Surprise! I’m Renovating Another Cozy Cottage!

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.

Kitchen area before clean out

Kitchen area after clean out

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.

Guest bath before clean out

Guest bath after clean out

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.

Bedroom #2 before clean out


Bedroom #2 after clean out

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.

Living area

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.

Bonus room upstairs

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.

Outdoor storage/she shed

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!

Back of the cottage

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

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  1. Andrea says:

    This house has such a sweet spirit and so many nice features. It looks like it was a labor of love for someone at some point and deserves a new look, a new life. Godspeed on the journey!

  2. Vicki Templeton says:

    I’m ready to follow along! I found you about midway thru the reno on SS Cottage to I’m excited to get in on the very beginning this time. God’s got this!!!

  3. Cathy Johnson says:

    How exciting for you, Sara!! It looks like this cottage is a great find!! Can’t wait to watch your renovations unfold.
    I’m a big fan of yours; you have such wonderful talent in home renovating and decor. I love, love, love your home, and I resonate with your style.
    I am about to embark on the remodel of a 100-year-old bungalow in Houston, our retirement home! And I suspect there will be shiplap hiding behind all the drywall.
    Congratulations on your purchase. God bless you in all you do.

    • Sara McDaniel says:

      Oh how fun is this!!!!! You will love the process! Thank you for your kind words!!! Circle back and lemme know how your project goes!

  4. Paulette says:

    So glad I found you when you were renovating your house and now…another! Your story is so inspirational and I absolutely adore your taste and creativity. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  5. Cheryl says:

    As a retiree who was once where you are, my advice is to keep waiting on the Lord to open doors as you have been. I now have a nice selection of investment properties that came to me one by one at just the right time. It is so good to look back and see the Lord’s hand in all that I have done! God bless you! I’m looking forward to following your progress!

  6. Carol says:

    Good luck, it’s adorable property.

  7. LeAnn Thames says:

    This is so awesome. Can’t wait to see the #cozzycottage come to life. ???❤️

  8. Nancy says:

    Squeeee!!!!! Girl, this is so great!!!! I cannot WAIT to watch this butterfly emerge!- all of the character is there just waiting to be transformed! You are so good at this! I am so happy for you, and so grateful you share it with us!

  9. So excited for this next chapter in your life and you had me hook, line and sinker with that front door ? – I know you will do great things with this cottage – just as you did with Simply Southern cottage!!!

  10. Rhonda Simmons says:

    Love it!! Glad you were able to get it. I will definitely be following along. ?

  11. Judy Miller says:

    Follow along we will!! How exciting, Sara!!! This house is adorable, it had me at the front door and it got better and better. Lots of character and lots of room for “Sara’s Stamp” to be placed!! Can hardly wait!!!!

  12. Allie says:

    I’m so happy for you. Continue sharing and inspiring.
    God Bless

  13. Yvonne Cannon says:

    Sara I’m so excited for you and this next chapter in your life. I look forward to following along on this journey but you actually had me hook, line and sinker with the front door!!!? I have no doubt you will breath life back into this home!!

  14. Barbara Hoover says:

    Oh my goodness, congratulations! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for this adorable cottage!

  15. Susie Holton says:

    This is so very exciting! I’m excited to follow along and watch what God is in store and your creativity is displayed! Thanks so much for sharing your journey!

  16. Wanda Bellitto says:

    God is so faithful. I am thrilled that I too am able to follow along as you bring life back to this sweet cottage. I see cozy all over it! As always, the Lord will lead. Enjoy!

  17. Lori says:

    I am so excited for you! I can’t wait to follow along. I found you after you finished your cottage and I’m excited to follow along while you make this one beautiful! <3

  18. Mary says:

    So happy for you Sara!! Prayers that all goes well. If you need help, give me a call!! Since my husband passed away, I have a lot of time on my hands and try to stay busy. ? I’m only 20 minutes from Minden! Love ya

  19. Dianne Stephens says:

    So excited for you and us! Can’t wait to see all your ideas. Keep us posted and know God’s plan is Best! Can’t believe this adorable cottage is in your neighborhood, amazing when we open our eyes and actually look at our surroundings what can be found. Good Luck in your new adventure.

