NFL Linebacker Kyle Van Noy Dishes on Side Hustle Flipping Homes With Wife Marissa

After being released from the New England Patriots in March, NFL linebacker Kyle Van Noy is headed to the West Coast to join the Los Angeles Chargers.

But before he leaves, he and wife Marissa, an interior designer, are set to close on their home in Canton, MA. It's just the latest in a series of home flips that have earned them respect in the real estate industry.

On the field, Van Noy starred in college at Brigham Young University and began his NFL career in 2014. After a couple of seasons with the Detroit Lions, he was traded to the Patriots in the middle of the 2016 season. He was an integral part of two Super Bowl-winning teams with the Pats. He also spent a season in Miami with the Dolphins—a year that was crucial to cementing the couple's dreams as a home-flipping powerhouse.

We caught up with Van Noy to chat about the couple's side hustle.

When did you both become interested in real estate?

When we were looking at houses in Detroit in my rookie year, we faced a dilemma of 'Should we rent or should we buy?' We decided to rent.

And that was probably the last time we've ever done that, because when we checked the prices a year later, they had skyrocketed.

In our second year in the league, we ended up buying our first townhome in Highland, UT. We decided wherever we went from then on, we were just going to buy and figure it out.

We did a little flip on that Highland house that went really well. Then we bought in New England and then sold that when we moved to Miami and did really well.

In Miami, that’s where Marissa said, ‘This is what I want to do.’ The home we bought there was for a huge flip. We thought we were going to be in there for a while, but I ended up obviously getting fired from there, and she made $500,000.

We went back to Boston, found another spot, and then I ended up getting fired from there after a year, too. That home is now under contract.

Did you ever think you'd have a side business flipping houses?

No, I didn’t. It’s actually more Marissa. She, her sister, and her mom run a company called Three Golden Cranes.

I'm just kind of along for the ride. I just look inside and say, "This one is good" or “This one is not."

She’s the brains and beauty behind it all, and she does a really good job at it. I think the difference between her and other flippers is one of their main elements is feng shui.

They set a house up for success. Every room has a different feel to it and a different meaning behind it, and it’s really cool. My favorite room is always where the money tree is. I spend most of my time in that room wherever the money tree is.

How many homes have you flipped in total?

Five. They've all been houses we've lived in.

But we're doing our first project that’s not a place we lived in in Alpine, UT. We're going to be on the lookout to do another once this one in Utah is all finalized.

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Do you have a specific clientele in mind for the homes you purchase?

Yes, luxury. We're kind of in the $1.5 million to $3 million range.

The margins obviously are riskier, but the way the market is going, you're still seeing a high demand with over-asking prices. Obviously, it will come down at some point. But the luxury market all over the country is still at a very, very high demand with no inventory.

What's been your favorite renovation to date?

It was probably our first one, our townhome in Highland.

It's just because we didn’t really know much. We were worried about the wrong stuff to be worried about.

It’s fun because of the learning curve that we had, and the memories of all of the stuff that Marissa definitely doesn’t worry about now.


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Was this a chance for Marissa to have her own career while following your NFL career?

Yeah, that was the other thing, too. Marissa was in the modeling and acting world, and it made it very, very hard because in Detroit, I was playing and I was missing her when she had to go to Florida or California for work.

I kind of felt a little guilty that I took her dreams in that regard. But she's figured out her new passion, and it's worked out really well.

I still plan on playing a couple more years, so her being able to flip homes and balance that with family and letting me do my thing while she grows her business is pretty fun.

It’s pretty remarkable and a testament to how smart and great she is.

What are the features you look for when finding a home you want to flip?

The main thing is good bones. That’s where it starts at for us, is good bones.

Like J. Cole says, there’s beauty in the struggle. We look at homes like that. What home has some beauty but is struggling a little bit and needs some love?

The one in Alpine she’s doing right now is a 2007 build with an acre of land, which is very hard to find in that area. The views are insane, and the mountains are right there.

It’s beautiful in its own right, but was just struggling a little bit. She put her love into it and made it beautiful.

That’s what’s cool about what she does. A lot of people fix something in the kitchen, and then they say it’s a fully remodeled kitchen. She really dives into it and does a great job.

What are the must-haves when it comes to staging a home for sale?

It’s a little bit of everything. From the wallpaper she uses to the different styles of furniture to the different styles of decor.

For me, I just need a comfy couch. That would be the one must-have for me. Other than that, it’s going to be whatever is the best look or best style to make that house pop and sell when we're all done with it.

How much do you typically invest in a home and what do you target for a return?

In the luxury market, I never want to put a number on it because everything varies.

Some houses have hidden things you don't expect and you’re just happy to make a profit on the house.

Other times, there are unexpected blessings in the house and it turns out it was better than you originally thought.

I never want to put a limit on it. I think with the luxury market, she's found a niche that works for us.

We pick houses that, if worse comes to worst, we could move in ourselves. I think that’s what makes the difference. We’re not picking houses where we're like 'Dang, I have got to take a loss on it because I can’t live there.'

We actually pick houses that we could settle in and be a part of if we needed to.

Do you put a time limit on a flip?

Every project is different. There's one that took a year. There was one that took three months, and there was one that took a month. It comes down to the construction needed on the house.

What does your dream house look like?

What we have in mind are dream houses, because I don’t think we're the type that want just one home. We want to have a couple of houses. Each home would have different strengths to it, and each would have its own feel and vibe.

Has any real estate on the West Coast caught your eye?

We ended up buying a house in the Santa Monica/Brentwood area. She's already put her twist into the house. We love Realtor.com! I'm on there almost every night looking at homes.

This interview was edited for clarity.

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