Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Am I Really Doing This?

Sometimes I feel like a kid in an adult's body. I even look at my kids sometimes and think they can't be mine cause I'm too young to have kids. And now that I'm a partner in a business, I've found out how much I really don't know!

I wanted to show everyone the reason why I haven't baked one thing this week and why I have no recipe to share. I found a house for our company to rehab. It's located in a plan. The builder only roughed in the house before he quit altogether, for some unknown reason. The house has been sitting here, surrounded by completed homes, for over 7 years. The neighbors are anxious to have it either torn down or completed. We hope to be the company that buys it and gets it done.

But in order to own said house, we have to find a source of money. I spent all weekend writing a business plan (should have done that first, shouldn't I?), figuring out how to do a spread sheet, calling mortgage lenders begging for money and reopening my accidentally closed business bank account. Sleeping soundly is a joke, and I can't relax without going over possible places to get money to buy our house. But I keep reminding myself that I really wanted to do this. Plus lots of other people manage to make it work so I can too.

So it may be a little while before I can share another recipe, but hopefully not. I really could use something chocolate right now!

To open a shop is easy, to keep it open is an art.
-Chinese proverb


Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Ooh, what is your company going to do, fix it and sell it? This is very exciting. What kind of company do you have?

Beth said...

I heard somebody say years ago that the only thing harder than natural childbirth is starting a new business. I've never started a business, but I have gone through natural childbirth---twice. And it was hard! So I know you must be feeling pretty stressed right now. But you clearly are intelligent, resourceful, and hardworking, so I think you have all the ingredients for success. I'll say a little prayer for you. I know you can do it.

P.S. I think chocolate is a great idea---very motivating! :-)

sweetflutterbys3 said...

Debi- it's a home rehab company. Most people call it flipping, but I don't like that term. It has bad things associated with it. We (me, my brother in law and his brother) want to buy bad homes in good areas and fix them. My brother in law already owns his own construction company but wants to do this instead. I handle all the paperwork, contacts and I find the homes.

Beth-thanks so much for the encouragment, your so kind words and especially the prayers. I appreciate it a lot. I agree with the childbirth comparision! And I'm still thinking about making that chocolate.... :)

CountryDew said...

Wow, I think that is an excellent project. Good for communities, good for the land, too, if it already has a home on it. I hope you can make it work out.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

I love that business. Hubby and I are pretty good at it. We've done it with our own places. Including selling them ourselves without a real estate agent. We've always fantasized about doing it for a living. You must keep us informed on how it's going. I'd love to read journal-like entries on your blog about it. Good luck!

sweetflutterbys3 said...

Dew- I hadn't thought of it that way but I'm glad you did!

Debi- I would love to hear about your experiences! I haven't met anybody else who has done this before. Very cool.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

One thing I always disagree with the experts about is keeping everything neutral. The last house I sold I painted the dining room PURPLE. I mean really purple. Not greyish purple, not plum. Purple. But I had a theme going. This was an old Victorian farmhouse and it was perfect. It gave a "feeling" when you entered. You want them to "feel" an emotion when they walk in. But you might have a harder time doing this because I was living in my homes when we fixed them and sold them so it was easy to create the scene, so to speak. Like a performance on stage. You have to set the stage. On the other hand, empty houses are a plus too because you can keep it clean and light and airy. Do you watch the shows on HGTV? I find them very inspirational.

We do all of the work ourselves unless we really can't. You save big bucks there. We picture WHO will want this house and gear everything to them, again, not quite doing the shotgun approach and going neutral but more like aiming an arrow.

The first house I bought for $33,000 and sold for $55,000 about three years later. It took about three months to sell. I was getting my feet wet.

The second house I bought for $127,000 and sold about five years later for $355,000. It took about two weeks to sell and the second person who looked at it bought it.

The third house I bought for $189,000 and sold it for $299,000 one year later. This house was in a poor area of Oklahoma and was the second most expensive house in the county on the market. I thought I was going to have trouble with this one. All the local real estate agents including my friend told me I priced it too high. It sold in two weeks to the second person who looked at it for cash, no contingencies including no inspection contingency. I almost had a bidding war on that house. After we were in contract, I had many more offers.

The next one I bought for $189,000 and sold it for $365,000 two years later. This one took a little longer to sell, about two months. This was when the economy first crashed.

This one I'm in now I bought for $200,000 and think I could get a little more than that if I put it on the market even with the recession.

The key is proper pricing and marketing. We sold all these houses ourselves with no real estate agent. I considered the marketing my job and I worked it like that. Never rested. Therefore I saved many thousands of dollars. I knew I could do a better job than any real estate agent whose heart wouldn't be in it like mine.

Don't pick dreary colors like greys or blues. Depressing.

Hope that inspires you.

sweetflutterbys3 said...

That is utterly amazing! You sure are inspirational. Thanks for telling me your story. I really need some insight from people who have been there and know the ins and outs of the business. It's scary when you first step out there and try it.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Good luck with your business! Sounds like you are making a good start.

sweetflutterbys3 said...

Thank you, Sweet! I sure hope so.