New Member Introduction from Phoenix AZ!

12 Replies

Hello BP Community! 👋🏼

My name is Marissa and I currently reside in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona. ☀️

My current project consists of a house hack on a SFH, that was purchased in 2016. Next step will be to refinance for cash out then fully rent my present home. The cash pulled out will then be used as a down payment for the purchase of a duplex or triplex property in 2020. 🏡

I am looking to connect with:

👤 CPAs - to evaluate my upcoming tax situation and better prepare to file in 2020.

👤 Lawyers - to guide me in which direction I should take in planning my financial security with either a trust or an LLC.

👥 Current Investors in Phoenix - to lend my time and assistance with odd jobs and to help them cross the finish lines with their active investments. In turn I hope to grow my knowledge base and build lasting relationships for future ventures.

I am not be a pro by any means, but if you’re brand new and curious on how I got started with $1K in my pocket at the age of 22, I will gladly share my background more in depth. Please do not hesitate to reach out! 📖

In the mean time, I look forward to connecting and growing with all of you! Thank you!📱

@Marissa Chavez Congratulations!

You will be an inspiration to many investors, both new and seasoned. While you may prefer to share your story through DM, if you ever decide to share it in this post I, like many people I’m sure, would love to learn more about you!

Best wishes for continued success!


@Marissa Chavez welcome to BiggerPockets. It’s a great community to share information and build relationships. I’ve been able to scale close to around 85 units through the relationships I’ve made through BiggerPockets. 

I’ve found networking to be a large part of our success. If you are ever in the East Valley, we hold a monthly meetup in Mesa, Arizona on the third Wednesday of the month. You can find out the information by going to the networking tab and clicking events. It would be great to see you there sometime.

@Melanie Johnston

Hello Melanie! So nice to meet you!

I am happy to share my story here! 😊

I came from a single family house hold, with one older sister - we have an age gap of 15 years. I was about 10 years old when my Mother became disabled as was no longer able to work a full time job and provide for our family. Without a second income we depended on social programs in order to put food on the table and keep the lights on.

Shortly after becoming disabled she was able to qualify for Section 8 housing. As I was growing up I can’t say that I fully understood how much that impacted our family. Looking back on it, had we not been able to access Section 8 housing, I’m not sure where we’d be housing wise, so for that I am incredibly thankful.

Growing up in Scottsdale Arizona on Section 8 housing came with its own set of challenges even though it was a guaranteed rent check every month. If you are unfamiliar with the Scottsdale area, it is a bit upscale. This makes it challenging to find housing that fits within the subsidies criteria for rent price range. Not to mention many landlords are unfamiliar with Section 8 and tend to set criteria that will automatically disqualify a family from renting their property - ie. proof of income 3X the rent amount, or proof of current job history. Needless to say we had difficulties finding consistent housing opportunities within the city limits.

As I went into middle school we were able to connect with a father of a girl who was in my grade and Girl Scout Troop. He had a home he invested in and was looking to rent long term until his son was out of college and ready to move in. Because of him I was able to continue my path in the same school and graduate with the same class of individuals I had grown up with since 4th grade. He gave us the opportunity to live in a prime neighborhood without rent increases for a little over 7 years. We were very unprepared to move when given notice, but a big thank you to Mark, for being such a gracious, and understanding landlord and inspiring me to do the same.

Post this move I was working on Associates degree at my local Community College and had to couch surf for couple of months between friends until we were able to locate another affordable rental in the area. We rented for another 3 years or so before the owner of our house wanted to sell. It was at this point in 2016 that my sister and I realized we needed to begin our own path of purchasing properties. We set out and got qualified through a lender and for weeks we scoured the neighborhood and MLS with our realtor. The goal was to find something we could afford within the same neighborhood that I grew up in. We must have toured at least 30 to 40 properties, placing offers on homes we thought may work for us before we saw a ‘Coming Soon' sign pop up at a house about 10 homes away from where we were about to move from. It seemed too good to be true, but we took a short walk and knocked on the door to learn more about the property.

