Sunrise Ridge – It’s LIVE and ready for you to stay there!

Remember my FIRST EVER Vacation Rental – Villa Bella Mermaid?

By keeping a close eye on the Real Estate Market, utilizing Creative Financing, and having faith that things happen for a reason, we are still reaping the benefits of that investment!

Like I mentioned in a previous blog post (Just In the Nick of Time) we used the capital gains from the sale of Villa Bella Mermaid to purchase a property neighboring one of our own that I’d had my eyes on for quite some time – just as our opportunity to use that 1031 Exchange was about to expire!

We did, in fact, have our work cut out for us. We have set a pretty high standard for ourselves on the quality and design elements of our investments, and we weren’t about to lower those now, especially since this is close to our home property and we plan to keep it forever. We decided to remodel almost everything – including tweaking the floor plan here and there – so this was no small task. In fact it ended up being a year-long project due to also splitting our time with our Main St space for MVR Vacation Rentals and installing an elevator in an 1880’s building…but that’s for another post.

We were planning on making this property another Vacation Rental, so it needed to be as visually appealing as it was comfortable and practical for people visiting our area. It’s surrounded by farm fields and has some of the most amazing sunrises and sunsets you can imagine! It’s been a labor of love and definitely a rollercoaster ride.

Once the bones were ready, we got to my favorite part – furnishing and decorating. I’d decided on the name “Sunrise Ridge” and wanted it to be as beautiful as the setting that inspired the name.

We could not be more pleased with the finished product, and are excited to finally be able to share this property with our guests! Make sure to check it on MVR Vacation Rentals, Inc. and book your stay here for your next trip to Wellsboro! You will LOVE IT!!! 🙂

Just In the Nick of Time

As much as we would like to force things sometimes, the universe has other plans!

As much as we would like to force things sometimes, the universe has other plans!

Back in June I posted “So Long Villa Bella Mermaid” on my blog, about the sale of our very first vacation rental, down in Cape Coral, FL and its sale. I was so bittersweet because we did love that place, but for a variety of reasons we decided to cash in on the CRAZY market and sell it, as a turn-key vacation rental.

That purchase was literally the scariest investment that Jeremy and I had ever made. We were so unknowledgeable, and it was so far away. It was also the first time we had a decent chunk saved up for a 20% down payment!? That in itself was so gratifying because everything we had purchased up until that point had been creatively financed, whether it be using equity in our property or having the seller hold the down payment/mortgage (I teach you how to do this in my book “Vacation Rentals: The Ultimate Guide”). What made it scarier was that we were going to be relying on other people’s advice, management, and our faith that it would all work out. It had a huge mortgage payment, and the taxes were crazy, but we pushed forward and got one heck of an education anyhow!

After COVID as the world started to open back up, the FL real estate prices skyrocketed!!! I reached out to the agent that we had used to purchase the house to see what he thought it would be worth and if it would be worthwhile to sell. Boy, was I surprised when we could list it for over $150,000 more than we had paid for it 3 years prior! I was even more surprised when we got 3 offers on it within 24 hours of listing it…all $30,000-50,000 over asking price!? So that was it, we accepted one and decided to end that Chapter and start a new one.

Our original thought was to do a 1031 exchange and try to buy a chunk of land to hang on to. With a 1031 exchange, all your proceeds from your sale get held by a third-party intermediary until you close on a property, or if one isn’t found, you get your proceeds back but then must pay capital gains tax on the gain from the sale. People do 1031 exchanges because then you can offset your capital gains of that sale and kick the can down the road to another property, sometimes even decades down the road. This is a HUGE opportunity that most people don’t know about and one that I would like to do some trainings on in the future.

With a 1031, you have 45 days from the day of closing to identify a “like-kind” property and then 180 days to close on it. If you haven’t found one within the 45 days, then you pay your small fee for that company to hold your money and then must pay Uncle Sam on the capital gains of the sale.

Our original plan didn’t work out with making an offer on the land that we wanted to purchase, so we decided to just be practical and take the proceeds, pay Uncle Sam, and then with the rest pay some things off – like, maybe fix up our barn and whatever other projects we wanted to start or add to. I called the 1031 company at that point and told her that we wanted to take our money out and not do the 1031 exchange. She explained that legally, we still must leave the money in the account at her company until the 45 days was up, and that they do this in case a property happens to pop up, because once it’s done you cannot do a 1031. So, we did…

Wouldn’t you know it, that just a few short days before the clock ran out, one of our neighboring properties with a house and 10 acres hit the market!?!? I literally sat down at my computer at the office, at the end of an overwhelming day, opened my computer, logged into our MLS system and there it was! I recognized it immediately and literally said out loud – “Oh crap, I think I have to buy a property!” One of my agents was sitting nearby and giggled and probably thought I was a crazy person, haha.

I immediately called the listing agent and before she even said hello, she said “I knew I would be hearing from you!” I was scrambling to get the words out, because I know in this market that places are literally going under contract within minutes of listing. I asked if anyone else had called or made an offer etc. She said that she had just clicked “Submit” to go live minutes before I called and that she had told her Broker that I would probably be calling – No sooner she said that to her Broker, I did!

