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Orlando Real Estate

Times are Changin' Orlando

Times are Changin' Orlando

The game is over. The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50. Announcers rush the field for a word with Peyton Manning. “Peyton, now that the Super Bowl is yours, what comes next?” “Well, I guess I’m going to Disney World" Peyton responds,like so many other quarterbacks before him. Orlando’s identity—forever shadowed by two giant mouse ears.

Don’t get me wrong…I dig Disney…doesn’t everybody? The theme park and its surrounding attractions were a massive part of my upbringing. Disney films touched the soul of a younger, more impressionable me. Trips to Epcot chaperoned by my grandparents were opportunities to walk around “the globe,” tasting new and exotic foods and absorbing new and exotic cultures.  the photo ops with every Disney princess that made my heart flutter and get giddy with a 7 year olds nervous version of love. Far more important than any of my personal experiences with the corporate and cultural icon, Orlando’s Disney World draws millions of tourists to Orlando each year, and in so doing, has laid the foundation for our city’s economy. My family’s survival was inexorably tied to Disney, as was a vast majority Orlando residents.

But, times they are a changin’. Orlando is growing and gaining a unique identity as it steps out of a looming mouse-ear-shadow. This city is alive. This city is growing strong through a new sense of self. I can feel it in the air. Downtown is housing more and more creative workspaces like Canvs and Catalyst that boast innovative young businesses and entrepreneurs. The Milk District and Mills50 areas have quickly become bohemian havens for the bar, food, and concert scene. We are defining our city and nothing can stop us.

It’s a “cold” (sorry northerners) winter day in Orlando; I know exactly what the doctor ordered—a big boy noodle bowl of pho at Anh Hong, my personal favorite Vietnamese restaurant in the city. Across from me sit two close friends and Orlando residents: Ted Henderson and Josh Call. In conjunction with playing five or more weekly crooner gigs around town, Ted has been slaving away on a new album that aims to encapsulate the experiences fostered by a lust for living in a young city, enjoying the fruits its countless beautiful women have to offer, all the while acknowledging the torment innate in such love and lust (think if The Weeknd and Chet Baker had a love child). Josh Call owns the classic Vegan Hot Dog Cart in Downtown Orlando (grab two chili dogs after a few pints at Lizzys, you will not regret it) and recently opened his latest foodie venture, Dixie Dharma. This newest brainchild resides in the Market on South—an open marketplace offering artisan goods, a bakery, booze, and some damn good vibes. All across Orlando one can find lunch sit downs like this one and the people who comprise it. Young, energized, hungry individuals with a taste for culture, a thirst for knowledge, and the goods needed to add to our region’s cache, its charm, and its charisma.

I take pride in the pride my neighbors take in our city—shout out to my Lions. Keep creating, making Orlando a place that people revere in or outside of a theme park, on or off of I-Drive. Let’s make Peyton try vegan chili dogs because he wants to, not because I got him drunk and and made him. 

Today's the Day! ZHF Premiere tonight 10/9c!

Today's the Day! ZHF Premiere tonight 10/9c!

"Today is the day" keeps ringing in my ears, from the second I opened my eyes this morning. I know that in a matter of hours potentially millions of people will see my face on their TV: representing a sector of business that we take pride in, representing a generation of American's that I take pride in, and its all about to be in front of the American public, maybe even the world. 

Tonight the first episode of the show we have poured so much of ourselves into the last year and a half is about to air. The show that has consumed our lives and schedules and secret fears. There is no turning back now......but I have to stop and ask myself, how did I get to this place?

Lets rewind to 2008, I am a year out of high school and am fresh from backpacking Europe and am ready to take on the world. Just one problem....The sky is falling. Orlando is being rocked by the recession and it is affecting everyone. My parents small business closes its doors and they can no longer afford their mortgage payments; no matter how hard we all try. The home goes into foreclosure and my parents stop opening the mail....a few months later on a rainy lightning filled evening, I get a bang on my bedroom window since our doorbell; like a lot of things had stop working ages ago in our home. I walk outside to see whats going on, only to walk into a scene from The Sopranos. There is a BMW 7 Series in my driveway with its lights on, shining onto 3 men wearing long coats and holding umbrellas. The largest one approaches me and with a deep belting voice ask " Is your father home?" I reply "no, who are you?" to which he replied " I need to speak to him, its very important, tell him its about his house" and he hands me a handwritten note with only a name and number on it and walks away. "What the hell is going on?" is all I can hear in my head. I knew something was wrong. Someone is about to get whacked. Later that night we found out that this group of men luckily were not on the market to off us and we were not gonna be sleeping with the fishes...but we may be sleeping outside: They just purchased my parents house, MY family's home, at the courthouse auction. And they want us out in a week unless we buy it back for a large sum more than they bought it for. 

