How I Bought My First Flip, The Scariest Split Second Decision of my Life!


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Psychology says that we become a different person about every ten years.  We seldom notice this, but I started to appreciate those changes in my life over the past year. Before becoming a realtor, I worked in an operating room for over twenty-five years, eventually earning a position on the advanced Laparoscopy team.  One day in March 2019, half an hour into my shift, I had enough of the toxic environment and quit.  Like the Southpark character Eric Cartman, I walked out saying, “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”

I’ve been a full-time Realtor since earning the NJ Realtor’s Circle of Excellence award from 2019 through 2022. Doing anything for the first time, especially buying an investment property, could be scary.  If someone on my surgical team told me in 2013 that I would own two investment properties in ten years, I would say, “You are mistaken.”  This is how I bought an investment property and my first flip property.

Mindset over Matter

Over the past few years, I’ve been reading many topics, including history and music, mainly real estate investing and mindset.  I read books and random social media posts, watched YouTube videos, and listened to podcasts.  Regarding mindset, I found The Mindset Mentor Podcast with Rob Dial Jr. fits me perfectly.  “So much of our life is dictated by mindset, So much of it! Of how we think, we shall become.” Lana.  With the proper mindset, you can improve almost anything to help you reach your dreams.

I researched real estate investing and house flipping.  There are many books and podcasts about real estate investing and flipping, but my favorite is Bigger Pockets Real Estate Podcast.  Between the mindset and the investing Podcasts, I would randomly tell myself, “I am a real estate investor.” That was the point where a seed had been planted in my subconscious.

Residential Asset Management Company Fix and Flip Seminar

One day in early 2023, my Keller Williams office held a real estate investment seminar with a residential asset management company.  Basically, the asset management company will invest your money in a fix and flip property somewhere in the US.  They will make the purchase, hire the contractors, and then, after a year, they sell or rent the property.  The investor does nothing but transfer the money and follow the progress, nothing else.  This investment will tie your money up for a 17% return for one year.  After the seminar, I immediately scheduled an appointment, asked my questions, and we got the ball rolling.  After three months, we closed, and I had a fix and flip property in Chicago, Illinois.  This is a good investment, but I do not consider this my first flip property.  If you would like information about residential management investing, click here

The Decision to Purchase My First Flip Property

The residential management company investment was now under contract when my office manager, Rob, called me shortly after. Rob sent me to an address of a house to look at and take a few photos.  This was a small ranch, built in 1955, with the kitchen to prove it.  The house was an estate that had been unoccupied and left to rot for around ten years.  There was an overgrown landscape (my sweet spot), no gutters, missing soffits, and an awful stench from the animals that made the attic their home.  The interior was a wreck like someone had torn through the house looking for the family fortune. (I find this very disrespectful).  

We met with the executor and gathered information.  Then, I worked on the market reports and got feedback from some investors.  Later that week, we met the executor again to report the value and what needed to be done to list the house.  Rob pulled me aside and said, “Let’s buy this house, you and me; what do you think?”  I immediately replied, “Ok,” not how much; let me think about it, or I’ll talk to my wife, just “OK.”  This was one of the scariest decisions that I had ever made.  I was now committed to this purchase.

My first flip after the renovation, Wall NJ

The Closing

On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, Rob and I closed our house.  I was nervous about this from the moment that I committed to this up until closing, losing sleep occasionally and thinking, “What have I done?”.  To correct my mindset, I related buying this flip house with buying a car.  When purchasing an investment property, your money will be working for you, and when purchasing a car, you will lose 3o% as soon as you leave the lot.  The house will make you money, and when we buy a car, we are so excited to show everyone in our lives our latest horrible investment.  This analogy made me realize that my investment will be alright, whatever happens here.

This was a great learning experience, which I was afraid to do alone.  Rob was a great mentor, yet I felt I could exercise my ideas and plans.  I would do this again.

Sometimes, we must step outside our comfort zone and try something new.  This probably wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Rob’s little push.  I also created some videos showing the progress and trying new things.  This flip was way out of my comfort zone, “true self-discovery begins where your comfort zone ends,” Adam Braun.  I plan to be uncomfortable again soon.











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