Alyssa Rutney naturally followed her instinct to invest in real estate.
When Ratney grew up in Washington, DC, her grandmother owned four multifamily and single-family homes in the area, all of which she passed on to her six children. Ms. Ratney grew up in her one of those homes.
“My family all bought homes because of my grandmother’s legacy,” she said. “So I wanted to be the next person to become a home owner.”
Latney, 32, a self-described “forever student,” has two master’s degrees and works as a health and physical education teacher at an elementary school near Capitol Hill. She temporarily moved in with her mother after she rented her two-bedroom apartment in northeastern Washington for about $1,000 a month for her three years. She was hoarding something big.
“Before I bought my own home, it was my dream to own an apartment complex,” she said.
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So, in early 2022, she decided to get her real estate license and become a part-time broker. “She wanted to take a commission so her hard-earned money wouldn’t go into someone else’s hands,” Ratney said. She is now a sales clerk in her Caldwell bunker. “But I also wanted to be an advocate for myself. Knowledge is even more important to me than money.”
As her reserves grew, she got sage advice from her office manager and her mother (“my best adviser”), who thought she would be better off buying her own place first.
So, with a budget of about $325,000, I set my sights on a three-bedroom house, preferably with off-street parking and a fenced-in backyard for my dog, Chloe. Space for entertainment was also a priority.
“I like to entertain friends and family, so having a friendly and open floor plan is important,” she said. She “loves the idea of separating church and state. Multiple levels are important because you have a private her area on the second floor and a public her area on the ground floor.”
After starting her search in the city, Latney quickly refocused her attention on nearby Maryland suburbs. This is where she has better options in her price range. That’s when her hunt became her family’s affair.
“Alyssa first sent me videos of all the properties she saw, and then I started going to see them myself with her,” said Ratney. Mother and former teacher Constance Rutney Fernandez, 67, said. “Her father gave us a list of everything to check at each home to make sure it worked.”
Mrs. Latney-Fernandez told her daughter to pay special attention to the condition of each house and “imagine yourself there for the next 30 years.”
“If a place needs a little work, that’s fine,” she said. “But if you need too much, it can become a problem.”
Among her options:
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