Foyer Reveal

Hi friends! Today I’m going to share the before and after pictures of what we did to transform the foyer/entryway of our most recent flip house. 

Before I start with that, let me tell you some exciting stuff! This house went under contract 18 hours after we listed it for sale! Do you hear me?!?! 18 hours!!! We could hardly believe it either. We accepted the first offer we had in writing, although we had been told we had another coming in that day and had 4 or 5 more showings (I can’t remember exactly) scheduled for that day and the next. Our closing date is in a week, so we’re prayerful that everything goes smoothly. Closing dates always make us nervous, and I don’t think that will ever change no matter how many homes we renovate and sell. 

Exactly a week after we close on this home, we close on the purchase of our next. We already have demo day on the calendar for that project and can’t wait to get knee deep into renovations on it. 

I have some exciting plans for the kitchen and baths for that house and it’s at this beginning point in the design process of a new project that I get so excited I can hardly contain myself. The very beginning of designing and shopping ranks at a similar high point as the end reveal of a project. Creating a vision and seeing that vision come to a reality are the BEST parts of this journey, in my eyes. Nathan would probably argue that demo day and payday are his favorite parts. šŸ˜‚ We make a pretty great team!

We’ve also got some big things going on at home that I’m sure I’ll be blogging about soon. We’ve been working on the project of converting our guest room into a nursery for our little boy that is due in July. That room is almost done, so be looking for a post about that soon. We are also a few weeks away from totally destroying and redesigning our master bathroom. That room is BIG, but SO very outdated. My guess would be that it is original to how it was built in 1978. A renovation for that bathroom is long overdue, so we have finally decided to tackle that project and hopefully have it completed before the new baby gets here. 

I know you’re probably all thinking that we are totally crazy and cram way too much stuff into our schedules. But, truth is, we genuinely enjoy being busy. This stuff is fun to us, and the reward is great in so many ways. I think that we would be bored if we weren’t juggling several projects at a time. 

Alright…back to the foyer reveal. We nicknamed this room “the closet full of doors” because that is what it looked like when we bought it. This is the space that you walked into right when you came in the front door, and it was ugly! Upon entering, you were faced with the decision to choose one of 6 doorways (yes, SIX!) that led to other areas of the house. It was a really dark and closed off room to literally everything. So, of course we had to change that. I always try to design a home with this little thing in mind. I want to be able to take no more than two steps into the home from the main doorway and be able to see the majority of the main living spaces. To me, within two steps a buyer will either fall in love, or move on. 

Let’s start with some before pictures.

This first picture is the view you had from standing on the front porch.

And here’s a close up of the closet at the end of the foyer.

Here are a couple pictures from some of our incredible demo day crew taking care of our “too many doors” problem.


Men love to destroy stuff… and I love coming by at the end of demo day and hearing their stories. We are so blessed to have a great group of friends and family who are always up for lending a hand on these work days (of course we pay them, but still…). 

This room ended up having only one door way exiting off from it, and that one led to the master suite. The closet at the back of the foyer I turned into a built in hall tree/mud room area. When I designed it, I imagined book bags, shoes, purses and lunch boxes finding a home here in the mornings and then again in the evenings. It turned out incredible, just like I imagined in my mind. The seat on the top of the bench is butcher block that matches the kitchen countertops. And the background of the built in is bead board, which matches the background of the shelves in the living room. All of these little intentional design elements keep the house looking cohesive and the design looking purposeful and thought out. 

We replaced the light fixture with a very inviting new one and continued the hardwoods from the rest of the house in this space. The walls were painted in Sherwin Williams Requisite Gray, and the trim was painted Sherwin Williams Alabaster. The finished product is one that I was immensely pleased with! 

This next picture shows how much more large and open the home feels now that this room isn’t just a corridor of doorways. It’s such a pretty space now!


Well, friends…that’s all for today! Thanks for stopping by and reading. Stay tuned for all of the other posts coming soon that I mentioned earlier. I’m thinking the next post may be about our baby’s nursery. That room is already making me so happy, and it’s not even totally finished.

XOXO,

Megan

Advertisements

I kinda hate the term “Flipper”

If you’ve been reading my blog posts at all for the past couple years, then it’s no secret that my husband and I “flip” houses. So, why do I hate that term? I’m not for sure that there’s even an actual definition for the term “flip house”, but in the day and age of HGTV everybody has an idea of what it is.

It may be different in various places around the country, but around our area flippers are notorious for certain things. Cutting out anything nice wherever possible to save a penny, painting the walls in the boring builder grade beige color, using basic builder grade light fixtures, tub inserts, cheap laminate or vinyl flooring, etc etc etc are a few of the things that typically come to mind.

While searching for granite for the kitchen of our last flip project the owner of the granite yard said, “Oh this is a flip house? Let me show you the granite most flippers use. It’s the cheapest we have here.” It was the most hideous granite they had. I would have never used it in any of our homes. But hearing those words spoke volumes that didn’t even need an explanation. By purchasing that granite, those flippers could advertise “granite counters in kitchen” in their real estate listing. Most other “flippers” would tell us we were crazy for purchasing granite that cost more than the basic quartz selections cost. But you know why we did that? Its not all about money to us.

