Rags to Riches: Elon Bomani
Elon Bomani says she was trying to make “a way out of no way.” After a separation from her husband, Bomani and her newborn son moved to a women’s shelter. While living in the facility in 2001, Bomani knew she had to regain control of her life.
“I found myself homeless because I had given up my power. I bought into the idea that men were better at math than women, even though I had graduated with these degrees that let me know that I was capable,” says Bomani, 42, of Missouri City, TX, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in natural health.
“I was programmed that men are supposed to be the providers and handle the checkbooks and that kind of stuff. I realized that’s why I found myself in that situation.”
Bomani knew she had to change her thinking and attitude first. She thought far beyond a “job” and wanted to learn how to build wealth.
“I went to the library and punched in millionaire and I read every single book on biographies of millionaires, anything dealing with money, stocks, bonds, real estate, commodities trading, e-business, taxes, you name it.”
Bomani now has a book of her own, Dynamic Diva Dollars, which shows women how to take responsibility for their finances.
“I always tell women that I wasn’t a rocket scientist in this whole thing. What I did was become a very good copycat. I basically studied what wealthy people did. I found that the 90 percent of people that became wealthy invested in real estate.”
Bomani’s first priority was to leave the shelter and move into her own home. Though she had just $36 in her checking account, she knew her dream could come true. With the advice of her father, she studied real estate guru Carleton Sheets’ “no money down” programs.
With her 701 credit score she found a lender that would finance 100 percent of her home loan. She asked the seller to pay closing costs on the $125,000 home and walked away from the closing with a $625 check. Without a job, Bomani says, this was just the beginning of her journey.
“I thought creatively. I rented out my room. By renting out one of my rooms, that gave me half my mortgage, the other half was her (roommate) deposit,” she explains to JET. “I didn’t have to pay my first mortgage until a month and a half later. So during that time, I sold my wedding ring; I didn’t need that any longer, I was going through a divorce. I sold my car; I opened up my natural health practice outside of my home and I started seeing clients again. I had garage sales. You do what you have to do.”
Bomani, who moved into her home two weeks before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, points out she didn’t buy any furniture and that she and her son slept on the floor with a “pillow and blanket. I was clear I needed more the house than I needed the material things.”
With a new wealth consciousness, she recognized the housing market was profitable at the time and then took equity out of her home to invest in other properties.
“I did speculative real estate investing. I went to new developments and put a down payment on property to hold it until it closed. The property closed within a year and it had already increased in excess of equity of $100,000. So I invested approximately $20,000 ($5,000 on four properties) using cash advances from credit cards, not even my money. I’m very good at OPM, using ‘other people’s money.’ I walked out of the deal with $400,000.”
She adds, “I accumulated over 16 pieces of real estate property (over the course of three or four years). In doing so that gave me a net worth of about $2 million at the time … I was able to live off the positive cash flow of the real estate.”
Michael Curtis, president of Ram Investment and Loan, Inc., a San Diegobased financial firm, has worked with Bomani for more than five years. Curtis says Bomani has always had the insight to change direction to stay successful in the industry.
“Elon is one of those kind of people that nothing can get her down. She’s always looking to the next deal. And along the way there were some hurdles that jumped out in front of her and I would explain to her how she would have to clear them and she clears them,” he says.
Though Bomani owns and operates four companies, she says her main job is home-schooling her two children.
“It’s not so much that I’m making more money than I did previously. It’s just now I’m working smarter with the money I already had instead of harder. It’s not like we don’t have the money to do this. It’s not like we don’t have the education to do this. Being a millionaire, it’s a formula to it. If you study it and practice it, you’ll become it.”
Wealth Tips From Elon Bomani’s Dynamic Diva Dollars
* Clean up your budget. To increase your disposable income, that could be saved or invested, create a wants vs. needs list. Live below your means and eliminate cell phones, hair and nail salon visits, dry cleaning, shopping, cable, big vacations, etc. Be honest about what you “need”
Devise a plan to pay off credit cards. Credit card debt is the most expensive debt you can have. This is the first debt you should try to get rid of.
* Become financially literate. Read wealth-building books and remember. “As long as we work for somebody else, we’re helping them get rich.”
* Create an e-commerce Web business, which involves low start-up costs. Profit from selling your ideas, products and services on the Internet.
- * Purchase investment property. Bomani recommends that each person have three rental properties plus their home as part of their wealth-building plan.
Melody K. Hoffman “How a homeless single mother became a millionaire in 18 months“. Jet. May 19, 2008. FindArticles.com. 14 Jun. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_19_113/ai_n25469808
Reader Alert: As you all know by now, Tim Russert died on friday, June 13th 2008. Please put his family and friends in your prayers. May he rest in peace.
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