When best friends Angel and Michelle announced they were going to go into business together to start flipping houses, you can imagine all the negativity that was thrown their way. Heck, YOU may even be thinking "that's a bad idea" yourself.
Nobody can tell you what's right for you but YOU. There will always be naysayers; that's what people who are stuck in fear, insecurity and shame tend to do.
They pushed through all the noise and did it anyway and here's part of their first flip journey!
...and so much more!
These two are hilarious and I laughed so much during our interview. You will love them!
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Debbie DeBerry | The Flipstress®
Leaving people and places better than we find them.
You're listening to the flip houses like a girl podcast where we educate, empower and celebrate everyday women who are facing their fears, juggling family and business, embracing their awesomeness and wholeheartedly chasing their dream of flipping houses. Each episode delivers honest to goodness tools, tips and strategies you can implement today to get closer to your first or next successful house flip. Here's your spiky hair to breakfast taco loving host house flipping coach Debbie DeBerry.
Debbie DeBerry 0:40
Hey there, welcome to today's episode, where you just prepare yourself to laugh. Okay, that's all I can say. This was an hour long conversation that much of the time was spent with me laughing. And it was actually a longer conversation, I think we had to edit out about 20 minutes of me laughing. So this interview is with Michelle and angel who are best friends, and have been for 20 plus years. They live in Fort Collins, Colorado, they specialize in mid century modern houses, which Ana wish we had some of those in Austin, I think we might have seven. I wish we had some more. And this is their story of their first flip. They, you know, were told all the things about all the negative things about doing this venture together and how they were going to ruin their friendship. And it was just all going to be ruined, right? It just wasn't. Here's the thing. Sometimes other people are wrong. Sometimes the naysayers have no freaking clue what they're talking about. And by sometimes, I mean 99.999% of the time. Usually, if somebody is hating on something, it's coming from a place of fear, or jealousy or insecurity. It has nothing to do with you. Just as an aside here. Anyway, you'll love how they balance each other, and how they delegate not just amongst each other, but to other people. And Michelle's portion of the profit they made in just 19 weeks on one single project was what she was making in an entire year as an educator. And she did it doing something she loves. With so much more flexibility and time freedom. We're going to hear about their challenges with their contractor initially, we'll hear lots of fun stories. All right, you'll learn, you'll laugh, and you'll certainly fall in love with these two. Alright, let's jump in. Let's just do a little intro. Each of you kind of telling a little bit about your background, like where you are. And how long have y'all been best friends and all of that.
Unknown Speaker 3:23
Unknown Speaker 3:24
Okay, you're gonna start okay. I'm Angel. And I don't even know where to start. Our history is so long. So Michelle and I met in 1997. In our so we're both out of staters, we went to CSU and they put all the out of staters on one floor in the dorm that we lived in it. And we found out we were both from Nebraska, we grew up two and a half hours from each other the whole time. That's crazy. Yeah, so that's we've known each other for 100 years. And I mostly stayed in Fort Collins with like a weird stent in Cheyenne, Wyoming to work and then came back and my husband and I have been in Fort Collins mostly since 98. And Michelle was going all over the world and I kept saying Steve probably just live in Fort Collins during the pandemic. She had a new baby and I was like, hey, this house somebody called the sags gonna be coming for sale, and they bought it and moved. Oh, my God, y'all are culdesac neighbors. Yeah, so we're best friends, neighbors and business partners. Nothing can go wrong. No pressure and our houses. Our houses are identical but mirror images, floorplan wise, so I'm always disoriented in her house because I'm like the bathroom should be on the right, not on the left.
Unknown Speaker 4:56
And well, I don't know about so I'm Michelle. Yeah. And he's, yeah, so after Angel I met we all we always were in touch. And it didn't really matter where we were. But yeah, my background, I studied international studies in Spanish and then went to work in higher education and the Study Abroad world. So I yeah, I was all over the US for a few years, I lived in Austin for a few months. And then I moved overseas to Spain for a couple of years. And then I came back to the states to grad school and all of that. And so fitting mostly out in higher ed for 20 years. Left that field a few years ago, mostly because I had a chronic health issue, chronic migraines that kept me from being able to work anymore. So I kind of became a kind of unwilling stay at home mom. And so I was kind of in that space of, you know, being home and then having a pandemic, baby and then two older kids in elementary school with homeschooling, and it was just kind of, you know, a pandemic disaster that so many other women around the world experienced, too. And men. Yeah. So it was Yeah, at a time when I moved up here and I was really struggling with what am I going to do next, I want to do something totally different. And we just kind of had a heart to heart where I was like, it just finally I was like, what I really want to do is flip houses, because I'm one of those people that I like, watch HGTV in my spare time, and I'm on Pinterest in my spare time. And like I'm a very visual person, and I love tweaking my own house. And I've always renovated my own homes that we've lived in, and and then to my shock, she's like, I've always wanted to do that, too. And she actually had had a little staging business up in Cheyenne during her short stint there.
Unknown Speaker 6:47
Second, second, staging business, because I also renovated my own houses when I lived in them and made a huge profit on my first little starter home and sold it a second before the recession. Just as like, oh, well, just right before, so that was real lucky. But my background is retail management, career counseling HR to being one of the first people in the United States to open up co working space. Awesome. Back in 2010. Yeah, so I've owned and run my co working space in Fort Collins for coming up on 12 years now. And so right as Michelle is moving in next door and having her own like career moment, I'm watching my business die on the vine. My whole business model is how do I pack as many people as possible in the smallest square footage, and hang out and laugh and have potlucks and eat together. Like we literally went from like sharing food to the shutdown. Yeah, it was like, Hey, are you gonna finish your coffee? I'll, I'll drink that for you. Now was like unconscionable?
