This home was to be featured in the 2019 Remodeled Home Tour to benefit SaddleBrooke Community Outreach. Due to COVID-19, the Tour was rescheduled several times and then cancelled.

Kathy Minx and Al Lessie purchased their Estancia Model home in SaddleBrooke in 2014. The home had been entirely empty for over a year and needed a facelift. The couple had built three homes; renovated and lived in 13 other homes; and renovated and flipped 11 rental properties during their marriage. Needless to say, renovating a home in SaddleBrooke did not scare them away.

Al likes to say, “We were on the witness protection program,” but really their two careers moved them to 11 different states. Each time, Kathy would become licensed as a realtor in the state, and they would look for a home in need of their renovation skills. Kathy has been a realtor for the past 21-years and was licensed in Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, New Mexico and Arizona.

The home they selected in SaddleBrooke had linoleum floors throughout the main house and carpet in the bedrooms. The kitchen and bathrooms were very dated, but Al and Kathy could tell “the home had good bones” and could be beautiful. The yard was oversized, and the landscaping was simply gravel with a few palm trees. The yard would need extensive work, but Kathy loves landscaping and digging.

Al decided to be the general contractor on all projects and hired various tradesmen to do the work. To keep the cost lower, they agreed that no walls would be moved during the renovation. Since they had planned to be snowbirds and live in the home during the work, they started with replacing all flooring with larger square tiles and minimal carpet.

Because the columns in the entry dated the home, they took out all decorative columns and boxed in the remaining two columns that were load bearing. Getting rid of the columns was critical to align with Kathy and Al’s contemporary taste in art. The home was painted in a three-toned palette of beige, taupe and light brown, which complemented the Crema Bordeaux granite they used throughout the home. Two walls are painted a brick color to accent their art.

The former kitchen and bath cabinets were removed and replaced with a rich mahogany-colored Shaker cabinet with staggered 42” uppers and crown molding. The same style and color cabinets were used in the utility room and both bathrooms.

Additional upgrades included new canned lighting throughout and replacement of light fixtures. In addition, both bathroom tubs were replaced with walk-in showers, contemporary tile shower walls and solid glass.

In 2020, Kathy and Al added a 550-square foot casita with room for a Murphy bed from “Off the Wall Furniture Solutions”, a work-out room and a small kitchen with microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator. The casita is large and versatile for use by any company who can work outside of the of office, as needed.

Finally, the exterior of the home received a complete upgrade with the help of landscape designer Santa Rita Landscape. The couple worked with Santa Rita to add an “outdoor living room” with two articulating pergolas, a fireplace with stacked stone finishes, television, comfortable seating and dining room table. The pergola has multiple fans and commercial misters for comfort in the summer. An outdoor kitchen was added as well as extensive landscaping and path lighting. Two water features and a hot tub that is half-way buried in the ground complete the outdoor renovation.

This Spring, Kathy added an eight-foot by eight-foot irrigated garden to grow cut flowers, as well as tomatoes, garlic, peppers and herbs. Al is the cook in the family, but Kathy helps with fresh vegetables and herbs!

Kathy and Al have been full-time residents in Saddlebrooke for the past five years and have loved meeting new folks, golf, working out and selling real estate.

Kathy Minx and her husband, Al Lessie live in SaddleBrooke. Kathy is a realtor, CPA and CFP and formerly served as CFO of the $6B Humana Healthcare Segment. She is passionate about sharing her financial and real estate acumen with others. Email:

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