  20. Gay Lewis says:

    Congratulations ?
    Looking forward to your transformation
    for this home!
    Hopefully Me,Lisa,Pam,Debbie,Mary
    ,Janice& Jan will win a private
    tour of this house when it’s

  21. Judy says:

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to see the renovation journey and the end product! God bless!

  22. April Timmons says:

    Girlfriend! You always make me smile! I’m so excited for you. I cannot wait to see this beauty come to life! Congrats!!

  23. Terri says:

    So excited for you Sara!! My home in NJ was a reverse mortgage and we got it because the agent loved our dog and because the bank was taking offers from owner occupants for 5 days before investors!! I can’t wait to see how it turns much potential!!

  24. Robbin says:

    Oh my goodness!! I can’t WAIT to watch the transformation. I was a “late comer” to Simply Southern Cottage so I didn’t get to see the process. Excited to discover where this house leads you!!! To God be the glory!!! Blessings from Missouri!!

  25. cheryl says:

    Wow! What potential. That front door alone makes the house worth buying. Congratulations! I can’t wait to see what you do with the place. 🙂

  26. Amanda Gulley says:

    Oh I’m so excited for you! And for me to get to follow along! I can’t wait! Best of luck to you. I know it will be a fabulous journey!

  27. GrannaJulie says:

    Sara!!! That house is going to be so pretty! I’m going to have to drive by to see it in person the next time I head to Shreveport (from El Dorado).

  28. Carol says:

    Hi Sara …. Can’t wait to see you get started on this beauty. I’m wondering, did you have to clean this house out or did the bank before selling it?

  29. Michelle says:

    Wow, so excited for your next project. Such an adorable place. Can’t wait to see how things come together (for they surely will.) I would love, love, love to be able to fix up houses like this, I have walked thru some homes and just get a vision for them…you are living my dream! Have fun!

  30. Bambi says:

    Sara, you are beautiful inside and out!! I cannot wait to see what you and God do to this project! You inspire many?

  31. Claudette says:

    This is wonderful news!!
    Do I spy a YELLOW screen door in the kitchen?
    Can’t wait to watch all the beauty to bring to this cottage.

  32. Danielle says:

    I’m in awe! I can’t wait to see you work your magic!!!

  33. Wow! What a story! I agree that it is all in God’s timing. I can’t wait to see the transformation of this little jewel!

  34. Nita says:

    I love this adorable house and can’t wait to see how special it will be when you finish with it. I didn’t come to your account until after your cottage was finished so I’m looking forward to seeing this process. I’m excited for you!!

  35. Cindy says:

    I am excited! I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  36. Donna Morris says:

    You had me at the cute front door! Can’t wait to travel through another journey with you❤️

  37. Heather Lane says:

    I’m so so happy for you! I just LOVE this cottage!!!!

  38. Brenda Shaddox says:

    Ditto. You had me at the front door. I love traveling these journeys with you! My bags are packed with joy!

  39. Lucia says:

    I’m so excited to how you and God transform this sweet home!

  40. Julie Langley says:

    Yay, Sara! I’m so excited to follow along. I think it is wonderful that you found another project in Minden. Such a sweet little town. Thanks for your recommendation on a painter this summer when we did our house. It turned out dreamy and we’ve gotten such positive comments from our neighbors. Prayers for a positive experience as you journey through another renovation. Such fun!

  41. Jenny Young says:

    What an adorable house. Even though it was not in great shape you can tell it was obviously a lovely home at one time….someone must have some wonderful memories of it.

    Can’t wait to see it all fixed up & I hope you’ll keep it charming.

  42. Debbie says:

    I dont do social media so I dont follow Instagram or Facebook. I had gven up on your blog and was literally about to delete it from my homepage…and then…finally a post! I look forward to following your new venture

  43. Linda F says:

    It’s an adorable little house just waiting to be beautiful again. Will be following along to see the cuteness emerge. Congrats on another great find. ??

