Sept. 17, 2021

Stepping Scared: Carol's Journey from Terrified to 6 House Flips in One Year

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Another success story from our FlipSisters Coaching Program! 

Carol in Mississippi was so scared when she joined us last year. She was terrified she'd get stuck with a house nobody wanted. 

I hear this concern often. And it's why we always have backup plans and alternative exit strategies laid out BEFORE going into a flip.

There are so many ways to protect yourself in a deal. Going into any business blindly is a surefire way to lose money and make costly mistakes. 

Acknowledge there are many things you do not know and get an education. 

Carol's story is so inspiring because she went from terrified to buying 6 flip properties in a year!

Here's some of what we discuss in this episode: 

  • Stepping scared and why it's the only way
  • She walks us through her 6 flip projects
  • Her first flip profit of $50,000!
  • Challenges she's faced on her projects
  • Doing good in her communities 

...and so much more!

Everyone feels scared when they start a new journey - EVERYONE.

The difference is in who lets that fear hold them back. 

We get to choose if it's going to prevent us from chasing a dream or if we're going to chase it despite the fear.

I think a lot about regret when it comes to deciding whether I'm going to go after something I want.

Will I regret not going after this or will I regret letting the fear control me?

And then ... BOOM ... I'm in action.

Regret or action? We choose.


1. Sick of sitting on the sideline watching other people do the thing you want to be doing? Are you FINALLY ready to do what it takes to flip your first house and want incredible step-by-step training and support to get you there faster? Click here to see if we may be a fit to work together.

2. Follow That Flip! Follow this 8-part video series as we flip a house! 

3. Our goal is to inspire 1,000 new women each month and we've been achieving it with help from loyal listeners like you! If you are getting value out of this podcast will you kindly leave us a rating and review and help us spread our message?

Debbie DeBerry | The Flipstress®
Leaving people and places better than we find them.


Unknown Speaker  0:01  
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 the honest to goodness tools, tips and strategies you can implement today to get closer to your first or next successful house flip.

Unknown Speaker  0:27  
Here's your spiky haired breakfast taco loving host house flipping coach, Debbie DeBerry.

Unknown Speaker  0:40  
Hey, how's it going today? So today's episode is another awesome interview with another awesome flip sister in our coaching program out there doing the thing. And what's so great about this conversation is she's just so honest about how scared she was, and how she continues to, as she says, step scared, right? Like, you're gonna be scared, you've just got to do it scared. And I love that she calls it stepping scared. When I first talked to her when she first joined. She just it's not that she didn't think she could do it. I think she didn't believe it was possible for her. She didn't understand that how, right, that's the whole point of our program, the how, right, we work that out for you. We show you that. So to know that she started there, not believing that it was possible for her scared, so scared that she was going to get stuck with a property. She talks about that. And to know that she has since then, since joining, she's bought six properties. Okay, five houses that she has flipped or is in the process of flipping and selling. And one four Plex that she's flipping and holding as a rental, six properties. She didn't know how it was going to be possible for her. And here she is stepping scared, showing up, getting uncomfortable doing the thing. I love this conversation. And there's just so much that you're going to take away from it. And you're going to love her and her spirit and her way of being and doing this. It's really important to her that she does good. I can't wait for you to hear her story. This is Carol story. She lives in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and she is going to inspire you. And if you've been sitting on the sideline, hopefully you're going to finally believe that even if you don't know how, you know it's possible you think it's possible, because if you think it's possible, we can show you the how. Alright, let's meet Carol. Okay, let's just start by you introducing yourself to us.

