Overcoming seemingly impossible real estate challenges


Real Estate Challenge? Set Big Goals

Inspiration from a story about a single mother from Little Rock, Arkansas, on overcoming seemingly impossible real estate challenges.

In 2007 Cara Brookins escaped a marriage in which she had been the victim of domestic violence. She desperately needed a safe home for herself and her four children, who were ages 2, 11, 15 and 17 at the time.

The problem? Brookins couldn’t afford an existing home large enough for her family, and she certainly couldn’t afford the even greater expense of hiring a contractor to build a new home for her. The solution? Brookins—a computer analyst who had never built anything bigger than a bookcase—and her children built their dream home from the ground up, mostly by themselves.

They learned construction techniques largely by watching YouTube tutorials.

Cara Brookins’ story is a great metaphor for anyone facing a seemingly insurmountable real estate challenge. Let’s unpack some of the lessons represented:

USE ‘WHY NOT’ THINKING TO FOCUS ON POSSIBILITIES

Brookins’ inspiration flashed when she drove past a house that had been shattered by a tornado. “I stopped and got out to look at it and could see inside the walls,” she said. “You don’t often get the opportunity to see the interior workings of a house, but looking at these 2x4s and these nails, it just looked so simple. I thought, ‘I could put this wall back up if I really tried.’”

Needing a home of her own, she thought, “Maybe I should just start from scratch.”

This possibility-focused thinking reminds me of a Robert F. Kennedy quote: “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.”

Brookins used ‘why not’ thinking and chose to focus on possibilities rather than reasons why she couldn’t succeed.

That weekend she and her children dreamed about building a home of their own. “The kids joined in and started drawing floor plans on little notepads,” she said. Shortly thereafter Brookins pursued a construction loan.

FOCUS ON YOUR RESOURCES AND YOUR GOAL

Brookins qualified for a loan barely sufficient to cover construction supplies and an acre of land. Further, the terms of the loan required her to complete construction in just nine months.

It would have been easy to succumb to discouragement. It would have been easy to focus on the fact that she didn’t know anything about construction and lacked the funds to hire contractors, builders and other licensed professionals.

It would have been understandable to quit. Limited funds were compounded by limited time. She only had nine months to accomplish something she’d never done before. And she had to build while working a full time job and caring for four kids.

But Brookins focused on what she had, not what she lacked. She had enough funding to cover materials and land. She had nine months. She had free labor in the form of four willing kids. And she had access to free tutorials on Youtube and some free advice at the local Home Depot.

This is a great example of what Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, meant when he said: “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

Brookins didn’t focus on lack or obstacles. She focused on available resources and her goal of creating a safe home where she and her children could recover from the abuses of the past.

‘SINK THE SHIPS’ AND COMMIT TO THE GOAL AS THOUGH LIFE DEPENDS ON IT

Since her loan only covered supplies and land, Brookins and her kids needed to commit to doing everything they could to cut costs, which meant doing most of the labor themselves.

“Once I had bought all these supplies and they were all piled up, there was no way out,” Brookins explained. “There wasn’t enough money to pay anyone to put them together. There was no plan B.”

Thus committed, the family watched instructional videos and dove into the project.

“We didn’t have proper work boots so we put plastic bags on our feet with old tennis shoes,” she said. While they had some help from licensed professionals along the way, Brookins and her kids taught themselves how to do everything from hand-mixing foundation mortar to framing walls and running gas lines. It was difficult, but they persevered because failure was not an option.

This reminds me of the story of the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes who, in 1519, sailed to the New World with six hundred men and a goal: conquer the powerful Aztec empire.

After arriving Cortes ordered his vastly outnumbered soldiers to sink their own ships. This sent a clear message to his men: we are committed. There is no turning back. Will must succeed or die trying. Within two years he succeeded in his conquest of the Aztec empire, which had endured for 600 years.

Within nine months of piling construction supplies on her piece of land, Cara Brookins and her kids conquered construction and successfully built from the ground up a 3,500 square foot, five bed, 2.5 bath dream home with a three-car garage, mostly by themselves, with techniques they learned largely by watching YouTube tutorials.

