Last week I touched on the possibility of increasing your properties value with Additional Dwelling Units. As always, my research inspires me to share information I deem valuable in regular conversation and I found myself in a debate with someone who strongly emphasized their belief that “our people never own anything, that’s just how it is”. Though in many cases there seems to be a lack of representation in comparison to other cultures and those who’ve been granted early awareness, mentorship and generational wealth. Not only was their statement an example of a lack mindset, a trap that keeps us stagnant, it’s also historically false. Like many industries, there are numerous black and people of color that have defeated the odds and continue to establish themselves as trailblazers dominating in countless professions. Initially, the conversation left me frustrated and melancholy because I felt as if I had been talking to a brick wall. Eventually I became inspired by their despair as it reminded me of the story of the great Bridget “Biddy” Mason and to keep educating where I can even if it feels like noone is listening.
Bridget Mason, known as Biddy Mason or Gramma Biddy, was the first black real estate mogul in the United States leaving her mark permanently in Los Angeles, California. Apart from being a strong willed African American woman born into slavery in Hancock, Georgia in 1818, she triumphantly evolved from being illegally enslaved in what’s now San Bernardino, CA with her children to being named “free forever” and working as a doctor’s assistant. With her earnings and leveraging her knowledge of herbal medicine and birthing from enslavement she opened her own midwifng business. Ms. Biddy became well-known for her professional healing abilities, investing her money with her philanthropic heart to help others and investing in prime real estate.
We could learn from the triumphant legacy Ms. Biddy leaves us today as a community leader and investor. She has been contributing to the real estate industry in Los Angeles since the 19th century and her investments have made an immense return on investment today. At 48 Biddy Mason purchased her first property in the middle of Broadway and Spring Street, between 3rd and 4th in what’s now called Downtown Los Angeles for only $250. She later sold half for $1,800 in what’s now called a fractional ownership deal. Biddy Mason acquired a portfolio of properties and homestead land that increased hernetworth to $300,000 which today has appreciated to over $7 Million today. Ms Mason’s investments have impacted many families in LA through her contributions to charities, investing in supplies to rebuild damaged homes and establishing daycare for working free people. Her legacy still stands strong today at 2270 S Harvard Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018 at First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Church which she financed and co-founded in 1872. You can find the Biddy Mason Memorial Park in her honor where she built her homestead in Downtown Los Angeles.
If you ask me, Biddy Mason is the GOAT. Now obviously in today’s economy we’re not finding homes or land for sale for only $250 and if you are, slide that info my way pretty please with a cherry and caramel drizzle on top! In all seriousness though, I believe before we can even get into the monetary obligations of ownership we must address what personal requirements and mindsets we have for ourselves. Believe me, it’s not easy recalibrating your mind to believe it’s worth something you’ve never had or seen someone like you have. My hope is that after reading this today you’ll feel at least a bit more inclined to persevere both mentally and physically beyond whatever it is you feel is the reason you haven’t established or acquired your goal(s) yet.
There’s more available for us to receive than we know and staying steadfast will only make the path more clear on how it can be acquired.
Until next time,
Los Angeles To The World
-Estates with Raevan Grace
Appreciation: a house or investment increasing in value over a period of time.
Fractional Ownership: a form of collaborative consumption where the overall cost of a property is split among a group of owners or users.
Return On Investment: the evaluation of the efficiency & profitability of an investment by measuring the amount of return on a particular investment in comparison to the investment’s initial cost