By Hollie Deese
Nashville native Abbe Quarles has been involved in buying, renovating, and selling homes in the Nashville area for more than 20 years, and over that time she has learned a thing or two over the course of nearly 100 projects.
“Growing up I never thought I would find myself in construction, but once the bug bit, I’ve been doing it ever since,” she says.
Over the years Quarles has created a checklist that she uses with all her projects, no matter the renovation budget or resale market, and it’s the subject of her first book, “Little Pink Houses: Five Assignments for Putting All the Pieces Together” ($12.99, Amazon).
In the book Quarles has created five assignments that she says should be completed before you buy, renovate or sell a home, insights she uses herself, from expenses and planning to marketing and staging.
Quarles did not move a lot growing up – her mother still lives in the Madison-area home their family moved into when she was two months old. It was later in life when she got involved in real estate and renovations through a construction company she owned with her ex-husband, building large custom homes in the late 90s and early 2000s.
“That that is when everybody wanted the huge house with a massive media room and gym and all the bells and whistles,” she says. “They all had to be 6,000 square feet.’
Quarles worked mostly behind the scenes while they built a number of those, but along the way they were flipping and renovating homes they lived in, buying, flipping and moving in 2-3 years. After they separated, Quarles had the bug and decided to keep flipping.
Now remarried, Quarles and her husband recently finished house No. 6 together. And it was while speaking with a young woman a few years ago who had bought her own home to flip that Quarles got the idea for “Little Pink Houses.”
“She named off all of the things she was going to do, and what she had budgeted, and how long it would take, and the math didn’t work,” she says. “You have to know the plan first and then back into it.”
“So I got up one morning and began to create a list, a summary on how to go about this – a safe plan,” she says. One thing led to another and it started turning into chapters. Soon, “Little Pink Houses” was complete, filled with information about how to buy right, how to know how much to put in it, how to prioritize, and how to be able to sell it and get your money back … and hopefully make some money too.
“I’m looking at doing all of this through the eyes of the next generation,” she says.