In my 20’s when I was still an apartment dweller, I had a fascination with houses. I lived in Portland Oregon, and I would drive the streets of the city and look in the windows of the houses that had their blinds open, hoping to get a glimpse of what the lives in all those homes were like.
I bought my first fixer upper when I was 28. It was not for the love of construction work at the time, but all I could afford. But I was immediately bitten and obsessed. All I wanted to do was be at home working on my house. I was a district manager in women’s retail and I confess that I lost a lot of concentration for my job for a while. I was preoccupied with paint colors and moving walls.
My ex-husband and I moved to Florida and started a construction company. It was underground utility, heavy digging, and mostly commercial construction, but I loved it too. Soon I was able to invest in my passion again. We bought a duplex, then a vacation rental on the beach in St Augustine, and rehabbed both of them. When we bought our commercial property I designed and managed the buildout.
Notice the ‘ex’ in front of husband in the last paragraph? I have heard of, and witnessed a few epic fails in the d-i-v-o-r-c-e arena, but wow… ours took a toll on both of us. Not only was it 2009 and the middle of the economic collapse, but we both had experienced uncommonly rough childhoods. For people with major trauma, when you hit middle age, one way or another it will come up. In the form of a mid life crisis, or dependence on drugs or alcohol, or both. I had the mid life crisis and he had the addiction.
In 2011 I moved to Kansas City. A city that I chose. I fell in love with it on a short visit, and felt it was everything I was looking for in my new home. A big part of the charm was street after street of beautiful homes within the city limits. I had been starved for interesting architecture during my eleven years in Florida.
Several times since I have been in KC, I have flirted with the idea of renovating homes here. I went out looking with the friend I came here to visit when I first fell in love with this city. We chickened out.
Last spring I was inspired to take the leap. I went with an informed friend and looked at a couple of rehabbed homes, I saw a lot of glaring problems. People don’t always to their best work, they do just enough to get by, and it shows. I thought, “I can do better than this”.
So I jumped.
In a way what happened is that I backed my way into real estate investing.
I bought an ugly, cheap house that I had a great vision for.
It was in a neighborhood that I saw was improving, and if I was wrong and couldn’t sell it, I would be comfortable living in it.
I spent almost twice what I initially estimated I would spend rehabbing it, and it took almost a month longer than I thought it would take. But once I was finished, I listed it on Zillow and had a full price offer within 10 days.
So I started looking for my second house…
Now I am creating New Life in the the Historic Homes of Kansas City, and making a living doing something have an enduring passion for.
This site is my attempt to record my journey into investing in real estate in Kansas City Missouri. I will share the things that work for me and the things that don’t. Mine is only one way, one person’s journey, everyone will have their own path through investing and completely different stumbling blocks, but a lot of things do remain consistent.
I am a pragmatic, business minded person, but I also have a background in psychology, and I am an energy worker. So I have a unique approach to the work that I do renovating homes.
The numbers are the numbers, and no matter how much I love a place if the numbers don’t work, I don’t buy it. On the flip side, no matter how solid the investment looks on paper if I don’t like the feeling I get off of a property, I wont buy it. It’s simple, If I don’t like it and don’t want to be there loving on the property, I stand the chance of unconsciously turning it into a loser just through my inattention.