Just Move It!

Jul 22, 2021

Welcome to the Fearless Innovator Podcast, my name is Mechiel Kopaska and I am your host.

This week’s topic is Just Move it!

If you recall, from last week’s episode, I had purchased 1.65 acres that had a double wide mobile home and a 2-story stick-built house with a 6 car garage.

My goal with this property was to build a custom home and flip it and move on to another property.  I was clearly living up to the Nomad life,  a name given to me by my parents. I loved to move around!  But That’s NOT what happened!

I worked with a local commercial lender and was able to sell him on my idea to build this custom home.  The construction loan had a limited timeframe and at the end, I would need to seek conventional lending.

After the purchase, I sold the double wide and had it hauled off and in it’s place my home was built which took almost 2 years, by the way – but that’s another story for another day.

Then something else unexpectedly happened and it ruined and I mean ruined my goal for flipping the home.  Sadly, I got into a relationship.

That relationship changed the trajectory of my vision.  Now, it made sense to keep the home but it just didn’t make sense to me to have 2 dwellings on one property.

Had I known now what I know today, I had a perfect multi-family property which in today’s market is clearly sought after but at the time I did not know what I had.

Now, I was hunting for a solution.  Everyone, I encountered I would ask, “what would you do?”.  I got no viable solutions.

Mom and dad came down for their annual visit in February.  It was during this visit with dad where we were actually standing inside the 6 car garage when I got a call that said, I needed to move from the 2 story building into my new home (20 ft away) that day and I had to take pictures that day and send them that day back to the mortgage company so they could validate that I actually lived on premise so I could pass the final inspection allowing me to take possession of the new home.  Immediately, mom and dad and I went to work and began moving in the essentials.

After we completed our work, dad and I were back in the garage talking, only this time the attitude was a little different.  We were now discussing his death and everything he wanted me to know about his life and how he wanted things to go after his death.  He told me three things, He did everything in life in wanted to do, He lived life with no regrets and that he was happy.  I wasn’t  extremely happy talking about his death but I did listen intently.   I decided to change the topic to something more enlightening.

I said, dad, “now that I’ve moved into the house what on Earth am I going to do with this 2 story building?  He said, Didn’t you tell me that the 1.65 acres over there with the single wide is for sale?”  I said, “yes”.  He said, “go buy that 1.65 acres and move this house over there in place of the single wide and when you do, rebuild this barn to the size you want BUT make sure you put in a very large door in the middle because one day, Mechiel, you’re going to want an RV.

My dad was brilliant, and I was his perfect little get er done, kinda girl.  I made a deal with the neighbor next door and purchased the 1.65 acres.  The single wide wasn’t worth 2 pennies, but I found a group of guys that came to get it for free and they made it a hunt camp up north somewhere.  I don’t know where. I didn’t care, it was gone!

I started hunting for house movers. Now, In Iowa this happens a lot where people move houses, but not so much in Florida.  My friends thought I was nuts!  I didn’t care!  the least I could do was research it and see what I could find out.

I had heard during this time about a house they moved on water, so I was confident I could find someone.  I planted seeds everywhere trying to find a house mover.  Finally, I found a guy in Dade City, just 40 minutes from my house.  I still have his business card!  He shows up on time with his buddy – two good ole country boys chewing tobacco.  He asked me what the goal was, we walked and talked as I explained it to him and he looked over it real good and said, yep, we can do that.

This is how it works: I’m going to place big jacks under the home, raise it up, cut off the bottom floor, place it on a flat-bed semi-truck, lower the jacks so the home is now on the truck, and very slowly inch by inch, move the house from Point A to Point B.  This process will take a week to complete.

I had to cut down a fence, with nasty bushes in it, take a lean too off the building, and pull a permit and hire a contractor to put down the new elevated foundation that ultimately became the crawl space.  Once permitting was approved work could begin.

Within 2 months we were ready for the “move”.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t witness the move because I had to go to my J.O.B. and wasn’t allowed time off to be there, but my great friend Kathy went and took pictures, and video and gave me the play by play.  It went off without a hitch!  Next steps was to secure the home to the new foundation, took off the baby blue vinyl and put up concrete walls and paint and then wait for the inspection!  A couple of days later, I cleared the inspection and began my search for a renter.

Total cost of the project was $40k and at that time, you couldn’t have built a home for that price.   Over the next several years, I’ve had tenants come and go and most still remain in contact except the tenants that decided  doing meth was smart!  I didn’t have to call the cops because his brother (which I knew he was afraid of) did the trick and they were gone in 15 days!

Today, this home is a short term rental and yes, I rebuilt the garage to meet dad’s standards and Yes, you already know I have an RV (but I guarantee you at the time I built the barn, no I did not have an RV nor did I think I would want one.)  I sure miss my dad’s wisdom, he passed the same year we had a discussion about is death – just months later.

Thank you for listening,  I hope you were inspired, entertained or you learned something new!

If you’d like to attend my Innovation Roundtable where we talk about everything Real Estate, go to fearlessinnovator.com/roundtable to sign up!

Tonight, I’m hosting what I call the Innovation Roundtable.  If you’d like to attend my Innovation Roundtable where we talk about everything Real Estate, go to fearlessinnovator.com/roundtable to sign up!



If you’d like a free copy of my book Why my J.O.B. Quit Me, jumpstart Your Firing, go to fearlessinnovator.com/freebook.