happen next!

    It wasn’t until I purchased a property across from a mobile park and be-friended the owner Michael, did I realize the goldmine in this product. Never mind that he was also an Asian man with multiple academic degrees lol!

    What a joy flying must’ve been (a pilot’s license can be an expensive hobby!) Cessna’s seem much more obtainable without the capital outlay of a Gulf stream. Plus, I’m sure the time in the air and gas was easier to accommodate. Thanks for sharing!

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