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.


  1. Ah, yes indeed Max, let the game begin. Good Luck!

    1. Thanks. It's fun and frustrating at the same time.

  2. Looks good, so it'll be interesting to hear how they respond. Good luck!

    1. No response, put an offer in on a different place instead. Better to just move on.

  3. You want to tear down old buildings? Seriously? You sound like a real city slicker. Dead trees make good firewood.

    1. City slicker? Seriously?

      It's better to get an incurable respiratory disease so perhaps one (or both) of us dies. Yes, it's better to leave the old grain storage (at least that's all I can think of it as being with what was inside it) building and horse barn up so the rodents can continue to use them even after you clean out the rodent shit, rotten food, hay, and horse shit Cleaning it means spraying down everything with an ammonia solution until it's wet enough to shovel without causing dust. All while wearing a ventilator and just shy of a hazmat suit.

      We should keep the cottage, what were we thinking. A building that has power to it that needs a new roof, chimney, walls, subfloor and floor is worth saving. It's especially worth saving knowing that it isn't flush to the ground or on any sort of foundation.

      Tearing down an old building requires renting a bobcat with an excavator attachment and getting it loaded into a dumpster while wearing the respirator and suit. Then it's over and gone, with more property to permaculture.

      Dead trees do make great firewood.

  4. I'm with you on the old buildings, most of the time they just aren't worth the money it would take to get them up to speed.

    In the next county over, they had a 2 cases of Hauntavirus this past week. People cleaning out an old trailer that, I think had been occupied by hoarders. Another good reason to tear them down, if something happens and some catches this virus, you'll have most of the county government on your property stirring up trouble.

    Someone tells me that they are firm, I won't even respond again. I'll just move on to the next place. There are always more places, and I was looking when I found that one......

    1. Agree, we put in an offer on something else, just have to wait until Tuesday to hear back, the owner is out of town. But we have stuff to do this weekend anyhow so it's fine.

      Some things are just better to just forget.

    2. Max, I'm looking forwards to hearing about it.

      Our search here continues. Just passed on a 5 acre plot that was absolutely perfect: large healthy ( had minnows in it ) creek just behind an open plot just begging to have some alfalfa planted for some deer hunting. Some woods and about 1/3 to 1/2 of it was almost flat and cleared, suitable for a very large garden. The place was fenced in on one side already between him and his neighbor.

      It even had an old very small family cemetery (15 graves) next to it to provide practice for when the zombie apocalypse happens to provide some last minute practice before the big city herds arrive. :)

      The only issue was the house was built ass backwards. The front was facing the back of the property which had a wonder view of the 40x40 big red garage and not much else. Ugh! This doesn't includes a few other issues it had with the structure. Anyway, I am thinking I am gonna fire my realtor and get another. This joker doesn't seem very motivated in helping me like he should.

    3. I think people put zero planning into building. If you have 10 acres, put the house in the middle or at least set back enough so your view from the table isn't the road. Perhaps you could paint some mountains on the barn.....?

      Our realtor got on the ball when she realized we were actually looking to buy, not just looking to drive almost 2 hours each way, each day we have off just for fun.

      We keep finding amazing cabins with many acres and zero tree's. If we didn't put stock into location and environment we would be done months ago.
      We can improve soil quality if it's not all rocks, but getting tree's to grow so we can enjoy them before we die of old age is another story. It seems everyone dreams of a large property with horses, then find out how much work and money horses really are.

      Luckily we have time. Sure, a BOL is nice, but we have a great home right now so we get to be picky. If we wanted to spend $250k, we would already be done. That seems to be the price point for what we want, just not what we want to spend.

  5. Just curious but was the asking price low to move the property in the condition it was in or the property advertised as "as is"?

    You are correct about horses. People have no idea how much they cost to keep. And that's when you do the work yourself. Not to mention that they are anchors. Not like filling the cat's bowl and going away for a long weekend. Not as anchorish as dogs but...

    1. The place wasn't advertised as-is, I think they assume nobody would mind all the stuff that we would change. Who doesn't like dead tree's right next to the roof.