How Journey to Launch's Jamila Souffrant hit a home run in the housing market

Jamila Souffrant Instagram with white frame.png

Jamila Souffrant, the host of the Journey to Launch podcast joins Bobbi to talk about how she used a risky but well-researched investment in real estate to begin her path to financial freedom.

 

In Jamila’s story you will learn:

-How Jamila’s mother and grandmother taught her the value of investing in real estate

-Jamila’s strategy to research and invest in undervalued real estate

-Specifically how she raised the money for the downpayment while still a college student

-The exact characteristics she looked for in a geographic region in deciding where to buy an investment property

-Her 2-year plan to be ready to buy real estate

-Jamila’s decision to live at home and how that helped her build up the money she needed.

In Jamila’s lesson you will learn

-Why real estate investment early in life is a great foundation for financial freedom

-How she rose despite many challenges including being the child of a single mother.

In her Money tip you will learn:

-What Jamila never orders at restaurants

-How to train your mind to be more intentional with your money. 

In my take you will learn:

-Strategies to buy a home at a young age

-What to look for in an investment property, especially if you have a small budget

-Specific things you can do to save a solid downpayment

 

Links from the episode: 

Learn more about Jamila Souffrant and Journey To Launch at:

www.journeytolaunch.com 

 

Follow her on social media at:

FB: www.facebook.com/journeytolaunch 

IG: www.instagram.com/journeytolaunch

Twitter: www.twitter.com/journeytolaunch 

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/journeytolaunch

 

Join Jamila’s Facebook group facebook.com/group and  searching for Journey to Launch

 

Get Jamila’s free 6-day email course on saving and investing at journeytolaunch.com/freecourse 

 

Get her 5 day Money Savers Challenge here journeytolaunch.com/challenge

 
Jamila Souffrant, the host of the Journey to Launch podcast joins Bobbi in this episode of Financial Grownup to talk about how she used a risky but well-researched investment in real estate to begin her path to financial freedom. #Invest #InvestingMoney

Jamila Souffrant, the host of the Journey to Launch podcast joins Bobbi in this episode of Financial Grownup to talk about how she used a risky but well-researched investment in real estate to begin her path to financial freedom. #Invest #InvestingMoney

 

Transcription

Bobbi Rebell:
There was nothing happening. It was really like a wasteland. There was no businesses. It was not trendy. I figured, "Okay. I see the potential." I knew it was on the waterfront. Like my grandmother, I just wanted something to call my own.

Bobbi Rebell:
You're listening to Financial Grownup with me, certified financial planner, Bobbi Rebell. Author of How To Be a Financial Grownup. Be a grownup is really hard, especially when it comes to money. It's okay. We're gonna get there together. I'm gone bring you one money story from a financial grownup, one lesson, and then my take on how you can make it your own. We got this.

Bobbi Rebell:
Have you ever been set up as a mentor for someone and pretty quickly realize that you had the wrong name tag on? They should be the mentor. Well, that is what happened with our guest today, Jamila Souffrant of Journey To Launch. We were paired up at [inaudible 00:01:00] last fall. That's a conference for people who create content about money.

Bobbi Rebell:
At the time, her podcast was just starting up. That's all, a few months ago. Now, she's a familiar face at the top charts at Apple Podcasts. Here is Jamila Souffrant. Jamila Souffrant, welcome. You are a financial grownup. I'm so excited you're here.

JamilaSouffrant:
I'm excited to be here Bobbi.

Bobbi Rebell:
We have a special bond, because we were connected through FinCon, where I signed up to be a mentor. We were matched up, especially because you were doing a lot of really cool stuff in the media. You have an awesome website called, Journey to Launch. Also, you were nominated for best new podcast. Congratulations. Tell us about that.

JamilaSouffrant:
Thank you. I started Journey To Launch, originally just to be a sounding board for my personal journey to reach financial freedom and independence. I created a goal, in which I wanted to retire early, quite my corporate job. I said, you know if I put it on the internet, it will make it happen, because I'd have to be accountable. As I started to share my story, people wanted to hear more, and learn how I was saving as much as I was saving, and doing what I was doing.

JamilaSouffrant:
I turned it more into how can I help others, which is what I'm doing now. I do that through the blog. I do that through coaching. The podcast, which I started, a little over six months ago now, really has been my main driving force of delivering content information about how to reach financial freedom, practical tips and steps. And then, of course, sharing my journey along the way.

Bobbi Rebell:
Your journey. Just tell us a little bit about that. You've got kids. You've got another one on the way. You've got a full time job, a husband. There's a lot going on.

JamilaSouffrant:
There is a lot gong on. I have a full-time job still, but I do Journey to Launch as my second full-time job. It's really my passion. It's something I hope to do full-time one day. I'm married. I have two small kids. Three and a half, one and a half, and expecting. As you can imagine Bobbi, my life is pretty hectic.

Bobbi Rebell:
One thing that I did as a young adult. I talk about this in my book, is I bought real estate at a very young age. I was already out of college. You were thinking about this your senior year in college. Tell me your financial grownup story.

JamilaSouffrant:
When I was in college, I got this bright idea that I wanted to own real estate. I'll tell you how I got this idea. I am a daughter of immigrant. My mother and grandmother came here from Jamaica, the island, when I was young. What my grandmother managed to do, with as little as she had, was save up enough over the years ...

JamilaSouffrant:
Now, it took her a while to do it, but to save up enough to buy a home. I witnessed that. I witnessed the hard work she did. I witnessed the hard work my mother did. She bought a home, actually in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. If anyone, maybe if you're not familiar. Fort Greene, Brooklyn is really nowadays, it's like, you know, one of the most trendiest places to live in Brooklyn. Back then, when she bought it, it wasn't really that desirable, so she did get it at a good price. While I was growing up, I saw that. By the time I hit college, the real estate market was booming. My grandmother who knows nothing about real estate, because this little real estate mogul. For me, that was such a turning point.

JamilaSouffrant:
I said to myself, I wanna be able to do that. If my grandmother can do this, I surely, with all, you know, the platform I was given from their hard work can do something. When I was in college, I started thinking about, "Okay, I wanna buy something." I wanted to buy something. I wanted to buy a brownstone in Fort Greene or Bed-Stuy, where I was accustomed to living for most of my life. The only reason I even thought I could do this, was I had a well paying internship, where I had started to save 90% of my checks.

Bobbi Rebell:
You weren't out partying with a buddy.

JamilaSouffrant:
Right. For three, four years, I had this internship. I was saving, saving everything. I had a good chunk of money, while I was in college. That's what gave me the bright idea that this was even gonna be possible. I just couldn't afford anything. I saw this advertisement for this new development in Dumbo, Brooklyn, which at the time, was not the Dumbo ... Dumbo stands for down under the Manhattan bridge overpass, for anyone who's not in New York.

JamilaSouffrant:
At the time, when I was looking to buy, it was not the Dumbo it is today. I saw an advertisement. They had condos that started in the mid 300's, which for still at that time was a lot for me, but it was way less than a brownstone. Pre-construction, I went to the office with my mom and saw the layout and all these plans. Really again, Dumbo was not what it is today. There was nothing happening. It was really like a wasteland. There was no businesses. It was not trendy. I figured, okay, I'd seen the potential. It was on the waterfront.

JamilaSouffrant:
Like my grandmother, I just wanted something to call my own. I put down, to save the cheapest apartment. On the list, it was the cheapest apartment that I could afford, or that they had available. I put down my 10%, which is what I had at the time. They said, in two years ... It's gonna take about two years to build this condo. You're gonna need to have your additional 10%, and you're gonna need to have your closing cost. I knew that I was graduating from college at the time. I knew that I was gonna have a job, because where I interned, offered me a full-time job.

JamilaSouffrant:
My mother, being gracious and just being so supportive, she was like, "You can live with me as long as you want. Just save all your money, so you can do this." I graduated with my job. I had this now, contract in place, where this apartment would be mine, as long as I could close on it. Plus my mom, she also actually gifted me. As much as she didn't have, she still was able to give me a couple thousand dollars to help with the first 10%, which was amazing.

Bobbi Rebell:
It is amazing and I'm glad that you took it, cause a lot of people think it's not a grownup move, to take money from your parents, especially early in life like that. Take the money if they can afford it. Please. They want you to be financially independent.

JamilaSouffrant:
Right. It was also ... She was so proud. My mom was a single mom. I don't know if I mentioned that. She was a single mom. She had me at 20. She worked her butt off, when she came here. Two minimum wage jobs. Went to school. For her, even just giving me a couple thousand dollars to help towards this down payment of this home, was one of her biggest ... It was like a proud moment for her. She helped me in that way. Then, she also helped me, because I was able to live with her a while. Saved up enough money to put the other 10% down at closing in two years and the closing costs.

Bobbi Rebell:
By the way. I just wanna point out. Living with your parents to save money for a down payment, purposefully, with a deadline, is also a very grownup thing to do, that a lot of people may look down on, because they think, "Oh, I'm living with my parents. That's not a grownup thing." It is absolutely. If you have a purpose with a deadline like that, do it.

