Featured FortuneBuilders Story

Retired Postmaster Makes Success A Family Affair

Dee Willard-Ruffin

Fort Washington, MD

Dee Willard-Ruffin rose through the ranks of the U.S. Postal Service to become the first black female Postmaster in Bethesda Maryland. After reeling from the devastating loss of her husband, she took early retirement after 26 years of service. Dee’s search to bring new meaning to her life led her to attend a local FortuneBuilders real estate investing class. This free 2-hour event was the catalyst for Dee to get a new lease on life and pursue her passion for real estate. Since joining the Mastery program in 2012, she has completed 14 rehabs – many of them full guts. Dee employs several of her family members, is a role model in her community and has been recognized by FortuneBuilders CEO, Than Merrill, as one of our most inspirational success stories.

Check out some of Dee's Real Estate Deals!

1518 E Street SE Rehab

This is an ideal property in the prominent Capitol Hill area of Washington, DC. We acquired this property from an agent who knew us and knew what we do as investors. He contacted me and asked if I was interested in this property that he had. I said Yes I would love to look at it. I submitted my offer, they countered, and I submitted my Best offer. It was then accepted by the estate of the seller. We were very excited to get a property in this area. This project took 9 months to rehab

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1526 E Street SE Rehab

It pays to be friendly. This project was acquired through my direct contact with the seller of the estate whose family member lived 3 houses down from the property I was currently rehabbing. When I found out it was available to purchase, I immediately submitted my offer. It was rejected and someone else got the ratified contract. I was devastated but still remained friendly when I saw the sellers of the estate. However, when the deal fell through from the other investor, they contacted us to save the deal just because we had been friendly. There were 21 other investors who wanted this property and I only had 10 days to get this deal closed but we Did it!!! And for the same Price of my original rejected offer. We now had 2 houses on the same Block

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1406 Delafield Place NW Rehab

We acquired this 4100 square foot Single Family property off the MLS. It was a bank-owned property that had been sitting on the market for quite some time. We submitted a low offer and the bank accepted it. This house had been neglected from previous owners and needed a large amount of updating and rehabbing. We purchased it in the sought after community of 16th Street Heights in Washington, DC. We redesigned it to reflect an Open Floor Plan and added state of the art finishes to bring her back to life. This project took 7 months to complete and Sell and was on the market for 15 days.

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4512 Orleans Lane Rehab

This property was a short sale sent to me from one of my regular agents. I offered 130k and the bank countered at 264k. That number did not make any sense at all so I recountered back to the bank with my original offer at 130k again. To everyones surprise, they accepted my offer and we closed the deal.

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5984 Saint Moritz Drive Rehab

We received a call from the Seller off a bandit sign campaign. The Seller was Habitat for Humanity in Prince Georges County Maryland. We met so that we could analyze the property. We agreed on a purchase price that day and signed the contract.

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818 Marietta Place NW Rehab

The seller of this property contacted me through a referral of one of my former employees at the US Postal Service. This was an Estate property and the seller was extremely emotional about the sale of her deceased mom's property. We met and she liked what I presented to her. She did say she had a couple of other investors that were interested but would keep me informed. Come to find out she selected us over the other potential buyers because she felt a connection and was very appreciative of the sensitivity we had for her situation.

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1938 2nd Street NW Rehab

The seller of this property contacted me via the Bandit Signs campaign. He wanted to sell his deceased parents house. His father had started to try and rehab the house but after he fell ill, it was never completed. This house had been in their family for a 100 years and held a great sentimental value. This property needed alot of work but was located in a desirable area of Washington DC. I met with the seller and negotiated a price. He did not accept my offer right away but contacted me a few days later and indicated that after receiving other offers that was higher than mine, he was led by a Higher Power to contact me. He told me if I could raise my offer a little bit higher, I could have the house. I said Yes. We met and signed the contract

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5123 7th Street NW Rehab

This property was bought off the MLS with steep competition. However, our savvy Real estate agent won us the bid with a lower offer than some of the other competitors. The property was being rented to the sellers grandchildren and she just wanted to sell it because she no longer lived there. This row house is in a really a nice area and sought after community called Petworth.

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