Unknown Speaker 8:01
oblivious? Yes. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 8:03
So we go into the shutdown, and my revenue was cut in half.
Debbie DeBerry 8:07
Holy cow, I'm sure. Oh, I'm sure Oh, my gosh, where
Unknown Speaker 8:12
it was just like, hey, we need a little bit of rent abatement on my super big commercial building in downtown Fort Collins. And they were super great. And we managed to patch it up. But as Michelle's having like her career moment, I'm watching my business die. And I'm like, I have no other skills. I've been doing this the whole time. I don't know. And so when she was like, I want to flip houses. And I was like, Of course you do. Like clerks, let's become real estate agents. And so we went to school for that, which was awful. Oh, no, and got our licenses. And then of course, like, right as I'm getting my license, like my coheres coming back, so we're like flipping a house, and coherus back, and I'm like, great. Now I have three full time jobs instead of none.
Debbie DeBerry 9:02
Um, well, I'm glad that your co working space he's coming back. I've actually been thinking about that. I I joined a co working space in like 2011 Maybe? Uh, yeah. 2010 2011. And it was one of the first ones over here and I needed to get out like, I was not being social at all, and I just needed to get out. This was when I was actually more social. And, and I've been wondering about her and how she's doing because I only like I did it for maybe like the ones that I bet I know her. I'm sure you do too. And I can't like I am having a 45 year old moment right now. I cannot for the life of me.
Unknown Speaker 9:43
It'll come to you in the middle of the night. Tonight or a week
Unknown Speaker 9:47
from now. Do you remember the name of the space?
Debbie DeBerry 9:49
She actually has to?
Unknown Speaker 9:52
Was it like? Yes, we are working lives.
Debbie DeBerry 9:57
Thank you. I was like it short. I know. It's a short name. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 10:01
Yeah. Oh, I've known Liz since forever. So I used to come to Austin for South by Southwest for co working stuff. Got it. And I present like I did the South by Southwest ignite presentation on the four futures of co working and like, then I was down there later with for the music scene for like this rehearsal space that I owned. Oh, cool. Yeah, I was always down at South by Southwest, like, in some pedicab on my way to event.
Debbie DeBerry 10:32
That's hilarious. Um, I love how small the world really is. That's crazy. Okay. Is she still own link?
Unknown Speaker 10:42
She's still no she sold? There's two common desk.
Debbie DeBerry 10:44
Okay, that's it. Yep, that's the Okay. Thanks. Yep. All right. Now, now that I've come full circle on that. I feel closer there. Okay. Now, let's talk about the flip. So we've got some background on y'all. And now we're going into your first flip. And how did you? How did you find it?
Unknown Speaker 11:06
So this one, I think I was just scrolling through Zillow, and it was a for sale by owner. And now just pick up the phone and call them. And He answered, and we had a conversation and we set up a time to come by and was it the same day?
Unknown Speaker 11:25
Yeah, it was
Debbie DeBerry 11:26
very much like
Unknown Speaker 11:29
you're doing repairs. We're actively just working on it.
Unknown Speaker 11:35
Now I was done, because I was like, No, we have to finish W's modules before we can look at houses and like we finished them and 10 seconds later, which I was like, there's a for sale by owner. We have an appointment. Yeah, but it was a older couple from Colorado Springs had this as a rental for years for their kids and other college kids. And they were there for the weekend trying to repair it to what was on the market. It was on the market as a Fizbo. But they were exhausted. You could just tell they were
Unknown Speaker 12:09
they were sleeping on an air mattress on the floor and like had, you know, tools everywhere. And yeah, I mean, I just, I think I mean, they knew they wanted to sell it. And it could just we can see these other faces. So I mean, we honestly our first impression of it was really positive. I mean, it looked very well maintained, had beautiful hardwood floors. And so we and it was exactly we were really wanting to do mid century ranches. And it was exactly a mid century ranch. Yeah. Um, yeah. And so we gave them an offer and went under contract. And this is keep in mind just gotten our real estate licenses just signed on with a brokerage, like five seconds before. No idea what we're doing. And it's a for sale by owner with no agent on the other side to hold angels hand navigating all the 1992 database. That is the realtor world.
Unknown Speaker 13:17
software that's propping up the real estate industry is frightening, apocalyptic, nightmare world from 1993. Yeah, it's like a Visual Basic, had a baby with like,
Unknown Speaker 13:31
dos. Anyway, so felt like we were drinking from a fire hose and like, putting, like just trying to figure out every micro step along the way of just even the mechanics of the contract and like, deadlines and, and negotiating, right? Because we have an inspection and we find that it's really just like a rental like little you know, all the toilets are just a little loose and leaking and like the sink is a little loose and leaking and the dishwasher actually is leaking profusely. And it was
Unknown Speaker 14:13
definitely 1000 paper cuts. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 14:15
I mean, it was beautiful in a lot of ways. We ended up doing a little bit of negotiating after the fact to just because we were seeing our repair budget creep up because of, you know, the repairs that were needing to be made. And, and I think we we landed in a place that we both I mean, we we came to a place where we agreed on the price twice. Do you want to talk price now? Yep. So we originally they had posted it on Zillow for 430 Okay, we offered them 400 Um, the cops nearby we're averaging about 385 in similar condition. So we had our inspection and And I found all that stuff. And so we went back to them with with kind of that list and we did they there was a little bit of like them wanting to do some continue repairing it, I think on his behalf and Herbie has been like, I'm so tired. Let's be done with it. Yeah. So, you know, just kind of trying to navigate that, but ultimately, we agreed on 377. Five. Okay, so
Debbie DeBerry 15:24
you go back, you negotiate, and you come to 377. Five, and everyone's feeling good about it. Yes.
Unknown Speaker 15:31
Okay. Well, I mean, we're paying our pants like secretly,
Unknown Speaker 15:35
everything was fine.
Debbie DeBerry 15:36
Everything is fine.
Unknown Speaker 15:37
Okay. Yeah, absolutely. Calmly managing a three week clothes as a brand new agent. Um, okay. So
Debbie DeBerry 15:48
what is your rehab budget at this point? Like, what what are you thinking is happening?
Unknown Speaker 15:54
So I think we had kind of, were between 80 and 100, when we first took the project, and I think we were right around 100 When we kind of solidified or that number that we offered, so Okay. It was it was right around 100.
Debbie DeBerry 16:10
Okay. All right. So you've got 377, five for the purchase. You've got $100,000 in repairs. How on earth are you financing this?
Unknown Speaker 16:20
Yeah, so we we stumbled across what is apparently the best hard money lender terms wise, because we keep calling hard money lenders. And even they're like, Oh, the other guy's giving you a way better rate. But you should just stay with.
Unknown Speaker 16:39
Yeah, so I don't know how we searched out in that regard and call like two or three. And they were one of the two or three that we
Unknown Speaker 16:46
called. So yeah, so we had a mixture of hard money and private money. Okay. And it was fine. And, and it worked out. Yeah. So the crazy thing, though, we had a, we had a hard closing day, because we found out two hours before closing that our hard money lender doesn't allow people in second position. And we had put the private money lender in second position, and we had a signed promissory note and a signed deed of trust. And I'm finding out that that they won't allow it. It's so we had to D collateralize. The loan and incinerate the deed of trust, promissory note from the earth. You don't want like a random deed of trust floating around. Right? Right. We changed it to be a general business loan to the perfect. Okay.
Debbie DeBerry 17:37
So you get into it. What did your Okay, renovation wise? You had in mind what was going to happen? Were there
Unknown Speaker 17:48
surprises? Many, probably
Unknown Speaker 17:56
that's just kind of the nature of well, we will we're really focused on mid century homes. So we're looking at old houses with old wiring and sometimes old plumbing and sometimes, you know, what are they like clay sewer pipes from whenever asbestos
Unknown Speaker 18:11
lead? Like, oh, that's all the contaminants? Yeah. Awesome.
Debbie DeBerry 18:17
Cool. I love those. Yeah. What did your what were some of the big surprises rehab wise that you were like, Oh, crap, this is like way more than I thought it was going to be. If you if you kept them to just naming a couple.
Unknown Speaker 18:35
Okay, so the first sort I use, I'm using JC in quotes, because he he used to be a JC and isn't anymore. And I mean question if he ever was, um, it seemed great for a second. And then the moment we were at the house like signing the first contract. With him, we were both kind of like, um, and we had a 10 week renovation timeline without standing in that house with him. And so we made all the mistakes that everybody has to make
Unknown Speaker 19:10
a lot of red flags. And that was it for too long. And you know, you've heard that story.
Unknown Speaker 19:16
Somebody saw, it was like a box of red flags clearly labeled and we're like, No, we're gonna hire it anyway, just to see what happens. Yeah, you never know. You never know. So that culminated in him bringing in somebody to tile our to shower tub things. And then even I think the biggest surprise for me in this process is I don't have a construction background. I don't have any skills. I've never tiled anything. I've never framed anything. I don't do anything.
Debbie DeBerry 19:49
But I would look at something and be like, I don't
Unknown Speaker 19:51
think that that's those two clicks. And I'd be like, I'm not supposed to be the smartest person in the room. Right now. How do I have the solution? Minos construction problem and this guy doesn't This isn't right. This is against the law of nature. Yeah. And so we ended up having Well, we fired the crew and we ended up having to demo and retail both.
Unknown Speaker 20:14
Thank God we did. Thank God, we had actually finished one of them. So we didn't know how bad it was. We knew we knew how about was just from visually looking at it, but it would have been disastrous if we had sold the house as it was titled, it would have been like, a quick disaster.
Unknown Speaker 20:37
And like not there was no they built a like a shampoo niche. Just like drywall. Oh, gosh, like the backside of the drywall.
Unknown Speaker 20:47
Drywall there was a piece of tile stuck to a two by four. Twist up. Why? That was the prop. Yeah, like, and so like, there's so many things to this day, we'll always wonder. So the Tyler was the son of the guy we hired and I don't know if the sun was that bad at his job, or if he was doing it on purpose, because the guy who ripped it out said it looks so bad. It looks purposefully bad.
