Humberto Lopes' Real Estate Journey | Story by J.P. Morgan | Transcript 


No one's thinking about in your 20s to buy a piece of property. They're thinking about, “where I'm going to go out at night,” “who I'm going to hang out with,” or “what job I'm going to get,” you know what I mean? It was not someone's mindset to say, “how can I buy my first piece of property?” 

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My father was a longshoreman, and then over the weekends, he would do handyman work. Seeing that from him, I guess I fell in love with it. He went back to Portugal on vacation. That's when he had a heart attack over there and he passed away. So I never really got to see him again. I was 9 years old; I was a little kid. Those were things that broke me, but then I had to say to myself, “I have to step up.”

And that just started opening up the doors for me because then I was able to get other jobs. I was able to get other things to do and build the construction company.

About four years later I think it was, I bought my first house to renovate. We rented it out, and then like a year later we stabilize it, and then we were able to remortgage it. And that was the beginning of learning how it operated.

I started inquiring about quite a few different pieces of property because now I learned the game a little bit more. A lot of these deals were not cookie cutters, you know what I mean? And then you have to find institutions and banks to say, “OK, I'll come in with you. I believe in you. And I know the property can make money.” 

And that's also how I met Chase. I still continue building a portfolio with Chase. Chase has a lot of different categories that you go up and up and up. The multifamily group, I started getting involved with them because as the time went by, I had a lot of big multifamilies. The portfolio’s growing tremendously.

I actually own four square blocks in New York City. That's a trophy. Trophy properties are properties that you only buy once in your life. And still today, I can't figure out anyone else has something like this. And I'm still going forward to see what's the next deal, how can I be more creative, you know what I mean? Where can I go to get my skyscraper, you know what I mean? And that's my goal: to keep on going. 

At 9 years old, realizing that back then what I started and the journey that I started on my own, and seeing now today, and looking back at that and saying, “Holy mackerel. Wow.” At this point I would say yes, I made my father proud that he could pick up his head and say, “That's my son. That's my son. The empire this kid built — it’s tremendous."


Humberto “H.L.” Lopes’ journey started in construction, a career choice inspired by his father, who passed away when Lopes was just 9 years old. 

A few years after Lopes launched his construction business, he purchased and renovated his first rental home and never looked back. He taught himself the ropes of the real estate industry as he built a portfolio that now includes more than 100 properties, including his “trophy:” four square blocks in his hometown, Brooklyn, New York. 

“At this point I would say yes, I made my father proud,” Lopes says. “He could pick up his head and say, ‘That’s my son. The empire this kid built — it’s tremendous.’” 


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