The Story of Us

I remember it clear as day – I had just finished making supper at my apartment and Brad called saying that he was going to stop by. I knew that he had gone to a presentation with his roommate, but didn’t know much more than that.

Brad showed up at my place in his usual chipper state. He started to tell me about the presentation he just attended and I could see the excitement in his eyes. It was a Robert Kiosaki presentation, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad. After rambling on about everything he had learned, he ended with a statement I’ll never forget, “I lent $30,000 to go through a real estate coaching program – I think this is our future. You don’t have to do it with me, but I would love it if you did!” I remember my jaw dropping – we were newly engaged and about to enter into marriage DEBT FREE, something very rare for people our age.

So just days after our wedding , we decided make the move from St. Louis, MO to Saskatoon, SK.  I left my “safe” and low paying corporate job in the HR field while Brad graduated with his master’s in small business.  Once we got to Canada, we started working for Brad’s family business and continued our real estate training.  Then after a few short months, we decided to give real estate a go.

When we got to Saskatoon we almost immediately saw an opportunity to offer a rent to own program that filled a gap that no one else in the area was filling.  By acquiring a few rent to own and rental units, we were off.  Still working for Brad’s family business full time, we were learning on the fly.

Fast forward a year; we started flipping houses alongside the rent to owns and rentals. This is where we found our calling (or so we thought). Flipping houses was exciting, allowed us to be creative, and just felt “right”! The first three flips we did sold in less than 48 hours and we were feeling good, but I’d be lying if I said we didn’t get a bit cocky after this…

Feeling good about how things were going, we took on more and more flips at once – all in different areas and price points of the city. To be frank we took on projects we should have NEVER touched and paid a price for it.  Just as quickly as things started going well, they started going poorly.  It was one of those “two steps forward, two steps back” kind of things and we knew something had to change.

A few months later, God brought Stefan Aarnio into our lives.  He is a real estate investor and coach based out of Winnipeg, MB.  He has flipped hundreds of houses throughout his career and was just the person we needed in our life at that time.  We hired Stefan and he helped point out our mistakes pretty quickly.  The mistakes weren’t huge, but in this business, small mistakes add up quickly.  Since then we’ve corrected our mistakes, applied those learnings and are more excited than ever to offer our product to the market!  A product that offers great design at an affordable price.  Each one of our projects are uniquely designed for the price point, the consumer, and the neighbourhood.

At the end of the day, Brad and I are continuously learning; we certainly don’t have it all figured out. We are passionate about what we do and even more passionate about creating the lifestyle we have always wanted – a lifestyle that allows us to have a career we are excited about and the flexibility to spend time with our family (more importantly Rae) at our own discretion.  Owning a business might seem like cupcakes and rainbows, but the outside world never gets to see the tough times – the late night hours and the sacrifices made to make your dreams a reality.  We are excited about what the future brings and lives we will get to touch along the way.

 

Untold facts about Kaitlyn & Brad

We met in 2012 at Mardi Gras – definitely not thinking we would meet our spouses that day

Brad has a bachelor’s in finance and a master’s in small business

I have a bachelor’s in human resource and development, but originally went to school to work with special needs children

Brad loves watching and playing sports almost as much as he loves Rae and I

I am an adrenaline junkie

Kaitlyn Blair
Kaitlyn Blair
kaitlyn@sprucehomes.ca

Wife. Designer. Home decorator. Cheesecake obsession. Missouri roots. Follow along as we turn Saskatoon's most rundown houses into something spectacular!