Unknown Speaker  3:50  
My name is Carol Nilsen. I've been married for 15 years. I have two songs. One is 32 and one is 30. I have one grand song. I have two bits. Well, three businesses with my club business. I have an adult daycare center and a personal care business. Um, I started my how home business in July of 2020. When I left the school system, I retired from the school system as an administrator. And I always wanted to feel I always wanted to get into real estate. I was the perfect time to live because I've had a lot of time on my hands to study research and I came across babies on string on my Facebook page. I looked into that and she was saying some of the things that I was thinking. So I said this is the person that I need to contact. So I contacted Debbie and I enrolled in her in her class. And from then it was just amazing. I felt prepared when I purchased my first Property then I had not completed the whole course. I was still on through the modules as I was in the process of purchasing my first property fair scale, as you scale. Yeah. Um, so And here I am. I'm just trying to do it whale leave it better than I love it. Restoring restoration is is the key is my drive. Making sure that it's had has a total different look a total different feel. It's not the way I found it.

Unknown Speaker  5:45  
I love that. I love that focus. First one. You were like, I hear it. You were so scared. You were so terrified. What made you do it though?

Unknown Speaker  5:57  
I felt that I could do it. Yeah. Um, and I always heard step scared. If you don't move. You stay right. We'll be in that same position next year. And I've seen him say that time and time again. Just do something. Yes. Even if you fail at doing it. You did it. You took on that philosophy. I'm gonna do this. I use my retirement money to purchase my first flip, which it was a four hour shift. It was a four bedroom, two and a half. I purchased I purchased for $17,500 Oh my gosh. $17,500 a four bedroom two and a half. brick home metal roof to conquer Ron.

Unknown Speaker  6:51  
Oh my god. So you used your retirement to pay 17,500 for a HUD foreclosure? How much money did you put into that?

Unknown Speaker  7:03  
Put about $30,000 into the property?

Unknown Speaker  7:07  
And was that part of your retirement money as well?

Unknown Speaker  7:10  
Yes. Okay. All my retirement money.

Unknown Speaker  7:14  
Okay. And I bet that was scary. Putting your retirement? Uh huh.

Unknown Speaker  7:20  
Yeah, it was very scary. Yeah. Um, I just thought that it was right. It was the right thing to do. Um, so one of my friends which was a pastor, I knew the type of work that he did. So I asked him renovate the property for me. Which, then you got to fall out your seat when I tell you how much he charged me to renovate this property. He only charged me 70 $500 to renovate this property. Oh, my God, from painting the outside to doing the floor to do on the inside the plumbing, the kitchen. Everything.

Unknown Speaker  8:07  
That's incredible. So how what was his timeline? How long did it take him to do that?

Unknown Speaker  8:13  
took longer than I anticipated? We started in August, and he's not completed until November.

Unknown Speaker  8:21  
All right, so three months for the renovation. 70,500 for the house, we put about $30,000 into the renovation. And what did you sell it for?

Unknown Speaker  8:31  
I sold $105,000.

Unknown Speaker  8:35  
So your first flip profit was was robbed

Unknown Speaker  8:38  
about 50,000. Wow.

Unknown Speaker  8:41  
A $50,000 first flip profit. That's amazing. Congratulations on a massive profit on your first property. Because you you were so scared, right? Like I keep coming back to you. Were just saying you're under you're under contract on your first property and you were so scared. And you have your retirement money in this. And you end up making $50,000 That's amazing. I had no idea. Okay, so then you take us through your second property.

Unknown Speaker  9:20  
Okay, my second property I purchased it for the same amount at 17. What I put an offer on 75 is my magic now. I'm here now relative says she said Do you realize you're getting all of these properties for $17,000? I said yes. They can offer with 17,000 and I accept. This is the one I showed you out that the paneling and it was just terrible. I purchased that for 17 and I sold it Friday for 75,000 but I offered about 20,000 on the second

Unknown Speaker  10:05  
20k profit on your second one. So I know on the first house the surprises mainly came Well, when the firt when that contract fell through. That was the big I think the biggest challenge on that first flip. What about on the second flip? Were there any challenges or surprises?

