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Careful house shopping tips - not here
Old 09-30-2010, 10:57 PM   #1
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Careful house shopping tips - not here

We've been thinking of a place to run to in the winter when the grey gets to be a bit too much. A lot of back and forth about two places vs one in juuuust the right spot, thinking about different property tax rates for residents vs out of state owners, state income tax rates, where our health insurance is good or not, sales taxes, airport location...

After all that, we were in Palm Springs and bought a home in La Quinta. From the environs of our cheapo motel room, at an online auction. At least we did a walk-through on the house for maybe 10 minutes the day before. Water and power were on and nothing seemed to be leaking or sparking. Didn't see the roof, pool was empty except for a bunch of debris and leaves and branches from the tree falling over in the front yard. Surprises are sure to be in store. On the good side, a Five Guys hamburger shop is slated to open in La Quinta in a couple months - have never had a Five Guys burger, but they are supposed to be the best!

Was instructive and weird and difficult and fun to use a credit card hold to secure our bid till we could get our Oregon bank with no California branches to fax us a form to fax back so they could wire the deposit to the title company and then use PenFed's online statements to prove availability of funds - this from the Majestic Mountain Inn in Payson Arizona, as we decamped and headed out the morning after the auction. Contracts - all 36 pages of them - were received and signed online as well - did that this morning. All is supposed to be in order and we now wait to see if Fannie Mae accepts our winning bid - REDC claims 86% of winning bids are accepted.

As for us, we continued a beautiful drive from Payson through the Tonto National Forest to Show Low, then Pine Top, Hon Dah and Eagar, thence up to 40 and our current shaggy motel room on old hwy 66 in Gallup New Mexico.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:11 AM   #2
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Doesn't exist without photos calmloki.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:22 AM   #3
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Too soon to know if you lost your @ss, but it's obvious you haven't lost your sense of adventure!
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:22 AM   #4
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Congratulations, calmloki! Sounds like you got a very good deal.

I don't know how such a sale works. Was your offer contingent on a satisfactory report from your home inspector? If not, then you are braver than I am.

At any rate, I hope you enjoy your new vacation home.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:32 AM   #5
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On the good side, a Five Guys hamburger shop is slated to open in La Quinta in a couple months - have never had a Five Guys burger, but they are supposed to be the best!
Many people will tell you to just go ahead and inject the grease directly into your heart, but that would bypass the fun part, eating the burger and feeling the grease dripping off your elbows. They are pretty darn good.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:29 AM   #6
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It used to be that there was an typical upside limit of about 20% of the value of a house (not land) that represented the "cost estimate " for typical building failure after a successful walk through on a 10 year old house. The Chinese drywall problem pushes that to about 50% on some houses,

How old is the house?
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:55 AM   #7
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Built in 2003 - newer than any car I've owned and about 50% of my t shirts. Has the ability to be closed up and be pretty darn secure. That is NOT coiled barbed wire on the roof. yet.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:58 AM   #8
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That is NOT coiled barbed wire on the roof. yet.
You answered it before I could ask...
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:57 PM   #9
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Don't forget the 'Cajun' Fries at 5 guys. MMMmm....Good.

Good luck on the home, I've been looking at online auctions for a not-in-bad-condition-el-cheapo-rental. Haven't found one yet, at least that didn't get bid up past my limit
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:36 PM   #10
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I'm curious/interested/something: Which online house auction sites do you folks think are reputable.

Thanks.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:43 PM   #11
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Built in 2003 - newer than any car I've owned and about 50% of my t shirts. Has the ability to be closed up and be pretty darn secure. That is NOT coiled barbed wire on the roof. yet.
good luck, but do have it checked


Chinese Drywall refers to defective or tainted drywall imported from China from 2001 to 2007 which emits sulfur gasses which usually (but not always) creates a noxious odor and corrodes copper and other metal surfaces, thereby damaging your air conditioner, electrical wiring, copper plumbing, appliances and electronics. Chinese drywall can also cause adverse health effects, although experts
disagree whether these effects are merely irritants or present a more
imminent or chronic health hazard.
Welcome to Chinesedrywall.com
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:31 AM   #12
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Congratulations calmloki! I hope you will not have too many surprises and that you will enjoy your winter getaway. Are you planning to rent it when you are not there?

