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How I Got Started Investing in Fixer Uppers

My wife and I leapt into a more rewarding future in 2002 when we bought my first home to fix up, repair, and rent.

What motivated us to start repair houses was the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Funds for environmental projects, like the ones I worked on, were being redirected to military activities, and the future of my job seemed shaky.

Respond to a newspaper ad

Before that, I had been reading up on real estate investing, and when my wife and I saw an ad in the newspaper about a property under repair in a relatively nice neighborhood, we made an offer and ended up buying it. We didn’t have much knowledge of what we had done, but we had a lot of enthusiasm. We learned as we went.


In the home repair area we became jack of all trades, learning how to repair just about anything that was in a repair house. But, in our top niche business of arranging, we were experts in only one trade. We stay focused on what we do best: buy, repair and rent. And, if you do something often enough, you get pretty good at it.

We worked like dogs, slept like logs, and ate like pigs! But, now we’ve cut the grind and are making a lot of money with less effort in our top fix business.

Investing in repairs is a great way to start a business in your spare time. It can allow you to gradually increase financial security and eventually shift to a career where you control your destiny.

Is now a bad time to invest?

When I bought my first house, many thought I was crazy. After 9/11 there was great uncertainty about what would happen next. Would the country go to war? Would I lose my job? Would the economy go down the toilet?

Today, because of the possibility of a recession, people are making the same arguments. But remember, you don’t make money buying houses when the economy is strong. The prices are too high then. You make money when the economy is weak and home prices are low and marketable.

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