The “Flip” that started it all… Part 2
Oh how I wish we had more before and progress pictures to share of our Craigslist house, that first “flip”.
I suppose you’ll have to settle for reading words and looking at “before” pictures with our kids in them – and I could only find a few! Just note what’s in the background.
The Craigslist House, first year: Focus on Priorities
New flooring, interior paint, and you know … clean water were top priorities in that first year.
As much as this cute-as-a-button kiddo makes your heart want to explode as you look at this photo, I know you see what she is standing on. That flooring was gross; the outdoor carpet and faux brick linoleum had to go, ASAP.
As it turns out, the floors were the second largest expense we’d incur at the The Craigslist House. We envisioned carrying the hardwoods throughout the 1500 square foot ranch, unlike the miss-matched madness seen above. Lumber liquidators trumped competitor pricing at the time and we scored this 5″ Brazilian Angelim for $3,750 (1500 sq. ft.).
Before the floors, though, we cleaned and painted the entire interior ourselves. So. Much. Paint. You’ll notice my taste has evolved a bit over the years. Ahem: baby blue and lime green – a Young House Love recommendation!
Clean, Drinkable Water
The Craigslist House By far, the biggest expense for the house during this initial phase was adding a whole house water filtration system. Due to the fact that our Craigslist House was on well water, we had a major hard water issue and chose a reverse osmosis system by Purologix. This cost a whopping $5,000.
How did you do that with no money?
Like I’ve told you, when we bought this house we had almost NO extra cash – maybe $2000 to our name. So how did we do it? Thankfully, there was a first time home buyers program that gave us $10,000! We took full advantage.
The remainder of this fixer-upper went something like this…
- Renovate the hall and master bathroom
- A kitchen facelift
- Replace damaged windows
- Replace siding
- A deck refresh
- Fence Install
DiY Or Die
Life was one big DIY project after another over the course of the next three years. We became accustomed to designing and tackling our house projects on almost no budget. Inspiration via Pinterest, education via YouTube. We’d figure out how to get materials or for cheap and DIY’d our way through just about everything. My proudest find ever was the siding: I paid $950 for siding for our whole house, delivered! Cha-ching!
In the middle
In the middle of our season at The Craigslist House, amidst all the DIY projects, we had another baby and I finished nursing school. Then unexpectedly and with no notice, Uriah lost his job; the company had restructured. You can imagine the anxiety! We totally panicked. But as you will see, there is a common thread that runs in the background of our story: God provides. Almost immediately the kindest telemetry floor nurse manager offered me a position as staff RN exactly when we needed it.
We experienced more times of financial strain than I can count. You know what? I wouldn’t change it for the world. This season “in the middle” of The Craigslist House was when we learned to work hard, budget and forced us to be satisfied with less.
Because I know you’re going to ask, here is the approximate amount we spent on renovations over 4 years:
- Water Filtration System – $5,000
- Interior and Exterior Paint – $1,000
- Hardwood Floors – $3,750 plus $840 for labor
- Hardiplank Siding – $950 delivered
- Landscaping rocks and new gravel for driveway – $1,000 + $900 for labor
- Concrete countertops in kitchen/master bathroom and concrete tile floors for master bathroom – $100 (Uriah worked at a company that made concrete products so we got these at material cost)
- New Doors -front, basement and exterior – found on craigslist $750
- Bathroom Renos – $1,250 each
- Carpet in basement playroom – $500
- Stainless Steel appliances – $3,000
- Miscellaneous supplies – $3,500
Total expenses over 4 years, approximately: $23,700
In total, the financial investment of about $23,700, the emotional investment of our sanity and sacrifice of time resulted in a profit of $73,000. It altered the trajectory of our lives.
Before we moved away from this house, Uriah was offered