Episode No. 97

My First Flip, Flopped! The Million-Dollar House Nightmare with Demetriah Webster

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Episode No. 97

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Tune in to this episode of the Share the Wealth Show, where Demetriah Webster offers a glimpse into her enlightening journey navigating the highs and lows of real estate investing. From her initial investments in duplexes and triplexes to venturing into out-of-state properties like those in Memphis, she’s encountered a diverse array of scenarios.

🏡 Diverse Portfolio: Demetria’s journey spans from initial investments in duplexes and triplexes to out-of-state properties.

🛠️ Biggest Challenge: A flip project in Seattle presented her biggest challenge, where unforeseen issues with the property’s steep slope required extensive stabilization work.

💰 Financial Setback: Despite budgeting for interior repairs and renovations, the majority of funds were allocated to stabilizing the structure, resulting in breaking even on the project.

📝 Lessons Learned: Through these experiences, Demetria highlights the importance of due diligence, partnering with experienced individuals, and being prepared for unforeseen challenges in real estate ventures.

📈 Market Insight: Understanding market dynamics and holding costs is stressed, especially in fluctuating market conditions.

🌱 Resilience and Growth: Despite setbacks, Demetria remains resilient, expanding her real estate portfolio into new areas like land development and private lending.


🌟 Don’t miss this episode for a firsthand account of resilience, growth, and invaluable insights in real estate investing! 🎧


After graduating with a degree in Engineering and Project Management, and working in senior leadership roles in the aerospace industry for over 20 years, Demetriah Webster set her sights on real estate investing full time.

Demetriah had a passion for real estate since she purchased her first new construction home in 2000.  In the early years of her career in the aerospace industry, she bought and managed her own investment properties. In 2014, she founded G Harvest Homes, Inc. in Hartford, CT  after starting the Fortune Builders real estate education program.  She has since purchased rehab and rental properties in various regions across the country. In 2016, Demetriah relocated to Hercules, CA where she continues to expand her business and soar to new heights with land acquisitions, triple net commercial leasing and private lending. 

Demetriah enjoys spending time with her family, wine tasting, shopping, and traveling internationally. She is also a licensed Realtor in California. 




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Key Quotes:

“They’re ups and downs, but usually the ups are greater than the downs.”

  • Demetriah Webster


Connect with Demetriah Webster!

You can find her on

Website: https://www.gharvesthomes.com/  



Email:  info@gharvesthomes.com





Let’s get connected! 

You can find Nicole on 

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-pendergrass/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nvestornikki/?hl=en

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nvestornikki

or Visit her website https://noirvestholdings.com 


[00:00:00 – 00:00:42] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

I bought the property I think for $9.50. So, and then I put in about $250 on the outside. Oh, okay, about $100,000 in interior cosmetic update. The intent was for me to sell this around,000. one point, I had calculated 1.7, 1.8 million. So, you know, it would have been a decent, but I basically broke even by the end of the day. And that was also because of the holding cut. So, yes, I had calculated the right time frame for the repairs, but the market started to shift.


[00:00:43 – 00:01:17] – Intro

Welcome to the Share the Wealth Show, where minority professionals can learn to escape the racial wealth gap and catapult themselves into abundance. Your host, Nicole Pendergrass, grew her net worth from being negative to multiple six figures. Join her on her investigative mission to expose secret strategies of the wealthy so we can all have the tools needed to build the life and legacy we were created to possess. Now it’s time for the show.


[00:01:18 – 00:02:52] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Welcome back everyone to another episode of the share the wealth show and this is the show where we discuss strategies on how to build, grow, and protect minority wealth and we normally are highlighting very entrepreneurial individuals and sharing their journeys so that you can get inspiration on some of the next steps that you could possibly take and everyone’s journey will be a little bit different but in any case you can take the bits from the stories that you hear and apply some of those to your life and maybe give you motivation to move forward and not be stagnant in your journey.

