Cashing In

Well two big long-term investments were cashed in today. First, my strawberry wine I made and bottled just about 2 years ago was finally opened. Secondly, I sold off all my stock holdings so that I will have cash to make a real estate investment in the coming weeks.

I have been making wine for several years now. I tend to make it in batches of about 100 bottles at a time. I only make it every year or two. The hundred bottles, even though I feel as though I give one away every week to a friend, seem to last forever.

The strawberry wine is a success. Though not a wild success. When it first hits your lips it tastes strongly of strawberry juice. It finishes dry but leaves a strong taste in the mouth. Not an inherently unpleasant taste but something I do wish was a bit more subtle. It’s almost as if the long-dead strawberries are latching onto your tongue and stubbornly refuse to be relegated to the stomach. Still, it’s on par with a decent $10 bottle I would pickup at the grocery store. So I now have a cellar with approximately $1,000 worth of wine in it which probably cost me somewhere around $40 to produce.

If only my stocks had done so well. Not to say they did poorly. In fact, I had about the return that I expected to have when I was laid-off almost a year ago. Fortunately this week the market has been up so I thought it would be a good time to sell. I won’t need the cash for at least two weeks, but I don’t want to risk a major downturn in the next couple weeks that could potentially keep me from being able to make my real estate move.

I want to try buying a bank-owned run-down place, rehabbing it on my long 4-day weekends while I’m in school this fall, and putting it back on the market, hopefully, by the end of the winter for a smart profit.

There’s no secret to these “house flipping” projects. I resent that term because it makes things sound a bit too easy. It’s more like home-rehabbing. The houses I am looking at are in complete disrepair, all the finishing work inside needs to be done, some need a bit of plumbing and electrical repair. One needs a little work on the foundation. But with all that risk and work comes a good profit potential on the other end of it.

I am looking at a property this weekend that has a lot of potential as an investment. I’m looking forward to tracking all the time spent and expenses accrued in the rehab process and seeing what my final result is in $/hr spent on the project. I’ll be sure to keep copious notes on the entire process.

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