Debbie DeBerry 21:12
Oh my gosh, like, and so we'll never
Unknown Speaker 21:15
know if that's what was happening. Because we also heard later from other subs or flooring guy that they were shouting at each other a lot. And like, we'll never know exactly what was happening there. But thank God, we found some really skilled, talented, trustworthy people who were liable to could save us from. Um, and thank God, like, we had a buffer and thank God we had extra tile for so many like silver linings. Yeah. And every I mean, really, our mantra through this whole thing was, we are learning so much. Every day. Yeah. Especially the hardest days we would end with we are learning so much. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 22:01
yes. strained, like panicky. I remember this is my favorite memories. So we tore the carpet off of the stairs to discover the stairs were hardwood, like not, like saleable. And we're trying to save money at every turn, right. And there's all the little staples in the stairs from the carpet. And we're pulling them out. Like with needlenose pliers and whatever else we pliers or whatever. And I'm like at the bottom of the stairs and these muscles in my my muscles are like cramping. And I know that the next day, I'm not going to have any pinching, and I'm just like, really mad that I'm doing that. And Michelle looks when she didn't look at me. She's just like doing the work above me. And she goes, just I just want you to know that I'm living my best life right now. And I was like, Are you serious? And she's like, Yeah, I am. This is my best life. And I'm like, I'm murderous. And you're having like an Oprah moment. And we're doing the same task. How is this happening right now?
Debbie DeBerry 23:16
Oh, my stomach cramp from laughing
Unknown Speaker 23:22
just one example of a game that we are.
Unknown Speaker 23:26
Yeah, every time every time. This analogy where like, I would be spinning out I spun out of control on the ARB 17 Different times where I'm just like, I don't know what I'm doing. I know nothing. I'm an infant. I have zero skills. I know nothing. I know nothing. She would just be like, I'm just gonna hold the rope for you while you're on me edge. What do you need? How can I support you? And then the next day it would be like you know, she's having a contractor delay whatever it'd be like I'll just hold your rope
Unknown Speaker 24:04
spin out for a while like
Debbie DeBerry 24:06
I love it. Oh God, we need somebody to hold our ropes. I love that. That's really
Unknown Speaker 24:12
excellent. Can't tell you how many times we have both said to each other when we're in this group when we see all these women who are working full time jobs single moms and doing all this alone. I mean, I think that's been for us like again and again and again. She's doing all the crap I would hate to do right and all the crap she would hate to do and the few things that we both hate to do so far what we've been able to hire out Yeah, we have intentions to hire out or
Unknown Speaker 24:42
do them together and one of us is murderous and the other is living our best life. I'm still mad about
Debbie DeBerry 24:55
oh god, that's amazing. Okay, well wait a second. How far into the contractor? Okay, like, how many weeks into did you fire the the original contractor?
Unknown Speaker 25:09
Probably four or five years I would say,
Unknown Speaker 25:12
well, so I'm on the calendar, we're halfway into the renovation, right? In terms of work done were 5% of the way the demo was done. Okay. Okay.
Debbie DeBerry 25:27
So you'd figure out, right? We gotta get rid of this person. And this is not this is clearly not working. And were there any issues with that? Like, was he combative?
Unknown Speaker 25:37
That was, this was the opposite of the stair pulling. So Michelle is so mad because she's been raging about this situation for weeks while I'm like happily off doing something else living your vessel and, and so she's like, I think we should both be there to let him go and get the lien waiver and whatever. I'm like, Cool, cool. And so we go and she's so angry. She's shaking, and has to leave. I think you had a baby strapped to you that day. Yeah. So she's got a toddler strapped to her chest. I love it firing this guy. And she's,
Unknown Speaker 26:13
she had already been so I had asked him to stop work already. And they had already packed up and left. So that part had been done. This was just kind of our, there's like the paperwork exchange, you know what money is like, thing.
Unknown Speaker 26:29
And he was pushing back a little bit. And Michelle wasn't having any of it. So she had she just left. And so I was like, okay, cool. I'll like just get the check written and get the paperwork exchanged. And, and this will be fine. But one of the things that's most important to me is like my reputation, and that people think favorably of me and my businesses. And so I'm just like, I gotta figure out like, I gotta figure out how to make this okay, cuz I'm gonna run into this guy at King Soopers in like two weeks. And so I'm like, on the sitting on the floor, writing his check, and whatever. And then he goes, Oh, I wanted to tell you that. You remember how you told me? I wasn't charging enough for my sewer scopes? And I was like, oh, yeah, like most people charge this. He's like, Yeah, raise my prices, and I'm making so much more money now. Thank you so much for that. And I was like, it was career
Unknown Speaker 27:22
Unknown Speaker 27:26
And just like, you need to charge what you're worth, honey. And, and so he ended up like, that was kind of the silver lining was that he was making more money doing something
Unknown Speaker 27:37
that he wasn't doing our work.
Unknown Speaker 27:41
And so then I so we have like a pretty like peaceful parting with each other, like very much like Google, like, Knuckles. And we wrote to see you again. This has been great. Also.
Unknown Speaker 27:52
I don't know if I have, I think I had started telling her. It's one of the level of horror of what was being found. And she had just been like, stop. I don't want to go to more of us. She has a little bit of a buffer. Yeah, yeah.
Debbie DeBerry 28:08
I think that's good. Yeah, I guess that's good. Uh huh. Yeah. Somebody somebody clearly needed to handle that situation. And it wasn't going to be Michelle. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 28:19
Yeah. Well, yeah. I mean, we had to come to an agreement. Like, the discussions were at an end. And we were at a point where, like, she said, she was writing a check. And that was just kind of us standing around awkwardly, and that's right, like, Okay, I gotta baby. I'm out of here. Yeah, so that was I mean, that was hard. firing people is never easy. I mean, I've, I haven't done it a lot. But the handful of times I've had to, it's just been pretty awful. There's nothing good about it.
