I wanted to be a real estate developer in the worst way.
At the time I was a very successful stock broker (today they are called “Investment Advisers) making not “good” but great money. The lure of being a “builder”: was too much to resist.
My friend, Pat Salamone, and I were trying to build quadraplex units in down town West Palm Beach. We’d daily go out looking for small vacant lots.Contact the owners, get the price then try to get financing. The problem was we were ahead of our time.
Pat came up the idea that we could build quadraplexes on these lots. The first book floor would be concrete block and the second floor would be woodframe with aluminum siding.
Today, this is common but at the time we couldn’t get a bank to finance us. I’d like to think we were ahead of our time.
The outcome was that I knew the numbers to build an apartment building. I had gone over these numbers numerous times and wake up at night train to rework the numbers.
At the same time I was looking around for real estate investment that I could show to June Martino, my client. She had expressed a desire to look at a Florida real estate venture.
Sarah Meredith, a local real estate broker, came to me with the Granada Apartments. It was October, 1972 and an insurance company in Jacksonville Florida was trying to sell this 365 unit apartment complex in West Palm beach.
They wanted to get it off their books before the end of the year. Time was of the essence. Very few buyers could move that fast. The purchase price was roughly $3.6 million. That worked out to $10,000 per unit-this was an absolute steal.
Upon inspection of the complex we discovered that the builder did not install the air-conditioning system properly. During the summer the system would pump damp air into the some of the units causing a mildew problem.
I quickly got some estimates to put new units in each apartment. Even with this cost departments were still a great deal.
June believed in the project and we were able to close the purchase before year end. Additionally, the insurance company took the first mortgage back and we only had to put down 10% for $360,000.
I can still remember the day we closed and was the proud owner, as general partner, and the Granada Apartments investment.
By far, up-to-date day, I had never experienced anything as exciting.
Next up tell you about to check to make the down payment