  44. Pamela Phillips says:

    I started following your Southern cottage a few years ago! I love all your decorating ideas and your travels!! My sister lives near Minden, and I visit her frequently . I can hardly wait to see the transformation of this new cute cottage! It is already adorable! If you make it another Airbnb, I promise I will stay there on one of my trips to Minden.

  45. Mary Lee Feltner says:

    My husband and I loved the character of this one. We were in Minden for Labor Day Weekend to look for a future home as we will move to Minden hopefully before summer 2020. I fell I love with Minden in 1997 and lived there for 5 months after Hurricane Katrina. Minden is embedded in our hearts.

  46. Mary Lee Feltner says:

    A friend of mind found your posts and copied me immediately because she knows of our love for Minden. We were trying to get an appointment to see this on Oct 13 but had to cancel our trip because my husband had spine surgery. I WILL live in Minden again in my forever home. Perhaps this cottage !

  47. Jan Hearnsberger says:

    I have followed you from day 1 and enjoyed every minute… of the house redos. (I’ve actually “followed” you much longer than that).You are such an inspiration to so many. But this house, that front door and those floors! What a great find with such potential! Looking forward to the journey!

  48. How exciting! So much potential here. It’s going to be adorable. Congratulations, Sara!!

  49. Leslie says:

    So happy for you, Sara! I can wait to see to the pictures all the new changes. Hope and pray that the Lord continue to bless you and be with you on this journey. I will keep you in my prayers.

  50. Carrie says:

    So excited for you. I with I was brave too and would chase my dreams!

  51. I am so excited about this reno! I’ve also had my eye on this foreclosure for a little while. I would drive by it and snap pictures and videos to my sister-in-law who was looking for a home in Minden. I would say “This has SOOOO much potential to be really beautiful! A Fixer-Upper”. I can’t wait to see the finished product here… I’ll drive by again and send her pictures saying “SEE!!!! It did have potential!” 🙂

  52. Sherri says:

    This is so exciting! My husband lived here when I met him 30 some years ago. His family loved the house but sold it years ago. It has so many great features. We are all so excited to see this renovation. So many good memories in this house. My Father-in-law is a preacher and previous pastor, so many a prayer and blessing in this house.

    • Sara McDaniel says:

      Oh my goodness!!!!! No way!!! Thank you so much for sharing this!!!!! This makes my heart so so happy. ❤️

  53. Sharon Walker says:

    Excited you bought this house. I own the house next door. Love it, but lease it after I remarried. Look forward to seeing your renovations and meeting you.

    • Sara McDaniel says:

      Oh how fun! I actually talked to you about your house maybe back around 2015 before I bought mine. I wanted to buy it lol. 🙂

  54. Betty says:

    Beautiful home. Will love seeing what you do with it. The house had so many things from the previous owners. Did they just leave everything or was they forced to leave without getting them before you bought it?

  55. Mary Weddle says:

    Sara, this cottage is adorable! I’m so happy you were able to acquire it. I know you will do a magnificent job, just as you did with Southern Cottage which I am in love with.
    When I saw the picture of the kitchen “before”…..I thought, “oh, Sara, DO save and reuse some of those things in that kitchen….the hanging pot rack, those adorable (handmade?) shelves at the sink, and that yummy yellow screen door with woodwork….for examples!” You are so good at up-cycling, I’m eager to see what you do with all these “finds” in this cottage! ?

  56. Laura Risher says:

    I’m so glad someone like you got a hold of it and will restore it’s charm. So many investors strip homes of their character, and do a generic remodel…
    Oh, I wish you would start a YouTube Channel & log your journey!

    • Sara McDaniel says:

      Hi Laura! Are you in IG? I’m documenting everything there and would love to have you join in the fun!

  57. Teri says:

    I was just telling my oldest son about you and how if he didn’t currently have a girlfriend (still a bachelor though) I would try to fix you two up! He works in contruction (age 33, 6’2, blue eyes, blonde hair). I showed him your blog and told him how you buy houses and renovate. I showed him your picture, mentioned that you were a Christian and he said, “Wow! She’d be a catch!” His younger brother used to live in Louisiana but has moved back up north too. Who knows though? lol We’ll see.

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