Photos by Hillary Ehlen and Courtesy of Maggie Aslakson
When Maggie Aslakson embarked on renovating the Shure Lake residence in Harwood, she had its future homeowners in mind…she just didn’t know them yet.
Aslakson, or “Maggie Flips” on social media, grew up in Minneapolis and always had a love for real estate. “Growing up in Minneapolis, they would have a huge parade of homes, twice a year. They’d have a magazine full of the houses that were going to be on the parade. I would circle all the houses that I wanted to go to and my dad would drive me around to all the houses. And I just loved the design aspect, I loved everything about it,” shared Aslakson. Fast forward to 2011, and Aslakson and her husband Derek had just purchased their first investment property in Gilbert, Arizona. They saw a great return on their investment there and were bit by the property bug.
With this excitement about renovations, Aslakson reached out to Valley Property Partners’s Josh Koth, whom she had worked with before. She said, “I contacted him and I said, ‘Hey I‘m really interested in this, it’s always been a passion of mine. How can I help you? How can I get involved?'” Koth and Jack Hoss from Valley Property Partners had a knack for discovering great properties and with Aslakson’s eye for design, they made for a natural and strategic team. In November of 2017, the VPP guys reached out to Aslakson and told her they had a home she could take on as her very own flip. “I hadn’t seen [the house], so I was just trusting them that it was a good investment. I had calculated the numbers on it, but you never know what you’re going to find when you go into it.”
Sure enough, the calculated planning paid off. With help from general contractor, Karl Kreutz from Kreutz Construction, this dream team made a dated house a home.
Kayla and Lucas Cahoon purchased this renovated home Spring of 2018. The Cahoons are happily settled into this home nestled on the water in Hardwood and ready to welcome their first child there.
All About the Address
Finding that perfect home can be hard. This search to find a space that checks all the boxes is another reason why flip homes and renovations are so popular across the country. When Kayla and Lucas Cahoon were looking for their home, its location was a huge factor. “We wanted to be out of town and we wanted a couple of acres, at least,” said Kayla. There are fewer homes out in the country than in Fargo-proper, making a perfect find in the desired area a bit of a longer process.
In the Cahoon’s house search, they came across their future home when their realtor had them looking at a different property in a cul-de-sac just across the pond. With a mention that a home just along the way was being flipped at the moment, Kayla and her husband were immediately interested and patiently waited until the home was finished enough for a viewing. Before the dust of renovations had completely settled, the Cahoons made it through the door and knew it was home. “As soon as we walked in, I was like, ‘Where do I sign?’ I knew this was the place we had been wanting,” Kayla shared.
The Cahoon’s three-year-old dog Remi can roam freely on the two acres of land around the house and enjoy watching the ducks on the pond alongside their own coop of pet ducks. Out in this secluded neighborhood, they don’t have to worry about Remi running into the street or getting too lost. While living more remotely, the couple enjoys the camaraderie they have with the few neighbors that surround them. “We love our neighbors. It’s so cool that we are secluded out here but we still have those one or two people that always keep an eye on your house and each other,” said Kayla.
Before the Cahoons
Before Aslakson and her team graced this property, it was adorned with jewel-toned wallpaper, dated appliances, laminate everywhere and plenty of wood paneling.
An opera window with dark wood banisters was a clunky separation between the upper level’s living room and the dining space and kitchen area a half-level down. In the remodel, this closure was opened up to allow the two spaces to interact more organically. Rust-colored tile flooring was replaced with rich, dark plank flooring and the entire kitchen was revamped with stainless steel appliances, creamy cabinets and metal pendant light fixtures.
Throughout the process of flipping this Harwood home, Aslakson shared updates all along the way on her Facebook page, “Maggie Flips.” Not planning on using a realtor to sell the final product, she used Facebook as a marketing tool to get people to follow along with the flipping process and to spark interest in hopes of selling the home. While the Cahoon’s did not find the home through social media, Aslakson enjoyed documenting the whole process and letting followers chime in with commentary and opinions.
Working with Valley Property Partners and her husband, Aslakson also consulted the online audience for second opinions on style choices. From paint colors to countertop surfaces to cabinet hardware, she used her account to get opinions from followers. On this medium, she also shared numerous tips and tricks for other like-minded homeowners looking to spruce up their spaces.
That Farmhouse Feeling
Both the flip team and the current homeowners have stayed true to the country, farmhouse style that this home is ideal for. The shared love of farmhouse details like the shiplap around the fireplace and the creamy white cabinets made for perfect touches to the designer and the homeowners. Aslakson noted that she wanted to build off all the natural light in the property and wanted that to play off the rustic details like the mantel from Dakota Timber and the natural butcher block island.
“When I was designing everything I kept thinking, ‘Who is going to live out here?’ It’s a different person that wants to live out in the country,” said Aslakson. She noted that most people who want to live a bit out of town tend to lean towards a more farmhouse and shabby-chic aesthetic. She added, “I get so emotionally involved in these projects. When you listen to everything about investments, they always advise to not let your emotions get involved, but you can’t help but when you’re picking out every part of the home and envisioning a family there.” Going against advice to not get emotionally invested paid off for Aslakson, with each detail chosen aligning with who ended up in the home. “It’s so funny, I was hoping someone like them would end up there,” she said.
“That’s the ‘why.’ Knowing that your blood, sweat and energy went into something and now people are just loving it,” shared Aslakson. Through the updates, this picture perfect location now has a fitting home to match and a very happy family enjoying each day there.