Jeremy was working in a bad cell area, so I hoped that my call would go through. I called him and said, “I think we have to buy a property and do a 1031 after all!” He laughed at me, laid back as he usually is and said, “Oh boy!” I quickly explained which one and he said, “Do it!”  Boy have times changed in our world…I rarely get a NO anymore…with buying property that is 😉

We made the offer, got it together and identified it just in the “Nick of Time” before our 45-day window had ended. We were able to use just enough for the escrow, down payment and closing costs and have the rest sent to us to do with it as we please. We will still have to pay some capital gains, but not nearly as much as we would have if we hadn’t purchased a property directly.

It’s funny how the universe (God or however you identify with it) seems to always be conspiring behind the scenes, when we so badly want to rush and force things. I am a total control freak because of the constant busyness and life’s chaos, but some things must happen on their own – you just must lean in and have faith. I will say it again and again – There is no “right time”, you must set the goal, put in the work and be consistent! There also is no such thing as a get rich quick scheme. It all takes time and if you are like me, you struggle with staying patient, but it is always worth it!

I hope that this inspires you to take chances, invest in real estate and get onto that road of abundance. If you haven’t purchased my course yet, click here to do so! I will personally teach you every step of the way from start to operations. I was scared too with our first one and almost didn’t follow through, but if we hadn’t we wouldn’t be able to make all of those memories with our family, have that additional income, tax write offs, a free place to stay and then eventual proceeds ($$$) from the sale of it to roll into having even more financial freedom and more income.

We have a long road of renovations, planning, furnishing etc, ahead and I want to share the journey of it from start to finish with you all. I will be sharing updated info and incite here on my blog, and on Instagram (@christinavandergrift) and FB (@MsChristinaVanDergrift) with the play by play.


P.S. If you haven’t signed up yet to stay in the loop, please do so below!

Million Dollar Advice & Video Tour of the Sky High Chalet!

I truly want you all to live vibrant, abundant lives and if you head down this road sooner rather than later, that is all the more wealth and freedom that you can create and grow!

The contents of this video and the Vacation Rental Academy course can literally lead you on your way to wealth and long term abundance, regardless of where you currently are and your experience!

Becoming a wealthy individual, or even a millionaire is much closer than you think! You can start small and accomplish anything – YOU JUST HAVE TO START!

This video was originally recorded in May of 2020, during the shut down for COVID. I watch it and see an innocent version of myself. This was pre-book, course, issues with our town and vacation rentals, but every part of it is solid info and advice present day! Our world hit its tipping point shortly thereafter it was recorded and has grown like a weed in all directions. Real estate and vacation rentals have given my family more income, more fun, more memories, more experiences and networks, it helps other businesses, creates jobs and who doesn’t want that? 

I truly want you all to live vibrant, abundant lives and if you head down this road sooner rather than later, that is all the more wealth and freedom that you can create and grow!

Renovations: Round 2!

It’s almost as if it was all on purpose when in reality it’s dreaming big, writing it down, taking chances, facing your fears, educating yourself, leaning in and not listening to the naysayers that have NOT been there themselves.

It’s almost as if it was all on purpose when in reality it’s dreaming big, writing it down, taking chances, facing your fears, educating yourself, leaning in and not listening to the naysayers that have NOT been there themselves.

My favorite part of business ventures is the marketing – designing promotional materials, branding and decorating office spaces, whatever can get my creative juices flowing!

The Black Swan was an old cafe in Mansfield, just 15 minutes from our hometown. It was in pretty rough shape – but we were up for the challenge to update the building and bring it back to life!

At the beginning of this project, we were remodeling and then leasing the space to a clothing boutique. We wanted to make sure the building could be versatile but still have it’s own beauty. With our Vacation Rentals, this part of the process takes much longer with furnishing and decoration decisions to be made as well, but here we were simply creating a sleek, beautiful space that would meet our tenant’s needs.

Our tenant did so well that they decided to buy a larger space of their own so we were back to square one with the Mansfield building. I knew in my gut that the right thing would work out and listed it as we approached her moving date.

Right around this time I was approached by a local Settlement Company looking to be acquired. It was a tempting opportunity either way, but the timing could not have been better! Our first tenant would be moving out right around the time the deal would be closing, and this was a potential new market for us to grow into. We already own Six West Settlements in Wellsboro (which was another dream of mine that I had created in 2017) and didn’t want to have the new company continue to be direct competition, as it had already been.

We decided immediately upon hearing about the offer that it would be a perfect fit for our Mansfield building! We decided to go for a new look and new location, but the same company name. I was excited to utilize this space in the re-branding of the company, as well as furnish and decorate our new office (and so were the boys)!

Serve-U Settlement is officially open for business at 13 W. Wellsboro St. Mansfield, PA and we could not be more excited! The finished result is always worth it when we’ve put our blood, sweat, and tears so fully into the projects.

And guess what – we’re not done! I’ve already given some sneak peeks of our Main St. Wellsboro Remodel for MVR Vacation Rentals, Inc, and there’s more on the way!

If you love the remodeling process as much as I do, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter and below to my blog to get the updates on our renovations first!!