It's Official! So long - Villa Bella Mermaid, it's been real!

airbnb dream big real estate real estate investing vacation home vacation rental guide vacation rentals vrbo wealth Jun 25, 2021

This blog post is very bittersweet for me to write. A chapter closed this week, as we have officially sold our Cape Coral, FL vacation rental, Villa Bella Mermaid! For those that read my book you know the story, but for those that haven’t, this was our very first vacation rental.

Back in 2017 the seed was planted in my mind that I should explore creating and owning a vacation rental. I could own a vacation home for my family that I may not necessarily be able to afford without additional income to support it. It could be a place to actually take time off for, and visit to get some R&R, plus spend time with my boys. We could have it pay for itself and gain equity and have the value appreciate over time.

The short version of the story is, my friend and I made the trip to see homes over a couple of days. We looked at 14 homes in 2 days and once I walked into the ultimate one, I knew it was meant for us! It was gorgeous, needed very little-to no work, had an inground pool, was canal-side with a boat lift/dock and felt like home! Of course, when it came time to call Jeremy that day, he was nowhere to be found (as he was feeding the deer on the hill with little cell service, hehe). So, I had to make the decision and pull the trigger myself.

He actually didn’t get to see it until THE DAY OF CLOSING. I was a nervous wreck that he wouldn’t like it or pick it apart. But – he did and thought it was perfect. We then spent the next 5 days furnishing it (with 3 kids in tow), from top to bottom – beds, dressers, towels, patio furniture, dining set, kitchen contents etc. We literally had 5 days to get it completely done, so that we could give the property manager the keys, codes and then they would get it listed and live online.

There were MANY bumps in the road, especially the first year. It was scary and risky with no guarantees. I had a ton of experience when it came to selling real estate and investing in traditional rentals, but hardly anything at all with vacation rentals. This certainly was my education! Everything from Lizards in the pool area, to a slice in the pool liner tearing and draining the entire pool while guests were there – we saw a little bit of everything. It also gave me a head start on managing some locally on my own, which then turned into managing others through my own company.

I broke down all of the story and information in much more detail with valuable insight to what to do and what not to do – especially when you won’t be managing it yourself, in my book and my course. This was also my first experience at furnishing an entire house/property from scratch. I of course created a list now for myself and others to use (it’s on my site as a free download if you don’t have it yet).

You may be wondering – Why in the world would she sell it? Well, the old saying goes – Buy low, sell high! We really had no intentions on doing so and planned for it to be our long-term winter home, someday. One of the best things about investing in real estate is while you are gaining equity, as your mortgage gets paid down, your value may also be appreciating and going up. This especially happens when the market swings upwards, like it is currently, post COVID. We had an opportunity to list it for MUCH more than what we paid for it way back when and with the market in FL being like it is, sell it for even more. I still have the link for it on my “Contact” page on my website, if you’d like to check it out! So what’s next?? Well, we have some feelers out and it is still TBD. We definitely want to do a 1031 Exchange and roll our equity/proceeds into another property.

All of this may sound scary and risky, and it can be. But with the right tools and resources, you don’t have to go into it blindly like I did. It was an amazing investment that  led to abundance, knowledge, and now I get to pay it forward and teach others to do the same.

I hope to educate and empower you to take on things that may seem scary or risky, but that can lead to great rewards, whether it be another income stream, a place to have R&R at, or even a side hustle, or to maybe replace your current job. They also bring money to local businesses and help the economy. Anything is possible and you can start small! That may mean reading a book or taking a course on it (mine preferably wink wink), researching your local area, or an area that you would love to own a vacation home in.

We will eventually have another in FL someday and I am beyond appreciative to have been able to have the opportunity and education of this one, so that I can help pay it forwards for others to learn and build wealth and memories!




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