Monthly Archives: March 2016

We Flipped a House… and (sort of) Liked It.

Hello!  I thought I’d catch you up and tell you about our baby.  I’m not talking about the amazing human baby we had last May.  I’m talking about the beast we bought last June– our first foreclosure.

My Big Lie

When my husband and I moved in to our current house, 5 years ago, we had to do a few projects.  We replaced all the flooring and painted every square inch of our casa.  In the process, I turned into a crazy person.  I wanted everything done in two weeks.  I basically went to bed with a paintbrush and roller in each hand.

When my husband and I decided to buy a foreclosure last June (a month after our real baby was born), he made me promise I wouldn’t turn into Kelsie-paint-hands.  So I did what every wife does on occasion: I lied.

I lied straight to his face.  Did he know me at all?  Of course, I expected it to be done in fifteen minutes!!!  Who was he kidding?!?

“Oh, I’m going to totally relax this time.  I give us a year to finish it,” I said, avoiding eye contact and flipping my hair to keep him from seeing my eyes.

Oh Sweet Reality, Much Like Getting Hit by a Bus

The joke is on me because it took us seven months to finish our first rehab project.  I have one word for this journey.  Wow.  It was so much more work than I expected.  And, we doubled our budget.  And, I didn’t have the mental capacity to blog, or do anything else except take care of a baby.

But, luckily we finished.  I’m so glad to be done!!! So, here are some pictures to sum up the last seven months of our lives.


The before:

This was where they shot the horror film: I Know Where You Ate Last Summer.  There were weird, rotting spots in the floor.  The cabinets were made of cardboard and held together with old food particles.  The backsplash and countertops were a layer of plastic covered with a layer of nasty.

33 ross 2

The after:

We replaced the subfloor, laid tile, put in new cabinets, appliances and doors.  We also painted and hung new light fixtures.



Here are some more pics.


I got a steal of a deal on this backsplash. It was only $30!


We put in the back door. The old one didn’t lock, and we think that is an important function to have.


Scored this brand new fridge for $450.00. But… we paid full price for the other appliances. Lame.


Family Room

The before: there are two living areas in our house.  I actually don’t have a before picture of the Living Room (it was pretty standard), but the Family Room had a giant eyesore of a fireplace that had to be battled and eventually taken down to pretty town.

33 ross 1

The after: this is one of my favorite things in our house.  It shows how much better a room can look with just some paint (and cleaning, a new light fixture, flooring…).



Here are a few more pics:




The before: have you ever gone into a restaurant/gas station bathroom and had the feeling you just got a disease?  The one where you look both ways trying to decide if it’s better just to leave?  This bathroom wasn’t that bad, but it was pretty bad.  I don’t have a picture of before, but here it is mid gut.

photo 4

The after:  this is the smallest room in the house, and it took the most work.  Full gut.  Down to the studs (and below).  Every surface is brand sparkling new!  It’s one of my favorite places, but that could be because I spent the most time in there.

IMG_1743  IMG_1730


Other Stuff

We also rehabbed 3 bedrooms, a laundry room, a deck, a hallway area, put on a new roof, had the HVAC serviced… and the front of the house painted.

The not so good stuff

We busted our budget.  I haven’t ran the numbers officially (mostly because I’m scared to :)), but I know we doubled our rehab budget.  Luckily, we picked a project that was in our comfort zone so we are still okay.  I’ve been debating on whether to talk numbers or not.  On one hand, it is the internet.  On the other, I love numbers.  So, I’ll tell you what I know so far.

House price: $28,000

Projected rehab budget (in August): $10,000

Projected rehab budget (in November): $15,000

Actual rehab spending (in January): $20,000

The craziest part of this budget is that I thought I was good at estimating costs.  Apparently not.  And if we sell it, after realtor’s fees and closing costs we will make less than $1 an hour.

Lessons learned

Oh, there are so many.

  1.  I thought I could do everything myself.  I really did.  I didn’t think I needed anyone’s help.  Then the first time I lifted a box of tile I knew I was in over my head (and upper body strength).  If it wasn’t for my husband (and dad’s) help on the nights and weekends, I’d still be at that house covered in grout and tears.
  2. It’s probably going to cost about double what you estimate.
  3. It’s probably going to take you double the amount of time you estimated.
  4. You’re probably going to wish you never started.
  5. You’re probably going to be glad you did it!

The good

We learned so much.  I know this project wasn’t a big success, but I don’t think we could have learned any other way.  I think sometimes you just have to jump in.  And fail.  And jump in again.  And fail a little less.  Eventually you will succeed, right?

Overall, I’m really glad we did it.  If we didn’t, I’d still be watching HGTV thinking I was hidden genius at house flipping.  Now, I’m pretty content just watching HGTV knowing who the experts really are…and I’m pretty sure it’s not the people on tv 🙂

Maybe I’ll feel more like an expert next time?  Wait… did I just say next time?