Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The games begin, or "how not to sell property"

We looked at a property yesterday, another one. This one we both had a really good feeling about just from driving by it a dozen times (property stalkers!) and looking at the pictures online.

The cabin is a D log home (the logs are not round, they are flat backed (or D shaped). The interior was good, at a glance needing:
Carpet removed from the bathroom and tile installed
Carpet in the 2 bedrooms (they had linoleum but in a cabin we both think carpet is good in the bedroom areas).

The outside is 3.04 acres with 550 feet of creek edge property down the back slope (and some property on the other side of the creek). It was used for horses, has several outbuildings with power, a good well, etc.
3 stall horse barn

Close building is a 1 bedroom no bath cottage, far building is I don't have a clue

Property needs work, including tree's cut down and general TLC

Oh, more trees to cut

Behind the cabin, another dead tree
The property itself needed a lot of work. About 15 trees needed to be cut down, the entire property needed to be cleaned up and raked. We said the horse barn needed to be torn down, along with the little cottage and the 'who knows what" building. We don't mind having buildings, but when they haven't been used for several years, they are usually infested with things (things that can kill you via. hantavirus). There was deer mouse poop in the outbuildings, they needed more work than they were worth and the place needed general cleaning up... a lot.

That's not a bad thing, it's just sweat equity, something we are good at. I made an offer. Our realtor, while working the offer up sent the listing agent an email thanking them for letting us see the property and asked about 2 concrete slabs (we assume one is the septic and one is the original most likely hand dug well now covered). The listing agent replied, "we are firm on the price, I'll ask about the slabs."
This is like going to a car dealer and being told the price is firm before you even know if the customer likes the vehicle.

Every property will need work in order to get it up and running the way we want, but having to do a TON of work to get it to normal (renting a dumpster for 3-4 loads of death infested building wood to start) is something we consider to be valuable, it's our time. I don't know why people list property when it's really not ready to be sold. Spend a few weeks and clean it up, cut the damn grass, drop the dead tree's, remove the horse fence, clean up the 2 year old horse shit, remove the hay, mouse poop, etc.

So I got horse shit on my cowboy boots and we made an offer on the other cabin I posted about before. Lets see if they want to play games.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Property debating, dog attacking, garden prepping life.

Property searching is fun, and damn exhausting at the same time. It's mainly mental, there is a lot we are trying to put into the overall decision.

On the advice of Kymber we made a point system. A property gets a point if it has a metal slide roof, water on the property (besides the well), garage, one point per acre, wood stove, etc.

Both properties had the exact same score and we both like them, but have different favorites. This makes it really difficult and will eventually end up at the price. The log sided cabin with the spring and creek on the property is my favorite. It needs yard work and a little work inside, and of course furnishing needs to be done. It didn't help that a mouse ran across the floor while we were looking at the kitchen.
PLUS.... yes, on private property, while looking at the property and cabin, a dog ran up into the property and attacked Rock. I swear, it really happened and I have witnesses... the dog was being walked on the road, 80 feet away and it just ran up and tried to attack rock (who was of course on leash). After we kicked the other dog away, I drew down on it, I'm not putting up with this shit anymore. The dogs owner said sorry and walked away. The good news is all of my quick draw practice and training paid off, 1 handed draw from under my t-shirt in probably 1.5 seconds.
Why the hate people, I'm so cute!

The other cabin has 4 more acres, is furnished and really only needs some yard work (to be fair both places have fine yards, just not the way we want them to be) but has a crazy neighbor (who lied about his service record to get on a wonder-warrior type deer hunt). I'm crazier and I don't lie about my service time.

The "creek cabin" offer has been suggested to start $20k lower than the "crazy neighbor" cabin. Here is a shot of the woods (there is a huge wild turkey in the picture, but you will probably have to take my word on it if you can't see it almost dead center in between the two bigger trees).
Tons of wildlife on this, and the creek cabin properties.

To make things even more exciting, we found another place with 3.3 acres and 500+ creekside frontage (unsure about water rights) that we are trying to schedule a showing at.

