At 21, I purchased my first investment properties: two

ristina Sawyer, director of loan operations for Arixa

to build my career and continue to build my portfolio. This, my friends, is the power of leverage. TR What does success mean to you, in terms of your occupation? Describe a situation in which you experienced this kind of success and what you believe led up to it. KS In my career, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in real estate and private lending. I was an investor during the downturn, and it was not pretty. I have worked in different segments of the industry, in many positions, and the

adjacent five-plexes. I managed the properties for the owner, and when he was ready to sell, I purchased them off-market. Then I purchased a four-plex through an owner- occupied FHA loan. I lived in the smallest unit while the other three paid my mortgage. I earned an extra $200 per month of cashflow, which allowed me to build a reserve for capital improvements, turnovers, and emergencies. Then at 24, I refinanced my four- plex, pulled out some cash, and moved to the beach of Los Angeles

Capital, shares her real estate story and what she has learned to help others on their path to success. TR What is your start-up story? Why real estate? KS I knew I had an entrepreneur mindset when I was sixteen; my father offered me $300 to pull the weeds and clear the brushes on a rental property. Entrepreneurs think action, so I acted and hired a handyman to do the job for $150, leaving me with pure profit. I was hooked.

14 | think realty magazine :: may 2020

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