Debbie DeBerry 28:47
It is awful. It is awful. And that's why we put it off and put it off and put it off until we've had it over our limit. And then weeks. Yeah, yeah. Right. Okay. How did you find the replacement contractor? Well,
Unknown Speaker 29:02
it ended up being that I was just GC and we just worked with suds. Yeah, yeah. And did you enjoy that? Yeah. And we were kind of already in that scenario, because his scope of work was not the whole project. Okay. He later admitted he, he just took on too much of the project that he should not have. And, you know, I think that was a moment of honesty that I appreciated. Yeah. But no, from then on. Yeah, we were able to sub everything out. Perfect. It was kind of in fits and starts and we've found some really great gems along the way and some ones that we will never use again. But you know, felt like a win that we have a handful of folks that now we rely on and we're, you know, continue to work with as we're looking at other properties. So totally,
Unknown Speaker 29:50
Debbie DeBerry 29:51
Will you do it that way? Moving forward, basically subbing things out.
Unknown Speaker 29:57
I think it will depend on the project. cuz we live in a city with some of the tightest regulations I've ever experienced just even as a citizen resident. A lot of the city's regulations are what most people would have if they're in an HOA. And so that also goes along to permitting and that kind of stuff. So you have to have a GC who's licensed in our city. And to do that, they have to have done a lot of work. And so it's, it's, it's hard to get the permits as an investor owner and not a resident owner. So, a lot of times, if we're just needing permits for the electrical or plumbing, then our electrician or a plumber can pull that but if we needed a larger permit, we would need to have a licensed GC in our city to do that work.
Debbie DeBerry 30:53
Got it? Okay, so the the big construction hiccup was the first guy was the first guy. All right, so what did your you had? 100,000? What did you guys end up spending on the rehab? 100,000. Okay, okay. Yeah, like, well, so
Unknown Speaker 31:19
when we when we did the estimate, we literally shopped and put everything in a spreadsheet and kept a tally. So we knew like, the doorknobs we wonder $12 Yeah, we're Yeah, whatever it was, so that's amazing. Yeah, yeah, I
Unknown Speaker 31:33
mean, well, I think we I think I'm gonna use the buffer right? Because the spreadsheet had the buffer. So that was including our buffer.
Unknown Speaker 31:41
Yes. Was 100,000
Debbie DeBerry 31:43
Thank goodness for that buffer, man. Yeah, it's a lifesaver. Okay.
Unknown Speaker 31:48
Debbie DeBerry 31:51
what was the timeframe? Was it still around 10 weeks?
Unknown Speaker 31:56
Or did he know so I feel like at the beginning we're talking 10 to 12 or 14 at the most we ended up at 17 closing on the purchase to
Debbie DeBerry 32:08
listing okay 17 weeks
Unknown Speaker 32:13
and we had significant delays with our windows that was our acquire chain
Debbie DeBerry 32:19
yeah yes yeah project Yeah, windows are still being a little bit difficult. I hear Yeah. Okay, so that was a lot how long did it take for you guys to get your windows?
Unknown Speaker 32:33
Well we never did
Debbie DeBerry 32:37
like they're like somewhat
Unknown Speaker 32:40
well, so we had to get creative. We were actually able to on the UPS it's a little ranch right so it's not a lot of windows firstly, I think was 11 the slider was standard two or three of the windows as is were already standard sizes and then the other two could like they were within the framing allowances to the fit a standard size windows we were able to shop for all the main floor windows except one but it had already been it was the newest window in the house. Just by chance okay. The basement little so as a basement ranch they have those little tiny windows we couldn't find anywhere. And Angel finds these glass block windows with little bend in the middle and I'm initially horrified
Unknown Speaker 33:29
horrified. I'm like no these are cool like just you got to trust me but I'm not the design one. For the whole Cyprus project, I picked the peacock wallpaper and
Unknown Speaker 33:41
when the title the green tile, the green hex tile and
Unknown Speaker 33:45
the and the glass block windows. So I did 1% of the project so as you can imagine when I'm bringing this like super weird window to Michelle, she's just like there's no way I'm putting that window in my home.
Unknown Speaker 33:57
Well, it wasn't that I was it was kind of more like fall if we have to like the windows my basement were so they were all broken, like craft glass. So we were having our contractors just don't want to just leave those put in the notes like we'll replace them. When they come in. We're like, oh, yeah, this price point, buddy. Like
Unknown Speaker 34:20
just put up a sign just put up a sign saying the new windows are coming. So we got glass black windows, which was hilarious because Michelle gave me very. Here's another theme of our company. Michelle and I are on top of our crap like we are Type A A students perfectionist. You name it. We've got it on the DSM four like psychological handbook. He gives me these really specific specs of the basement windows that we need. And so I go to the internet because I couldn't find anything I need on the internet. And I find these glass block windows and I sent her the link. I'm like, these are the ones. And then she's like, Okay, I'm gonna order them. And I was like, well just run by the window guy. And he's like, no, no, you need this other one. And we ordered them. And then he waited a week to pick them up. And he opened DME and says, These are the wrong size. And I'm like, what was the right size? The ones I originally sent? Yeah, sorry, I just didn't realize we had to wait another 10 days for them to come in. And then another delay to have them installed and get them trimmed out and get them called Zoom, get them painted. And, and I'm, I'm still mad that I, I again, as the non construction person, I had the correct size. And the construction guy second guessed me and messed it up. But they looked awesome. People loved being like
Unknown Speaker 35:57
one of the highlights that people have mentioned that they loved about the design were the basement windows.
Debbie DeBerry 36:03
Okay, so you came in at budget. When you purchase the house, what were you thinking the ARV was going to be?