We can learn from Cara Brookins. If you’re facing a major real estate challenge, set a big goal (notice she didn’t set out to build a shack). Establish a deadline. Multimillionaire entrepreneur Robert Herjavec of Shark Tank TV-show fame says, “A goal without a deadline is just a dream.” Use ‘why not’ thinking to magnify your vision of what is possible. Learn all you can, take an inventory of available resources (a good Realtor® armed with inspirational anecdotes is one of them) and focus on optimizing what you have, rather than being limited by what you lack. Laser target your goal (not the obstacles along the way), and ‘sink the ships’ (commit as though there’s no alternative to success). Then you too can successfully overcome a seemingly insurmountable real estate challenge!

Brent Metzger is a saleBrent Metzger, Realtor at Roche Realty Group in Meredith NHs associate at Roche Realty Group in Meredith, NH.  He can be reached on his cell phone at (603) 229-8322, at the office at (603) 279-7046, or by e-mail: brent@rocherealty.com

Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
The Opera House in Laconia NH

The Vision behind the “Opera House” Renovation: Revitalization of the Lakeport Area

There is a lot of excitement brewing in the Lakeport area! Previously shuttered for decades, …

Read More →

Roche Realty Group Sells Trustworthy Hardware Building

Laconia – Tom Drouin of Roche Realty Group represented both the Seller and the Buyer of …

Read More →
Highland Ridge

Strong Demand at Highland Ridge With 20 Home Sales.

Sales of newly constructed homes throughout the Lakes Region have been very brisk the past …

Read More →
Hikers overlooking the lake in New Hampshire, voted "Best State to Live in America" in 2020.

New Hampshire Leads the Pack Again!

New Hampshire Leads the Pack Again! A recent article on moneywise by Esther Trattner showed …

Read More →

Hot Markets Around Lake Tahoe and Lake Winnipesaukee

I was reading a recent article on CNBC by Robert Frank the other day where …

Read More →
NH River Kayaking

Rolling down the river

A month and a half ago, we had a fun kayaking trip down the Merrimac …

Read More →

Historic Landmark is a Focal Point of Windward Harbor on Lake Winnipesaukee

Visitors to Lake Winnipesaukee have long recognized the special qualities of Windward Harbor. Its deep …

Read More →
South Down Shores on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

How Did South Down Shores and Long Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee Get Started?

When construction started in 1981, Laconia’s South Down Farm offered an ideal picturesque setting for …

Read More →
Balmoral on Lake Winnipesaukee

Four Season Living at Balmoral on Lake Winnipesaukee

There are so many water-access communities in the Lakes Region that provide great memories. Let’s …

Read More →

An Overview of Governor’s Island on Lake Winnipesaukee

Find Governor’s Island Homes for Sale The Lakes Region is known for its abundance of …

Read More →
Suissevale on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Suissevale: A Desirable Community on Lake Winnipesaukee in Moultonborough

When you navigate the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, there’s 71 square miles of water and 274 …

Read More →
Gunstock Acres in Gilford, NH

Gunstock Acres in Gilford: A Popular Water Access Community

Find homes for sale in Gunstock Acres We have so many interesting communities in the …

Read More →
The docks at South Down Shores in Laconia

The Impact of Second Homes in the Lakes Region

As I drive around the Lakes Region during this period of social distancing, I’ve been …

Read More →
At the top of Piper Mountain, New Hampshire

Hiking in New Hampshire

Hiking is an excellent (and free!) way to stay in shape, and the awesome feeling …

Read More →
Wolfeboro NH

Thankful to be Living in New Hampshire During This Difficult Period

All of us in the Lakes Region have seen a tremendous impact to our lifestyles …

Read More →

How we are embracing technology to continue to serve our clients and customers during this COVID-19 outbreak

The fast-spreading Coronavirus has created an enormous impact on all of us. Draconian measures to …

Read More →
Roche Realty Group Meredith Office

Roche Realty Group Reports Sales of $130.4 Million for 2019

Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc with offices in Meredith and Laconia, has …

Read More →
Kevin Shaw Realtor

Kevin Shaw of Roche Realty Group, Inc. Produces $36.6 Million in Sales for 2019

Laconia, NH – Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, …

Read More →
Warming feet by a fire at home

Home and Holiday

If you think about it, many classic Christmas songs (and movies) are centered on the …

Read More →
Thanksgiving for NH

Thanksgiving for New Hampshire

We have so many reasons to be thankful to live in New Hampshire. I have …

Read More →

There are many reasons to live in New Hampshire

It is said that the three most important words in real estate are “location, location, …

Read More →

2019 Parade of Homes to be held October 12-14

Get inspired this weekend with the latest in building trends and innovations! The 2019 Parade …

Read More →
White Oak Motel and Lakefront Cottages Sold

White Oak Motel and Lakefront Cottages Sold

Holderness– The White Oak Motel and Lakefront Cottages located on White Oak Pond has recently …

Read More →

Lakes Region real estate activity for the first 8 months has been strong

Article by Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group.    Real Estate activity for the …

Read More →

Historic Homes: Buy with Your Head as Well as Your Heart

Historic Homes: Buy with Your Head as Well as Your Heart I’d like to recommend …

Read More →
Northeast Storage has purchased a commercial building located at 57 Reservoir Road.

