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EP 118: Why Self-Storage Investing and Why NOW?

Recession proof asset classes might not exist but there are certainly benefits in some over others during markets like we’re experiencing today. We are excited to sit down with Corinn Altomare, investor and musician, on this week’s episode! Corinn began investing in small multifamily properties to give her the financial foundation needed to pursue her true passion, music. After expanding her portfolio through syndications, she ultimately made a strategic pivot into self-storage given its most alluring aspect of being recession resistant. She now owns and controls over $9 million in real estate.

We cover so much with Corinn like the benefits of self-storage during not only a market downturn, but also during an upswing, how to best transition between asset classes, and what to look for in a self-storage facility. Corinn also shares the one thing she would have done differently when first starting out.

Corinn Altomare is a classically trained musician turned real estate investor. During her professional career as an opera singer, she performed a diverse range of repertoire spanning the baroque period to contemporary, from pop-up locations in city centers to reverent chapels nestled within European country sides. After 13 years as a vagabond musician, however, Corinn was ready for a new challenge. She found this-ultimately-in real estate.

Corinn comes from entrepreneurial parents-her mother founded and ran a Montessori preschool; her father a family and financial planning law practice. Her youngest childhood memories are of accompanying them on daily operations. This early exposure served Corinn well as she pivoted to the realm of IT project management for 5years. This time was marked by continual growth, training, and development in a world completely different from her previous artistic and entrepreneurial ones. Corinn’s next career shift was into real estate investing. As an individual investor, she acquired a triplex in the Francisville neighborhood of Philadelphia. This purchase was followed closely by multiple others within a few very busy years, acquired through syndication with-at first-close friends and family. She jumped into her new roles of owner and property manager across a quickly-growing portfolio. She started her company, Hearthfire Holdings, with her now-husband and business partner. While only dating at the time, after navigating a few investment property purchases, landlording, and hands-on repairs and maintenance together, they knew a formal partnership-in life and business-was in order. Hearthfire Holdings made a strategic pivot into self-storage after 7 years in residential real estate. This decision was made largely upon the assessment of an overheated, overextended market high, and the recognition of an inevitable downward correction. This move turned out to be made just in time, given the impact of COVID-19 on our global economy in 1Q2020. Pre-planning for this shift started in 2017, and Hearthfire Holdings sold off smaller syndications 4Q2018-1Q2019, delivering investor returns of 23-24% IRR. Funds from these sales were consolidated into a successful acquisition of a 35,000 NRSQFT self-storage facility in Lancaster County, PA, in 3Q2019. Hearthfire Holdings maintains a portfolio of commercial and residential multifamily properties in the Philadelphia MSA, which with their self-storage facility represents a total portfolio valuing $9M.

On today’s episode, we discuss a ton with Corinn, including:

–      The importance of studying a market when investing in self-storage

–      The differences between self-storage and other assets classes

–      How to present yourself to sellers to give yourself the edge over other offers

–      How the current Corona Virus epidemic is affecting her portfolio and self-storage in general

–      The complications that come with over structuring your partnerships

Want to hear more from Corinn? Join in as she speaks at our upcoming Newtown Square InvestHER meetup on May 27, 2020!

Books/Resources

Atlas Shrugged & The Fountainhead

The Holy Bible

The Real Estate InvestHER Meetup- Philadelphia, PA

Contact Information

Facebook- Hearthfire Holdings

Facebook- Corinn Altomare

Instagram- Hearthfire Holdings

Hearthfire Holdings website

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The Real Estate InvestHER Show is hosted by Liz Faircloth and co-host by Andresa Guidelli. Created to support and inspire women who invest in real estate to live a financially free and balanced life.

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