John Fragnito felt like he had to return to his home area in central Washington to afford to enter into the housing market.
When we profiled him in June 2005, he owned two multi-family buildings with a total of 18 units, a commercial building and had a half-share of a single-family residence. Much of the value of these buildings came as the result of the sweat equity he put in.
At the time, Fragnito intended to add to his holdings, which he has, although only modestly. He bought a couple of lots, one where he is breaking ground on a new house for himself and another on a river a few miles away.
"I've got plans to bring in power, septic and punch a well, then maybe put in a cabin and rent it out," he says.Appreciation has been excellent in Washington State and Fragnito estimates his equity has increased by close to $100,000 as a result. He has also sold an option on a 14-unit building that will provide a big profit if the deal goes through.
He has remained on the lookout for deals, which are less abundant than in the past.
"I'm always looking for a repo or someone selling at a big discount," he says.