The owners had inherited the home from a relative that had passed away. They were building a new home in the East Valley and needed to sell the home so they could use the money from the sale to finish building their new custom home. We told the owners that we were prepared to make an offer right then and there and that they didn't need to proceed with formally listing it. We were able to utilize a FHA loan, in combination with the Home in 5 program that Maricopa county offers, for down payment assistance. Together my sister and I purchased our first home in Scottsdale the summer of 2016, for $222,000. It is a 3bd 1bth SFH. I paid for our inspection and appraisal, along with an earnest deposit of $500. In total I put in $1000 of my own money into the purchase.

For the first 2 years my sister and I shared residency and then beginning this year my sister moved out and we began renting to one of our cousins and a good friend of mine. I am currently living mortgage free and actively preparing to purchase a duplex or triplex property in 2020. We are preparing to refinance our current property so we can remove the PMI from our payments and pull out cash for the next down payment and potential closing costs. Between loan pay down and appreciation we have accumulated 100k in equity in just 3 short years. I am preparing to use the FHA's 203K loan to purchase a property that needs some TLC and upgrades. Ideally I would live in my next purchase for another 1 to 2 years before steadily accumulating additional properties to buy and hold.

I feel extremely grateful for all the opportunities that have been laid in front of me. When I was going through the purchasing process I was extremely naive and ignorant to investing. Fortunately we landed a killer deal and I have spent the past 6 months immersing myself in podcasts and books in order to better educate myself and prepare for my upcoming ventures. I currently work a full time job in the Cannabis industry that pays generously and I plan to continue to leverage my salary throughout this process until I am cash flowing enough to step away from the 9 to 5 life or until I can figure out the art of flipping so I can produce enough income to offset what I would be making from my salary.

Thank you for taking the time to read, and I hope future investors find some inspiration from my story. If anyone has questions, I am happy to elaborate further. I look forward to connecting with you sometime and thank you so much for the cheerful welcome! I hope you have a great rest of the weekend!

@Shiloh Lundahl

Hello Shiloh! So nice to meet you! Your story is so inspiring to me! I strive to reach this level of success in the future.

I would absolutely love the opportunity to mingle with you and network within the community. I will absolutely take that advice and do my best to attend the next meetup this Wednesday. May anyone attend? My cousin is super interested in Real Estate but has not yet made his first deal. He is wanting to learn as much as possible. 😊

Thank you for the opportunity, I look forward to connecting with you and learning more about the amazing portfolio you have created.

@Marissa Chavez Your story is remarkable in that you were always finding--and found--a better way. I know Scottsdale very well. I've lived here for 30 years, after graduating from ASU. Knowing the cost of housing here, you and your family get bonus points for surviving and thriving through all the tribulations life has thrown at you. My mother was also a single mother of 2 girls. She, too, became disabled later in life, but luckily I was able to take care of her with the help of our real estate investments and my income as the owner of a small ad agency.

I think your story above sounds like a great first chapter of a book on how early a person can get started on investing using grit and creativity.

Can't wait to read the next chapter! Best of luck and I hope to meet you one day soon.


@Melanie Johnston thank you so much for sharing and for your kind words of encouragement! Hearing that you found security through your real estate investments gives me validation that my sister and I are on the right path.

We are lucky to still have our mother here with us. In 2018 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily we caught it early and she is cancer free at this time, but that situation was even more of a push to find a way to build a sustainable future, as we never know when these types of challenges are going to come up.

I am super excited to see what kinds of new relationships I can build, and how I can grow as an individual down this path. If you attend any meetups or social events, let me know, I’d love to join!

Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week! 😊


@Marissa Chavez If you can, attend the Phoenix REIA meeting Tuesday, 11/19, at 5 p.m. at Arizona Country Club. It's free, it's catered and it's fascinating to meet other investors, wholesalers and fix and flippers. Hope you can make it! You can learn more at

@Melanie Johnston I did! I did not find you there unfortunately, but I did get to listen to Chris and his guest speaker Justin. 😊

What an informative group! I really enjoyed listening to them speak and learning about their backgrounds. I will certainly try my best to attend on a monthly basis!

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