I'm Stefanie and this is my husband, JJ, and and we have been flipping homes together since 2001. It was a passion born of necessity. We couldn’t afford a home that was “finished”, so we bought the crappiest house on the block and got busy figuring out how to make it something we loved on a small budget working with our own hands and desire to create a space of love and laughter built around our life and family.
We had so much fun, we sold it and bought another “crappiest home on the block” and got busy. This one was a much bigger project in a neighborhood full of large properties we had always dreamed of living in. I was pregnant with our third son at the time and let’s just say it was a struggle. We took it down to the studs. At night we would board up the side walls with sheets of wood.
We had a “kitchen” in the garage which we called a “kitage”. It consisted of a stove top, refrigerator, card table and boxes of dishes. That didn’t stop me from cooking meals every day (well most days) for my family. Cooking is where I find my sanity. Washing the dishes in a bathtub? Not fun, but worth the price of a good home cooked meal.
When our oldest son, Keenan, that's him on the left, (we have three boys Keenan 25, Noah, 23 and Colton, 14) flew the coop in 2013 and headed east to college, we bought our third fixer upper, The Holly House. This time we rented a house to live in while we remodeled. WAY better plan! I had a real kitchen and a much more pleasant disposition.
When we finished the Holly house, we decided this was going to be our forever home. The view and privacy aren’t easily replaced, and with an attache guest house, it’s the perfect house for our kids to come home to as they build their own families.
BUT, we still were addicted to fixer uppers! So, we took a big chance and bought our first home that was solely to flip. There were MANY sleepless nights along the way. We had invested most everything we had into the house and there were a lot of surprises. Not the good kind. Like three different roofs, stacked on top of each other, undisclosed fire damage, plywood only walls, the list was endless.
We did a lot of praying, finger crossing and breath holding when we finally finished and put her on the market. We even buried a Saint Joseph in our front yard, a recommendation from my catholic mother-in-law. I would have buried a much coveted case of Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay if I thought it would work. Those of you who follow me on social, not how desperate I must have been. It sold in less than three months and our dream of flipping homes had become a reality.
Over the next seven years, I ran my own social media agency and JJ continued his VP position for a major corporation. We dreamt of the day we would be able to shut down my business and he could leave his corporate job and we could run our own business together flipping and designing homes. We always thought when he turned 50, we would make it happen. But 50 came and went and we stayed in our “safe” place.
Then 2019 happened.
We had two friends diagnosed with cancer and we lost a friend suddenly. To say it was a rough year would be an epic understatement. It made us realize how fragile, not guaranteed and short life can be (even if you are lucky enough to live a long life).
In February of this year (2020), we made our years-long dream a reality. JJ left his job, I shut down my social media agency and we became a team. I design, he builds. We flip homes for ourselves and have taken on several clients. We have fixers, new builds, remodels and we have smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts every day because we get to do what we love.
When we aren’t with clients or on job sites, you will find me in my garden or in my kitchen creating a new recipe and then making it over and over until it’s perfect and I can share it with you. You will find JJ in his massive workshop working on building the list of projects I give him weekly. A new chicken coop, garden boxes, new outdoor furniture, the list is endless. Just ask him.
We have six fabulous chickens named, Friday, Esmerelda, Luna, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary Jane and LaFawnduh.
We have two dogs, Otis and Lola and a goat coming soon … well as soon as I can convince JJ to let me get one. The chickens took me 10 years, I am hoping the goat is sooner. Stay tuned. #agoatforstefanie
While most people start to slow down at 50, we are just getting started. Join us as we begin our newly refurbished lives. We have an awful lot of fun!