What was it, three or four short years ago, when you could find a little house in a desirable area that needed some paint, putty and petunias, and turn it around a few weeks after closing for a hefty profit?Back then, the concept of losing money on real estate seemed far-fetched. But it happened. Those qualify-by-breathing subprime loans dried up, people couldn't make payments on loans that adjusted way upward, and tons of addresses hit the multiple-listing service. With too much supply and little demand, many of those house-flippers with dreams of early retirement (and maybe their own cable TV show) have abandoned the quick-turnaround real estate market. But for some, there's still opportunity.