And today actually I’m so excited to have Demetria Webster on the call with us now you guys may not know her she stays pretty much under the radar she doesn’t put herself out there much I actually had to pull little bit of teeth to get her on here but I think before even the more I’ve known Demetria for a few years through a mutual mastermind type of community that we’re both a part of. And I knew what she was doing from before. So that story all in and of itself is enough for the podcast. But then she’s doing something else. She did something else recently. On top of that, that really just also just put another layer of blowing my mind out there. And I’m like, all right, I need to be involved in that. So let me start. Of course, I haven’t since we talked. have not started looking for those yet. But I’m going to get on it. I’m going to get my life together and get my time. All right, this is enough of me rambling. Let’s get started. Let’s meet you. Hi, Demetriah.


[00:02:53 – 00:02:55] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Hey, girl. How you doing?


[00:02:56 – 00:03:00] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

So, keep talking and talking forever. Geez, I guess that’s why I have a podcast because I talk.


[00:03:01 – 00:03:03] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

That’s why. A gift of God. That’s good. That’s really good.


[00:03:04 – 00:03:23] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

So welcome. Thank you for coming on. I know it’s not like. OK, good. All right, because I know I had to encourage you that your story was worth it and that, you know, there would be no judgment or anything. Like I just think that’s crazy. We need to get you out there. People need to hear what you’re doing.


[00:03:24 – 00:03:41] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Yes. Okay. It’s something that I really need to work on. I love real estate. I have for a long time. And like you said, I’ve been, you know, kind of playing under the radar, but you know, it can things happen. And I’m looking forward to talking about that with you.


[00:03:42 – 00:03:54] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Okay. So first, we’re going to start with a little bit. All kilter kind of question, but just want to know like, what is one thing you wish you’d spent more time doing when you were younger?


[00:03:55 – 00:05:53] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Hmm. I wish that I spent more time learning about like financial literacy. So, my father is a banker and I remember him even going into my classrooms and elementary school and talking about the importance of investing and savings accounts and whatnot.

I was so embarrassed, like, I don’t know, you know how kids are about the parents, it’s embarrassed. But he really had some valuable things to teach. I think I picked up a few tips from him. And hopefully taken the ball and carried it even further than he ever thought, you know, he could.

But yes, I would say the importance of managing our money, budgeting, and investing. I remember, and let me look, I’m rambling, but I remember when my dad, I was a senior in high school. And, you know, I would ask him for money from ASD cards, senior pictures from cheerleading outfits, all kinds of stuff.

And he would say, Demetria, I like a budget. I need to know what you are planning to spend throughout your senior year. So that we can plan for this, because I’m not going to just go out the money. money when you, when you need it.

And I’m not going to do it, you know, just on a whim. I want to know that you have planned this out and that we know when we’re going to pay out money throughout your senior year.

And I hated it. I was just like, why is he doing this to me? But I tell you, that has helped me in my life today. Okay. I probably should listen to him more. But that has really helped me in being disciplined about how I spend, how I save, and how I invest.


[00:05:54 – 00:07:01] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Wow. See, that’s a great lesson. What I was even going to say before you even shared that was, it’s crazy financial literacy. all know it’s not something that is highly discussed, especially in our communities coming forward. Because in our parents and our grandparents, they were just working to survive.

And nobody had time or mindset or money, extra money, you know, to think about investing and thriving. Like it was just like, we gotta get by, need to work because we could get by.

So, I think the level of financial education across our community is already at a low level. And I’m thinking, if your father is a banker and you still didn’t really learn, you got tippets from him through just like experiences of things he talked about, this example with budgeting and things like that.

But otherwise, walking away from it is not like got hard and fast, like less than that. You really took away and apply, you know, moving forward. So, I’m like, if you have a banker as a dad and didn’t really take away that much, then like the rest of us are just completely doomed. And I didn’t have the rental.


[00:07:02 – 00:07:22] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

That’s right. I mean, you’re right. like, I was exposed quite a bit and I didn’t listen to everything you said. I’ll admit that. And so yeah, if others don’t have that same influence in their households every day, then… And that, yes, that creates a disadvantage.


[00:07:23 – 00:08:16] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Yeah. And you know what, I think budgeting comes from different aspects. Like your dad sounded like he was intentional with his budgeting. When it came to me and just being raised, I learned budget just because we have the money for that. Like, we just broke. Like, my mom wasn’t spending on name-brand. We wasn’t going to the movies. We was going to the movies, like, but we had to go to the $2 movie down the road, but they only showed reviews or they only showed movies that had been released for like months and months and months.

