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He Died for Real Estate

In memory of David E. Wagner, 1962-2017

“All our favorite charities seemed to be always in search for more money,” Lali recalled, “and we were good at building real estate, so we decided to construct a building that would generate perpetual cash flow to help those around us who are less fortunate.”

The Wagner's talked to their bank, which loved the vision and fronted them with $500,000 to start the project.

They found an excellent site for some self storage on the edge of their city, bought it for $89,000, and spent the rest on developing the land and the buildings.

“It was 2015 when we started the construction of Stow-Away Storage. David had for a long time been a mission-minded builder, so he coordinated the project himself in order to keep costs down.

Before long, two of the three wings were up. The units were fully rented out within two months. Amazing success! The bank provided an additional $600,000 for further expansion.

Profits were rolling in. Lali and David knew what they wanted to do. 1/3 went directly to charities, 1/3 went to fund future expansion, and 1/3 went towards sustainability for the property.

David and Lali also were involved in ministry projects abroad while building this fund-generating hub to sustain their vision for expanding charitable work. Like any big vision, it has a way of wearing a person down.

One night, after a long day of hard work, Lali realizing David was getting worn out. Concerned, she lovingly asked him to start thinking about slowing down and bringing on more work crews to help out. Later that night around 9:15, Lali had retired to her bed. At 10:15, she heard David coughing and a bizarre gargling sound in his throat. Sounding strange, she rolled over, asked him if he was alright, and told him to go to sleep. A while later, this strange gargling cough repeated. Alarmed, she jumped out of bed, put on her glasses, and flipped on the lights. She hit David to wake him up, thinking he was joking, but this was no joke, he had already passed.

The property continues as a success today—the last four years have enjoyed 99% occupancy. David gave his all for what he knew was important. May we all use our short time here on Earth to fight for what really matters. Whether our abilities are in real estate, finance, or any other field, let us use our skills for maximum impact as we serve those in need around us.

Lali’s dream is to see 450 storage units with all the benefits for charitable giving, and 211 units have already been completed. We praise God for this success and join with Lali in asking for the resources to complete the task!

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