An experienced entrepreneur who is now Managing Partner at Modus Capital, Kareem Elsirafy has consistently demonstrated an innate ability to create and lead businesses designed to leverage his unique skillset.
Kareem’s role at Modus Capital is far from his first experience in a position of leadership, as the military veteran is responsible for founding and overseeing several different entrepreneurial ventures that take advantage of his professional specialties, including causal relationship economics and operational design.
A graduate of Columbia University who holds undergraduate degrees in economics, Middle Eastern studies and political science, Kareem is currently pursuing an executive MBA in technology management from Columbia University. With his professional and academic life being centered in New York for so long, Kareem now considers the city his permanent residence and recently purchased a home in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.
In what city/state was your first house located and approximately what year did you buy it?
Living in Manhattan typically means a lot of apartment hopping, so it was only in the past year that I finally bought a place in Morningside Heights in Manhattan.
What was your living situation prior to buying your first house? Where/with whom/etc.?
I was bouncing around NYC and was living on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side with my wife. Then, one day we just decided to buy a place instead of being renters forever -so we did!
What motivated you to purchase your first house?
The building of equity instead of rent and investing in something that has an asset value is what ultimately motivated us to purchase a home.
How did you go about getting the money together to buy it?
My previous entrepreneurial ventures were successful enough that I was able to make a down payment that covered half of the total cost we had negotiated, which was a great sense of accomplishment.
When you purchased, were you thinking of it as an investment or as a place to start a family. Please elaborate.
Both, but it primarily is an investment. When thinking about starting a family, we may consider staying in New York City or moving someplace else.
What are 3 things you liked most about the house?
The proximity to Central Park, the surprisingly low price and the fact that it is almost completely soundproof, are my favorite things about the apartment.
Was there anything you didn’t like about it?
I had grown so used to the sounds of the city that the quiet was a bit unnerving at first, but I can’t even begin to explain how nice it is to not have to hear every move my upstairs neighbors make.
Did you make any improvements or major renovations to the house?
I only moved in recently, so not just yet. I can’t imagine that I will have much time to do so in the near future with how busy I am with managing the growth we are experiencing now with Modus and my personal responsibilities.
Please share 1-2 of your fondest/funniest memories from living there.
I actually had trouble sleeping the first few nights just because it was so quiet. I had to open the windows so I could hear some of the sounds of the city that I had apparently become so fond of.
Do you still live there or did you sell it or renting it?
I still live there and usually take a brief walk through the park before I head to work.
What advice would you give other first time home buyers?
I would suggest to avoid putting too much stock in the opinion of others before actually seeing a property in person. I had heard a lot of criticism of my neighborhood before I lived there, but my experience of the neighborhood has been nothing but positive.