Popular radio host by day and realtor-slash-home-flipper by night, Q102’s Tim Timmerman, his partner Chris Holtman, and Q102 colleague Patti Marshall are reviving some of Cincinnati’s coolest historic homes. While the trio collaborates on every project, Timmerman serves as the real estate agent and project manager, Holtman handles the marketing and demo, and Marshall specializes in interior design. We chatted with Timmerman and Holtman, who works in fund-raising at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, about their home renovation brand called Resist the Boring, their newest listing in Mt. Washington, and what flipping homes is really like.
Tell me about Resist the Boring. You became accidental landlords in Arkansas in 2012—how did that happen?
Tim Timmerman: We started this in 2011. Took a job out of state. People weren’t buying homes, so we rented ours out. When we came back, [we thought] that’s kinda cool, someone else paid our mortgage. We like to say “accidental landlords” because it wasn’t a part of our long-term goals.
How do you decide which homes to renovate?
TT: Location, location, location. Is this a place people want to be? Is there a spark in that neighborhood? We always look for areas that are being revitalized, where new businesses are popping up. When we purchased our personal home, Woodburn Brewery just opened. We knew the house would go quickly, [and we] put an offer in sight-unseen. It was previously a hoarder’s home—we filled four dumpsters of stuff.
What is a common misconception about flipping homes? Is it really like what you see on TV?
Chris Holtman: Everyone automatically thinks it’s easy—go in, buy a house, fix it up, and sell it. It’s really dirty, and it’s a giant juggling job. It’s heavy in project management. It’s not as easy as some of the hosts make it look to be. There was a learning curve when we jumped into this.
Describe your renovation style.
CH: We always think about the buyer. The last thing we want [is a future buyer to] come in and think, How do I make this space my own? We want people to walk through the home and think Wow. We feel like we didn’t do our job if someone walked through the home and they didn’t think that.
What are your favorite rooms to tackle?
TT: It depends on the house. Kitchens and bathrooms—that’s what’s sexy.
CH: We always try to do something outside the box. We don’t like to forget about the outdoor space. We know your home includes your front yard and backyard.
I once wrote about a home with a trap door basement in Hyde Park. Do you have any fun horror stories about homes you’ve flipped?
CH: We have found petrified squirrels. We found—in Prospect Hill—bourbon bottles from prohibition times with medicinal spirits labels. They were in good shape. [We’ve found] weird food products: Little Debbie treats, fortune cookies. Tim will eat them if they’re sealed.
What does your dream home renovation project look like?
CH: Something that has a river view, like a view of the Ohio River; that would be really cool. Mid-Century Modern would be cool, from the ’50s or ’60s. But, we love this process so much that every time we have a house we just get excited about the potential it has. If it’s not downtown or a river view, it’s cool just to tackle each challenge.
What are you currently working on?
CH: We are finishing up a tiny house in Mt. Washington and getting ready to start on a home in East Walnut Hills—we’re going to keep it and try in the AirBnb world.
Any advice for homeowners interested in renovating their homes?
CH: A lot of people get in their heads about what could go wrong. Just do it. The hardest part is starting. Do a lot of research. Don’t be afraid to start it. We didn’t have a plan. This is what life handed to us, so now we’re just going to roll with it.
TT: The house we bought on Prospect Hill, [I thought], There should be exposed brick. Chris said, We’ll investigate. The next day, I sent Chris a picture of the drywall gone: I did it.