A North Philadelphia native has carved out a niche in the realm of real estate.
Greg Parker of G Parker Unlimited has focused the bulk of real estate investments on the Brewerytown section of North Philadelphia — an area that is in the midst of redevelopment.
Despite making bad investments and the economic recession, Parker has weathered the storm to become a successful businessman.
During his childhood years, Parker became inspired by Donald Trump. Parker was visiting Atlantic City with his family when he encountered the real estate mogul on the boardwalk.
“When I found out what kind of power he had and what he did, it drew my interest,” Parker said.
In 2004, Parker purchased his first property for more than $5,000 in Brewerytown at the age of 28. He invested another $5,000 into rehabbing the home and sold it to an investor for $75,000.
Parker took the proceeds from his first sale and started buying up homes in his old neighborhood. He rehabbed those homes and sold them for at least $40,000. He said it didn’t take him long to build up a small empire of about 29 homes in the area.
But then he was approached by a group of investors who offered him $500,000.
“I was 28 years old, and I had never seen that type of money before. I took it and cut them in on everything I had,” Parker recalled.
The business deal didn’t work out and Parker ultimately ended up losing his properties. He had to retain an attorney to get some of his properties back.
Parker has rehabbed and sold about 75 properties in Brewerytown within the past decade. He has purchased homes in the area for less than $25,000 and invested between $30,000 to $40,000 in rehabbing each property. He outfits the rehabbed homes with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, powder rooms and finished basements.
After rehabbing the properties, Parker puts them on the market for upwards of $150,000.
This marks Parker’s 11th year in the real estate business. For Parker, he learned through trial and error. After blowing through more than $2 million, he has spent the last few years rebuilding.
Parker recently shared some of the lessons learned when he held a free real estate workshop in North Philadelphia. Parker was joined by experts in credit repair, finance and real estate. More than 100 attendees turned out to receive tips on investing in property.
“I’m just telling them what mistakes not to make, because everyone doesn’t have a lump sum of money or an endless sum of money. And, the demographic that I’m dealing with are coming with their last, so they don’t have any room for error,” said Parker.
“Real estate is tailor made — there is nothing that I could tell a group of people and everybody tries the same thing and it works. It just doesn’t work that way.”
For those who want to make a foray into real estate investing, he recommends that they do their research, develop a limited liability company and make sure that their credit and paperwork are in order.