Tara Schoonmaker

Custom cake decorator and mom of five flips ugly-duckling houses into the most desirable homes in the neighborhood.

Once Tara saw how much equity her hard work created in her own fixer-upper home, she was hooked. She fell in love with the process of gutting and renovating her house from top to bottom.

Tara had made custom cakes for several years but was ready for a change. She wanted to work for herself and have more control over her income. With five kids at home, Tara knew she needed to find a career that gave her flexibility. She didn’t want to be stuck working a 9-5 job and following someone else’s rules.

She realized that pursuing a real estate license would give her more opportunities. But attending real estate school sounded intimidating.

“I don’t usually learn by reading books. I was so scared,” she said. “But my fiance said, ‘Just do it. If you don’t, you’ll overthink it.’ It’s the best decision I’ve made! And it wasn’t as intimidating as you might think. Michelle had a story or acronym for everything. It was easy and fun to learn.”

Tara has already flipped several houses and a 6-plex. She enjoys being able to show houses on her own schedule and counts on the income received from rental properties.

Now, Tara can focus on her family and the things she wants to do.

“Everything in my family has been calmer since I took my career into my own hands. Since I’m not as stressed, everyone else is happier. To me, that is success—for me and my family to be comfortable and happy.”

Advice from Tara:

“Go for it! There isn’t a better career out there. Whether you’re buying, selling, or investing, real estate is an amazing career path. You can make such good money and it is just up to you on how far you can take it.”