How To Flip Real Estate

I’m not an expert on real estate BUT it has been one of the main ways I have earned a substantial income. I was able to retire fully in 2001 strictly from the sale of one of the main properties I owned. Don’t be fooled, however. You can also lose money in real estate as I painfully found out the hard way in 2014.

So, it is with great humility that I am happy to announce that my Florida vacation condo has been sold. It was only on the market for 10 days. I got very near my asking price. I was able to sell ALL my furniture with it, for an additional, separate price. I am most grateful to God that I made a profit. I am praying that the transaction will be smooth and quick because realistically, I think Nick and I are finally done flipping real estate.

I did not like the way my life was going when we lived in Florida. Sure, it was fun and exciting in the beginning. Once all the dust settled, I would find myself sitting alone in the living room with the realization that I just was not happy. I think my real light bulb moment came when I had just returned from a photography meeting with the realization that my camera wasn’t good enough anymore. It was only 18 mega pixels and according to the speaker that month, I needed 24 mega pixels as a minimum if I were to continue to crop my photos. Just to buy the shell of a new camera that would give me what the speaker recommended would be $859.

I realized I got caught up into a world that would NEVER be good enough. I was on an endless treadmill of bigger, better, best. I could never be satisfied with the status quo. Somehow I got sucked into consumerism and that has been the antithesis of my whole entire human existence. There was nothing wrong with my camera. There was nothing wrong with my life! But if I stayed inside this new-found environment, my authentic self was going to be eroded beyond my own recognition. This was NOT where I wanted to be. Somewhere along the journey I lost my way. Does any of this make sense?

I love my frugal life. I enjoy being thankful to God for the precious gifts He has given me. I enjoy living my life close to the bone, appreciative of most everything around me. When that gratefulness started to disintegrate, I found myself unhappy and without joy. I always wanted to own a condo in Florida. It was a lifetime, childhood dream. I did it. I accomplished it. It’s one more thing to cross off my wish list when I one day find myself on my deathbed. No regrets.

One of the main things I learned this past year was to be more respectful of other people’s lives. People really are just doing their best to make their own lives sustainable. Who am I to criticize? I understand now why some people want to remain ‘small’. It’s a more enjoyable lifestyle.

So, Nick and I are back to square one. As these past 10 days and three nor’easter snowstorms have proved to us, we really can’t stay up north during the months of January, February and March! It’s just too darn cold. We have two more alternatives to check out: #1 is to head out west to Arizona. #2 is to vacation back in the Caribbean like we used to. We’re going to try #1 next year. I heard the desert is very spiritual. I’m looking forward to the experience. If that doesn’t work out, we’ll return to our old haunts on St. Croix.

Life is a journey.

Sometimes you win.

Sometimes you lose.

And sometimes you just break even.

Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.





  1. Congrats on the sale and I have a very strong hunch, this next phase in your life will be a successful adventure as well!


  2. How ironic I was writing the comments on your last post and you were posting this!
    Congrats on selling the condo and also hope closing goes smoothly. Will you go to Florida to close?
    We are very different in that I don’t have to travel to escape the cold . I still love all the seasons immensely. For winter, I just don’t fret about the cost of keeping my home the warm temperature I like, I stockpile my freezer and pantry for 100 days with sales, I have creative, renovation or educational projects to keep me happy if the weather keeps me indoors. My Contentment and Happiness doesn’t come from looking for a new environment, but relishing the choices in my own home and hometown.
    Close enough all year round to enjoy my Grandkids. Yearning for the ocean, Long Island Sound is twenty miles away. I live halfway down a Mountain with fantastic sunsets and sunrises, Deer and turkey and all the other woodland animals also visit my yard. Multiple paths to walk around a reservoir half a mile away.. Market 32, Super Cuts, Ace hardware, Goodwill, PostOffice, My new fave bank with .75 % interest checking, and the bonus $150 gift card, and a new Five Guys burger joint opened in this new shopping center at the bottom of my mountain, just a mile trip. They are also putting in an urgent care medical facility affiliated with a hospital in this shopping center. New library opening by summer a little farther away-three miles. Senior center is close too , but because of expanding my babysitting of my grandchildren, I haven’t tried but plan to after tax season.
    I realize last year, I don’t have to move all of the elements that were missing are right now being added in my hometown. So I slowed down on sorting through my possessions for a move, but instead continue to perform sorting them as a Death Cleansing , to eliminate leaving the task for my kids as my parents did for my brother and me.. There are quite a few new books in the library on this Swedish tradition. Ain’t Life Grand! Sincerely, Lara


