Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Blue.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Nick. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I founded what became Blue Sky Homes in 2009 by purchasing my first piece of real estate via auction, virtually sight unseen, with every ounce of savings, zero construction knowledge and the few dollars I could raise from family considering I had no track record to that point.
My wife thought I was crazy and she was probably right, but I had known for years that I wanted to establish enough passive income to exceed my living expenses via rental properties, but quickly realized I wouldn’t be retiring anytime soon with the limited resources I had at my disposal, so my goal then became to buy, renovate and sell four homes in order to purchase a four-plex and then still have enough capital left over to do it again and again. I still don’t have a four-plex per say, but since that first project we have bought and sold over 300 projects in over $100M in deals.
At first, it was just me looking for opportunities, running operations and raising capital, then I brought my wife, Adralyn, on board to add some design sizzle and clean up the project management, which is when we were able to ramp up the volume while increasing our quality. Now our Arcadia office is comprised of 11 full-time team members and includes five different wings of the business:
1) Development- Blue Sky Homes
2) Assisted Living – Blue Sage Assisted Living
3) Brokerage – Urban Blue Realty
4) Rentals – Blue Enterprise Holdings
5) Construction/Remodels – Blue Sky Construction
Most recently we finished construction on Ashwood Circle, North Central Phoenix’ first Smart & Green subdivision where our homes are as much as 96% MORE efficient than a standard new build. This is a project focused on encouraging community between neighbors through front patio sitting areas and fireplaces. We envisioned neighbors sitting out front, having a glass of wine and building relationships with one another while watching their kids ride bikes in the cul-de-sac, instead of just parking in the garage and staying in the backyard if they go outside at all.
I am a strong believer that happiness comes from living near places you want to go, minimizing commute times and living in a community that looks out for one another. I am proud to say that is coming to life in Ashwood Circle already and we are already 50% sold out only 8 months after breaking ground.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
First and foremost, most people thought I was crazy when I started a real estate investment business in the heart of the worst financial crisis our generation had ever seen. Of course, that fear from the masses allowed the opportunity to unfold and we were fortunate to be positioned properly to develop our business during that period.
Given the market was still in free fall with no end in sight back in ’09 and ’10 you had to buy correctly, operate quickly and sell immediately if you wanted to make any money in that game, so I definitely paid dearly for a few of those ‘learning lessons’ along the way. Since then there have been many obstacles to success, but we plan for them and work hard to find creative solutions because there are always solutions.
Running a business is not for everyone and like any other entrepreneur, especially at the beginning, I had my share of sleepless nights and financially ‘thin’ times, but as hard as I might be on myself, the thought of going to work for someone else is what scares me most. I know that successful deals will keep that boogie man hidden away from my life and that along with providing for my family’s well-being motivates me every day.
The ebb and flow of the market is always a challenge and ironically our first challenge came when the market started recovering and it became harder and harder to find deals as more investors came back in play. We grew a lot in that time and stepped up our game to build ground up construction instead of the renovations that had built our business until that point. It was a steep learning curve, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There is also the challenge of working with your spouse in a business that always has more to do, so we have learned to ‘shut it off’ and do our best to compartmentalize business and family time. On top of that, we have a four-year-old and she and her dinosaurs just don’t care about deadlines, payroll or sales strategies. Although for room and board we utilize her design eye for consulting work… don’t tell CPS.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We want to continue to develop sustainable forward-thinking communities with quality and style in mind. We currently have 15 projects in Arcadia, North Central, and Scottsdale including five contemporary luxury homes, so we are excited to see our design range expand and our team is pumped to tackle these new challenges, including a couple of hillside projects on Camelback Mountain that will be our signature projects to date.
- Ashwood Circle Homes starting at $899,000
- North Central and Arcadia Homes starting at $850,000
- Address: 4455 E. Camelback Rd Suite D-275
Phoenix, AZ 85018
- Website: www.nickblue.com
- Phone: 480-900-7202
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org