We have a serious passion for what we do. It’s not just about the paycheck on closing day. Renovating these homes and bringing them back to life brings us more satisfaction than just how much our profit is at the end of the project. When I start designing a flip house I pick a personality for it. Like, what kind of voice would this house have if it could talk? What kind of mood do I want to portray through this design? Each home is different. In reality, very few things are alike in any of them. Making these decisions gives me little butterflies of excitement. And seeing it all come together in the end? I can’t even describe how exciting that is.

We don’t flip houses as quickly as some people do. Why? Because we add character and personality in things that will make us absolutely no return on our investment. I don’t know of any other flippers (well besides Tarek and Christina) that would sink money and time into something that literally increases the value of the house by zero dollars, but simply makes the home more attractive and custom. We just spent $355.00 on 3 sets of custom order shutters because we had to have the perfect ones in the perfect color for this home and the basic ones just didn’t evoke the same feeling. The basic ones at Lowe’s would have only cost $126.00 for the same 3 sets. Will we make that two hundred dollar price difference back when we sale the house? Nope. Does it matter to us? Nope. Why? Because we want people to know that if they ever purchase a home from us, they are getting a home that has had as much love poured into it by us as if we lived in it ourselves. The amount of time I spend designing these homes is worth thousands of dollars in design fees had they simply hired Hartman Interiors, and they’re getting that totally included.

We have a dream of eventually having such a positive name in our community that people are actually waiting for us to finish a home so they can potentially purchase it for themselves. That will never happen if we do things the way that most “flippers” do. It’s certainly not that we think we are any better than other house flippers, we’re just different. We simply choose to pour a little more of our heart and soul into these projects, even against the advice of others. We want buyers and potentially clients one day, to know that when Hartman Homes finishes a house it will be unlike any other in the neighborhood.

So, we’ll continue using the term “flipper” because that let’s people have a general idea of what we do, but now you know that what we do is actually so much more than that.

Final (current) Flip Update

I just realized that it has been nearly two months since my last blog post. Wow! Totally didn’t realize it had been that long. I feel like I should give a general update on our flipping journey.

Our most recent flip house went on the market in early August. That was a rollercoaster from start to finish. We received an offer right at two weeks later. Huge happy face here!!!! Then the next morning we found out that the buyers got cold feet and changed their mind. Huge sad face now!! Total roller coaster of emotions. That very same afternoon we found out that an agent at another showing reported that the appliances were gone. What?!?! Yep. Someone came into our unoccupied flip house during the wee hours of the morning and took the washer, dryer, and oven. Approximately $2,300 worth of appliances walked right out the door. Well, you can imagine that the roller coaster of emotions were still going strong…from elated, to disappointed, to furious all in less than 24 hours. 

Once the initial shock wore off we came to the understanding that this may not be the first time this happens to us with our plans to continue on this real estate flipping journey. Vacant real estate is a prime target for dishonest people, and if this is a game we are going to play then that is a risk we are willing to take. Odd enough, only appliances were taken. The main living spaces were totally furnished with furniture, decor, dishes, etc and none of it was touched! Well, except the towels in one of the bathrooms. Those were taken, presumably to keep from scratching the thief’s new appliances while removing them from the house. The following week we replaced the stove, but decided to not replace the washer and dryer since it was just money coming out of our pockets. Of course we checked with our homeowner’s insurance to see if it was covered…and nope. Not at all. Sure we were paying for super great, expensive vacant property insurance, but alas robbery is not covered at all. Fire, vandalism, acts of terrorism, the list of covered items goes on and on, but robbery…not covered. 

The biggest twist to the robbery part of this story is that the detective working on the case found our appliances! Of course it was a couple weeks after we had replaced the stove. But the officers just happened to be at a home for another reason and there they were, all three of the stolen appliances. There are details I can’t share on here, but a couple weeks later we got them all back! Wow. Totally a God thing. Thank the Lord! We all know that in this day and age, if something is stolen the chance of getting them back is slim to none…so it was a huge surprise!

Almost four weeks after listing the house we received another great offer. We immediately accepted aaannnnddd….we closed on it today!!! Yippeee! 

Here’s the last and final picture we took of the home last Saturday when we did our final work day there. We removed the staging items, mowed, vacuumed, etc. and then left the keys and garage door openers on the counter for the new owners. 

A little piece of my heart is always sad when closing day comes. Of course, the investor side of my heart is excited for payday, but the designer side of my heart is just a wee bit sad to see all of my hard work go to someone else. But it’s a weird feeling because I’m also totally pumped that someone else loves it enough to make it their own. It’s a bittersweet, but mostly sweet day. I know that last paragraph was way confusing…I’m such a woman. 

We’ve been on the intense hunt for another home to start working on. We’ve looked at a bunch, made an offer that wasn’t accepted on one, and have been scouring through foreclosures to the point that I’m exhausted. This is certainly my least favorite part of this journey. I’m ready to have one in our possession so that the creativity and designing can start…that is the BEST part! 

Hopefully I’ll have a new house to share pictures of, along with my plans for it very soon. We’re just praying the Lord gives us wisdom as we continue our search and that He opens doors on this journey as He sees fit. 

Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Megan