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Ayesha Selden was bitten by the real estate bug as early as 18. She was raised by a single mother in one of the most under-resourced communities in South Philadelphia. When she was 18 years old, her family moved to a better area. Selden believed that the area she left would turnaround and that her mom’s property would become valuable one day. At the time, 1997, her mother sold the home for $35,000.
“Within 10 years of her selling, that house was worth 10 times what she sold it for and today, it’s probably worth around $500k to $600k.”
Seldon had actually advised her mother at the tender age of 18 that she should rent the home rather than sell it. Her mother was worried that she wouldn't be able to find a tenant and decided to sell. Selden never forgot this. At the age of 24, she was able to make her first real estate investment.
Selden bought a foreclosure in Philadelphia for $67,000 using her personal savings. She moved into the house as she rehabbed it, and eventually started investing in equities. From there, she invested in more real estate until she amassed a seven-figure portfolio. In 2011 she used the equity from her first house to buy and rehab more properties. And despite becoming a self-made millionaire by the age of 30, she still tries to impart her knowledge on others.
The self dubbed #WealthTwitter's favorite auntie, Selden continues her work as a wealth advisor. “Condition yourself as a saver first,” she said. “There are steps to this game. You can’t go from one end of the process all the way to a disciplined investor and think that everything is going to be gravy. I always say that someone who hasn’t mastered the art of being a saver first…how are you going to be a landlord if you don’t have any money saved? If you can’t figure out how to save reserve money, you are going to lose your house and destroy your credit. Figure out how to be a saver first, then investor, and then a disciplined investor.”
It wasn’t until she landed a job at a bank that she started to expand her view of money. The light bulb went off when she realized that the customers did not work. They were investing in stocks, mutual funds, and other assets that worked for them. That’s when Selden realized that she needed to transition from saver to investor. Although Selden has a range of investments in her portfolio, she shares that real estate is her favorite. She even has published a digital guide to help more people build their wealth to 7+ figures.
Now 41 years old, she currently owns over 40 rental properties. She’s teaching others about the importance of ownership and what it takes to get started. Her main rule when it comes to real estate investing? A disciplined mindset. Most would-be real estate investors miss the crucial first step that’s required to be successful over time. Discipline is what will prevent you from making mistakes like yanking out all the equity from your properties and balling instead of reinvesting.
Early on, investors should be focused on striking a balance between deleveraging and scaling. Too much debt on properties can be the demise of an investor. At the same time, growth is important. It’s Selden's opinion that it is easier to have 25 units than it is to have 2. She details so much more in her 7 step guide “Mud 2 Millions” that she offers on her website for $15.00.
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