Fear, faith and ‘fresh water in the desert’

Earlier this year, I got fed up with just talking about flipping a house. So I did a ton of homework and started house hunting. After a few months, I found my little white house and I closed on it Nov. 6.

Long before I took the plunge and bought this piece of investment real estate, I was well aware there would be anxious moments along the way. (This is probably why it took me so many years to go through with it.)

Now I am officially “in the thick of things” with the renovations. Because there is such a wee profit margin on this home, I’ve committed to doing most of the work myself, an undertaking that has inevitably required Herculean effort.

Bathroom-demo

Bathroom gut job

If I was honest, I’d have to admit there are many sleepless nights when I wonder:

  1. Will I ever actually finish this house?
  2. Will I live to tell about it, or will I need to be buried out back next to the new septic tank?
  3. Will I lose all my savings and have to work in fast food to pay the bills?

So perhaps you’re wondering what keeps me going during these frequent moments of doubt and fear?

  1. Sheer grit.
  2. A deep faith in God and a belief that He has led me to this place for a divine purpose.
  3. An amazing support system of family and friends who have helped me in so many ways, from sharing business contacts to physically helping at the house when I get stuck on a project.
  4. Determination to create a lifestyle where I do work that I love, make money at it, and teach my children what it looks like to work hard, be generous and live abundantly.

Of course, now that a typical day consists of me choking on drywall dust, wading through building debris, and spending far too many hours within two feet of either a toilet or some other sewage pipe, I’ve clung to the 23rd Psalm more than ever before.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
    He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely Your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Regardless of each day’s challenges, I’m reminded that the most profound growth we experience in life often comes in our most uncomfortable moments. And I think of the wise advice fellow entrepreneur Amy Howard gave me at Haven this year. “There is fresh water, even in the desert.”

AMaker'sGuide

What have you done lately to venture out of your comfort zone?

Follow this flip: An almost-done porch

I hope you all had a very blessed Thanksgiving! Oh how I enjoy taking a break from the usual grind to spend time with family and friends, eating and recognizing the many, many things we have to be thankful for. Is it just me or is it tough to “get the train rolling” again after such a glorious holiday?

Anyway, although the caboose seems to be running a little slow this week, 😉 I’m back on the tracks again, so I wanted to share a bit of progress on the white house.

The front porch is this.close to being completely done. I’ve got to do a little bit of touch-up painting on the stairs and some staging to do. And I’ll be installing a new front door (new windows and trim are coming later as separate projects). Then this tiny part of the huge project will be wrapped up.

Let’s rewind a few weeks, shall we?

Front-porch-before Landcaping-BEFORE-1 Landcaping-BEFORE-2 Porch ceiling before Porch-rail-before

And now?

Almost-finished-porch

I did a bit of thrifty landscaping out front. Then I painted the porch posts, porch trim and floor.

I am absolutely in love with the color I chose for the porch ceiling.

Haint-blue-ceiling-light

I decided on a “haint blue” color I was inspired by while living in South Carolina. There, you’ll find many gorgeous, historic Southern front porches with this blue-green hue on the ceiling. Haint blue has a rich history you can read about here. I went with a fairly subtle blue so as not to scare all the Northerners away. 😉 I chose Clark+Kensington brand from Ace. I’ve had good success with their exterior paint in the past.

Before I added the haint blue color, I used Zinsser Peel Stop® Triple Thick High Build Binding Primer to seal all the cracks, chipping paint, etc. It made this old porch ceiling look brand new again! If I could marry this primer and have its babies, I would. 😉

I picked up an inexpensive porch rug at Ross to tie together the new ceiling and floor colors.

Porch-floor-and-rug

I spray-painted the old porch swing a rich mahogany color. My HomeRight® Finish Max Pro painted this thing in a snap and created such a flawless finish, the wood almost looks like it’s composite! I LOVE how it turned out.

Stained-porch-swing

It’s been raining cats and dogs outside for the past few days, so I’ve moved inside to work on the bathroom. It is a scary, scary place right now, people. I’m completely demolishing the walls. So far I’ve managed to step on a rusty nail, smash my pinky finger with a hammer, choke myself half to death on drywall dust, and nearly electrocute myself from a “mystery” outlet. All in a day’s work …

*Affiliate links are provided in this post for your convenience. 

BIG NEWS + a giveaway from Duluth Trading Company

Hello! I am super excited to share some big news with you today. It’s a project that has been in the works for awhile.

Drumroll please …

Follow-This-Flip-with-Susan

I just purchased my first investment property! It’s a small cottage I’ve dubbed “The White House.” I’ll be fixing it up from top to bottom, then selling it to one lucky family who will hopefully find it to be the cottage of their dreams. 🙂

Of course I’ll be chronicling the whole DIY journey here on the blog in a series I’m calling “Follow this Flip.” I hope you’ll tag along with me through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Flipping a house has been a huge dream of mine for many years. After searching high and low for the right property, submitting multiple offers on places I did not get, I finally scored this one.

I purchased my little “diamond in the rough” for $44,000 and am hoping to sell it for around $100,000 when I’m all done. I closed on the house last Friday and have already made some progress on the exterior, which I’ll be sharing with you later this week.

In the meantime, check out the DIY-friendly clothing and gear I’m wearing in the pic above. It’s all from my favorite clothing retailer, Duluth Trading Company.

Wanna test these duds out for yourself? The amazing folks at Duluth are giving away $50 gift cards to two lucky Living Rich on Less readersEnter to win one below.

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