Like, so we got to see the old movies later because regular movies was too expensive. You couldn’t see nothing when the movies was out, right? it first came out. So, my whole budgeting experience was not really the budget and plan for expenses, but it was more about like, just not spending a lot of money on little things because that’s not worth spending money on, right?


[00:08:17 – 00:08:35] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Oh, trust me. That… was part of it too. Like, I mean, everything wasn’t happening to me. And we didn’t go to the movie. We didn’t go to the dinner a lot. didn’t We didn’t do a lot. They do that now. yeah, they didn’t do lot. And we were growing, my mom and dad, who are still together. yeah, so I would do that too.


[00:08:36 – 00:10:42] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Yeah, no, exactly. my mom, of course, now my mom spends and travels and doesn’t like spends money on things that like, I got yelled at so bad about for spending money when I was younger. And so, I’d be looking at her like, who are you? Like, what? What is this lady? she’s like, well, wasn’t we broken? And I’m like, well, still now, I guess I’m scarred for life because I don’t want to spend $30 on a sweater anymore. Because I got so yelled at that for a little like that. You carry that emotional trauma forever.

But also, what I want to say is like, I’m trying to plant those kind of seeds into my daughters now. My daughter yesterday, I think she’s hinting but like, she honestly, I think, is pretty really serious about her too. She keeps writing, it keeps coming up like over the past couple of months. She used to have a goldfish like two years ago.

I don’t know how she remembers that. She’s only six, right? But she’s writing these letters and notes to God, asking God what happened to her goldfish and that she’s like, God, did I overfeed or I did if I did not feed my goldfish enough, please tell me, right?

And, you know, and what she wants to do is she wants to buy helium balloons and tie the notes on the helium balloons and send it up to God, God heaven or God, like God world. That’s what she calls it, God world. Like, you know, God world is just called heaven. You can just call heaven, right?

Because she wants to send it up to God world. But she wanted to buy these balloons and I’m like, if you want to buy balloons, you got to use the money from your piggy bank. And she’s like, okay. So, I’m like, these balloons, helium balloons, like big ones, they cost a lot of money.

you know, the big side, like the number one, they cost like $10 each. But the small ones cost you know five ten dollars and I’m like if you have three notes, need three balloons That’s like fifteen twenty thirty dollars But then we all depending on how much you guys like you don’t even got that much in your piggy bank And she was like yes, I do I got a lot of money my piggy bank and I’m like this girl Which because I have piggy bank stuff with a bunch of dollars, but I’m like those are all ones You don’t got enough money in there. So of course, she brought it out.

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[00:12:24 – 00:14:31] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

And she started counting it out and she had like seventy-five dollars in her piggy bank And I was like whoops like this is just brand of money And so she says I never had no seventy-five dollars in a piggy bank when I was six like these kids these days, right?

So anyway, I don’t want to in both the labor of the point but basically, I took her I tried to give her a lesson on budgeting and saying okay If these balloons cost ten dollars each, are you gonna you’re spending thirty dollars out of your seventy-five dollars? That’s almost half like yes, you have it but just because you have it doesn’t mean that you should spend it just because you can spend it and you have it, right? That’s right.

do you really want to spend half of your money on balloons that you’re actually just going to do release into the sky, right? So, I just tried to when kids are little and they really want to do something. They just want to do it and they don’t care about the logic of it. But I tried to like talk about like if that made sense to really do that like, especially when you could just pray and God hears that just like he would see this.

No kind of thing. So, she knows. But anyway, I said we’re going to pick a budget and we’re going to say, how about we spend $10 on balloons? And if balloons like whatever we go to the store, she’s like, what’s the budget? I’m like, that’s the most that you’re going to pay for something. Like that just broke it down like that. When you pick and you want to get something that’s the most, you’re going to spend on it.

