Building Your Real Estate Empire: A Step-by-Step Guide


In these uncertain times, the idea of building a multi-million or billion-dollar real estate portfolio may seem far-fetched. However, Ali Jamal, the Owner and CEO of Stablegold Hospitality, a real estate investment company, proves that it’s possible, even in a recession. With a current $40 million portfolio and increased purchasing power, he shares his insights on how to lay the foundation for your own real estate empire, starting with just $12,500.

Step 1: Cap Your Search at $50,000

To begin, limit your search to properties within the $50,000 price range. With a 5% down payment of $2,500, you can use the remaining $10,000 for renovations. While you may not find a suitable property in the urban core, focusing on tier two markets or the suburbs increases your chances of finding a property that can be refurbished and reappraised with a significant increase in market value within five years.

Step 2: Apply for a Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Loan

Take advantage of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loan, which offers federally backed loans with lenient requirements. With a credit score of 580 or higher and a debt-to-income ratio below 43%, you may qualify for a loan with as low as a 3.5% down payment. First-time homebuyers and investors can apply if the loan is for their primary home. Additionally, explore state or local programs that provide assistance for the down payment, such as the American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) in Georgia.

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Step 3: Establish a Strong Financial Disposition

Once you have acquired your primary home, create a strong financial disposition to finance your next investment property. Earn money by refurbishing and renting out additional living space in your primary home. Maintain a good credit rating and hold down a steady job to demonstrate financial stability. Allow yourself at least four to eight months to establish this strong financial standing.

Step 4: Refinance and Expand

After following the previous steps, request a reappraisal of your home. With smart financial choices, you should see a minimum of a 10% increase in market value. Ask your lender for a $20,000 line of credit based on this higher value to make a down payment on your next investment property. Present a detailed business case to another lender, highlighting how your new property will generate revenue while maintaining positive cash flow from your primary home. If major renovations are required, consider a cash advance or use rental revenue for financing instead of requesting additional funds.

Step 5: Repeat and Upgrade

Continue this cycle every year, with each subsequent home increasing in value. As you build more equity, you’ll be able to afford larger down payments on each new property. By diligently following this process, you can create a successful real estate empire.


In these challenging times, it’s essential to approach your real estate endeavors with realism and a strong financial foundation. These steps are particularly helpful for individuals with steady jobs that meet financing requirements and the discipline to save $12,500. Keep in mind that sacrifices may be necessary, such as cutting back on unnecessary expenses. Remember, short-term sacrifices lead to long-term gains. So, start paving your path to long-standing wealth today.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is not investment, tax, or financial advice. It’s always recommended to consult with a licensed professional regarding your specific circumstances.

For more information on real estate investment, visit Garrity Traina, the leading experts in the industry.