The article by Aquira Adisa on Flipping was interesting, and, since it mentions my name, I hope you won’t mind if I add something to the discussion.
I buy houses and sell them for a profit. I am not a charity organization, although, if Saint Paul is right, charity is the greatest, and, as some say, charity begins at home. Which is what I sell to people. A home.
I know how to fix, how to sell, and especially how to buy them. In fact, they sell as fast as I can fix them. I don’t have to advertise much.
I have, however, garnered criticism in the past and I always like to listen to criticism and try to correct myself where I can.
In doing this, however, I am not ignorant of the fact that some of the criticism was based on the desire of some people not to see people of a different race own homes in their neighborhoods. I am not unaware that real estate in Buffalo is affected by race. But I cannot obey anybody’s wishes that I sell only in certain neighborhoods.
I intend to buy more houses in Buffalo, and sell them for a profit. The houses I sell I hope will be the very best deal for me, and for the man or woman who buys one. We’re not quite what mediocre minds conceive us to be. With the greatest fresh water frontage in the world in our region, real estate in Buffalo could someday be quite valuable.
In the meantime, I’ll bet there are 5,000 people in this city of 292,000 who are tenants who could qualify to own a home. And 10,000 more who, with a little guidance, could become home owners in one or two years. Consider also: the housing stock is plentiful; although old, it was built with solid timber to last 300 years. If Buffalo went from rich to bankrupt in 100 years, it can be rich again - with the same houses.
Yet, today, tens of thousands of homes are in need of vital repairs. Because of current bankrupt values of Buffalo real estate, many are not worth the money to fix, and, with each passing year, this stock of vacant, century- old housing is ever less likely to be occupied. Some will be demolished - perhaps to green the city. But some, quite frankly, I hope to buy, fix, and sell - for a profit. Others can do the same.
Imagine what would happen if home ownership became a central drive of the people and their resources in Buffalo.
A city could resuscitate itself on this alone; getting 5,000 (qualified) tenants to become the owners of 5,000 currently vacant (fixed up) dwellings.
So why, someone asks, did so many people citywide lose their homes (including some of the people you sold houses to?) The city collapsed. That’s why. 600,000 became 300,000, and the city’s finances went into collapse, and people fell into poverty, lost jobs, lost security from crime; the market plummeted. Many lost their homes. What did you expect? People lost their homes because of poverty.
By the way, and it should be mentioned, at the behest of my critics, there was a government investigation of my family’s real estate business. The US Attorney, HUD, the FBI, The Inspector General, and NY State Dept of State participated. It concluded in this: no sanctions, no charges, no proof of any wrongdoing. Nothing illegal. No illegal flipping. Nothing! And this at both the State and Federal level. Innocent unless proven guilty. Parlato Real Estate was established in 1941 and is still in business. With a waiting list of buyers.
So on this microcosm, a city can be built, and a city is not "builded" in a day, one knows. Take an ad: Home owners wanted in Buffalo. Opportunity abounds. Work for many, homes for many. Investors wanted, black or white.
I plan to be one of them.