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This Is Uncomfortable

Episode 2: Crying at work

Jun 20, 2019

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Marketplace Tech
My Economy

Affordable housing is her business model

Bennett Purser Jun 11, 2019
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As a real estate investor, Anna Taylor says she focuses on affordable rents for tenants.
Courtesy of Anna Taylor

Before the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Anna Taylor wasn’t thinking about becoming an entrepreneur. But with the new tax law, she got curious about what business opportunities could apply to her. She was living in Atlanta, working in communications, and after talking with her accountant, she decided to invest in real estate and take advantage of the property tax credits for people starting a new business.

Today, Taylor is a long way from where she started. Before attending college in Tallahassee, Florida, she lived in her car for a short time and struggled to find reasonably priced places to live. Since then, she’s become the first person in her family to own a home and bought her first investment property in Tallahassee. She says she’s focused on reasonable rents for her properties and often hears that her places are some of the most affordable options in the area.

I’m Anna Taylor from Atlanta Georgia, the owner and operator of Taylor Properties.

I started this year with just a goal of getting one property. If I can get one under my belt, I would feel like I was doing well. I’m the first person to ever own a home in my immediate family. … So I was ecstatic. And it was a fire lit underneath me to where I was like, “This wasn’t that difficult, I can do this again,” and that’s how I began to purchase homes at a great rate and then be able to offer them at an affordable price.

Anna Taylor at one of her investment properties. (Courtesy of Anna Taylor)

I still grapple with the fact that some of the great deals that I’m able to take advantage of right now is because someone else can’t keep their home or has been foreclosed on. It is a sad situation. My mom passed away when I was younger, and for a short period of time, I actually lived in my car as I was getting ready to go to school. And so being homeless and being in a predicament, I think I’m more empathetic to those just looking for opportunity to find something they can afford, that’s safe and looks nice. A lot of times when I get calls from people they are like, “Oh, my gosh, this is such a great price,” or “Oh, my gosh, this is the only thing I’ve been able to find in my price range because of, you know, landlords jacking up the rent.” And so I don’t want to be one of those people. In my mind, I’m thinking I want to make a reasonable profit. Yes, I want to be able to save a way, and this is my nest egg. This is my retirement, and I get that. But at the same time, I don’t want to hurt people on my way up.

The great thing about being the first to do things is that you get to make the mistakes and then pass on the information and educate others, especially for my daughter. She calls herself my vice president, and she’s only 8. But it’s important for her to see Mommy in this role. And I hope in a few years collectively our family can come together, have our own business where we get the apartment buildings and we are able to buy up property where my uncles grew up in Liberty City, Miami, the areas where people call “undesirable,” because that’s where we come from.

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