Northeast Storage purchases unique Reservoir Road building in Meredith

MEREDITH — Northeast Storage has purchased a commercial building located at 57 Reservoir Road. Tom …

Read More →
111 Church Street, Laconia

Former Lakes Region mental health building listed and sold by Roche Realty Group

LACONIA — Rick Hagan of Roche Realty Group in Meredith, NH represented the seller, Lakes …

Read More →

Live where others dream of vacationing

https://youtu.be/7G5Z4QRBzzc Weirs Beach is a recreation destination with something for everyone, including beautiful lake and …

Read More →
Gilford, NH landmark former restaurant sold

Former well-known restaurant in Gilford recently sold

Gilford, NH – A local Gilford landmark built in 1975 and operated as a restaurant …

Read More →
Lakes Region NH

Tips for buying a home in the Lakes Region

New Hampshire’s Lakes Region is an amazing place to own a home, whether it’s your …

Read More →
South Down Shores, a gated community on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Kevin Shaw of Roche Realty Group Inc. Produces Over $20 Million in Sales For 1st Half of 2019

Laconia- Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group Inc with offices in Meredith and Laconia, …

Read More →

Lakes Region full throttle during Motorcycle Week

You can already feel the area rumbling with visitors and activity this week as the …

Read More →

Is home ownership right for you?

There are advantages to both buying and renting, depending on your current lifestyle and financial …

Read More →

New Hampshire Ranked #2 Best State in the USA for 2019

The good news is out! New Hampshire as a state performed exceptionally well in a …

Read More →
explore nh lakes

Winnipesaukee Waterfront Sales Activity Spring 2019

The weather is getting warmer, the “Big Lake” is thawing out and the real estate …

Read More →
searching for homes on the internet

The homebuyer’s online search is like online dating

Searching for homes online can be a lot like trying to find love through online …

Read More →

The Importance of Getting Pre-Approved for Your Home Mortgage

If you want to be an attractive buyer in a competitive housing market, you’ll definitely …

Read More →
Lake Winnipesaukee, Moultonborough, NH

Moultonborough homes sold at highest prices, fastest pace ever

It’s a historical time to sell a single-family home in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. Data suggest …

Read More →
For sale by owner sign next to a house

For Sale By Owner? The facts about risk and reward

If you’re trying the “For Sale By Owner” (also known as FSBO/fizbo) approach to selling …

Read More →

What to do if your listing expires

Expired listings are a frustrating reality in real estate. If you want to change the …

Read More →
Meredith, New Hampshire

Window of opportunity open for Meredith home sellers

If you own a single family home in Meredith and have been waiting for a …

Read More →
Gilford, NH

It’s an unrivaled time to sell your single family home in Gilford

If you own a single-family home in Gilford, it’s an unequalled time to sell. It’s …

Read More →

Why it’s a great time to sell your home in Laconia

If you own a single-family home or condominium in Laconia, it might be a great …

Read More →
Own a piece of the playground!

Recess is better when you own a piece of the playground

When I was a kid my favorite part of the school day was recess, that …

Read More →
Hourglass and home

Has your home been on the market for too long?

Once there was a man who loved traveling, but he had been around the world …

Read More →
letting go

Letting go can show more strength than hanging on

One day a philosophy professor walked into her classroom while holding a drinking glass filled …

Read More →
New home first time homebuyers

You Always Remember the First

There’s just something special, nostalgic and memorable about the first, whether it’s a first kiss, …

Read More →
CEO

Sell Your Home Like A Boss

Some home sellers act as though their job is finished the moment they engage the …

Read More →
Real Estate Closing issues

Closing Crashers

You know the scene. It’s been in dozens of movies. The bride and groom hold …

Read More →
Roche Realty Group Meredith Office

Roche Realty Group Inc. Reports Sales of $121.6 Million for 2018

Meredith NH – Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc. with offices in Meredith …

Read More →

Leave a Comment