So, we’re going to go to the store. We’re going to take $10 with us and whatever balloons we can get for $10. That’s just what we can get and maybe mommy will help you and add like a dollar or two to it if you need a little bit more. So we did do that and the dollar the balloon the small balloons was actually like 250 and the notes were too heavy for just one balloon so we had to get two balloons per note right and that was to use some of my birthday balloons that was here already in the house so we was resourcing so we had two balloons on each note but she didn’t pay for two because it was for my birthday and the other two were four so she only paid she still paid her ten dollars for four balloons so it was way cheaper so I don’t know I just went on a whole rant see this is what I said I talked about too much.


[00:14:32 – 00:15:12] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

But here’s where this comes into play like okay so she spent ten dollars from the seventy-five-dollar piggy bank and now she has sixty-five dollars okay and then you want something else okay the duck from that and then when you realize so I guess I didn’t realize the value of money or the value of buying things whatever it is until I had to spend my own money yeah

And it’s like, oh, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Slow down here. Let’s make some of this thing about this expense and whether it’s really worth the about that I’m going to pay for it. Yes. That’s a valuable lesson for kids.


[00:15:13 – 00:16:10] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

I think so. And I think a little like right now, she’s still she knows like, OK, now I have $65 left in my piggy bank, right? And I’m like, yes, you do. She I still so think she really values like because if she has spent $30 in the balloon, she wouldn’t cared like the other $35. She knows mom and dad are going to pay for stuff anyways. Like I need to I still need to work on that little by little. But at least she got that one seed.

And then we’ll do that before like they had another business idea before they wanted to go clean up the park, like clean up trash for Earth Day. She made her own version of her Earth Day from like last year. And so, I said, OK, well, you need gloves because you’re not going to touch dirt with your hands.

Then you need big trash bags and that kind of stuff. said, you’re going to use money out of your piggy bank to go by. So, we went to the dollar store. And we bought the stuff. like. I try to implement that. if they have a business or an idea, they have to invest in it in themselves, like to for the opportunity or whatever. So, I’m trying to like, it’s so hard, it’s little like no, you know,


[00:16:11 – 00:16:28] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Hey little steps, little a little I mean, and like you said, you have knowledge that, you know, our previous generations may not have had, that you can now share with your children. And so, you know, that’s the blessing.


[00:16:29 – 00:17:03] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Yeah, definitely. All right. Now, I just spent this one little first question that got up all, all kilter for I don’t even know how long we’ve been talking about budgets, but I think still relevant to the show in general and people listening would, you know, hopefully take some snippets from that. But in any case, let’s talk about you, because that’s why we here. Okay, right. So, what’s the first thing you want to share about you? I don’t, you’re doing so many different things. You can go any direction with this. But what should people first and foremost know about Demetria?


[00:17:04 – 00:19:46] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

I love real estate. I love all kinds of real estate. I have tried and sometimes not done so well but learned in different types of approaches to investing. But I love it. As we all know, everyone needs a place to stay from a residential standpoint. There are some businesses that need to have a location where they’re operating, which they’re operating.

And so, it’s so important. It’s a very valuable commodity. And if studied properly, it can be very lucrative as well. And so, I really just enjoy that. I have a corporate job on one side of That’s what that’s all this is about. It funds my business. Okay, so there’s that, but I really have a passion for real estate. So, I’ve invested in and still do in single family homes, multifamily homes.

I’ve gotten into some syndications with large apartment complexes and shopping centers. I’ve even like in this, this is crazy during COVID even acquired a quick service restaurant, fast food restaurant that was vacant and is now being leased out to a national company, and tenant. And my latest is land. So, I buy, sell and keep land. I just, I love, and I’m also a private money lender. I also lend to investors. who are looking to also invest. So yeah, I do a lot of things. I really enjoy it.

I will say that I didn’t have all of this laid out in some business plan. I just learned about a lot of opportunities and what we call asset classes, commercial real estate, residential real estate, land, et cetera, different types of investing. Passive, active, and just studied it and learned it and jumped in, made mistakes. But overall, I think I’ve been pretty successful in the decisions I’ve made and then the assets that I’ve invested in.


[00:19:47 – 00:22:11] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Well, I’m laughing to myself because inside, if y’all are normal regular listeners of this show, if you listen now, you’ve listened to my show before you know. I said I talk a lot, but I also end up studying episodes into multiple sections because they go so long and I already know this is going to be that one of them episodes.

