The Crossgates Story

A story about The American Dream

Why did we name our business – CROSSGATES PROPERTIES, LLC?

This is a story about achieving The American Dream. My entire extended family, now four generations deep, are legal immigrants from Cuba.  There were many reasons to emigrate from Cuba!

Creating wealth through home ownership

After arriving in the USA, my parents settled in Delaware in 1963. My father had taken a position as a Cost Accountant in a food packaging company. In 1964, just three years after our exile to the United States, my parents found a house that they wanted to buy but, with only 3 years in the States, they had very little by way of credit worthiness or savings.  Fortunately, the owner of the house, a Cuban cardiologist, made it possible for my parents to buy it by using seller financing. The doctor held the mortgage that my parents co-signed, and they became happy homeowners – their first step towards The American Dream.  But there is more.

Leveraging property to build a real estate portfolio

Several years later I came home from college in the Fall semester.  We were raking leaves in the front yard in a nice autumn day when my father said: “There is a new housing development going up nearby.  It’s called Crossgates. They have nicer homes with three bedrooms, 1 and ½ half baths, a family room, one car garage and central air.  Maybe we should sell this house and buy that one?” My mother liked the idea but she replied: “Why don’t we keep this house and rent it out and buy the new one at Crossgates?” My father said: “How are we going to do that?” She answered: “You are the accountant – figure it out!”  So he did.

Using a real estate investment strategy to realize the American Dream

Once you do it the first time – buy / hold / rent – you can do it again and again. My parents built a small portfolio of income properties in Delaware. They fulfilled all the landlord responsibilities using only a rotary dial telephone, typing all contracts on a mechanical typewriter and using carbon paper for copies – and all of this after learning English. When my father’s company was acquired in 1987, they gave him his retirement benefits.  He sold all his properties in Delaware and used the cash to buy a beautiful retirement home in Coral Gables, Miami. My parents reached The American Dream – from zero to retirement in Miami after only 25 years of work.

We chose to name our business CROSSGATES in memory of my parents who used ingenuity and hard work to achieve their version of The American Dream.

Family picture at first home in 1966

My parents and little sister at their first house in Delaware, in 1966, which later became the first income property in their portfolio.