Unknown Speaker 36:13
This is where I spiral into the pit of despair over and over again for 17 weeks. Because there were no comps we were the first proper flip in the whole square mile quadrant got it. And so I had to pull comps from across major roads, which like a major road for us is just, you know, one of the double line two lane roads is not like a highway or something. But we had one that we felt was a stretch comp 601. We had one at 582, which we felt like, you know, that's a little bit of a stretch, because we had some features that we knew we weren't gonna have. And we had another one at like, 550 or something. And so I was like, Okay, I'll just Alright, it must have been lower than that. Because I was like, I'll just average the three comps. And we landed at 549. And the whole time, I'm just awake all night, because I don't know anything. I don't know, anything. And so one day I one day, I'd be like this, this house is worth $3 We're gonna get $3 for it. And then 12 hours later I would something would happen with the data or something. I'd be like, I want $7 million for this house when it's done. And it was just going back and forth, back and forth. And so then we got it staged. And we brought in the the twins who also joined the program. Yeah. And we're like, because they've been Realtors forever. So we're like, can you just lay eyes on this thing and let us know what you'd listed at. And then we brought my realtor in who's been at this forever. And we brought him in and everybody was like, it's 550. This house is 550. And I never shared my ARV because I didn't want to skew them. And I was like, oh my god, I did it. Like, with $1,000. I did it. Yeah, that's pretty. So we listed in it 550. And we felt really more like, if we can feel solid. If we hit 550. For this, we made a little bit of profit. And we learned so much so
Debbie DeBerry 38:12
much. I learned so much. Michelle had the time of her life. She was
Unknown Speaker 38:16
living her best, best wife
Debbie DeBerry 38:20
living her best life on the stairs. Okay, so you put it on? Tell me what happened after you put it on the market. Let's talk let's talk about what happened after you put it on the market.
Unknown Speaker 38:31
I made so many mistakes. Well, let's
Unknown Speaker 38:33
talk about open house first. Okay. So because that was a part of the process that I had very little interest or desire to do or whatever,
Unknown Speaker 38:43
well, and people or even our mentor was like you don't do an open house. You hire some other agent to sit in your open house right and spend that time I don't want you know, I don't wanna spend that time nobody also
Unknown Speaker 38:52
because when we were interviewing brokerages, like everything was shut down. Nobody was doing open house. So yeah, yeah, the message we got was it's really not worth it. You're just taking up hours that people could be booking for showings. Right and that was kind of the vibe.
Debbie DeBerry 39:09
Right? And that's the thing like historically, an open house is where newer agents go they hold the listing open for the listing agent and that newer agent gets Byerly it's historically speaking that's the point of an open house it's not to sell the house
Unknown Speaker 39:28
yeah yeah so but we she had a different mindset because this was like our debut as a business great told she's very well connected and she's people person so yeah, yeah, yeah, she was pushing for the open house yeah, I
Unknown Speaker 39:41
was like I don't I don't think that the open house is gonna sell the house but I think it's an important PR moment for us as a as a business couple and as cuz you know, flippers have a bad rap in our town and every even contractors we met like, Oh, you're flippers so you just want me to like lipstick it and charging the least amount of money ever. And I'm like no. Oh my god. No, exactly. Yeah, yeah. So I wanted to hold the open house as basically a party for friends and family to come. See the thing that we had been consumed with for four months. Yeah. And so he did. And it was overwhelming it there were, there's a picture I posted, it was snowy, and everybody was taking their shoes off. And their CEOs were lined up all the way down the front sidewalk. And I mean, it was like shoulder to shoulder I didn't know where to stand with my body because there were so many to look at it both friends and family, but then also buyers, lots of buyers, buyers, lots and lots and lots of
Debbie DeBerry 40:45
buyers. Amazing. That's i. So for me, putting the house on the market is the most vulnerable part of this whole process. Because that's my heart. Like I'm putting my heart out there for somebody to either reject or say you did good. Right? Like it's so scary. So, Michelle, being that you did 99% You made 99% of the design choices. Was that a scary part for you? Or were you like, I've got this like, this is fine. I know people are gonna like this.
Unknown Speaker 41:19
We knew it was good. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 41:21
I mean, we have that moment when so that stager kept us out. Yes. Right. So we got that moment of walking in.
Debbie DeBerry 41:30
Oh my god, the best final moment. Yeah, it
Unknown Speaker 41:32
was such a high. It was such a euphoric, like, oh my god, this looks like it belongs in a magazine like they. They did such a great job. Yeah. Our stagers were amazing. And they really got it like from the very beginning when I started talking to stager, and I was telling her our vibe and sending her pictures and like, she was like, Oh, I'm going to start setting aside. I know exactly what pieces I'm going to use here. You know. And so she was like ordering pieces. And she was so great because we kept having to push off her date by weeks at a time right because these windows. So I have
Unknown Speaker 42:07
a piece of data about the stagers I never shared with you, because I didn't want to stress you out.
Debbie DeBerry 42:11
Oh, gosh. So but so
Unknown Speaker 42:15
I went to drop off a few pieces of art for them to incorporate into it, which is very much like Oh, honey, these will be in the kids room. o'clock closet. I was like so proud of my little mid century bird friend. She's like, that'll be great for the kids room. Like, oh, but anyway, it was. So I'm talking to them while they're starting to set up and what had actually happened is, so we had to push them one final time. They already had the trailer loaded and had to unload it and reload it
Debbie DeBerry 42:47
or no, not upsetting.