Unknown Speaker  10:23  
No. Okay. The second was whale. Okay. Okay, now the third one. Oh my gosh, this was the biggest property. Now. This is where I did not use my retirement. Retirement on the first two. Okay. Um, the third one, I had to reach a hot get a hot money. Okay, that's my PO payment. Which that was my biggest Oh, my God. When I stepped out, I step out. This house was like 4200 square feet, five bedrooms, three full baths. Wow. Um, they wanted 90 some $1,000 for the property. I put in an offer of 88,000, which they accepted. The ARV on the property was $222,000. Neither did I know of all the unforeseen issues with this house. But needless to say, when we finished the property, it was amazing. It was so beautiful. And I think I've posted the kitchen

Unknown Speaker  11:41  
in Oh, yeah, I do remember that

Unknown Speaker  11:45  
way. Our budget. I was we were over budget, roughly about 20,000 over budget. And also, I have a subcontractor. Okay, in the beginning, I had to fire him. So I got with my contract, and he was able to recommend someone else that was able to come in and stay within the budget that we had submitted for approval.

Unknown Speaker  12:14  
Okay, so how much was your renovation budget on that one?

Unknown Speaker  12:21  
It was 60,000. Okay.

Unknown Speaker  12:25  
Now, what was going on with the subcontractor that you ended up firing him?

Unknown Speaker  12:33  
Well, the thing was, I had Keep in mind, I had when I say I was moving so fast, I was moving so fast. I had my third property, Mr. called property. He was the answer for both of those properties. And he was just not showing me the word, the quality work. And I need to say, so he really stopped communicating with me. And that was a good thing. You don't have to have a legal for any legal ramifications or anything like that. So we just, he went his way. And I went mine. And I just sent him a letter saying that I no longer need the services.

Unknown Speaker  13:15  
Got it. Got it. Okay, good, good. Okay, so then you bring in a new contract a new sub, basically. And, yes, he finishes it. He does a good job.

Unknown Speaker  13:29  
Yeah, he does. Um, towards the end, we ran into some issues he competed to the best of his ability is some small things that I thought could have been done better. So I just had somebody to go in and clean up everything is beautiful, but the best one?

Unknown Speaker  13:48  
Is that your favorite one? Yes. Yes. Okay.

Unknown Speaker  13:52  
We're scheduled to put it on the market this week.

Unknown Speaker  13:55  
Oh, good. Okay, awesome. So we'll see some pictures soon. Okay, so that one, your purchase price is 88,000. Your renovation budget is around 60,000. You use hard money for this one. And what are you listing it at?

Unknown Speaker  14:13  
x I'm gonna miss you for 250 bucks, because in that market, that's a growing, that's one of my areas that you told us to pinpoint.

Unknown Speaker  14:22  
Yeah. Good for you for watching it. Yeah, absolutely. Like if you're watching the market, if you're watching the data, you know where the values are, and you got to trust yourself. That's awesome. Wow, that's going to be a good profit. Yes. Okay. So that's the third property. Now, take us to the fourth property.

Unknown Speaker  14:42  
flow property was a excellent property that I purchased, I paid about $30,000 for that property was a three bedroom for an extra bathroom in there to push the value up. We're in the process of doing that right now. We Santa Clara was complete with that project, the painters are in that painting. Now. My time line is, we were putting the third one on the market this week. Hopefully by the time we get a contract on that one, we will be putting the fourth one on the board.

Unknown Speaker  15:20  
That's amazing. What is your renovation budget for this fourth project?

Unknown Speaker  15:27  
The full one was at 62.

Unknown Speaker  15:30  
Okay, so that's property number four. Now, tell us about property number five.

Unknown Speaker  15:37  
Okay, property number five was the property that I showed you. That was fair to them. It was already good.

Unknown Speaker  15:44  
The previous investor bailed on it. Okay. Yeah. And are all your properties near where you live? No.

Unknown Speaker  15:52  
Okay, having to travel. Two hours.

Unknown Speaker  15:58  
Where do you live?

Unknown Speaker  15:59  
I live in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Okay,

Unknown Speaker  16:02  
so you're traveling up to two hours to get to these different areas? Yes. Okay. Yes. All right. So property number five. Tell me about it about you seven to fall out of my chair I've already fallen out for

Unknown Speaker  16:18  
let's look, let's fall out. We're still in. We're still been through the renovations on that property. But I pay $10,000 for a four bedroom, two bath home.

