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Woman Buys College Campus With No Money Down -- Find Out How She Did It

When entrepreneur Vonda White decided to buy a college campus, she knew she had a challenge ahead of her. Her goal was to open a summer camp for child development, but financing would be very difficult. She was quite surprised when she was able to get a loan at 4 percent interest and no money down. How did she do it?

Don't give up

Financing is a particular challenge for female entrepreneurs. They are often not taken seriously. Her experience was no exception. White had to go to several banks before she got the best deal. Fortunately, the campus she wanted to buy had been vacant for six years. Buying a distressed property was to her advantage because financial institutions do not like to sit on these properties long. A $2.5 million loan enabled her to purchase the property and make needed improvements.

Just 8 weeks after she purchased the campus, White opened Camp Pillsbury in Owatonna, Minnesota. The camp provides all kinds of activities for students in seventh to twelfth grade, including music, art, drama, magic, sports and even circus arts.

A seasoned investor

White is not new to investments. She has purchased other properties in the past and turned them into money-making rental properties. Her advice to other entrepreneurs?

  • Have a solid business plan - you need more than just a vision. You need to present to the lender a solid business plan that will show them you are a serious business person.
  • Buy low/sell high - in order to make money on your investments, you need to get a good deal. This means buying low and making wise purchases that will enable you to sell high and make a profit.
  • Establish a relationship with the lender - get to know your lenders. The more they know about you, the greater the chances that they will trust you enough to loan you money.