Here are the pictures I took at the creek cabin:
End of the kitchen with laundry. Hundreds of jars of canned goods.

From the small bedroom looking out towards the front door/living room.

Kitchen isn't updated but it's a cabin and looks good.

Living room looking out (yes, it was sunny).

Next to the bathroom door looking into office and bedroom.

Closet in the small bedroom.

Office (although they say it's a 3rd bedroom) you pass through before the master bedroom.

So yes, my life just doesn't stop being exciting. We also made sure the current homestead isn't being neglected and is ready for the garden to be planted this weekend.
Our yard is super green, neighbors are all weeds.

Transplanted the tomato plants

Ran out of jiffy pots so I improvised. The peppers are still tiny.
The lettuce that went to seed last year is doing well, I'm going to plant a ton more on Saturday and let it go to seed again (what we don't eat). The chives are also back for the 3rd year. I have nothing growing from the compost, probably due to it being turned over several times since the fall.
Lettuce awaiting a salad, even a stray squash of some type is growing.

Welcome to the wild west!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Another employee wtf moment

Remember, I don't make any of this up.

After we got rid of one employee for threatening to "go home and get my gun and teach all of you MF'ers a lesson" (yes, it got better than having everyones name on a bullet... oh, the police never bothered to show up), this happened:

An employee, on Sunday, loaded a 12 gauge shotgun with a 20 gauge round.

While attempting to clear the firearm, he shot himself in the head.
After the shot, he was able to talk and walked into his brothers room to ask for help.

I don't know how long he will be visiting intensive care but he is alive, the round was birdshot and he shot himself under his chin. The lower jawbone is stout.

I really do feel bad for him and hope he gets better, it's a life altering incident.

I don't know any specifics other than that, and that nobody thinks he was trying to kill himself. According to his family he was in good spirits and enjoying the day with everyone. There wasn't any indication it was intentional.

In order to load a firearm, you generally have to have the knowledge of both loading AND unloading. There is usually a general knowledge of firearms safety (little things like don't look down the barrel).

With my pea brain, I'm thinking maybe he was saved by not having enough compression in the chamber, causing some of the force to dissipate before it went down the barrel. A firing pin doesn't know the difference in shell size but running it around my head causes me to get dizzy.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cabin photo's from previous post

These are photo's of the cabin that I really like, they aren't the best since I got them online.

The cabin would be at your back, literally. This is the ranch.

Nice fireplace

It's not a large cabin, 3bed/1bath, but that's plenty for us

This is looking towards the streams

Standing almost at the driveway edge, looking in.

Zoomed out shot of the center

Standing in the parking area

Canning, laundry and the well tank all in one spot!

Standing in the parking area, looking towards the mountains

Small rooms but it's a cabin!

Looking towards the parking area and cabin

Behind the cabin, ranch to the right, cabin to the left.

More canning, and I already use those racks for mine! 

Plenty of space.
Is this a dream match or what? We are setting an appointment to see it in 2 weeks. It's been on t he market for almost a year.

Real estate from hell and maybe heaven?

The people I know and associate with know I don't make things up, and how could someone make this kind of stuff up and not be a fantastic writer. I think I'll start wringing books.

We both had Saturday off so I decided I wouldn't wait any longer and called a realtor, who actually answered the phone. After 5 minutes of trying to figure out who I was, who I was working with, and was/wasn't I a broker, an appointment was set. It's amazing how difficult it can be to just see a home.

We wanted to look at 4 properties, one had an HoA that covered "road maintenance and water" for $30 a month. The HoA agreement was about 50 pages and covered everything from road maintenance, water (no wells, association water only), fencing (BLM approved wildlife fencing only), no hunting/fishing, no shooting of any type, etc. It was also expandable as the HoA board saw fit. Pass, down to 3 properties.

Here are the pictures of scenery, one on the way and one as we drove towards the first home. I love the area.

Before we got this second picture, we piled into the realtors suv. We were going to follow but it's always better to travel with the realtor if you don't know the area very well. Once she blew into her breathalyzer, she was able to start the journey. 5 minutes later she had to blow into it again to keep the car running. She didn't seem able to drive in a straight line and on more than one occasion we had to warn her to stop looking at the map and get on the right side of the road.

