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Tycoons in the making - Where are they now?

We profiled some real estate investors when the markets were hot. How are they doing as real estate has cooled?

Chris Sontaie Ferrell
Chris Sontaie Ferrell
Status: Holding and selling

Stance: Looking for opportunities

Florida native Chris Sontaie Ferrell was always way more mature than her years. She had her first house built when she was only 17 and by the time we profiled her more than two years ago, she had acquired a portfolio of six properties (plus three she had sold) mostly in Florida.

She also had a great career in California as an aviation safety advisor, allowing her to pursue her love of flying. Today, she has switched over to a field that combines her interests in real estate and aviation; she works on land use issues around airports.

Ferrell's tycoon days are on hold for now as she reports that she got out of the spec market just about in time, only taking a tiny loss on one investment and a more substantial ($45,000) hit on another.

What threw her timing off were a series of natural disasters that hit last year, which sank the Florida markets quicker than she expected."I planned to liquidate," she says, "but I didn't plan on the hurricanes."She has no regrets, though, because she did very well before that and, although she's taking a breather from the market right now, she plans to continue to invest in property.

"I'm going to concentrate on land," says Ferrell, "even though it costs money, it doesn't make money."

Not until you sell it, of course. She's keeping an eye on Florida still because she believes coastal properties are still the best investments and the slump, especially if it deepens further, could be a good buying opportunity.

Currently, she has three investment properties left, with one of those on the market.

Jaz Wray

John Fragnito

Mary Buenaventura

Matthew Martinez

Sky Minor

Chris Sontaie Ferrell
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