WORTH $450 MILLION-NOT BAD, HE’S ONLY 32

When Craig Hall was 17 years old, he did what many people said he shouldn’t have: He invested his savings -$4,000 to be exact-in a run-down boarding house in Michigan. He’s 32 now and is operating on the same theory he used back then: buy low, sell high. The only difference is that now people are looking to him for advice. And now, his company’s holdings are worth $450 million. Plus.

Hall and his family recently moved to Dallas from Michigan. His company, Hall Real Estate Group, has properties in seven states, including Texas. He says he decided to move to Dallas for a number of reasons. Personally, he and his wife like the “feel” of the city and the “up attitude” of Dallasites. For business purposes, the move was simple-Dallas, according to Hall, is the most booming place in the country.

In all but his first investment, Hall has been a general partner. In fact, he calls himself a “professional general partner” and has based two books on his theories on partnership investments in real estate turnarounds.

Though he claims to be unfamiliar with Dallas, Hall has some pretty hefty investments in the area. He has sunk in excess of $50 million in existing apartments in North Dallas (which, by the way, he says is tops for real estate investing) and, although his investments in other states have been limited to existing apartments, he says the Dallas market is so up now that his company is considering buying office buildings. He’s also considering constructing apartments. He’s interested in office acquisitions because of his buy-low, sell-high attitude. He says that in the next six to 18 months there will be “tough times” for the office-space market, but recovery will then begin. Though the condominium market in Dallas is overbuilt, he says recovery is on its way there, too. Timing on that depends on interest rates, he says, “and even Dallas can’t predict that.”

On the personal side of investing, Hall and his wife recently bought a house in University Park for themselves and their three daughters. Once they finish redecorating and renovating, they plan on becoming active in the community, especially in the arts. He says it’s difficult to become acquainted with a city, both businesswise and personally, but he’s patiently trying to become a Dallasite.

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