By Isaiah Negron
Entrepreneur and finance wunderkind Fahad Ghaffar is reaching new heights by creating an empire of private yet affordable luxury properties. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2005 with a degree in finance, Ghaffar took a job in investment banking. As he built solid relationships with important players in the financial world he also learned the ins and outs of the real estate market. He discovered a new niche market and started buying neglected off-market properties directly from banks, lenders and private equity investors and transformed them into thriving residential complexes. “It made financial sense,” said Ghaffar. “We can create a quality product while simultaneously protecting buyers from volatile markets.”
In 2010, he founded his own financial firm WhiteFire Capital in New York City. Over the last three years the company has purchased and revitalized numerous failed properties including 79 condos in Tennessee, furnishing them and adding new landscaping and swimming pools before selling them. Ghaffar was able to double the return on his initial investment in 9 months. He also bought 17 vacation cabins in Tennessee from Wells Fargo, re-envisioned them and then sold them all in 30 days making over a one million dollar profit. His experience in the legal and financial fields gave him time to learn how to interpret legal documents and understand the rights and protections buyers have as he read and studied mountains of legal papers. “With seven years of lending experience and extensive hands-on practice as UBS, I quickly learned about all of its sides, especially the legal ones,” said Ghaffar.
Ghaffar’s latest venture teams him up with Donald Trump to remaster a luxury condo building in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His first project off the mainland, the 1,000-acre property will feature 49 luxury beachfront condos complete with fully furnished living spaces, tennis courts, swimming pools and a PGA golf course membership. “I decided to get creative,” says Ghaffar. “We met with Trump and he approved all of my ideas. Donald’s a great guy to do business with.” Renovations in San Juan are nearing completion and WhiteFire is gearing up to show buyers the spacious, state of the art units that are priced to sell before the Holidays.
The vision Ghaffar has for WhiteFire goes far beyond his highly valued relationship with Trump. With a string of successful development deals on his books, Ghaffar is planning to expand into new territory. “I’d love to do a hip hotel project and make it a hot new destination for young professionals ” he says. With his extensive real estate experience, unwavering drive to succeed and high standards, Ghaffar always says what he means. “As Warren Buffet said, ‘Never do a deal you can’t close with a handshake,” Fahad says, “I’ll always strive to do good business with good people.” •