Yesterday I met an interesting FIREE on a plane. He was reading a Kindle....
His company had done very well and he currently owns five homes, including one that he just bought at a bargain basement price in Arizona.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:37 AM   #13
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If one purchases a home to use (AZ is a popular place for Oregonians to stay during our wet months) great. But a house is not an investment unless you intend to rent it, the numbers work, and you don't need to hire someone to maintain it.

I hope calmloki gets a lot of use out of his winter abode. When we had a place at Sun River we didn't use it as much as anticipated because the kids had activities at home during the school year.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:02 PM   #14
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Checking in from Silverton Colorado - we learned that Fannie Mae usually takes a full 15 working days to say yay or nay and sends their decision by mail. Going to make our proposed Oct 21 closing pretty unlikely. W2R asked if we had any contingencies - answer is no. The online contract is pretty full of CYA weasle speak that protects everyone but the buyer - not a problem for us, as we take responsibility for our purchases - think we have only had 2 inspections on any of the places we've bought. Things usually work out ok - figure if we get a bad deal it will be balanced by the numerous lawyer and inspector savings. Places always have some warts.

The online auction we used was REDC - they are big and we haven't reached the same person twice by phone - lots of right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, the afore mentioned nasty contract - we'll see how it all plays out before recommending them. Not much negative on the web.

Places at the auction were selling for 1/3 to 1/2 of the "valued price". In the case of our place, the valued price was it's latest listing price. Including the 5% buyer's premium we paid 60% of it's listing price just before the auction, or about 40% of what the prior owner's had borrowed on it, or 53% of it's initial new sale price back in 2003. We wanted just that place though. Not feeling like we are taking on a huge amount of risk - after kind of freaking the first night about spending money on us rather than an investment property it dawned that if things didn't work out for us as snowbirds in La Quinta we can sell the place after doing the fixups. Think we are in it right enough not to be too concerned.

We looked in AZ - Phoenix was too smoggy, Gold Canyon had great prices on newish homes, some with good views, Prescott felt the best, but as a winter get away would have given us sun but lots more snow and was over an hour to the airport - and our health insurance is no good in AZ. Cali is going broke and has crazy sales taxes and there are way too many well heeled people down there in the Palm Springs/La Quinta area, but our health insurance works and in the winter there are straight through flights from Portland or maybe a day's shorter drive vs Prescott.

All may be academic, as FM has to decide to say yes.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:28 AM   #15
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Checking in from Silverton Colorado -
Howdy, neighbor.

We are, right now, in Mesa Verde NP waiting for the Sun to come up. We will stay in Moab this evening.
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:44 PM   #16
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4500 mile trip 2010 009.jpg

4500 mile trip 2010 014.jpg

4500 mile trip 2010 020.jpgUh Oh. Looks like Fannie Mae smelled money. We just got a signed agreement via Email - means we have to round up some bucks and prepare for closing. The 21st is not outside the realm of possibility.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:06 AM   #17
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Congrats on your new winter home. The location sounds better than Prescott, AZ, which is colder in the winter. It is also conveniently close to your MIL's house.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:24 AM   #18
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Congrats on your new winter home. The location sounds better than Prescott, AZ, which is colder in the winter. It is also conveniently close to your MIL's house.
Hmm. Yes. You noticed that proximity as well? There is some chance that MIL may end up with us down there. Much closer to her doctors and it's sort of insane where she is right now. This could allow my gal to do some care in MIL's home as well, then run for cover after.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:03 AM   #19
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Very nice house ! I love the view !
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:11 AM   #20
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Looks lovely!

I'm liking the kitchen tile.
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