We passed an Amish buggy on the way in, there are many religious organizations in the area, and to us that means perhaps a chance to learn some skills and get to know a lot of good 'old fashion' type of people.

The first house was part of a conference center/seminary, they decided to sell off some buildings. They failed to put up a for sale sign, failed to leave a key... oh, they failed to maintain the place. In the upper right, above the garage door,  you can see a woodpecker hole. It looked like the place was shot to hell, the backside has about 20 holes already covered with flashing. Pass.

The second house was a modular, and I said up front I didn't want to feel like I was in a mobile home. We want a cabin, but know that's not what we might end up with. The place was on 10 acres and actually in the middle of the land. The exterior was nice and included a very large garage and deck. The property itself needed some work on water runoff control. The inside was packed with crap, someone is renting it and it should not have been shown for sale. It smelled (burnt bacon and cats), had stuff piled everywhere. It didn't feel like a mobile home... we stayed about 3 minutes inside and called it a pass. How do people expect to sell something when the renter is almost a hoarder.

The third house was one we saw last time, from the outside. This cabin was amazon, we LOVED it. Then we met our would-be neighbor. We met him while looking for the property marking pins. He said the property line ran through his driveway (and probably his garage the way I saw it) but he had a gentleman's agreement with the people who owned the cabin we were looking at. He also said he maintains the road (no HoA, not a county road), knew everyone in the area and seemed to want to be 'the guy'. He gave me a retired military feel and I just assumed he is bored, living in the woods isn't for everyone. This means he wouldn't appreciate us adding a wooden fence around the front of the property, target shooting, taking the land back from him if it was indeed ours, etc.

We also found out a section of the cabin roof had collapsed in 2008 from snow and it was repaired and a new roof was installed. Looking at the low angle of the roof, I wasn't surprised. The ground is really rocky here, as in hard to install posts/dig and the backside (about 3 acres) is a fairly steep slope that's just about unusable and in northern shade. The realtor goes to the same church as the 'neighbor', so we are sure it will be nothing but downhill from the start. 70% pass, we don't want hassles and lot line disputes from day one, although I'm not one to give in so that's why it's only 70% pass.

After a shockingly good lunch in town (2000 full time residents in the area, 4000 seasonal residents) we decided to go check on a cabin (on our own). From the maps, it was across from a cabin we saw last summer although the acreage was only 1.33. We really needed something to drag us out of the blues from the previous 3 hours. The cabin ended up being the one we saw last year! The cabin now has a new well, septic and an interior remodel.
Behind the cabin is a very large ranch, so there isn't much room on the other side of the cabin, but the bonus is that it's already fenced. I'm thinking a wooden fence would be better if we purchased this place.
 The property has a lot of aspens, and very few pines, that's a huge bonus.
 Yes, very nice!
 1.33 acres isn't a lot, but yes, that's a small year round stream.
The edge of the property cuts into this large year round stream. On both sides of the property, about 50 feet past the property line, are also year round large streams. We saw a herd of about 30 elk a little up the dead end road (the road the property sits on is a dead end with about 8 other houses/cabins and not all are full time). The road is county maintained.

I have a great feeling about this place. Sure, the lot size isn't huge, it's more than enough for what we want to do (besides shooting, but the National Forest is less than 1 mile away). I have a vision, if this place works out, of how the property can be worked:
Wooden fence along the road and behind the cabin, clean up the wooded areas (trimming, etc.), clean up the small stream (get all of the crap out of it, make some larger pools to increase the water flow and 'storage'), clean up the large stream (increase the pool areas in size, get the dead stuff out).
We would also change the electric range to propane, the cabin is heated with electric baseboard (great for times when we aren't there) and has a fireplace/stove. There is a wood stove in the master bedroom, how is this property not ours already.

It's also the same asking price as the cabin with the 'neighbor', so we could probably get either one for the same price.

I'll make another blog post with more pictures of the cabin and property that I got online.