Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Made An Offer On A House.....

The owners are absentee landlords (East SF Bay area) who bought the house this March for $380k, repainted it inside and out, installed new carpet and appliances, fixed a bunch of things, and advertised it as a rental unit for CSU students.

Until the city stepped in and told them that use was forbidden in a residential area.

Frustrated in their attempt to be landlords, they put the property on the market at $420k and waited.

They dropped the price to $419,900 to get it under $420k so it would show up in more searches on real estate websites, and waited.

After a while, they dropped the price to $399,900 and waited.

They had two open houses, lots of lookie-loos, and no offers.

The only thing that bothered me about the house is that it's "All Electric", with electric heat, electric stove, and most likely an electric water heater.

I'm not even sure if it has a gas line running in to it, but I'll look for a meter next time I go by.

Anyway....it's been on the market for 61 days, and NO offers, but a fair amount of interest.

So, after getting all the billing info on gas and electric usage, and talking to both the City of Fort Collins and the Larimer County building and zoning people confirming that YES, I can put up the 40' tower and antenna, we decided to go with the "All Electric" house. It will cost several hundred dollars per year more to heat it than the other house we were looking at, but this one is closer to town, has a bigger garage with an extended back wall to fit a work bench, and is a bigger house with a really cool layout.

Front of house:



Back of house:



And one of the downstairs rooms (it has a fully finished basement with another full bath!) that will most like become my "Colorado Radio Ranch" room:

The house has five bedrooms, 3 full baths and a half-bath, is 3389sqft, and is on a 10,477sqft lot in a very nice section of Fort Collins.

My wife flipped out when she saw the front door was painted red, one of her favorite things, and I like the neighborhood because it has street names like "Constitution Ave", "Valley Forge Dr", "Yorktown Ave", "Essex Dr", and "Independence Rd".

Good omens for both of us.

I would expect them to counter our offer, but our agent, their agent, and our contractor in-law have all said that if we aren't the ones to buy it, it will probably sit until Spring, as the real estate market is winding down for the season here.

There was snow here yesterday above 7,000', and frost everywhere this morning.

Winter is coming!

24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. The entire basement is finished like that. If there was a 'kitchenette' in the basement it could qualify as a complete apartment!

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  2. Fingers crossed for ya.
    I like that radio room too, lookit all those places to put 'em!

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    1. The shelves will probably be home to some of my books.

      I'll need to either get some kind of desk down there, or most likely will have something built along the other walls. It's nice having relatives in the high-end building trades!

      One wall will be the operating area, and the other will be the workbench/repair area.

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  3. That's a lot more space for both of you (and the wonder dog). I think that it will provide what you need - and you can have your tower.

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    1. Yep, it's a pretty bi place. You saw our little (1167sqft) house in Long Beach. You could stuff that one inside of this one and still have enough room to wander about.

      It's not the 3600sqft house we looked at, but that one had HOA restrictions, and was insane overkill for two people....

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  4. That ... looks nice. I pray it all works out.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rev!

      If we get it I'll post a lot more pix.

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  5. We converted all of our high current use appliances to gas over the course of about 2005-2013. Water heater, clothes dryer, oven and range. Everything except the central air, where there's really no alternative. If your gas company is like the locals, they usually either waive or give big discounts on the fees for hooking you up if you're going to switch to gas.

    We have central electric heat, but this ain't no Colorado! I'm not even sure of the last time we had it on. Maybe 2010, when we had a day that the high temp was 34.

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    1. The deal breaker to that is that the basement is "fully finished". We'd have to tear into the ceilings of the basement to install the ductwork, and dedicate some space somewhere for a "physical plant" or "equipment room" like I've seen in all the houses we've looked at with forced-sir heating and cooling.

      I'd MUCH rather have a forced-air system, but my wife really likes this house, and the utility company does "bill averaging" so you don't get clobbered with a $300~$400 electric bill a couple of times per year.

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  6. It has a chimney so maybe you can burn wood for heat with an efficient insert. Also conversion is possible with a good plumber involved.

