During the boom years, herds of speculators stampeded property shows, model homes, hotel ballrooms, and any other venue where builders sold off-plan properties. These buyer-speculators typically placed 5 or 10 percent down to book a new house, villa, or condominium. Then, within months, they flipped their purchase contract to score a quick $25,000 to $100,000 gain. Great way to make fast, easy money (but not nearly as risk-free as buyers thought).

Alas, those giddy days have disappeared. But flipping itself continues. Your possibilities to earn short-term (but not easy) profits have actually grown. Only now, instead of buying off-plan, you buy a bargain-priced, neglected or distressed property. Then work your magic to create value.


Are you willing to research properties? Do you enjoy creative work? Then rely on fix, sell, and profit to jump-start your wealth building through real estate. Of course, by employing the word fix, I refer not only to repairing broken windows and patching holes in the plaster. I mean cost-effective improvements that excite your target market of buyers (or renters), especially the features and design that elicit the oohs, aahs, and “Wow, look at this, honey.”

To see the possibilities of fix and sell, follow the examples of Pat Williams and the Browns (Ray and Annie B.). As California was heading into its last deep recession, Pat Williams and her husband split up. Out of work and with two kids to support, Pat ...

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