Unknown Speaker 42:51
Like a like a 30 foot trailer filled. They had been filling it all week waiting for a date and we pushed them and they needed their trailer so they had to unload. We're gonna take them out to the nicest dinner. Once we're all done being ill with children. Glide. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 43:15
Unknown Speaker 43:16
anyway, back to the open house. Yeah, back to the open house.
Unknown Speaker 43:20
It was super overwhelming. And I It was surreal, because the feedback we were getting was like every superlative best flip we've ever seen. And like who's your designer? Which I attribute a lot of it to the flip to the stagers. You know when people say Oh, who's your dad? It's it's the it was gorgeous. You know, furniture was gorgeous. But like it was it was not at all what I expected. It was overwhelming. I was like, in a daze it took me a good 48 hours or 72 hours to prep, because then we went from that. So like all these offers, right?
Unknown Speaker 44:00
Well, Michelle is talking about all these buyers about like, Oh, she's torture kitchen cabinets. Oh my God, we love this moment. Michelle is like having them like a HGTV moment over on one side. Meanwhile, my phone is exploded with agents calling me saying things like, what number do you need? Right? Get this. Just tell me the number. Tell me the number. And I'm like, I don't know the number. I just I just got here. I don't know anything. Well, we
Unknown Speaker 44:35
had already gotten an offer before the open house. So had been on the market starting on Friday morning and the first showing at 10am. They had an offer and they called
Unknown Speaker 44:45
us. They're like we're standing in the house. We want it we're writing an offer. They don't want to leave and I was like But please leave someone else
Debbie DeBerry 44:54
don't squat. So it
Unknown Speaker 44:56
was it was overwhelming as new flippers as new. agents. Yeah. And just the feedback, like, we kind of it was a little bit of like, Are people blowing smoke up our houses right now? Like yes, for real because some of the things they were saying like seasoned realtors are saying, this is the best flip that I've ever seen in Fort Collins because people don't
Debbie DeBerry 45:17
typically put care into it. That's changed a lot in the last six, seven years. It's changed, for sure, at least here. But when I first started, nobody was it was like, whatever's on sale, let's put it in there. Like it was very transactional. It wasn't about creating something. It was about well, it was about creating a profit for the investor, but it wasn't about like creating a space. So it's a completely different vibe. And people feel that immediately when they walk in. I'm sure they're like, oh my god, this is amazing. Especially if nobody else is doing it
Unknown Speaker 45:51
like that. Yeah, the worst piece of feedback we got was an agent told us that our So our main image on the MLS was a close up picture of the front door with the diamond shaped window, which we did on purpose. Because MLS photos don't look like that. And we wanted to stand out and she's like, that photo doesn't do the listing justice. And I'm like, doesn't it though? That was an it
Unknown Speaker 46:22
we had a little bit of a snafu, like the the our photos got delayed. And so our listing went active without photos, it just had that one of the front doors zoomed in, you know, unlike later that they thought that was totally a marketing ploy, that it was just like a teaser image. And you can only see it in person, you know, that kind of thing. And it was really like, we were just scrambling behind the scenes waiting because there was a delay from our photographer, you know, they got an email from the photographer basically saying our entire grid just went down and we don't know when your photos are coming. And it was in the listing had just, oh. Just little things like that.
Debbie DeBerry 47:02
Little things like oh, okay, so you got who knows how many offers? You got 90 Something offers? Probably? No,
Unknown Speaker 47:15
I could have done a better job as the agent. We didn't have. We didn't have an overwhelming number of offers. But we had a handful of offers that were so bonkers. That we we worried that they weren't rational, yes.
Unknown Speaker 47:33
Like that they would get under contract because they need to be under contract so bad because they've been turned away so many times. And then there would be like buyer's remorse and they would be disappointed.
Debbie DeBerry 47:42
Oh, yeah. Very valid. That's very valid, because it definitely happens. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 47:46
so we ended up not taking the highest bonkers offer. We took the one in the middle. Yeah. Because it felt rational. And there was a believable story of relocation behind it, where we were like, yeah, like they've, you know, they're into the house. And they've seen it only on video with their agent, which is just like a whole other level of just like this thing performs when they get to talk
Unknown Speaker 48:15
to you they're rolled up where
Unknown Speaker 48:19
it's like turn the heat on, turn the heat on, put new flowers out, like
Debbie DeBerry 48:24
go bake the cookies, whatever you're supposed to do. Okay, so you listen at 549 550 What did you end up selling for?
Unknown Speaker 48:38
625 We asked for appraisal Gap coverage because the dumb thing appraised at 530
Unknown Speaker 48:47
which is actually our realtor friend used to be an appraiser and that was exactly the number he had given us. So we had been a star appraisal that language suggestion to the buyers based on that number and that's exactly where it came back.
Debbie DeBerry 49:06
Yep. Because they just didn't have anything to go by.
Unknown Speaker 49:09
Everything had sold from 380 to 530 ish. But what's so wonderful now is everybody's pricing their brick ranch is at 619 Now that crazy so we like to change the tide of the entire like West Side of Fort Collins sorry homebuyers.
Unknown Speaker 49:33
I mean, we kind of screwed ourselves
Unknown Speaker 49:36
but the whole time I was saying like if this is our neighborhood now we have a comp. It's ours. Exactly.
Debbie DeBerry 49:44
That's amazing. Okay, so what after all your expenses and carrying costs and all of that what did you guys end up profiting?
Unknown Speaker 49:53
Unknown Speaker 49:56
Not too bad for your first flip.
