Q. How long have you been flipping houses?
A. We closed on our first investment home in May of 2016! We are pretty new at this, although it's something we've always wanted to do, as we've enjoyed fixing up homes as we were living in them, and increasing their value. This was such a big dream for me, and you can read how it managed to become a reality here. It involved giving up our TV and a crazy series of events that I'll forever be grateful for! And it was probably the most fun blog post I've ever written. I remember sitting there with butterflies - the words couldn't come fast enough. I think that's when you know you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing.
Q. Can you give me advice about flipping houses? I want to get started!
A. I would love to talk to every person who emails me about this but I don't have enough time, sadly! I will say find somebody who is in your exact market to pick their brain, because every city's market is going to be so different and your contacts are going to be so different. Here's my blanket advice, though: Make an LLC first. If you don't have cash to get started, find a reputable hard money lender (they will usually want up to 20% down, so be aware you will need some cash) and find investors if you'd like to grow your business! Find reputable wholesalers to snag houses off-market that are in rehab condition for lower prices. Know your neighborhoods, know your market. Find a great contractor that you trust. These are all hard things but you can do it! And ONLY do this is you really want to. It's hard work and pretty stressful! It's only worth it if you love it! It's absolutely not as fast or easy as it seems on TV! Weigh the risks and go for if it's your dream.
Q. We're coming to visit Phoenix, where do you recommend we eat / get coffee?
A. Look here for all of my Phoenix favs I've posted on Instagram! Short list: If you're a bargain shopper, go to Last Chance for clothes / shoes etc. and SAS Fabrics for fabric and leather. Tacos: Joyride, Taco Chiwas, La Santisima, America's Tacos. Pizza: Federal or La Grande Orange. Coffee / breakfast: Lux, Giant, Lola, Vovomeena, The Coronado, Ollie Vaughn's. Locally-owned shopping: Frances, Made, Phoenix General, Dig It (super cool nursery), Bunky Boutique. Outdoors: We love going to Papago Park / Hole in the Rock, as well as the Desert Botanical Garden. Also - South Mountain is so pretty at sunset!
Q. Do you do promotional blog posts or Instagram posts? Do you accept advertisers?
A. Yes! I do accept promotional items for Instagram promotional posts as well as blog posts, but I have a limited number of promotional posts I do. We also only partner with brands that align well with our personal style (modern and colorful), brands that we would naturally want to promote or support, and we ask that we can choose the product ourselves because it is important to us to be sincere in our promotion! If you are interested in partnering, you may email saraharrowandapple AT gmail DOT com. Click HERE to download my media kit.
Q. What is your background in photography, and how long have you been a photographer?
A. Long answer! I studied photography at Randolph Community College in Asheboro, North Carolina, and graduated with my Associates' in Commercial Photography in 2005. RCC has one of the best photography programs in our great nation! I'm so grateful for that as part of my background. I interned with two phenomenal commercial photographers during school: Dero Sanford in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Mike Carroll in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shortly after graduating, I worked as an apprentice for Whitebox Weddings, a really fantastic and inspiring wedding photography duo. I launched my own business in 2010 and was a full-time wedding photographer until February of 2014, when I began working for A Beautiful Mess.
Q. Do you still shoot weddings? Do you regret being a photographer now that you've quit?
A. I'm sorry, I do not shoot weddings any more. :) But I'm always happy to refer my photographer friends! I don't regret becoming a photographer, because it's a skill you can always use for anything - right? Whether that be pictures of your kids, to photos for house listings or magazine features. I've never regretted my decision to get my degree in photography or the years I spent in the photography business. I learned so much just taking the risk of setting out and starting my own business and I encourage everyone to go for it if you want to! It's a great feeling, learning how to be your own boss.
Q. Should I print my images? What companies do you suggest using?
A. YES! Do it. We've used Artifact Uprising for our personal albums, Sticky9 for fun Instagram magnets, and love using Mpix for your basic prints. All good companies! But whatever you want to use, just make sure you have prints of your images. We also use Chatbooks for archiving our personal Instagram photos into little albums.