Property Ladder

Jumoke Dada--young, single and a successful real estate investor

Dada soon found a tenant whose rent would pay more than 80% of her $1,100 monthly mortgage payment. Now, the duplex’s rental income covers the entire mortgage, which is less than $1,100 since Dada no longer pays mortgage insurance.

Her purchase also made sense to her friends, who turned to her for guidance about the real estate market. Dada invited 30 colleagues to her home, where she shared information and gave out her agent’s business card. That’s when a light bulb went on: She should get a real estate license. She signed up for evening classes (at her alma mater, Temple University), got her license in the summer of 2005, and started selling part time that winter.

Dada had created a pretty comfortable life for herself, but after living with a tenant for two years she was ready to move on to something new. She wanted to live in the trendy neighborhood near Temple called the Art Museum area. But the neighborhood, also known as Fairmount, was pricey: One-bedroom condos started at about $300,000. Undeterred, Dada did some research and found a six-bedroom, three-bathroom Victorian that had been on the market for more than a year.

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