    • I don’t think we’ll ever got to Florida again! How’s that for a revelation? Shocked me too. Everything is done through the banks so there is no need for us to be there in the first place.
      I don’t do well in the cold. I can’t keep myself warm no matter what I do. I just woke up from a nap where I encased myself in an electric, queen sized blanket and my back was still cold!! I need 90F degrees to get warm. 80F for comfort. The lowest I can go is 40F. Anything below that outside and I shiver. Funny, cause it was 41F in Florida this morning! 60’s in Arizona! We’re going to try it. Maybe we’ll like it. My brother spends all of January in St. Thomas! And he’s been a die hard Floridian for years! Go figure.
      DH is clearing our the house too. Just put a call in to Mr. Junk. We’ve got a lot of that LOL!
      Thanks for your comment.


  3. FYI: It’s funny. When I had to choose my 2017 life highlights, I chose our trip to Tennessee and hiking the Smoky Mountains as one of our highlights. The other choice was attending The Beach Boys concert. Those two things were the only things that brought me much joy in 2017. The concert brought me back to my happiest days in the 60’s. Hiking out in the Smoky Mountains and being in the great state of Tennessee also brought me much joy. So, RV traveling more is on our new agenda. And going to happy concerts is primo important on our new list going forward. I always used to go alone, but this time Nick joined me. We both had a blast and were dancing in the aisles. That (IMHO) is what it is all about. Enjoying life.


  4. I first visited the Smoky Mountains when I was five before I attended Kindergarten. I painted some of the scenes in Kindergarten which resulted in being selected for a half day art immersion first grade class. Ironically after I was selected and ecstatic, my Dad got a promotion and transfer. The new school system had no art till televised TV drawing in the cafeteria starting in third grade through sixth grade. I often wonder if I had started my art classes in first grade would I have pursued a career in a creative field? Last time I was in the Smoky Mountains was 1975 on our two week scenic trip from Ohio to the Badlands, Wyoming, Montana, Yellowstone, and Utah.. Not a lover of temperatures over 82, and very sun sensitive. Liked seeing the desert in NewMexico traveling from Albuquerque to Santa Fe last year . But having coffee and watching the hot air balloons my first day, within an hour without sunscreen (was I Bad!) got to endure the whole week, pain along with a red lobster face! FYI they have Sensitive skin Nutrogena 110 sunscreen in the local Walmart’s. Not available in the Northeast.
    Definitely the Hot Air Balloon trip in March was one of my 2017 highlights and my new Grandsonin February,, April, the trip to Florida, May and June in Genealogy: Finding the town my Great Grandfather s family immigrated from in the 1850s and then discovered that they lived in it for 150 years and tracing the direct line back to the 1600’s, Also thanks to the stock market rally being able to do major renovations to my home with mostly gains- new driveway, family room textured ceiling removed, new carpet. There is still more to get done. Hopefully the stock market helps. July fourth watching multiple Fireworks circling the ocean in Cape Cod. Enjoyed all summer weekly, a day with my older Grandkids taking them to an Amusement and water park and Children museums. In Fall, thezoo and photo trips and family joint celebration of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
    I loved 2017. I am not loving 2018 as much it seems,when hitting 65 a flippant comment that I am no longer an early retiree has kind of thrown me back! I would say I am in reorientation mode. Sincerely, Lara


    • Lara, 2018 is still young! Never mind what people say. So many people can not retire at all! Let’s be happy we are retired, period! 🙂


  5. Funny thing happened when I read your Beach Boys post while at my son’s. My son and wife were putting the baby to bed. I hit the Kokomo you tube. My son came running out and got me his Bose ear phones that totally block the surrounding noise. They then started to argue in the dining room while I was dancing in the adjoining room to the many Beach Boys concerts linked on YouTube. Thanks for the Great Evening for me! Beat hearing what was going on with them! Lara


    • If you get a chance to attend one of their concerts, go! It’s just so much fun and seriously…..tears will come to your eyes. Especially when you remember how wonderful California used to be and to the state of horrific decline it is today. Sad commentary on modern society for sure. The Beach Boys concert posts many video images of what our lives were all like back in the 60’s. It wasn’t a dream. It was real. And now, it’s gone.
      Thanks again for your comment.


  6. Ah. Found the post. Congrats on making a profit. I still LOVE Sarasota, but hubby and I have decided to be snow birds when the time comes. Hubby has another 8 years before retiring, so we are becoming avid cruisers as our vacations. Can’t get enough of them.


    • In retrospect , hubby is making a good call. Greed has taken over Sarasota like right in front of your eyes. Mind boggling. I have to try one of those cruises! People are raving about them. Good for you!!


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