Tell us a little about yourselves:
Zach and I met in college at SFA back in 2010. We fell in love and got married in June 2013. Soon after we felt a calling to plant some roots in the great city of Fort Worth, Texas. We have a dog named Marvel and a cat named Kitty. We are active members and regularly attend Watermark Church at the Ridglea Theater off Camp Bowie. One of our favorite things to do in Fort Worth is to ride our bikes along the Trinity River and wind up at Woodshed with an ice cold drink. Sometimes when we’re feeling competitive we’ll engage in an intense round of mini connect-four at our favorite local restaurants – but that’s only when we’re feeling wild. Basically, we love to laugh, eat good food, fellowship with friends and family, and talk about real estate.
How did you both learn of your passion for remodeling homes?
When we bought our first house our primary goal was to find a house we could fix up ourselves, sell within a year and use as leverage for the next house. Most nights we would come home from our day job and go back to work, sometimes until midnight. We lived in a construction zone for 6 months and many times walked into work the next morning with floor stain still in our cuticles. I’d say passion, prayer and frozen dinners are the only reasons we made it through those exhausting days. When the time came to list the house a year later, we had 6 showings and 4 offers in less than 24 hours. We ended up executing an offer 12k over asking price a day later and may have done a few happy dances in the living room. I believe our passion truly kickstarted when we began to see our hard work pay off.
What does a typical day in the life of the Overfurfs look like?
I currently work full-time in Human Resources for the Bass Companies and Zach is a Realtor and Property Manager at League Real Estate. There are no two days alike, especially during the summer. It’s not unusual for Zach to be emailing, calling, texting clients/investors at all hours of the day. In fact, right now he is sitting next to me at 11pm emailing a counter offer for one of his clients. We do a lot of brainstorming and goal setting in the evenings, but also try to incorporate at least one rerun of The Office before bed. Despite our crazy schedule, we have a designated date night every Thursday evening to help us stay connected as husband and wife – and we haven’t missed one yet!
How many houses have you renovated?
We’ve remodeled a total of 5 houses and have 2 rentals. Our goal/model is flip two in a hot area, then buy and hold one as a rental in an appreciating area. We still consider ourselves newbies in the business, but hope to grow our portfolio to the double digits this year.
What do you love most about it? What have you learned along the way?
We love Fort Worth and find it rewarding to play a small part in revitalizing communities by breathing new life into some of these older homes. It’s fun for us to look past the neglect of a house and visualize all of its potential. A whole new momentum begins once we see our vision become a reality. We have learned that there are a lot of moving pieces to remodeling a home. It takes time and strategic planning when taking on large projects, especially if there are multiple projects going on at the same time. Costs can add up very quickly. We’ve learned that deadlines need to be flexible and contractors do not adhere to your timeline.
Any funny stories or interesting things that have happened throughout the process?
We shared a 300 sq foot room with our dog and cat for 2 ½ months during our latest “live-in” fixer-upper. This room contained an upright piano, fridge, keurig, king size bed, dog kennel, and a box of clothes a piece. We ate out every day for those 2 ½ months and realized a month into it that it wasn’t as much fun as we thought it would be. Plus it was expensive! A week into moving into our fixer-upper our AC went out. We spent 3 nights cuddling ice packs and repenting for those nights we took the AC for granted. Another night we couldn’t find our cat. For 2 hours we searched for her and even drove down the street thinking she somehow escaped out the door. Our dog helped us realize that our cat had jumped through the opening where our soon-to-be dishwasher was going. We ran outside, opened up the crawl space and found her chillin’ underneath the house in the dark with her paws crossed as if she was asking, “Can I help you?” Obviously we lured her back with food, because that’s all our cat does. Eat.
What project are you currently working on?
These past few weeks have been busy for us. We just finished remodeling a home in Arlington Heights and are pleased to say that it’s under contract! Right now we are working on leasing our current house and purchasing another “live-in” fixer upper in the River District. We are really excited about this next house because it includes a guesthouse. Once we fix up the guesthouse, our idea would be to Airbnb it. We also recently partnered with an investor to acquire more properties from the city of Fort Worth.
What are your future plans for fixing up homes in Fort Worth?
As for the future, we’d like to keep taking risks and acquire more homes. There are a lot of exciting things happening in Fort Worth so we have our eye on a few neighborhoods that we feel are “up and coming”. Our goal is to find homes that need a little love and make them dream homes for families.
What would you tell other couples looking to get started in the fixer-upper field?
If you’re wanting to take on a fixer-upper, our first piece of advice is to make sure you buy right. Buying right is how you make your money. If your goal is to buy a fixer-upper to live in long term, then it is important that you create a budget and that your “must haves” fit in that budget. You have to be able to see a property not for what it is, but for what it could be. You need to have vision. Once you decide you’re ready, take a deep breath and go for it! It will challenge you in different ways, but in the end it is incredibly rewarding to see your dreams come to fruition.
**Disclaimer!** We definitely do not know it all, nor do we pretend to know it all. We’ve made our fair share of mistakes and still use those as lessons moving forward. The best advice we can give is not to give up. Seek out a mentor and learn from those who have had success in real estate.