Lighter Side: From country music to real estate

Just in case there wasn’t enough real estate “flipping” programs on television today, the W Network premiered the Masters of Flip this week, which follows two Canadian country musicians' attempt to find happiness flipping homes in the U.S.

Prospective flippers won’t find houses listed at less than $100,000 in Vancouver or Toronto, but viewers tuning into the program will certainly see them in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Nashville has undergone a complete transformation,” said Dave Wilson, who was born in Richmond, Ont., near Ottawa, and moved to Nashville to pursue his country music aspirations.

“It’s a booming market and feels like it’s on everyone’s radar,” added his wife Kortney Wilson, who was born in Windsor, raised in Sudbury and Kitchener, and moved to Nashville at age 18.

The two aspiring musicians met in Nashville, where they became a couple, released an album, starred in a short-lived reality show on CMT Canada, and had their children.

Unfortunately, their TV and music careers stalled. Dave lost his publishing deal. Down to waiting tables to make ends meet, he realized the family would have to reach outside of music to pay the bills.

The couple calculated that they had US$70,000 worth of equity in their house and risked it all, buying a fixer-upper in an affordable Nashville neighbourhood. Despite neither having a contracting background, they fixed the new place up as economically as possible. Kortney did the painting and Dave popped in new windows with the help of a few home building pros.

“Our goal was to use lipstick and rouge,” said Kortney.

The couple hoped to make a quick $10,000 in one month. Instead, they ended up ahead by $25,000. They bought another house and quickly flipped it.

“We thought we were going to make $50,000,” said Kortney. Instead they made only $15,000. Among the lessons learned was that “the secret to flipping is time and money,” she added.

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