I’m sorry guys, this is going to be one of them episodes because she just puts so much stuff out there and I have so many questions and I’ve known Dreamitra for years so some of that stuff I knew we’re going to talk about and some I didn’t know talk about so now I have a lot of questions so I’m trying to make sure that as I ask them and you’re answering them I’m sure more questions will come up in your answers but I want to stay in line in my thought process right now of like all the things I want to touch on and try to make it not be three or four episodes all right all right let’s go all right so where my first thing was and all actually I’ll lay out the order of like how I kind of wanted to ask questions so we both kind of have the same page so first I want to ask about some of those mistakes that you’ve made um getting started and like what you’ve tried that didn’t really work out Well, what lessons you’ve learned from that, then I want to go into, I guess, definitely what I bet you, you were starting with land.

So, I would definitely want to go into your land business. I want to go into that fast food restaurant, little vacant that you bought in Colby Times. And the private money lending, I feel like I’ve heard you mentioned that before, but then I don’t know why I just didn’t remember that because he’s some private money lenders. I know I don’t even, yeah, but I know it’s something up. All right, anyway, all right, first thing, mistakes. What have you done that like just did not work out how you thought it was? was your initial when you decided, okay, I want to get involved in real estate. I see the power of real estate, like what was your thought process in wanting to get involved in real estate? Was there why behind that? Because we know that why is normally what drives us. And I know you’re more recent. Why I think if it’s the same, but I’m sure that’s not the same wise when you started So the why were you started and what you started with that did not work out and like what lessons it’s a You got from that. know that was a lot of questions in one.


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[00:22:45 – 00:23:34] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Yeah, okay, so let’s see first why real estate? I mean, think I’ve mentioned it like I just love the fact that there are so many different ways and we can invest and I love touring properties. I love seeing commercial districts in various cities I don’t know and I didn’t know what I didn’t know so, you know I could just say that I enjoyed this but I didn’t really know at the time very way that went I won’t say how long I’m not gonna be But I just Wanted I to own to own some things.


[00:23:35 – 00:23:42] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

So, you didn’t think of it as risky? lot of people think of real estate is risky and like they don’t want to do that. they’re scared to.


[00:23:43 – 00:25:31] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

I only understood that real estate is risky, but I was in it for the long term, for the long haul. And so, you know, I started out buying and holding. Never really gotten to the flipping part of it until a little bit later, but I just bought in the whole health.

And so, I wasn’t, I didn’t really see it as a risk. I will tell you, so my first property was a townhouse in Seattle. That’s where I’m from. And I moved to Connecticut for job. And again, that’s my dad. said to me, you just buy a duplex, live in half, rent the other half, I was like, I don’t want anybody in the next to me. you know, they all want them to be held out on the plate, you know, I don’t to do that. They’re going to call me about the, you know, all these repairs and everything. I don’t want to deal with it.

And I found this duplex and it was life changing. So, the duplex, I, I bought it. It was brand new. It was newly built. So, everything was new, which was great. And I rented half, lived in half and the rent from the rental side paid for the mortgage and a little bit more.

Not a whole lot, but a little bit more. And I thought, oh, So I took the money that I would have paid in the mortgage and saved it. And then I went and bought the three-family property, not too far from where I stayed. And that’s what I really learned about tenants and managing and well, that is just like,


[00:25:32 – 00:25:39] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

So, did you do a quick side note? Did you do, did you move into that free family to do a owner occupied down payment or you did invest your down payment and all of that?


[00:25:40 – 00:27:06] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Invested the down payment. I stayed in the duplex. Yes. Okay. And yeah, so that’s when I learned about tenants and just, you know, the importance of managing and making sure that you’re maintaining the property because the longer you wait to fix something, the bigger the problem becomes and the more costly it becomes. Yes.

So those were some of the lessons that I learned. I wasn’t like a, you know, a slum Lord or people call it that. It wasn’t that. I wasn’t trying to, you know, create a really unsafe, you know, condition, living condition for my tenants. It was just that I didn’t think that the repairs needed to be made as quickly as they really did. And that’s when I learned, you know, okay, now it’s costing me more because it’s just creating even more damage. The roof was one example of that.

