Luminita Ispas, top 1% broker in Chicago; Photo: Sebastian Gheorghiu
Becoming financially independent by investing in real estate, selling or buying a home is always a personal experience. For many, it’s not just a home, it’s their long term financial investment. Therefore, having the right real estate agent by your side, the one who can help guide you and has your best interest at heart is paramount. Luminița Ispas is one of those brokers, putting you and your needs upfront. She was born for this job. 
“Unless you work in the financial industry, when you immigrate to the USA, you don’t know anything about investing in the USA. The United States works a little bit differently than Eastern Europe. I came here with 200 bucks in my pocket”, says Luminița, recollecting her past memories.
„I thought I’ll leave everything behind as I was going to the land of all possibilities.  When I arrived in Chicago, I was very surprised, I had a really big wake up call, nothing was easy or simple. The first few years were tough because I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t understand how things were working and I did not know anyone, it was all a learning experience”, Luminița explains.
She discovered that real estate was her calling in life very quickly. “When you’re young, sometimes you don’t know what you want to do in life. I still remember the day when I watched an ad on American TV which said: “Do you like people? Do you like houses? Then you should become a Realtor!”
Luminita Ispas chose Real Estate because she saw that investing in Properties brings high profits and she was always attracted to the architecture. „I also love meeting so many interesting people, so it was the perfect match. I started investing in Real Estate myself and selling more and more investment properties to my clients. And I noticed, the investment properties bought right will really change people’s lives,” says Luminița Ispas.
Over time, Lumi’s dream grew, her experience and ambition helped her become one of the top Chicago agents. She is now a 16-time quality service award winner and is recognized in the top 1% of brokers in Chicago based on her number of sales. As her business expanded, she longed to make a bigger difference in her client’s life and she discovered that she loves sharing her knowledge.
Because it took her over 16 years thorough good and bad markets to learn & experiment with investing, she understood from her successes and failures what it takes to make good investments. She also knew that other people are looking for the exact Formula of Success she had found, so she started teaching Real Estate Investment Seminars.
She teaches now that 80% of all the millionaires in the USA and the entire world, make or grow their fortunes through real estate and that there is more to real estate than just providing housing. Making an intelligent decision in real estate investments is a big part of it. Lumi will show her clients & all her seminar attendees how to become financially independent and build multi-million dollar portfolios.
In the seminars, her focus is on applied knowledge and how to become financially successful. „In order to assure that we are going to do well, we have to become good money managers and start thinking of how much we save and how we invest our capital”, Luminita explains.
Luminita Ispas houses portofolio
„Can we put our money to work for us and create passive income? Is it possible to live the life of our dreams, the life that we really want by investing smartly? I found one way, and I can assure you that it is not complicated to achieve it through real estate. It takes no fancy degrees nor six-figure income to invest, only the right strategy.”
When the market was collapsing, she remembers a young couple in their early twenties, that just had their first baby. Their grandma was over from Romania and they were living in a small 1 bedroom apartment all four of them. They were paying $750 a month in rent. She still remembers they didn’t have a lot of savings.
„I was telling them that they should buy a house despite their problems and they were staring at me as though I was kidding: “You know, I’m sitting home with my kid. I’m not working. Only the husband has a job. We barely pay the rent, how could we afford to buy? How could we pay for a home?”, the wife was asking.
Lumi found a mortgage program at that time with a 3% down payment where they bought a house with a finished basement that had a second kitchen, 3 more bedrooms, and 1 bath. She sold them that house for just around $200,000 and they had to bring only $6,000 to the closing for the down payment.
“They found three roommates to rent the finished basement to and became landlords themselves. They rented each basement bedroom for $500, for a total of $1500/month. Their mortgage with tax & insurance being $1650, they ended up paying only $150/month themselves for a beautiful 3 bedrooms/1 bath upstairs home with a garden and garage and split the utilities with the downstairs tenants. What an upgrade from the small 1 bedroom apartment and what a start to build wealth!
This particular property kept going up in value. Lumi’s clients sold that house and were able to buy the next-door property which had two units, plus a basement only several years later. They earned  $1500+ a month in cash-flow because they had a very small mortgage and after another couple of years, they bought a third property, their dream home for cash after refinancing the 2 flat while still keeping it for additional income.
They ended up in a three-level home with five bedrooms and three baths. The wife was able to go back to school after the first purchase and became a pharmacist. What a great story, right? Not just they built wealth and ended up with their dream home paid off, they also paid for a college degree and the wife has now a phenomenal job which completely changed their lifestyle and the possibilities for themselves and their three children. I still wonder how their story would have ended if they stayed in that one-bedroom rental apartment, what would have changed in their life…”
„Another example is of an American girl only 20 years old that heard about Luminita’s investment seminars while working as a manager at a fast-food store. She came to Lumi and asked her for advice. „I want to invest in Real Estate and I don’t know what to buy and how to buy, and what’s worse I have very little cash.”. She kept reaching out, coming back to the seminars, explains Luminița, then within 6 months from their first meet, she was able to buy a four-unit building.
Luminita Ispas houses portofolio
Lumi said to her „You can’t become financially free until you understand how much money you need per month to be financially free- you have to understand what financial freedom means to you”. That girl was single and didn’t have a lot of expenses. So she bought a 4 unit building where she could live for free in one of the units and she made $600 extra/month from the other three rental units.
She quit her job the day after the closing, as with not many bills, living for free and with the $600/month extra from the building she could focus on going to school fulltime. She just reached her dream to become financially free the day she closed. After graduating from college, inspired by her quest of becoming a great money manager and Real Estate investor, she became a financial advisor, Luminița explains.
“She started working for Northern Trust and she’s actually the only lady in her office among many men who have a degree in Finance. She has bought two other properties since. – Stories like this make me happy. I love to share with people and I love to teach them how to accomplish a different type of life, the life that gives each the freedom to live the life of their dreams, on their terms, the life they left their country for.”
According to a Standard & Poor Study in Europe,Romanians are at the bottom of financial literacy, and only 22% of people in Romania know how to manage their money. So, one can only imagine how shocking it was for Luminița Ispas to start a new way of life, starting from zero knowledge, since nobody teaches in Romanian schools Finance, as it is for many immigrants coming from Romania, Moldavia or any other country for the matter.

HORA web-series: On the road to Financial Freedom

HORA Real Estate web-series with Luminita Ispas! She dreamed big and moved to the US 20 years back. Fast forward many years later, she became the most experienced, and ambitious #Chicago agent. Lumi Ispas is now a 16 times Quality Service Award winner that was named in top 1% of brokers un Chicago. Produced by HORA in America

Posted by HORA in America on Friday, October 4, 2019

Luminița thought Americans are doing better financially wise, but later she discovered that American born were no different either. Even if their financial literacy rate is a little higher than of the Romanians, by the age of 65, only 5% of Americans are wealthy enough to retire on their own money, the rest either have to keep working or depend on the government or other institutions for support. “Can you imagine, In the country of all the possibilities, in the country that offers all the freedom we seek, only 5% of people can actually afford to retire with enough funds after working for 40 years?”, says Luminița.
Lumi teaches Real Estate Investment Seminars in Chicago usually the last Saturday of each month and recently she had started Group mentoring teaching „Real Estate Investments and how to build wealth”. You can reach her on her online platform where you can also see the next dates of her seminars.