Smalltown USA Fixer Upper

by | Jun 2, 2010 | Archives

My hobby, a profitable one, has been to fix up and sell many fixer uppers in Smalltown USA and all over the world.

This, for some, is a great way to earn and live in a very tax protected way.


See this interesting Mt. Dora fixer upper opportunity below.

Merri and I are currently redoing a big, old house near Mt. Dora,  Florida or the one above might interest us… but we stick to one of these projects at a time… so I’ll share details of this bigger fixer upper in a minute.

First here is the house we are redoing now.


This is the latest of many. I have fixed up and sold several old places in England.  Here is one, a manor house named Forwood near Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire.


Construction there began in the 1500s and ran into the Victorian area.

Then Merri and I redid a 100 year old house in Naples, Florida…. one of the first ten built there.


We have fixed up several old Blue Ridge farm houses also. Here is one that…


emerged from this.

Plus we renovated a 180 year old colonial hotel in…


Cotacachi, Ecuador.


Plus this wreck of an office building… inside and…

out became…


three rental apartments. Here is the top floor studio unit.


Here is what it looks like outside now.


These apartments by the way are for sale. See condos for sale.

Merri and I love new ventures and bringing old things back into service… old houses. ancient knowledge about better living… even old hotels to live better in.   This is fun to us… enormously satisfying, great for the environment and the process has treated us very well financially.

On top of this, the US government in its infinite wisdom makes this process, if the fixer uppers are your residence, tax protected.

I have told each of my children… if they love the idea… the most tax efficient way to live is to buy an old house… live in it and fix it. then sell it after two years.  Capital gains (up to $250,000) on your residence is tax free.  Where else can you earn $125,000 a year and not owe a penny of income or capital gains tax?

Some of our children have done well with this advice.

Fixer uppers offer five features I love in business… fun… satisfaction… environmental soundness… profits and tax protection.

So here is a brochure I have scanned of an excellent fixer upper for sale in Mt. Dora Florida… a nice part of Smalltown USA.

mt-dora-house-for-sale tags

mt-dora-house-for-sale tags

mt-dora-house-for-sale tags

mt-dora-house-for-sale tags

mt-dora-house-for-sale tags

You can get details of this property from the broker we used to buy our Florida real estate…. Shirley Peacock at

If you love fixing up… there are incredible values on the real estate market now. It is difficult to sell new homes in good shape… much less places with problems.  You get extra low prices and yet can increase value dramatically with your energy and a can of paint!  Few outlays bring as much return on investment as a small… a few bucks a gallon… investment in Sherwin Williams, Behr or Valspar.

A variation in the theme is to do as we have done in Ecuador. Buy an old hotel or B&B… live in it… fix it up and rent.  You have some tax to pay then… but  not that much.  See a great new house for sale in Crucita Ecuador here.


We’ll have an Ashe county real estate broker at our June course so those interested can learn about Small Town USA real estate in the Blue Ridge.

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