So yeah, that was that was my first true like investor, you know, third party property that I didn’t live in. Okay. And meanwhile, my other properties are gaining equity over time. So, I’m like, okay, so now I can take some HELOC out and now start to invest in other properties. That’s what I started doing. then I bought a condo.


[00:27:07 – 00:27:09] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Oh, wait, I just want to say what tell people what a HELOC is first.


[00:27:10 – 00:28:48] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Oh, it’s a line of credit. So, where you have a certain amount of equity that the bank will so base on appreciation, you can borrow a certain amount of that equity to maintain the property that you currently own that the loan or line of credit is against or for other reasons. So, I used it to invest in another property and that’s when I bought a condo.

So now I’m starting to build this little mini portfolio, but I’m still managing it on my own. And that’s when I, you know, just the whole idea of getting the phone calls when the toilet floods or the roof needs to be repaired and all these different things I just thought, okay, I’ll work it full time.

That’s not for this. So, I had to hire a property management company to be the front line for me. And as we learn all property management companies are not made equal. And so, I learned the quality of property management that I expected and how to utilize that service to ensure that I was minimizing the maintenance cost by addressing when they needed to be repairs when they needed to be addressed. So that was a huge lesson for me. So that so that investing was happening within basically the same. Metropolitan area in Connecticut.


[00:28:49 – 00:28:53] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Except for one in Seattle used to own the townhouse in Seattle. Okay.


[00:28:54 – 00:29:44] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

So, then I. What did I do after that? Started going international, not internationally, outside of the Connecticut area. And got into a couple of education companies. And learned about out of state investing. I was already kind of doing it.

But learned about the importance of property management and finding the right markets to get into and finding stable markets. They may not be high end, but they were stable. It’s one. sure, that the vacancy for the units were low. So, then I started doing that. And then I thought, ooh, that’s market you went into Memphis.


[00:29:45 – 00:30:11] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Memphis, that’s okay, because from what? All right, and we don’t want to age anything, but like it’s okay. But to me, when I hear Memphis, I’m thinking like, I don’t always hear the best things about Memphis as far as like stable.

Like I hear about like just the danger and crime and stuff like that. So, what made you pick Memphis at the next? Was it just because properties were somewhere where you could afford to buy?


[00:30:12 – 00:31:27] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

That was part of it. The properties were, you know, when the 120,000 range fully rehab. And there was a demand for rental properties. But the economy was also very stable. So, you know, like FedEx is headquartered there. And I learned this during COVID that, you know, none of my tenants during COVID, the shutdown children in place, all these eviction moratoriums, all this crazy stuff that was happening, never affected my Memphis property.

The tenants were still paying residents, I would say residents were just kidding. But they were still paying rent because the economy was still alive and well there. And so, because logistics, know, everything’s now really thriving because we’re relying more on Amazon and other companies rather than going to the store than ever. And so, yeah, so I did very well. Did I know this is going to happen when I bought the property? No. But it turned out to be a great area to invest in and I still think it is today.


[00:31:28 – 00:31:42] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Okay. Cool. Oh my gosh. So, right. At this point, how many units down do you have? know you have Seattle, you have the duplex, that’s three, you have another triplex, that’s six, you have another single-family in.


[00:31:43 – 00:31:49] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Couple single families, a few actually. couple single families. It’s hard for me to count these things to cope as I get real, so you know how I get.


[00:31:50 – 00:32:34] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

So at least 10, just between Seattle and it’s probably around at least 10. And then you went into Memphis, so you bought a couple more single families there. Okay, out of this time, like I know you were touching on just like some hardships and normal learning curves of being a landlord and learning how to do it all, right?

Was there anything like really big that happened in particular that was like a make-or-break moment or like one of the biggest like headaches that you went through like, because this is a year’s and year’s timeframe. And I know just being a landlord and hearing your stories, I know that you like you glazed over a lot that happens.


[00:32:35 – 00:35:15] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Yeah, I mean, I’ve been to housing court more than I would like to admit, like, to the point where I can tell my turn, know, sit down, I got to, okay, because I think people are like kind of thing, you know, crazy. You know, the rental, so that’s par for the course, right, evictions, maintenance for rentals, that’s, that’s something to be expected. It’s really challenging to get through your first couple times. It was emotional for me, having to move people out of properties because they weren’t paying rent.

