Lindsey and I had been emailing and texting for a few weeks prior to this meeting. Writing about our experiences of owning property and the risk/reward of that and about my involvement with remodeling. We were getting to know one another on a more personal level as well even tho we had met a couple times before that the previous summer. She let me know when I got back from Christmas with my family in Texas that she wanted my thoughts on remodeling her bathroom and other ideas for her recently acquired duplex. She was so excited to talk about how much it would cost and when I could come by and look at the house.
We met at her duplex where she was living early in March 2014 to discuss a few remodel ideas she had and wondered if I were interested in being the contractor for them. I told her that my partner and I would drop by together and discuss budgets and start time for the project. Standing there in her kitchen with her and looking at the wreck that was her current bathroom, her excitement about what she loved about buying her duplex was contagious. Far from being put off by the condition of it I was impressed she could see thru that and take on the challenge and invest in her property just like I have done thru these many years of working on my rentals and all the rentals I work on for other people.
Initially even though she qualified just fine for a loan on the duplex the bank then backed out when they learned how small the first floor was! They did not believe anyone would want to go from a big three bedroom two bath single family house to a much smaller multi unit building! Such was Lindsey and what she was willing to do to make a dream come true. Lindsey moved out of her single family home and leased it out to friends. She bought the duplex in 2013 and had to take out another loan right away for a new roof and gutters. She was building as she so happily called it “my empire”. The bathroom project represented for her the first time in a very long time that she was doing something not just for equity in a property but something nice for herself.
When we were wrapping up that meeting in her kitchen my partner looked at her and in a kind way asked if she were doing ok? We could tell her eyes were a bit puffy and her voice was not as strong as it usually was. Lindsey replied she had just that day broken off a romantic relationship and even though she had know for a while it wasn’t what she wanted she was still hurt over it ending. She said she debated on canceling our meeting but had determined that moving forward was how she planned to live her life now so what better time to meet us. I liked her logic and the vulnerability she could show even at that moment.
My partner and I left her inside after meeting with her there in her kitchen. Casually we walked out to a space between our two pickups and chatted on the sidewalk, discussing the time it might take and who would take care of which pieces of the project. Snow was still heavy on the ground and we needed indoor work. Just two guys discussing another job. The last thing I said to him was, ‘I’m gonna make a run at this girl’. He looked at me and with a wry half grin and replied, ‘well a man can always dream’.! Which is to say jump out there you likely don’t have a chance in hell but a guy can always take a shot!