Surprise you guys!!!! Guess what?! I’m renovating another adorable, cozy cottage! HOORAY! I’ve been very vocal since the completion of my cottage of my desire to begin another project. And y’all, I’ve been looking and looking EVERY SINGLE DAY since then. Last December, I had the most adorable little cottage under contract, but once I got to inspections, I found out it was basically decimated by termites and I. WAS. CRUSHED. I was emotionally attached to that house and it was hard to cancel the contract but ultimately it was the best business decision.
BUT, because my eyes are always peeled, about a year ago I came across this adorable blue cottage right in my own neighborhood and it appeared to be vacant. And much like the story of my own cottage, I began the pursuit to find out more.
I began where I started with my cottage…our parish tax assessor’s office. The owner’s address was listed as the property address. But obviously the property was vacant, so sending a letter there wouldn’t work. Then I traveled to my next favorite source of information. Google. And there I found a possible connection with an address in Houston. And over the course of a few months, I sent two different letters to that address with no response. I also came across a potential phone number, called, left a message and again got no response.
All hope seemed lost until back in the late winter of 2019, I drove by the home and noticed papers on the door stating the home had been winterized and was now under the care of a property management service. That means only one thing. The owners are in trouble and are potentially losing the home. I grabbed the number of the management service and called immediately. While they can’t disclose WHY they have the property, they were able to share WHO they were managing the property for and provided the name of a reverse mortgage company. The plot thickens.
In case you aren’t familiar with a reverse mortgage, families who own a property outright can basically take out a mortgage on their home, and then the mortgage is paid back upon their death usually through a life insurance policy or other investments. But sometimes, the family passes away and funds are not available to pay off the reverse mortgage and thus the home falls into foreclosure. And sadly, that’s what happened here.
I promptly reached out to the reverse mortgage company and was told I had to mail in a letter of interest….which I did and got nothing. So I dug a little deeper and ended up finding a contact who was able to help me. Basically the home was still going through the foreclosure process, and my new contact just asked me to stay in touch and he/she would let me know if and when more information became available.
And that’s what I did….for about 6 months. Apparently it takes a LONG time to legally prep a foreclosure to be sold.
Fast forward to August 24, 2019. I drove by to check the house again and this time noticed a new contact number on the door. And I promptly proceeded to send a text. As it turned out, the home was *this close* to being ready to be sold and I was told he would be in touch very soon.
About three weeks later, I got a call that the home was officially for sale. And let me tell y’all, I wasted absolutely no time. I was able to gain access to the interior within about 18 hours, and submitted the offer paperwork shortly after that. Just as I knew in my spirit that MY cottage was supposed to be mine, I felt as strongly about this one. I didn’t want to lose it, so I submitted an offer ABOVE the bank’s asking price.
And then, a small wait began. I was told the bank would wait about five days before looking at any offers and then they would likely tend to favor an owner occupant and I would be an investor. YIKES. I was terrified I would lose it. And while I didn’t pray circles around this house like I did mine, I did pray over it and trusted the Lord to close the door (like He did on the termite infested house) OR allow my offer to be accepted. And the latter is exactly what happened.
Somewhere around the 5th day after I submitted my offer, I got the call that mine had been accepted. Oooooo y’all, I was so excited, relieved and scared all at the same time! You see, this will be an investment for me. And investments are mostly always scary, but can also have great returns and rewards.
This past Tuesday, I officially closed on this adorable, cozy cottage and can’t wait to start the renovation process all over again! While I’m definitely no expert, I do know a bit about “doing houses.” My house was definitely my crème de la crème to date, but was actually number eight for me. This little cottage will be number nine. And I’m sure you’re wondering at this point what my plans are for it. As of right now, I’m planning to renovate and resell it, hopefully by sometime late spring (if not before) if all goes well. But I also think it’s possible I’m gonna fall slap in love with it and want to keep it as a rental. So for now, I’ll just say I’m keeping my options open.
Here are the deets: Built in 1940, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, ~1902 square feet, upstairs loft area (4th bedroom), massive kitchen with walk in pantry, dining area, living area, library/office area, laundry room, gas fireplace, one car carport, within the boundaries of the Minden Historic Residential District, large fenced in backyard with an adorable storage building/she shed, and loads of shiplap waiting to be uncovered!
Y’all I absolutely cannot manage one more social media account, so I’ll be using Simply Southern Cottage to document all of the renovation process. I have no doubt there will be twists and turns (hopefully not too many), but I’d love it if you guys would follow along again with me! It will take me a little bit to plan, get quotes and get ramped up, but you should see some activity very soon.
And, I’ll close with the question I ask myself every single day. What. Is. This. Life? The opportunities the Lord keeps slinging my way are truly a testament to His grace and mercy. He continues to give me opportunities to explore my creative outlets with things that bring my heart so much joy. And while I’m learning I have to be patient as things unfold, I’m also learning The Wait He requires me to walk through ultimately brings abundant joy. So much is happening over here behind the scenes y’all. I’ve got lots of secrets up my sleeve and I’ll share as things unfold! Stay tuned for lots more adventures. Big hugs to all! xo