How Kuldip Verma made a risky $112,000 investment in Phoenix, Arizona, real estate that earned him $20 million


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Kuldip Verma is a 72-year-old multimillionaire who has been buying and selling land in Arizona for over 20 years.

His journey to real-estate success through land investments began in 1995, when he bought 320 acres of land in Phoenix for around $450,000, putting just $112,000 down. People warned him not to do it because of the low demand for real estate in the area at the time, he told Insider, but he has since made $20 million off of the purchase. 

The 320-acre buy was just the beginning of the empire Verma would go on to build.  

In 2004, Verma founded Vermaland, a land banking and land developing company, which now owns over 25,000 acres and has brought in nearly $70 million in total profits. (Land banking is the practice of accumulating land over time that is later sold off, often in parcels, to developers.)

In an interview with Insider, Verma and his daughter Anita — the marketing director of Vermaland — broke down how he made a big bet on Arizona real estate that paid off.

Taking a chance on the southwest

Verma, who was born in India and earned his college degree there, started his career as an engineer, C Level magazine reported. He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1972 with a masters in industrial engineering, then worked at Acme Barrel Company before launching his own engineering consulting firm at age 30. In 1985, he moved back to India to help with his family’s business, a successful company called Beltek TV that manufactured televisions. 

In 1992, after Verma had moved back to the States, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Having retired from engineering, he was eager to dip a toe into a new industry: real estate. 

That year, even though the local real estate market was struggling, he bought a 50,000-square-foot office building for $650,000, using $100,000 from his life savings as a down payment. 

The office building had no tenants when Verma took it over. It was being foreclosed on by the bank. People in his life advised him against such a risky purchase — but Verma had a vision.

A year later, he had converted half of the building into a successful wedding hall and, through aggressive marketing, was able to fill 80% of the remaining office space with tenants. In 2003, he sold it for a total of $4.5 million. 

In 1995, the same broker who connected him with the office building presented him with the opportunity to buy 320 acres of land in the Phoenix area for around $450,000.

The land, located about 30 miles from the city, was beautiful, Verma told Insider. Mountains painted the backdrop. However, at the time, there was no real-estate development around it, The land market was almost nonexistent because, as Verma explained, the economy in the Phoenix metropolitan area in the mid-’90s was not strong.

“In 1994 and 1995, the land market here was very bad,” he said. “There were no buyers for land, and a lot of the developers had gone out of …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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