Sharon Restrepo began investing in foreclosed and distressed real estate after buying her first rehab at age 25. Her husband had convinced her that real estate was the way to go to grow their wealth, work for themselves rather than make others rich. She began cautiously, enrolling in classes and getting a estate license, CAM license and mortgage broker's license. Her and her husband decided to sell their home, take the equity and buy a fixer-upper, sell it after renovating it, take the profit and repeat the cycle.
Only 4 weeks after listing their home, Sharon's husband was killed in a tragic traffic accident leaving his dreams unfulfilled. After a few miserable months contemplating what to do next, she decided to pursue his dream. She named her first investment company after him and set out to find her first dump. Being new in the business, she only knew one way to make a profit and that was through buying and selling ugly houses.
Back then, you didn't have a computer at home or Internet or access to all the education and experts you do today. Sharon found her first ugly house and bought it. After making every mistake you could make, she sold it and barely broke even. She bought 3 others which did well. As she continued, Sharon met a great partner and things progressed.
Sharon advises beginning investors to find a trustworthy, preferably local mentor to help guide your steps and go for it as if you had nothing to lose. To be successful, she believes that perseverance along with a great attitude is an important quality for real estate investors. Real estate is not a get-rich-quick business. It's a get-rich-smart business.
Ms. Restrepo gained her investment knowledge in the "school of hard knocks." She did what she thought would work and began meeting others in the business who shared their knowledge with her. Eventually, Sharon and her partner began speaking and teaching about foreclosures and short sales all over the country.
Sharon is now remarried and gave birth to her first child on December 3, 2007. Sharon and her husband run the Florida Real Estate Investors Association, 32 West Realty and several investment companies. She has authored numerous courses and taught hundreds of students.