OGDEN -- It's been over a decade since Mike Baird graduated from Brigham Young University and was feeling pressured to climb the corporate ladder when he decided to change his course.
"There was something inside me that wanted to take something tangible and improve it," Baird said in a phone interview.
He did just that. He started buying dilapidated properties, fixing them up and selling them. He developed his real estate portfolio in the Salt Lake area and it is still going strong today.
"Instead of taking a fancy trip to Hawaii for college graduation my dad took me to Home Depot and bought $400 in tools so I could make this thing work," Baird said.
He bought his first property in Magna for $40,000 and went to work. Now more than 1,000 homes later and a two-year stint on Spike television called, "Flip Men," Baird is known throughout the world for his real estate and house flipping expertise.
He will present what he knows in that wide spectrum to attendees of the Standard-Examiner's Home and Garden Show Feb. 28 through March 2 at the Golden Spike Arena.
Baird is excited to present several presentations on Friday and Saturday of the show. "I will be able to talk about my experience but also answer questions," Baird said.
He realizes people have a lot of questions about home values and where we are today in regard to making the most of home ownership. "People want to know the tricks of the trade and how to make their homes nicer and also an investment," Baird said.
Baird does speaking engagements at home shows and real estate shows throughout the country sharing the things he has learned flipping houses, buying houses and talking about the rare things he has discovered during his journey.
The things he discovered were the catalyst for his show, "Flip Men." His good friend, David Broome, also a producer for "The Biggest Loser," got on board with the show when he and Baird starting talking about all the crazy things people would leave behind after a foreclosure. "Things like vehicles, thousands of dollars in cash, drugs - people would just walk away from them," Baird said. He admits his show wasn't a clean, HGTV-type show. "It was pretty irreverent," Baird said.
The show ended up being kind of a hoarders meets cops meet extreme home makeover, he said. He enjoyed that process and sharing with people the things he learns and discovers as she does his job. He often thinks of his job as turning "meth houses into mansions" and everything in between. He will take on a huge sprawling home to refinish, but also re-create small starter homes as well.
His show also has made international claim recently, but it is not still in production. He is now focusing on speaking engagements and teaching people how to make the most from their investments. He has watched as the market rose and crashed and is now rising again and he is loving watching the rise again. People are being more cautious and really learning how to invest properly rather than "speculating" which is what he calls investments before the real estate crash.
"It's really encouraging because people are smarter with their money," he said. Baird lives in Draper with his wife and five children.
Baird will be providing an opportunity for one person to receive a 12x15 room remodel valued at $2,000. Those interested can enter the "Flip this Room" contest on the Standard-Examiner's Facebook page between Feb. 14 and 28. Official rules and regulations are on the page along with details on the Home and Garden Show, which will feature over 150 vendor booths, daily demonstrations and presenters.