With a portfolio of 10 PadSplits, Heather has been able to relocate to Spain with her family.

With a portfolio of 10 PadSplits, Heather has been able to relocate to Spain with her family.

As a real estate investor, Heather Wren is unique. She’s the first official host of PadSplit, which has made her a passionate advocate for the affordable housing shortage after seeing so many individuals struggle to secure housing. Her experiences have deepened her empathy and understanding of socioeconomic disparities, prompting advocacy for marginalized communities.

Not only has becoming a PadSplit host made her passionate about affordable housing and other issues of social equity, to which she was already committed but it’s given her the opportunity to embrace the lifestyle she has long sought. Rather than working 40+ hours a week while paying for childcare, Heather has been able to move to Spain, where she can run her successful business and spend more time with her family. She consistently experiences a 15% cash-on-cash return on her PadSplits once she refinances them. No other investments she’s looked at consistently provide that high of a return.

Managing a portfolio with 10 PadSplits

In 2019, Heather converted five additional properties into PadSplits, which is when she knew the concept was going to be extremely lucrative. She wondered how she had the money to continue adding more properties to her portfolio, swiftly recognizing it stemmed from the substantial returns generated by her existing PadSplit properties. Today, 50% of her portfolio consists of PadSplits.

Heather’s portfolio has always consisted of Section 8 housing, but she’s able to extend her reach and to house a lot more people with PadSplit. She always refused to engage with Airbnb because she wanted to avoid an excessive workload, prompting her to explore alternative avenues.

Heather sees members transition from being homeless to homeowners

“Something I didn’t realize when I started out is the amount of housing shortage there is in the U.S. Before, I had always worked with low-income families because I did Section 8, and to come to the realization that somebody could be working two jobs and still not have enough money to pay rent as a single person was a real surprise to me,” says Heather.

This realization spurred her active involvement in local YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) groups, advocating for affordable housing solutions.

Witnessing members transition from homelessness to stable living arrangements within PadSplit, building credit, and eventually securing their own apartments evoked a sense of fulfillment. 

Heather began mentoring some of her members, including a woman named Amber, who progressed from living in her car to becoming a successful cleaner for Heather’s properties. Amber’s hard work has led her to manage a booming cleaning company in Atlanta. Today, she’s approved for a home loan and continues to be mentored by Heather, even shadowing her for refinances and appraisals of Heather’s properties.

“In the same way that Atticus helped me do PadSplit, I’m going to help somebody else become a homeowner.”

Heather uses her PadSplit revenue to relocate to Spain

Despite her success as a PadSplit host, Heather and her husband harbored a long-standing affection for Spain after visiting the country on their honeymoon. In 2022, they made the bold decision to relocate, leveraging the financial stability afforded by PadSplit’s cash flow. 

After meticulous planning, they settled in Valencia, embracing a laid-back lifestyle enriched by cultural immersion and family bonding with their two children. They purchased a condo on the Mediterranean Ocean and adopted two cats. 

“If I didn’t have the cash flow from PadSplit as opposed to regular rentals, I would not be able to afford to live in Spain.”

Overcoming logistical challenges, Heather adeptly transitioned her property management operations to self-management. The flexibility and profitability of PadSplit enabled her to sustain her overseas lifestyle while maintaining a hands-on approach to her business endeavors.

Heather now spends her time relaxing in Spain, enjoying the laid-back culture, where everyone takes two-hour lunches and drinks wine. Her children even start school later in the day at 9 a.m. and are learning the local language.

 “It’s a holiday every time we turn around. It’s a much more relaxed lifestyle. On Sundays, everything is closed, so you can spend more time with your family,” says Heather.

PadSplit: a catalyst for nationwide change

Heather envisions PadSplit as a catalyst for nationwide change in addressing affordable housing shortages.

”I picture PadSplit spreading across the country, addressing the needs of people who don’t have affordable housing. I hope that drawing attention to the affordable housing crisis and the archaic zoning laws across the country will help fuel change and create more units overall for everybody, not just in a coliving situation,” says Heather.

Heather encourages everyone to look at their local YIMBY associations. “I feel like my membership in the Abundant Housing Atlanta organization has dovetailed well with my PadSplt ownership and the education it provided me informed my decisions as a PadSplit owner.”

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