Unknown Speaker  16:33  
Okay, so $10,000. And this is like all of these are just MLS listings. You're just finding things on the MLS and you're making offer things and guess what happens when you make offers? eventually you get deals? Okay. So $10,000 What's your renovation budget on this?

Unknown Speaker  16:52  
This was roughly about $65,000. That's

Unknown Speaker  16:57  
it seems to be kind of your your sweet spot. Six years? Yeah. Yes.

Unknown Speaker  17:01  
I stay within that number. Above that number. Yeah, that has done well for me. Yep. Yep. Um, it appraised for $140,000. Alright, so

Unknown Speaker  17:14  
you're gonna list it for around 140. When it's done? Yes, yes. You kind of know what you're doing with this real estate investing business. What does your husband Think about all this?

Unknown Speaker  17:24  
Oh, he's just, he's, he's right there with me. He's right there with me. I'm awesome. He's very supportive. Good. My children. I'm trying to get my oldest son into it. He has seen what can happen. So the third, he has kind of come along with me to help me oversee it when I'm not there. Because he's saying he has seen a transformation. Yes. Yes. I didn't think I could do it, Debbie. Um, but when I started doing it, it just, I'm still learning now. I'm not an expert, by all means. But I'm taking a minus something from each property. And I'm using it on the next property correctness. I won't make the same mistakes.

Unknown Speaker  18:20  
Yes. That learning. It's what I love about this because it you are constantly learning something new on each project. Each project is different. And it's one of my favorite things about this is the learning because there's never a dull moment. And there's always room for more for more learning and more growth. Okay, so that's amazing. All right. So around 140 is going to be your ARV on that one. Where are you in the process of that renovation.

Unknown Speaker  18:52  
Now that one is moving really, really slow? I use my contractor from the first one. He has a full time job. And it's taken longer to get that project completed, which was to work with him. We are about 80% complete, because he's helped him to do the custom cabinets under the cabinets. So we're working on finishing up the cabinets and cabinets, he will be complete.

Unknown Speaker  19:23  
So not too far away. Now we're not too far away. So it's like September and October are gonna you're gonna have like three properties hitting the markets. Yes. And okay, how many have we talked? We've talked about five.

Unknown Speaker  19:39  
I've closed on the last one Friday, which is a clock clicks.

Unknown Speaker  19:46  
Are you holding on to that one as a rental?

Unknown Speaker  19:48  
Yeah, okay, awesome. Yes, I'm holding this.

Unknown Speaker  19:51  
Good. I'm happy to hear that. And tell me about that. When are you having to do some repairs to it or tell me about what you're doing with that.

Unknown Speaker  20:00  
Just a lot of cars. Okay, um, not a whole lot of renovating just a lot of painting upgrades. I'm changing my layout, because the duplex is 111 bedroom, one bath. It was a centralized living area where I'm going to split that down the middle and make it two bedroom smart. Yeah. And there'll be two bedrooms, one bath.

Unknown Speaker  20:35  
That's smart. That's real smart. Okay, what's the purchase price on that four Plex? was

Unknown Speaker  20:43  
$50,000. But the sellers pay 2500 towards my closing costs.

Unknown Speaker  20:50  
So really 47 5175 Uh huh. Uh huh. Where is this located?

Unknown Speaker  20:59  
Actually, it's down the street from my fourth property.

Unknown Speaker  21:04  
Okay. When did you find this on the MLS?

Unknown Speaker  21:08  

Unknown Speaker  21:09  
Uh huh. Are there tenants in there now that you have to work around to do the upgrades? Okay. Oh, good. It's a lot easier to update, of course, when there aren't people in it. And then what do you think you're going to be able to get for the rental income on those units?

Unknown Speaker  21:25  
Well, we did the rental research for that area, a two bedroom one roughly about 750. Now,

Unknown Speaker  21:33  
you're going to be getting about $3,000 a month? Yes. On a property you paid $47,500 for? Yeah. Wow. How much money are you putting into the renovation?

Unknown Speaker  21:47  
My number is 60,000.

Unknown Speaker  21:49  
And for that one, how are you financing that one? You're doing a hard money loan, and then you're gonna refinance it, you're gonna pull out some cash? Yes. Awesome. Carol, I mean, just wow, I am. So I'm not surprised. I am just so like, inspired be going out and doing like, you're doing it all like, and you're doing it scared. Like, that's, you have to do it that way. It's the only way to do it. If people are waiting to not feel scared. Before they act, they're never going to act that fear is is there. We're always like, our brains are trying to protect ourselves. Right? So it's always gonna be Oh, you're missing something? Oh, you better not do that. Oh, you're gonna screw it up. Oh, what do you lose money? Right? That's always there. Yes. Oh, my gosh, six properties in a year. Congratulations. I'm so happy for you. And I'm so happy for your family. And I love that your family is involved. And you're trying to get your your kids more involved like this is possible. This is possible. And you can have control of your time. You can be your own boss, and you can do good in the communities.

Unknown Speaker  23:11  
Right, and make a difference and make the transformation of that my favorite property. Yeah, the transformation is just amazing. Yeah, you know, just bringing it bringing the life back to a property where it has been abused and neglected. And all it needs is some time and money. Yep. And it was streamflows like new, you know? So that's what keeps me going. Yeah, Debbie is the fact that I can make a difference. Even with the first property that I learned from the first property. I sold it appeared on the market for $105,000. I know that plays almost $200,000 but I want to I don't want to be about the money. But I want to make money. I don't want the money to be the most important thing. But I want to I want to I don't want to think well I don't want to make money because I do

Unknown Speaker  24:17  
well and you have in order to continue doing good. You have to make money or else you can't continue to do this it sustainably right you can't do it for free.

Unknown Speaker  24:28  
Every property love so as the buyers have said you have done an amazing job with these house with this house. Because you know as a buyer, you're searching from house to house looking here and there. makes sure that I can buy a house that I would want to live in. Absolutely. I don't believe in throwing anything that I'm anything I know anything that would need to be repaired or replaced. I believe

Unknown Speaker  25:00  
You've been doing it. Exactly. And that's, that's how we change the landscape of house flipping right? We continue to do good. We focus on serving sellers, serving buyers serving communities, and we show up like that. And that's like, that's everything. That is why you are seeing the success that you are seeing is because that's the focus. The money can't be the focus. Yes, we have to make it quarter to continue doing this. But it can't be the focus, because once money becomes the focus, we make decisions only based on that, rather than who's going to live in this home. Who's going to call this? Yeah. Oh, and one thing

Unknown Speaker  25:48  
I've learned is God, God is to have in my house that he leaves me and asked me first I want to say that, and I just believe that all the homes that, that I'm purchasing, I'm in for someone that he has attained ahead. Um, because I'm the second the first house where the contractor through the that person paid for it. Okay. So it wasn't that person's house. I just have to know that every home. That's one reason why I can't just throw everything together. Yeah, it's a ministry. I'm being used by God to get his people in good homes and not having to pay high prices. Right. Right. I just believe that.

Unknown Speaker  26:39  
Yeah. I love that. I love that. And I love that. That's, I love that. That's what's guiding you. I love that attitude. I love that mission. I'm totally here for it. You're awesome. Thank you for sharing your story.

Unknown Speaker  26:54  
Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to lay it out step by step for us to, in other words, says write the vision make it plain. So others who read it can run with it. Yeah. And that's what you've done. There is for us to read it. And then you have not missed out anything. And I thank you even even worse, we're having to come up with a ARV you tell us use this as an example, if you don't have your contractor? Yeah, if you want a high end, square footage amount, and you lose that, that will give you an estimate on how much to put in your budget. And that has helped me. Awesome, that has really stood out to me. So I would say your program, Debbie, it does compare what I pay for your program. And what I paid for Pogo is nothing. So I thank God for you. I thank God the time the effort that you have put into your having a solid program. Yeah, that means a lot a solid program. And then the the Facebook feed where you can ask question, communication. It's up. You're not alone. Yeah, there's someone else out here that's in the same boat I am, I can provide me some information that says a lot like that and support that you're providing to us. Yeah, that's more value than valuable than anything.

Unknown Speaker  28:47  
I am thankful for your kind words. And the support is what I keep saying is the most important piece. So when hearing you say that is, is super validating, because yes, we need the steps. We need the support, we need community, we've got to stop doing things on our own and making ourselves more, you know, secluded. We need to bring people around us who unlike understand what we're trying to do share the vision and are able to support us because it's not easy. None of this is easy. It's hard. And there are new hearts on each one, you know, it's hard. So, thank you for your words. It means a lot to me to to hear that what I'm trying to do my my intention is actually coming to fruition and that that's what you're feeling and that's what you're getting so awesome. Thank you so much.

Unknown Speaker  29:51  
It is good. I cannot say anything. Um concerning your your program. that's lacking. I have not found anything that's lacking in your awesome. I'm going to have to go back and read about, you know, the rental. Yeah, so I haven't read that much yet. So I'll have to go back and read that module. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  30:15  
it's ready for you. Thank you, Carol, thank you for your kind words, thank you for taking time out of your busy businesses, to share your story. Because here's the thing, not only am I completely inspired by your story, but you're going to inspire people that you have no idea. You just have no idea who's going to hear this and think, well, maybe I can do this. Maybe it can look like this. Right? Maybe we don't have to be greedy, the typical like greedy investor, maybe we can do this in a very intentional way. service based way. Yes, yes. That's a, that's huge.

Unknown Speaker  31:03  
And they're the biggest fear. And I don't know if I said this, but I'm just gonna really like this. My biggest fear is almost consumed me that I had this property, and no one would die. But I just had to say, keep it moving. I just had to keep it moving. Right?

Unknown Speaker  31:25  
And you have different exit strategies, right? Like you have. If something comes up, okay, we can pivot into something else. We're not just locked into that one thing? That's the beauty of it. Let Yes. And I'm glad you shared that, because that's a very common fear that people have, Oh, my gosh, what if I get stuck,

Unknown Speaker  31:47  
that what I've learned baby, just do it? Yeah, you're gonna make mistakes. We all have made mistakes, you may not profit as much as you won't want to profit. But if you don't profit, but $5, you still got that experience? up the mistakes that you made you fix it on the next flip, but just get out there? Just do it.

Unknown Speaker  32:16  
Yes. Just get out there and just do it. Yes, absolutely. Oh, my gosh, I cannot wait to share this. This has just been such a really wonderful conversation. And thank you again, Carol, thank you for thank you for being here. Thank you for being part of our community. Thank you for taking the time to share this with me. Just thanks for being new, and showing up the way you do. You're an inspiration. But look, thank you. And I'll see you in the group. Thank you, Carol.

Unknown Speaker  32:45  
Thank you. Bye, bye, bye.

Unknown Speaker  32:47  
Such a great conversation, Carol, thank you, again, for sharing your journey with us part of your story with us. Because I know it will inspire other women. And for those of you who are still sitting on the sideline, and not chasing this house flipping dream you have because you're scared. And you're waiting to not be scared in order to act. Not being scared isn't a thing. You're going to feel scared. You do it anyway. Just like Carol says, you have to step scared. And just like I say, you're gonna feel the fear. But you have to do the thing anyway. All right, you can do this. But you have to take action, when for sure way to not do this is to not take action. If you want all the steps, and you want all the things that will actually help you get there. We've helped so many women start a house flipping business that they love, we can help you to guess we give you all the steps. But we also give you incredible support and community. And it's the magic of what we do. So if you want to see if we might be a good fit to work together, go to her first flip comm and schedule a 10 minute intro call with us. All right, feel the fear. Do the thing anyway. And go out there flip houses like a girl leave people in places better than you find them and make it a great day. Bye, y'all.