When a man is backed into a corner, he can either fall to his knees and accept his fate...or he can keep swinging and try to create his own fate. I learned from a very young age watching my father win and lose, win and lose, and start all over again that if you want to make it in America,you have to keep have to keep going no matter how many times you fail, because this is the greatest country in the world and this is where dreams live and miracles happen everyday. America rewards the persistent. We called every friend in our circle who might have liquid capital and offered them the chance to get in on a great off market deal....AND we knew everything about the home and the renovation...because we have lived there the last 6 years. Ha! We finally tracked down the cash and renovated the home which we sold two months later for a 160k profit! We just turned lemon's into sweet sweet lemonade and it tasted so good. 

We started buying homes at the auction every week and were renovating as many as we could afford with our friend until around 2012. After that my family moved to Denver to renovate homes and be closer to the craft beer scene(brewing is a large passion of my family's) I stayed in Orlando, doing the same. 

In 2014 my friend Ashlee was approached by a production company who was curious about our home flipping in Orlando and wanted to Skype with us about it. She thought it was a prank and hung up on the person twice. I told her we should hear them out and lo and behold, they were legit, and they represented Mike Rowe! That dude rules! They have to be cool too! So we start talking about what we do, what they do,what Orlando is like, what we are like,etc. A few months later we get a phone call to let us know that they told A&E about us, and they want to film a pilot; They were on a plane within a month from LA to Orlando filming us on our day to day.... The pilot turned to series, and now here I am...Sitting in my home office, nervously typing this article just hours away from our premier to the American public. What a long strange road it has been.


I want you to know that filming this show was so much fun, and that none of us plan on bastardizing our industry, or turning into slime eating guru's that swindle old people out of their hard earned money. We all grew up way too punk rock for that. We just want to have fun for the cameras and keep America entertained, and who knows? maybe I will have the chance to help and inspire American's that they can help their country and change their lives like how we have everytime we turn an abandoned house into a family home again. Here is to home, here is to America. Cheers gang.

Flipping Houses & The American Dream

Flipping Houses & The American Dream

“Flipping houses”… seems the words roll off the tongue so easily nowadays. But what does it mean to flip a house? Does it mean swinging a sledge hammer into every wall in a house after watching a few “how to” videos on YouTube? Maybe. Does it mean buying a house and reselling it for more money after some fresh paint and carpet?Sometimes. Hell, maybe it means finding a property that no one knows about yet, putting it under contract, and assigning that contract to a cash buyer for a fee.

There are so many different definitions and moving parts "flipping houses" to debate about that we lose track of the big picture. It doesn’t matter if you are a DIY expert flipper, a quick turn and burn flip kinda guy, or a wholesaler just trying to make as many fees in a fiscal year as possible. We are all living this crazy, fast paced, quick on your feet kind of lifestyle for a reason: it is our American Dream.

Real Estate gives us the chance to improve our lifestyle, the chance to make something out of nothing, and sometimes...a chance to start over. There are many people I meet that are taking the leap and turning their main focus to real estate investing well past the age any "sane" person would switch careers. Sometimes all you need is a deal, a down payment, lender, and a vision. You might not even need all those  things before you take the jump (but I highly advise you plan thoroughly!) 

Working with real estate also does another magical thing; it changes the world. I KNOW, I KNOW but hear me out. Every house that I have ever bought, sold, or wholesaled has changed someone’s life, and also changed a neighborhood. That boarded up house in your Auntie’s neighborhood that all the *pUnK rAwKeRz* chug Mickey's hand grenades in, before smashing the bottle on the floor and spray painting a dick to Donald Trump’s forehead on the wall has been bringing down property values all year and is a zombie that needs to die. It’s these situations where I have the chance to change a neighborhood in my city, the chance to take a house that once was full of squatters and raccoons and turn it into a home that a family can live out their own version of the American Dream in again, a family in a city that I am honored to help. This is where my job makes me the happiest. 

So, if you're in the Real Estate game, what does flipping houses mean to you? What is your favorite part about it? What is YOUR American Dream?