• Sun. Aug 7th, 2022

Kuldip Verma’s real estate investments in Arizona made him rich

  • In the 90s, Kuldip Verma made real estate investments in Arizona that made him a multimillionaire.
  • In 2004 he founded Vermaland, one of the state’s largest landowners.
  • In an interview with Insider, he explained how he got into land banking and his path to success.

Kuldip Verma is a 72 year old multimillionaire who has been buying and selling land in Arizona for over 20 years.

His journey to real estate success through land investments began in 1995, when he bought 320 acres of land in Phoenix for about $ 450,000, for just $ 112,000. People warned him not to do so due to low demand for real estate in the area at the time, he told Insider, but he has since made $ 20 million on the purchase. .

The purchase of 320 acres was just the start of the empire Verma would build.

In 2004, Verma founded Vermaland, a land management and land development company, which now owns more than 25,000 acres and has made nearly $ 70 million in total profits. (Land set aside is the practice of accumulating land over time which is then sold, often in plots, to developers.)

In an interview with Insider, Verma and her daughter Anita – Vermaland’s marketing director – discussed how he made a big bet on Arizona real estate that paid off.

Take a chance on the southwest

Verma, who was born in India and graduated from college there, began his career as an engineer, C Level magazine reported. He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1972 with a master’s degree in industrial engineering, then worked at Acme Barrel Company before starting his own engineering consulting firm at the age of 30. In 1985 he returned to India to help with his family’s business, a successful business called Beltek TV which made televisions.

In 1992, after Verma returned to the United States, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona. After retiring from engineering, he was eager to enter a new industry: real estate.

That year, even though the local real estate market was struggling, he bought a 50,000 square foot office building for $ 650,000, using $ 100,000 of his savings as a down payment.

The office building had no tenants when Verma took it over. It was seized by the bank. People in her life advised her against such a risky purchase, but Verma had a vision.

A year later, he had converted half of the building into a successful wedding venue and, through aggressive marketing, was able to fill 80% of the remaining office space with tenants. In 2003, he sold it for a total of $ 4.5 million.


A wedding in the converted Verma room.

Courtesy of Kuldip Verma

In 1995, the same broker who put him in touch with the office building offered him the opportunity to purchase 320 acres of land in the Phoenix area for approximately $ 450,000.

The grounds, located about 30 miles from the city, were beautiful, Verma told Insider. The mountains painted the backdrop. However, at the time, there was no real estate development around it. The land market was almost nonexistent because, as Verma explained, the economy in the Phoenix metro area in the mid-90s was not strong.

“In 1994 and 1995 the land market here was very bad,” he said. “There were no buyers for the land, and a lot of developers went bankrupt in the 1990s.”

Although her family and friends told her – again – to forgo the deal, Verma made the down payment of $ 112,000.

Over the next two decades, Verma sold the land in phases to residential developers. The Phoenix single-family home market has picked up speed; as he did, the value of each acre increased. In 2019, he sold the remaining acres for $ 4.5 million, bringing the plot’s total profit to $ 20 million.

Phoenix explodes, and so does Vermaland

Verma decided to move to Phoenix upon his return to the United States because he had researched migration trends and found that the metro area had a high net inflow. Indeed, according to a 2016 report According to Arizona State University, net migration to the state was “unusually high” in the 1990s and early 2000s, primarily due to immigration.

His initial dream was to develop single-family homes, he told Insider, but found investing in land was easier. After all, it is enough to buy land and sell it to companies who in turn build houses or other properties.

About 10 years after purchasing the 320 acres, in 2004, Verma started his own land banking and land development company called Vermaland.

Vermaland, as Anita explained, buys large tracts of land, subdivides them, and then sells the pieces to residential, commercial and industrial real estate developers.

The company peaked in 2005 and 2006. During this time, the Phoenix housing market was booming. Verm, who continued to buy and sell in the area, ended up pocketing $ 50 million in profit over those two years.

The 2008 financial crisis slowed down the housing market, forcing Vermaland to target solar power developers rather than home builders. She bought land near the power lines to resell them.

In 2013, demand for residential properties started to return in Phoenix, so Vermaland returned to selling land to residential developers.

Today, Vermaland is one of Arizona’s largest landowners, with over 25,000 acres for sale. From 2007 to 2020, the company recorded roughly $ 20 million in profits on top of the massive 320-acre sale that grossed $ 20 million over 20 years. Verma also made commercial investments following the successful conversion of its office building in ’92.

In 2013, he created the Verma Charitable Foundation, which has since donated $ 5 million to the Arizona Community Foundation, including $ 1.2 million in land. The Arizona Community Foundation distributes grants, loans, scholarships, and more to residents of the state in need.

Verma’s # 1 real estate investment advice consists of following migration patterns and establishing a network of contacts in the field.

“See where people are moving,” he said. “Chat with as many brokers as possible to get a clear idea of ​​what’s going on in the current market. “

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