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House Stuff

July 30th, 2012 at 09:48 am

I hate nights where I have insomnia. Or at least "not tired enough to fall asleep until it's really late-ia." We spent a good portion of today out at the house determining what we wanted to keep and what was going to be hauled to the dump of the stuff in the yard and shed. We locked up what we are going to keep and everything left is going to be junked. It's probably 4 pick up loads worth of stuff that will never be usable, like the 2 extremely heavy bags of solid concrete that got rained on. They used to be powder. Or the patio table umbrella that somehow managed to grow an entire layer of something green and fuzzy.

We ended up basically keeping very little. I'm not sure how we ever accumulated so much useless stuff. Having lived in 1000 square feet for the last two and a half years has given me a lot of irritation at our formerly cluttered life. And I am not looking forward to going through the stuff in storage, though that will be our next step, because the smaller the unit we can get into the less we will have to pay.

The guy who wants our car is going to put in $1000 worth of labor in fixing up the old house for it. We will buy the primer, but they have a bunch of leftover paint from other jobs that their boss just gives away after a house is done and that will be free. They already have all the equipment. They will tape and mud and fix some small holes (nail holes, when we changed out the thermostat and put it at the other end of the house) and paint the inside and when that is done we will have the carpets cleaned. The one guy says he has seen carpets in worse shape than ours come back great with professional cleaning so we're hoping we won't have to replace the rugs.

They are also going to take all of the junk we sorted out today to the dump and get the yard ready for sale. He's got a guy who wants to tear down the carport, which is falling down, for free, so he can have the wood. He'll also take all of the greenhouse demolition wood and the broken fencing away.

They want to paint the outside of the house, too, again with free paint from other jobs and they will spray it as they have that equipment.

The other guy is getting estimates on the broken window pane repair and on how much it will cost to replace the four doors and one door frame that need replacing. And also where we can get replacement sliding doors for the closets and how much.

And they want to do all the yard work needed to fix it up. They know we can't pay a lot because of my son's medical bills right now, but it sounds like as long as we pay for the supplies they can't provide, any additional labor costs can wait until the house is sold. I know the head guy is doing this because he really likes my mother, but I don't want to get too far beholden on a house we may not make much from at all.

I really would like to get moving on this and get it on the market, but I want to pay as we go, too, which may not be possible at a quick rate. But I think just getting the house painted is a step in the right direction.

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As for steps in a different direction, two of the houses that we have had our eyes on for a while both had substantial price drops. The one house, which is pretty much perfect except for the location (which is not a bad location, it's in our chosen school district, it just is not where exactly I want to be) dropped it's price today to $200,000. Which would be a really nice mortgage to have for a house with it's square footage and yard. The only thing I don't like is that I have noticed the neighbors are creeping their stuff.

They are parking one of their brokendown cars partially on that property and their junk is also creeping over. The house has been empty for a while and I don't really want to have neighbors who start taking over bits and pieces when you aren't looking. Plus there was so much clutter in their garage and the yard seemed trashed. All the other yards in the area seem fine, but I don't want bad neighbors. I've had them once and I will not knowingly buy a home next to them.

The other one which is a block outside our desired neighborhood and is only outside it because it is across from the freeway and the noise is loud, was $330,000 when it was taken off the market after a year several months ago, and it came back on the market at $300,000. It is a perfect house for us in a better area. Handicapped accessible, handicapped bathroom shower, a large yard for gardening, a big garage/shop. You can't really hear the freeway from the back yard and it's pretty quiet from inside the house, but it is very loud in the front. All of the bedrooms are in the back though and we've lived with road noise when we lived in the country next to a highway. But I still think it's going to drop more.

If our house had sold and we had the downpayment in hand we'd make an offer. It would be closer to $225,000 to start with, going up to $250,000. I can't say with the road noise it is ever going to sell for more than $275,000. Considering how long they've been trying to unload it, it's just been vastly overpriced. It's also on a dead end, not easy to give directions to, and behind a crematorium/funeral home so it can't sell like the same house picked up and moved to another location and they have to accept that. Once they do I think the price will fall again. When it does, I hope we can take advantage of it.

I told DH today though that I really want to have at least $30,000 in the emergency fund before we start saving for a downpayment. I don't want to go without it.

He said there might be a possibility of him working an extra week. They had fired two people in documentation (they were alternates) and have not rehired replacements even though it's been months and he's sort of been doing both his regular job and the job of the person who is gone. And the second job is falling behind because he has his hands full with his own job. So he may see an extra week of work. Which financially would be great. It would give us enough to pay off the last $1500 of DS's medical bills and still leave us with some money for the house renovations. But I remember how hard 3 weeks on were on everyone including him. And that was 3 on/3 off, not 3 on/1 off. Yes, the money might be nice, but we would muddle by without it to the new year when everything will get easy again. At least I hope so.

2 Responses to “House Stuff”

  1. snafu Says:

    I hope it's ok to suggest you re-think the houses mentioned. The 1st rule of real estate is location, location, location. If you're home schooling being out of a preferred school district may not be significant now but will it be a problem in the future? How much does it affect valuations? How will that affect re-sale value wa-aay in the future?

    House #1: what are the bylaws for derelict vehicles and junk in the yard? What business are they in? Will it likely get worse? You could make an offer that includes the requirement for a fence [you can ask whatever you like in an offer to buy]. No one wants problem neighbors who hoard junk. The cynic in me wonders about other unacceptable practices.

    House #2: Crematorium/funeral home adjacent will always significantly hold back value. Does it get property tax devaluation? Highway noise real or perceived limits buyer pool so no matter how lovely the residence or garden, collectively a triple location whammy.

  2. snafu Says:

    Have you checked Kelly Blue/Black Book on line to set value of the car? Since this is a barter, different valuation rules can be applied. Spray painting the exterior of a bungalow/ranch with self owned equipment and free paint is an 8-12 hour job. It takes an entire day for three adults equipment we used. It only took 4 hours per coat to spray. [it was quick & fun]

    I see that professional painters are spray painting the interior rooms of new houses. They do one coat of tinted 'undercoat' and one or two coats of paint.

    I'm mentioning this because you need to work-out how many hours the painter will be 'working' for this barter. Can you be on site to monitor hours of work? I've noticed when the contractor is not on-site, the painters are outside on an extended smoke break/basketball break/lunch/coffee.

    In my world, you're working when you're hooking up equipment, taping, spraying, clean-up or packing up.

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