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    1. It has a large wood-burning fireplace in the family room/den living space.

      There's a very large cottonwood tree in the back yard that might have to come down. If it does, I'll borrow the log splitter and we'll have firewood after it cures.

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  7. Looks like a beautiful place with room to spread out. Really like that it sets back from the street. Have you driven by at night, early morning, gotten a chance to talk to the neighbors?
    Hope it works out for you!

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    1. It's on a cul-de-sac off a "no outlet" street in the middle of a large area bordered by four major streets. By "bordered by", I mean the busy streets are 1/2 mile or more away from the house, AND there are 50~75' trees everywhere in this area, blocking the noise from getting to the house.

      The second time we went to look at it some of the neighbors were out, and they all waved at us. A young Mom was loading up her 8~10 year old kids to take them somewhere, and she smiled and waved at us.

      One thing I noticed about the neighborhood was that there were MANY homes in the area being actively worked on. Some were getting new roofs, some were being repainted, some had major landscaping going on, and a couple had dumpsters in front. One of those had a "kitchen/bathroom remodel" company truck out front, and the other looked like the entire interior was being gutted for a major makeover.

      To me, it's a good sign about the neighborhood when you see people taking care of their homes, or improving them.

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  8. Nice looking house and the yard is fenced.

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    1. One run of the fence needs to be replaced, and the one large cottonwood tree needs to be really cut back, or removed.

      And it needs a washer and drier.

      Those items are reflected in our offer.

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    2. Forget those fancy dancy HE washers and dryers. Get SpeedQueens.

      SpeedQueens (residential) are like the heavy-duty units you find in commercial coin-operated laundrymats, except without the coin-operated mechanism. They come in twist-the-dial versions and electronic-controls versions. Get the old fashioned twist controls.

      Sure, they're not 'energy' or 'water' efficient, but that means they'll cost you about $25-40 more per year to run, and you'll have actual clean clothes and won't have to wash things twice or dry them 3-4 times. Cost of the actual units are less than the fancy-scmancie units.

      Other than that, looks like a great house. Hope you get it. Some emergency gas heaters just in case will make that place snug as a bug.

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    3. Thanks for the tip, Andrew! The little electronics place I worked at in high-school (1965~69) made timer modules for Speed Queen.

      I'll definitely look for where we can buy those.

      I've already looked into portable "gas" heaters for the garage.

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    4. You're welcome. When I downgraded from a house to an apartment, I made sure there was washer/dryer hookup so I could bring my babies with me. Even got a new(ish) van to transport them in (oh, along with all the other stuff, the handicapped wife, the powered wheelchair, the service dog, but most importantly, MY speedqueens!)

      A good old-time appliance shop is the place to find them. Get a top-load washer, less chance it will leak on you.

      Good luck with the house.

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  9. Check those trees out carefully. And consider trimming (thinning) any tree that could hit the house if wind or rot brought it down. Any neighboring trees that could hit you?

    A major advantage of those newer front-loading clothes washers is the lack of an agitator. Turns out that agitator beats the heck out of heavy clothing. Stuff dies an early death. What it's cost in clothing over the last three years, just for me, would have paid for a front loader.

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    1. Our daughter-in-laws Dad owns a construction company specializing in high-end residential stuff, and has professional tree guy on-call. I talked to Dustin, the "Tree Guy" yesterday, and showed him the pix of the house. He immediately told me what all the trees were, and said the big cottonwood looked to be end-of-life.

      He'll come by the house with us this week to check the access to the tree, and will give us an estimate then.

      He recommended leaving a good sized length of the trunk in the ground, and having a local wood carver turn it in to a totem or some other kind of yard art.

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  10. Does your street have gas lines running along it? I'm unsure if it is universal.

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    1. I don't know, either. We're looking into that, as we *might* get a whole-house generator.

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  11. One of the two generators I see at the local Costco is a patented dual fuel design. Gasoline and propane, I think. 7k watts, IIRC. Forgot my phone, so no photo for record. No price sign observed...

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Keep it civil, please....