The “Flip” that started it all… Part 1

There once was a young newlywed couple and their baby girl living in a 720 square foot apartment in Raleigh, one they could barely afford. But, they dreamed and dreamed of owning a piece of land they could call their own. Then, one day, the husband said to the wife, “I think I found the perfect house for us! Its way-way-way out in the country in a little town called Holly Springs… Its kind of run down, but we can fix it.”  The doe-eyed wife looked at her husband, as only a newlywed could, and thought… Oh, I just love him SO much.

…. then she saw the house.

before renovation picture of front of first flip
Honeymoon. Over.

It was a 3 bedroom 2 bath ranch with rotten siding, faux brick linoleum flooring, marbled blue laminate counter tops, and ungrouted 12 x 12 tile in the MASTER BEDROOM. It was in the middle of NOWHERE. She turns and looks at her husband with disgust … seriously?? “Kind of run down”, he says, “we can fix it”, he says… please.

… But he loved it. So they bought it.

closing table first flip holly springs
Notice the excited smiles – so naive.

So… that’s our story… the beginning of our story. Over the next 4 years, Uriah transformed that dump of a house into something beautiful. To this day, it is still my favorite house. Maybe because it’s the house of all the firsts.

Living through this level of a renovation is no joke, especially when finances are slim. We pinched our pennies, saved for materials slowly and bought them as cheap as possible, most of the time utilizing craigslist. Uriah worked hard at renovating our space through blood, sweat, and tears… mainly my tears. He did this all while carrying a full time day job.

Documenting progress along the years has not been my forte. I was, however, able to find some pictures so you can see what the house used to look like.

To give a better idea, here is the main floor layout – not to scale.


Notice the faux brick linoleum and outdoor carpet in our entry way (1st pic). In the second pic you get a sneak-peak of the kitchen in all of its faux beauty…. and the fan. Oh, that fan.

In part 2, we will share photos of the completed renovation of our first house. You will find out just how profitable this “flip” was to us. I hope by sharing this information, it will inspire you think differently about the potential of your own home. Even if it takes blood, sweat and tears.

About Katelynn

I am a raleigh real estate investor, house flipper & lover of inspiring design. My husband, Uriah, is an experienced real estate broker who specializes in project management and acquisitions. Together, we run and operate an exciting and busy company that buys & renovates houses… bringing them back to life. We buy houses (and pay cash) in Wake County and some surrounding counties around Raleigh, NC.

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