That’s hard. That is really hard to do. But it’s a business. And, you know, we expect people to pay for where they’re living or you know, seek assistance, whatever it may be so there’s that, the part that really got challenged. thing for me was when I was flipping. So, I did some flips in Connecticut.

And then I’m fast-forwarding quite a bit, but I had a property in the Seattle area and it was a I’ll say almost a million-dollar property. And I bought it. It was on a very steep slope, but this was not irregular for this area. I want to, well, Mercer Island, I’ll say what it is, but some of the people out there might know about the story. But I bought it and, you know, I ran my numbers, you know, the market’s gray, the price was gray.

I had to figure out how much the repairs were going to be. There was a significant amount of repairs that’d be done. It was a red tag house. So, it was inhabitable at the time. It was gated all off everything. That was the most challenging property I think I’ve ever done. I won’t ever forget it. I spent more money stabilizing the house because it was on the steep slope than I did in making improvements inside.

That was not part of the plan. Literally had to rebuild essentially a bridge from the street to the front door. That is just the house was. I had to get geotext involved. I had to get structural engineers involved. You know, you see the dollar signs, right?


[00:35:16 – 00:35:21] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Okay. Wait a minute. So, your first flip was in Seattle, across the country.


[00:35:22 – 00:36:38] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Well, yes, but I, you know, I’m from Seattle. So, I was still there. it was a flip. I was there because I could go back and forth, right? But, you know, I wasn’t there every day, which is another thing that I think was of an issue there. Um, but yeah, this house, I mean, I had to stabilize it. I had to put, um, uh, pile bams down into the ground and stabilize this bridge.

I mean, I’m like, what? And then to even excavate to clear the land to even build the bridge cost me money. It was on a slope that caused me to charge me extra money to do that. Now mind you, I haven’t replaced a toilet. I haven’t replaced a tub. I haven’t replaced a shower. I’ve laid a single tile of tile square tile and I’m dealing with this and I’m dealing with the city and I’m going to the city and I’m trying to, you know, find out what I need to do. And they’re telling me, I got to find a structural engineer. I mean, it’s crazy. I’m reliving this. right now. I’m not as emotional as I was back then. Let’s talk about sleepless nights.


[00:36:39 – 00:37:24] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Wow, that’s really learning by fire. That’s jumping into the deep end. But you’ve probably learned so much now. It’s like those hard situations like that, they suck, but when you’re going through it, but then on the back end of that, once you come out of it, especially if you dealt with it and are successful with it and a successful means like you got through it and didn’t lose everything, you know what I mean?

Like even if you come out even to me, that’s successful because you got through all that greatness. But you need like that, you could take those skills from with you forever. Like let me tell you not that you want to do it again, but like now you kind of you would know maybe a little less intimidated the next time.


[00:37:25 – 00:39:24] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

And that’s the thing, right? Because now you I know the questions to ask before I acquire the property because oh you know and you know it’ll cause this we think it’ll cause this to fix that you know no big deal well um it is it’s a big deal and you know I didn’t know all the questions I needed to ask before I signed paperwork and said okay I’m taking this on so I learned about that I learned a lot about really making sure that you’re doing your due diligence and even I would say partner with someone who has a lot of experience if you know someone’s listening to this and they want to flip and they need to know what to do partner with someone who has experience now they’re going to want to have they want you to have some skin in the game as well. but you’re going to do it, you know, front either time or money, whatever that is. And yeah, do it with someone who knows what they’re doing because of that.

Because oh, you know, and you know it. It’ll cost this, we think, will cost this to fix that, you know no big deal. Well, it is. It’s a big deal, and you know you can lose, this is the risk part. You can lose a lot of money. One, by underestimating the cost to flip. And two, underestimating your holding costs. So, throughout this entire repair process, I’m still paying alone every month. And I’m calculating every day that this part of this is not finished and sold. I’m counting the days and the amount that I’m basically building up in costs before selling.