JamilaSouffrant:
By the time I was ready to close, I had the money saved. I had a extra buffer also saved, to be able to cover anything I couldn't cover with my income. I also knew that I was a hard worker and that I would be able to make more money in my job as I went along, which is what happened, as things got a little bit more comfortable. That has been my biggest, not only financial risk, but my biggest financial success, because now Dumbo is one of the most expensive places to own real estate in New York.

Bobbi Rebell:
Do you still own the apartment?

JamilaSouffrant:
I still own the apartment.

Bobbi Rebell:
Wow.

JamilaSouffrant:
I rent it out. I'll probably never sell it, even though I've gotten offers for people to buy it. For me, it's such an emotional attachment that ... It's really not even a business move at this point, it's just an emotional attachment of, this is what I was able to accomplish. You know what? Maybe this is where my husband and I retire to. Maybe this is what I want to give my kids, if they wanna live there, and share a room, if they're going to school in the city. I don't know, but I wanna be able to have this in my family, as part of my legacy.

Bobbi Rebell:
I love that story. Okay, so what is your lesson?

JamilaSouffrant:
My lesson is to not make your circumstance determine your course of action or what you can do in life. Again, I wasn't born into money. Even at the time, when I found this opportunity, I was not necessarily prepared for it. I knew what I wanted out of life. Despite, not necessarily having all the money right away, I knew that, if I worked hard enough, if I was smart about it, I could save. I could accumulate the money to be able to accomplish this. I would say, despite wherever you are in your life with your finances, with your circumstances, despite how you grew up, you can make changes. You can do something different.

Bobbi Rebell:
Give us a personal money tip. I feel like you probably have something really good, that you and your family do, that maybe our listeners can put into action right away.

JamilaSouffrant:
Okay, so this is really, really simple and seems like not a big deal. Whenever we go out, I do not order ... If it's a non alcoholic drinks, I do not buy outside. There's no way. You know, you sit down at a restaurant. They ask if you want tap or sparkling. Tap will do just fine. I don't mind. I don't feel cheap or whatever, when they ask me that.

JamilaSouffrant:
Sodas, things like that, things that to me, like I can get at the store for a dollar or 50 cents, I'm not gonna buy at a restaurant for four dollars. Again, it seems so small. It's really not about the price, it's more about the principle, and then just training your mind to be intentional and just stop those little leaks of money, when you don't have to really spend it.

Bobbi Rebell:
I also think it sets a really good example for children, if, when you go to meals, you just have water. I know my son has gotten used to just having water. It's healthier also.

JamilaSouffrant:
Yeah. That's another thing. That's probably the best reason. It's just, yeah, healthier.

Bobbi Rebell:
Exactly. Awesome. Thank you so much. You've been a wonderful guest. I feel like I learned a lot. I'm so proud of you. I'm excited to come visit you in 30 years in that apartment and see how it is going. I feel like you're gonna hang onto that thing forever. It's a good thing, so thank you.

JamilaSouffrant:
Thanks Bobbi.

Bobbi Rebell:
Here's my take on Jamila's real estate story. A lot of people are weary about buying real estate very young, because they don't know where they are going to be, or they don't have the money. I'm a big fan of owning real estate to live in, or as an investment, or both. In fact, as I talk about, in my book, how to be a financial grownup, I bought my first apartment at age 23. Here are some ways, you can make it work, if you also want to be an owner at a young age.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup tip number one. Focus on flexibility. If you're buying and you are young, try to focus on properties that you can live in, or can use as investment properties. If you are living in it, consider places that are either extremely small, and affordable to you, so you don't have the pressure of overhead, or that have room for a roommate, so you can have someone paying rent to subsidize your expenses. If it's an investment, think like Jamila. Look for an affordable area, that is likely to appreciate. I know, easier said than done. What she did with Dumbo in Brooklyn is not unique. You do have to take the time and you do have to do the work.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup tip number two. Focus on saving a solid down payment and having a very strong, financial foundation. To get that down payment, Jamila was saving four years. She also lived at home. She put everything into that one goal. You may not wanna live at home. If you have that option, consider it. I lived at home right out of college. Banked my money to help save for my first apartment's down payment. If it is an available option, think about it.

Bobbi Rebell:
Another way to save, get a side hustle and just funnel all that money, into your down payment fund. It takes hard work, but people like Jamila Souffrant work hard, and yes, they do sacrifice. Thank you all so much for listening to Financial grownup. The feedback has been such a blessing. I truly appreciate it all. Please continue to rate and review the show, especially on Apple Podcasts, but anywhere is good. I hope you enjoyed this episode with Journey to Launches, Jamila Souffrant, and that we all got one step closer to being financial grownups.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup with Bobbi Rebell is edited and produced my Steve Stuart and is a BRK Media Production.