Unknown Speaker 49:59
Yeah, she made Her whole annual wage and 19 weeks. That's
Debbie DeBerry 50:05
two interviews in a row. Where I've just heard that, like, that's crazy.
Unknown Speaker 50:12
Debbie DeBerry 50:15
it's mind blowing.
Unknown Speaker 50:16
I'm trying to, like, see that sound but I, I am among lots of people that I know who have worked in higher education for not just higher education, I would say all education who have for decades felt undervalued, underpaid, hard, you know, work overworked. And yeah, to I mean, I, I've never I, with a master's degree and 20 years in one career, never made more than $50,000. And he's bilingual,
Unknown Speaker 50:45
English, Spanish. And we crushed her animal Legion T weeks. Oh, my God.
Debbie DeBerry 50:53
So part of that, like, I'm like, That's so awesome. I'm so happy for you. And the other part of me is really angry about that.
Unknown Speaker 51:01
Oh, I mean, I could go on and on about the state of education in our country. Yeah. And just but speaking as someone who worked in it for a long time, and like I said, I know teachers from elementary all the way up to PhD, and I hear many of the same things from all of them that this is just kind of a sinking ship. Oh, my gosh, and a lot of people are fleeing and getting way better wages elsewhere, you know, so it just it's not a it's not painting a very happy future for children? Or what's it going to take for something to change? You know, we need to pay people a living wage, you know, but to be able to do that. Especially after feeling like I unwillingly left the workforce, you know, and, and I think a lot of people have been kind of shaken up by the pandemic, and like you said, we're just a big group of people on transition, right? We're all making some sort of transition. And it's, I mean, it's, it's, it's, it is mind changing, to think that I getting to do something I really, really love and living my best life, and I'm making great money. And, you know, like, I hope it continues, you know, I just really hope we can keep doing this.
Debbie DeBerry 52:20
Yeah. Well, you will, you totally will. I feel like when people are doing this business in this way. It has to last like it has to work and it has to last because it's not we're not focusing on the profit. Yes, we have to make a profit, we're in business. But that's not the driving factor. The driving factors. Let's do good. Let's create beautiful spaces, safe spaces for people, and like be good people in our communities, and will be rewarded. That's what I think. Absolutely.
Unknown Speaker 52:58
I'm just I'm emotionally unemployable after 12 years as an entrepreneur, like there's no, I can't see a single future where I would ever work on somebody else's idea or passion on some kind of timeline where I have to be somewhere in a specific time every day, like just put me in the pasture. Yeah, at that point. I'm not signing up for that.
Debbie DeBerry 53:25
Nope, nope. So you'll have this amazing business that each of you gets to shine in your zones of genius. And you get to outsource the other stuff. And create and CO create. That's pretty awesome.
Unknown Speaker 53:45
That was pretty awesome. Yeah. Yeah. So much gratitude. Like I just, it still feels very surreal to me, like from that open house till today. There's still part of me. I'm like, Is this is this? Can this really be happening? Are you sure?
Unknown Speaker 54:01
To add to all the naysayers because there were so many the friendships survived?
Debbie DeBerry 54:05
Unknown Speaker 54:08
Every every Buddy
Unknown Speaker 54:10
was crazy. That was like, the most single most common piece of like, feedback you're getting from people as we were launching is like, oh, good luck with the partnership. Good luck with the friendship, you know, it's just kind of like and I you know, I get it. There's a lot of people out there that have had partnerships go horribly wrong. So I think we were talking about this the other day, like, are we we knew this was we were not unknown entities to watch
Unknown Speaker 54:38
for 24 years and to this, right,
Unknown Speaker 54:42
like whole deep level of honesty. You know, there's, there's no filter between us. And so, you know, I just I feel so lucky to have found someone that like that we do Jive so well and that we enjoy different things and Yeah, it just still doesn't seem
Debbie DeBerry 55:02
real. I love this. I love everything about you guys. Y'all are a total blast. I love your vibe, I love your energy. I love everything you contribute in the group like you just you. I have this theory about people who give more than they take. And y'all are definitely people who give more than you take. And that's why like, I just feel like that's why you're super successful and having fun. You're having fun, even when you're in the thick of the crap. Even if it's just a tiny bit percent of fun. It's still like, it couldn't be worse. All right, you guys. This has been a pleasure. Thanks for hanging out with me. Like, really? Thanks for sharing your story. Sorry, I
Unknown Speaker 55:46
made you cry six times. I'm not sorry.
Debbie DeBerry 55:49
I'm here for it. I'm totally here for it makes. It makes me happy. I'm okay. I'll see you guys in the group. I appreciate you. All right. Bye. Bye. So fun, right? Oh, my gosh, I love them. All right. So clearly, their friendships survived. They are on their second flip. And just how inspiring is that? They handled the challenges that came up. Sometimes through the pain, sometimes through the pain, sometimes through the tears and the French, and sometimes through the pain and the frustration and the tears. But they handled them they handled the challenges. That's it. It's all we're doing. Right? We manage the people, the project and the problems over and over again. And some projects, those three are easier. In other projects. Those three are harder. It just is what it is. All right. You will make it through I promise. All right, if you are still sitting on the sideline, though, and not chasing this dream you have and not getting out there because you don't know what to do. You don't know the steps and you don't want to do this alone. Go to her first slip.com and schedule a call with our team. Let's see if we're a fit. All right. Okay, until next time, go out there flip houses like a girl. Leave people in places better than you find them and keep chasing your curiosities. Bye!