Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Want to flip a house? Check for bullet holes and raw sewage first

This story originally aried on February 8, 2020. 

Silvana Clark is an author and a corporate trainer, but back in 1977, she had a different idea of how she was going to make money.

“We were living in Bellingham. We had a nice little house. But it was when I heard the tail end of a radio interview with this man talking about this book he wrote that was called 'Remodel Houses and Become a Millionaire,'” Clark said. 

A million dollars went a long way in 1977, so Silvana and her husband decided they were going to give it a try.  

“First I bought his book, but the problem is I never really read it. We kind of skimmed through it and went ‘oh yeah you’re supposed to paint’ and ok, we’ll do that," Clark said. "But he was very clear in saying you’re supposed to buy a house that was just maybe cosmetically challenged. And the house we bought was way more than cosmetically challenged. It was way more than we ever should have done.”

“Way more” ended up being an understatement. In fact, very few things went right at all. Listen to the story to hear how what was supposed to be a three- or four-month project ended up involving bullet holes, police helicopters, raw sewage and crawling through asbestos for Silvana and her husband — but how it also became home. 

Silvana Clark is an author, speaker, corporate trainer and storyteller.

Kevin Kniestedt is a journalist, host and producer who began his career at KNKX in 2003. Over his 17 years with the station, he worked as a full time jazz host, a news host and produced the weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary.