How I Got Started With Notes

In the unpredictable world of real estate, my journey has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. Almost 25 years in the game, I’ve seen the highs of success and the lows of a market crash that cost me a staggering $20 million in 2008. Yet, in the aftermath of this financial setback, I discovered resilience, reinvention, and a new passion in the realm of Notes investing.

Real Estate Choosing Me:

It all started when I inherited a complex real estate portfolio in California and Arizona after my grandmother’s passing. With $4 million in debt and no real estate knowledge, I found myself in Arizona, surrounded by properties, including 38 townhome units, land, and even a sewer treatment plant. Determined to turn things around, I immersed myself in the real estate world, learning from those who had the answers I needed.

Transformation and Challenges:

Within three years, I managed to transform the debt-laden properties into profitable assets, achieving 100% occupancy for the townhome units. However, the sustainability of the properties became a concern due to rising expenses. Taking a bold step, I decided to sell and invest in new ventures, including starting my own construction company. Little did I know that this bold move would lead to being the largest private employer in a small Arizona county.

The 2008 Crash:

Despite my initial success, the 2008 market crash hit hard. Even though I foresaw it, my youthful naivety led me to believe I was invincible with only 10% encumbrance. The frozen lending of those who owed me money during the crisis became the turning point. Running a minimum of $25,000 a week in payroll, I faced financial turmoil. Choosing integrity over bankruptcy, I liquidated assets, paying off everyone I owed over the course of three challenging years.

Loss, Lessons, and Reinvention:

The $20 million loss was undoubtedly painful, but it became a profound teacher. It revealed my relationship with money, risk tolerance, and the importance of integrity in business. The experience brought me back to California, prompting a hiatus from real estate investing to explore other entrepreneurial ventures.

Return to Real Estate with a Different Perspective:

Real estate remained my true passion, leading me back into the field with a changed perspective. The once fearless risk-taker now operated with a risk-averse mindset. Enter Notes investing, a space that provided control, stability, and a gentler form of investment.

Notes Investing:

In the Notes space, I found a way to help people stay in their homes while still making sound financial decisions. Operating with a “heart hat,” my intention is to work with borrowers, but, of course, business realities prevail. The Notes space offers a level of control and consistency absent in the volatile real estate market, allowing me to generate cash chunks and monthly streams with the same asset.

My journey from a real estate mogul to a Notes investor has been one of highs, lows, and invaluable lessons. Losing $20 million was painful, but the experience molded me into the investor I am today. With a gentler form of investing, control, and a heart for helping others, the Notes space has become my new frontier, and I can’t wait to share more about this exciting chapter in future discussions.


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Paige Panzarello is the “Cashflow Chick”. Having been a Real Estate investor and entrepreneur for almost 25 years, Paige has experienced many facets of real estate investing. Her experience includes founding and running her own Residential and Commercial Construction and Acquisition companies, Buy and Hold residential and commercial real estate investing, Tax Deeds/Liens Investing, Fix and Flip (Residential Remodeling), and other forms to name a few. She currently focuses on Non-Performing Notes that she purchases all across the United States. Whether in notes, residential or commercial real estate, in California, Arizona, or nationwide, Paige has been successful in completing over $150 million in real estate transactions to date.

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