[00:39:25 – 00:40:01] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

All right, so I’m going to ask a little bit of numbers on this particular deal, because it’s very interesting. But then, And I want to get over to the land and how you got into sourcing land and selling, flipping and holding land. But anyway, with this property, you said, how much you were spending on the outside and just stabilization of the property was much more than you spent on interior repairs. Do you remember how much you spent on the outside stabilization? And then how much you spent overall on material repairs, what was the purchase price, the sales price, like did you end up making any profit on it, like all of those kinds of details?


[00:40:02 – 00:42:02] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

Yeah, so I bought the property I think for $9.50. So, and then I put in about $250 on the outside. Oh, okay, about $100,000 in interior cosmetic update. The intent was for me to sell this around,000. one point, I had calculated 1.7, 1.8 million. So, you know, it would have been a decent, but I basically broke even by the end of the day. And that was also because of the holding cut. So, yes, I had calculated the right time frame for the repairs, but the market started to shift. And this was in 2000, 2019, I think it was, 2018, 2019. So, the market started to shift, and it took me longer to sell it than I had planned.

And I was selling a few names, if I could. Andrea Chatar, that’s my girl, it’s Brown. These are agents who were able to help me market this property. One thing I didn’t and sell it. One thing I didn’t mention was that, and I didn’t know was that this area, Island was a very tight knit community, and there was a history on the house that I didn’t know about when I acquired it. So, these Asians, Andrea and Liz had to help me dispel the water cooler talk around this house.


[00:42:03 – 00:42:04] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

What was the, now we gotta know what that was.


[00:42:05 – 00:43:03] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

I don’t wanna go into all the business, but there was, you know, the owner had some issues, and I guess everybody knew about that, and oh my gosh, it was crazy. Okay, okay.

Yeah, so I had to do that. And the way we did it was to just be completely open about what was repaired, which we would do anyway. What was repaired? How much it cost to repair it so that they could, and then also showing that the structural engineers, were geotexts who were part of this process. So, it has been approved. It’s been approved by experts that it is now stable and structurally sound. And so that helped people get into it. So, I ended up selling it for, I think it was 1.4, or I think something like that. Broke even. Broke even.


[00:43:04 – 00:43:09] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Well, at least you lived to tell another day. You’re still investing.


[00:43:10 – 00:43:43] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

And so that’s where the passion for real estate comes into play, because that project alone should have just broken me. I’m not touching another property. So yeah, that’s, mean, but I can’t go. And I’m still going. Even though I’ve had that said that.

And you’ll hear this from other. investors as well. mean, anyone who tells you that their journey has been peaches and cream and roses may not be telling the whole story. They’re ups and downs, but usually the ups are greater than the downs.


[00:43:44 – 00:44:23] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Yeah, and say I love that. Usually, the ups are greater than the downs. And that’s why you can keep moving forward and get over. Of course, there’s going to be risk, but you want to mitigate the risk as best as possible. And there’s going to be times when you don’t mitigate the risk as best as possible like this situation, but you learn during the process and you develop that tough skin to be able to keep moving forward. Because nothing should completely break you to the point where you can’t keep moving forward and doing something or get back on your feet. But it’s all on your personality as well. And you are a strong woman. So, there’s that.


[00:44:24 – 00:44:49] – Demetriah Webster (gharvesthomes.com)

There were many nights I didn’t sleep. were many nights that I went to bed crying and like trying to figure out how to make it work. I’ll keep it completely real. Oh, yes. Will I ever buy a house on a sloping end? No way. No. Well, you know, and so now I know what questions to ask. And that was the really valuable lesson for me there.


[00:44:50 – 00:45:13] – Nicole Pendergrass (Noirvest Holdings)

Good. Great. now we’ll pivot over to… Leanne, how did you start? If you’re doing all this, you’re doing that all your singles, multis, like your portfolio, you started, you did a few flips, learned a lot of lessons there. What attracted you who want to buy land, especially when land is not initially cash flow?


[00:45:14 – 00:46:03] – Outro

Okay, guys, don’t kill me, but I’m gonna have to cut this episode short. This is too juicy and we need to do this in a part two. So stay tuned for the next episode that airs and you can hear the rest of our conversation.

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