I am the author of two novels and some short stories, a Middle Eastern expat returned home to Maryland, and a real estate investor.
For several years here on my blog I’ve been talking about expat life and travel in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, and slinging my two mystery novels, which are set in the Ocean City. Now, I’ll be writing about two generations of house flipping in the Washington, D.C. suburbs.
My husband and I have done well, buying trashed houses and making them our homes—but we weren’t doing it on purpose to be “house hackers,” not really. We just jumped on bargains in places where we wanted to live, and added a bunch of elbow grease.
Except for a brief stint as a Realtor over 20 years ago, I’ve been a working writer, editor and communications expert for my whole professional life.
But with a name and a pedigree like mine, eventually I must submit to my fate. And now, the time has come.
My father owned a real estate company that specialized in flipping, back before that was really a thing. Kash Realtors: We Buy Homes for Kash.
For more than 25 years, he and his business partner made a living buying distressed properties, renovating them, and reselling them. Mostly he bought in neighborhoods too crappy (and architecturally unappetizing) for even the most stalwart of urban pioneers.
Back then, my mom, my sister and I often cringed at the design choices made at those houses, which were generally based on what materials were cheap and/or easy to install and/or already sitting in in the storage room at the real estate office. When I briefly sold houses back in the 90s, I didn’t even hang my license with the family business. I wanted no part of it.
Now, I have gotten my real estate license again, and I am going to start flipping houses and helping others find good investments--but in my own style. I wish my father were still alive to give me advice. Not on renovation plans or, heaven forbid, selecting the best backsplash tile. No. Instead, I wish he could talk to me about how to make the numbers work. How to make a snap buying decision—as you must—and be confident about it. How to conduct this business in ways that are helpful, and not predatory or uncaring.
Kash Realtors is long gone, but I'm affiliating this time around with Caprika Realty, owned by Brendan and Chelsea Spear. They're family too, in spirit--and in actuality, too, if you can map out the connection involving cousins and in-laws.
Follow me on this blog as I chronicle my own real estate and home renovation adventures, as I learn the business and share some sweet and some cringeworthy memories of Kash Realtor flips in the 1970s and 80s.