John Griego

In 2017, while Manly Danh was helping John Griego
sell his condo, John mentioned he wanted to get into
fix-and-flips. A few weeks later, John got an unexpected
phone call from Manly, who was at a realtor’s office.

“He said, ‘There’s this place. There's a lot of margin; you need to get it,’” John remembers. “And I looked through the photos online and the place was in bad shape, and I’m like, ‘I don't see it.’ But he goes, ‘Trust me, you're going to make good money on this place.’ I still didn’t see it, but he tells me, ‘Buy this place. This will be your first hardcore flip. We'll make it happen. I'll be with you every step of the way.’”

John bought the property in the Cambrian Park area of San Jose, California, sight unseen, for $755,000. Manly showed up during the rehab process just like he said he would, coaching him through every step along the way. “And I made a killing off that place,” John says. “I want to say $170,000. Manly made sure to tell me, ‘Don’t get used to that kind of margin every time!’”

John couldn’t wait to get started on his second flip. He loved being on site, working with contractors. He loved hustling to his properties on lunch breaks and after finishing a day at Apple. See: John Griego loves a challenge.

A decade earlier, John spent his off-hours on dirt bikes. He’d train three days a week and race on Sundays at the fairgrounds in San Jose. One day, the dirt had been overwatered, and John tried to compensate by taking a jump extra aggressively. But he misjudged and overshot his landing spot. “The bike couldn’t absorb all of the impact. I bottomed out the suspension and then it went through my body and cracked my spine,” John says. “I suffered paralysis in my legs as a result.”

He was frightened; everything was going to change. But before long, while still in his hospital bed, John booted up his laptop and got back to work. “It's crazy. No doubt,” John says, laughing. “But, you know, that's just who I am. I just got to keep going and I'm not going to stop.”

After four months, he went home in a wheelchair and started to learn how live his life again. It took ten minutes to get into his car at first, but he still drove to his job at Micron Technology every day. (He learned to get in much quicker once rainy season began.) About ten months after his fall, he took a new gig at Apple. He’s been there ever since.

A year that first home flip, in the Fall of 2018, John made offers on two different properties at once. Unexpectedly, both were accepted. He called Manly, frantic, unable to cover the cost, but Manly told him to relax: he could help John with a $500,000 hard-money loan so he could afford both. “It was streamlined,” John says. “He didn’t make me jump through hoops.”

By the Spring of 2019, John and his team of workers had both properties fully rehabbed. Soon after that, both homes sold. “When he offered me the loan, I was like, ‘What’s that gonna cost me?’ And Manly told me, straight up, ‘I’m gonna make some money off this deal, but so are you.’ And that’s exactly what happened,” John says. “When the two places sold, I ended up making a bunch of dough.”

John’s legs were paralyzed in a bike accident 11 years ago. Now he works full-time for the biggest company on the planet. He spends his off-hours on site at a few different fix-and-flip projects, too. All while using a wheelchair. John is driven, determined and, clearly, tough-as-nails. But even he needed a helping hand to get into the world of real-estate flipping. “Flipping was an area of interest of mine, but I just didn't know somebody to take me under their wing. I didn’t have someone to bounce ideas and questions off. Someone to save me from getting into some quicksand,” John says. “Manly became that guy for me.”

His advice to prospective fix-and-flippers? “If you follow your passion, it will never seem like work. Do it great, and once you conquer that, move on to your next project, do that one even greater, and always continue to refine your process,” he says. “Success is not easy, if it were, everyone would have it. You need to jump outside of your comfort zone, that is where the magic happens.” We’ll keep you out of the quicksand.
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QUOTE [which will run on the front page beside a photo of John]
“Flipping was an area of interest of mine, but I just didn't know somebody to take me under their wing. I didn’t have someone to bounce ideas and questions off. Someone to save me from getting into some quicksand. Manly became that guy for me.”