If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that our jobs in this beloved career can come to a screeching halt at a moment’s notice and take with it our income and livelihood. I’ve always heard and read that multiple streams of income is the surest way to build wealth.
This is why I brought Tamara on Flightess to chat a little bit more about how she is diversifying her income as a Corporate Flight Attendant and real estate investor. Tamara is a fiercely smart and business minded woman and I think we all stand to gain a new perspective by her insight.
I continue to be in awe of the impressive individuals that make up our industry. Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Tamara White.
Tell us how you became a CFA?
I’ve been in the aviation industry for a little over seven years. I started my journey as a flight attendant at Emirates Airlines and have lived and worked abroad in Dubai since 2013. I eventually wanted to move back stateside, so I reached out to a friend that was currently employed at Vista Jet to see if they were hiring. I’ve been a Cabin Hostess with Vista Jet for over three years now.
What got you interested in real estate investing?
I initially became interested in real estate when I moved back to the US. My journey started with the purchase of my first home. Like so many others, I had a preconceived notion that you needed a 20% percent down payment to purchase a home. It was during this process that I learned that homeownership was much more attainable than expected and had significant benefits as well as tax saving strategies. I got my real estate license about 2 years ago to educate myself further on the process and eventually started to help friends and family purchase their homes.
This eventually sparked my interest in real estate investing. After reading Rich, Dad, Poor Dad, it literally changed my life and the way that I thought about building generational wealth. I had lived abroad for almost 10 years, and as a result I was behind on building a 401k savings account, as well as a retirement plan. I began to think about alternative streams of revenue to essentially create a more robust retirement account.
Luckily, I’ve always been an avid saver, and was one of those people that actually did save enough for a 20% down payment while living abroad. After learning that you didn’t actually need this money, I needed to figure out a way to make the funds grow and work for me. In the book, Robert Kiyosaki talks about growing wealth through either the stock market, or through real estate investing. I didn’t know anything about the stock market, so real estate investing became the obvious choice. I currently own 4 homes now, 3 of them are rented out, cash flowing, and currently netting me an additional $1,500 per month.
Why is North Carolina such a great place to be investing in right now?
The Raleigh/Durham area, or “The Triangle,” has consistently been one of the fastest growing markets for job growth in the U.S. for the past five years. According to CNN Money, Raleigh ranked highest in terms of hiring opportunities among the 50 largest metro areas. With job growth comes the demand for a strong rental market, as well as rapid appreciation. We have about 65 people per day moving into the area, as well as an array of research and technology companies that are also moving their offices into the area.
We are also known for being the hometown of top universities, including Duke (Go Blue Devils), UNC Chapel Hill, NC State University, and so many more. In addition to that, lots of people from up north and the west coast flock to NC because our cost of living is very affordable and we have extremely low property tax rates.
The tremendous growth and opportunity I’ve witnessed over the past couple of years is really something that you wouldn’t believe. The triangle market has undergone such a massive gentrification that has made many investors here very wealthy. I’ve witnessed fellow investor’s buy homes that were purchased for $50k, and then turned around and sold for over $400k. If that doesn’t make you want to get started, then I don’t know what will.
What services do you offer for your clientele (finding the perfect rental investment)?
I treat all of my clients like they are friends, in fact, most of them are or have become my friends after working together. I’m extremely passionate about building wealth through real estate so I am happy to sit down and just have a conversation with anyone that is interested in learning.
Here are a few of the services I offer my clients:
- 1 on 1 consultations
- Rental analysis of potential properties
- Comparative analysis of the most recent homes sold
- Property management services for those that are not in the state
What algorithms do you use to ensure it’s a good deal/right investment?
I generally use two guidelines to determine whether or not an investment property has profit potential. The first is the 1% percent rule, which quickly helps me to analyze if a rental is worth buying. In its simplest form it says, the purchase price of the home should stay within 1% of the rented amount. For example, if I purchased a home for $100,000, I should be able to receive $1,000 in monthly rent. Of course, with housing prices on the rise, even during a pandemic, this is extremely difficult to achieve, especially in a rapidly appreciating market.
I also use a cap rate, which is a more detailed approach to analyzing a rental property. It takes in account all of your expenses associated with the property including property taxes, insurance, maintenance and repairs, etc.
Any tips for flight attendants who would like to save money?
The best tip that I can give in terms of saving money is to set a monthly savings goal. I strive to save between 30% and 40% of my salary. It’s hard depending upon where you live, but it can be done. I usually have a set monthly amount in my mind and will immediately transfer that amount into my savings account as soon as I am paid. I trick my mind into living off of whatever else is left. I also save a bulk of my per diem by eating what’s left after flights. Lastly, I never split the bill with pilots… haha. Building wealth starts with frugality!
Learn more about Tamara White: