Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Serves me right for staying away so long

So I went away for a mere 2 weeks and SWMBO went and bought a whole house.  Sheeeeesh


We decided this summer that it was time to stop pretending that we are fulltime RV travellers.  Since we spend 4-6 months on the boat we are at best 1/2 time RVers.  And much of our RV time now is spent parked on the lot in Buchanan.  So we had a couple of options

  • We could fix up the hovel to make it liveable.  This is really only a theoretical option but I suppose if you threw unlimited money at the place then at some point it might become marginally liveable.  We never really intended it to be liveable so its not a great surprise that it in fact isn’t.
  • We could build new on the lot where the hovel currently sits.  This is actually a pretty attractive option and – despite our new current status – its by no means off the table.  We briefly toyed with the idea of moving something onto the property but unless you can find the perfect house somewhere close to town and then get it for free its really not a very practical option
  • We could buy something in town.  The problem with this option is of course that our choice is limited by what is on the market at the moment.  For a while last year the house directly across the street from us was on the market.  We should have moved on it at the time but Mac & Emily have since taken down the signs and we we don’t really know them well enough to ask whether they still want to sell.  We looked at a few places in town but most of what is on the market is only marginally better than what we already have, with the exception of one little bungalow 4 blocks down the street from us.

The little bungalow in question is about 1000 square feet with a fully finished basement and 3 bedrooms on the main floor.  Its your basic 1970’s vintage square box with absolutely no character unless you consider a Ukrainian paint job character.  The old girl that used to live there evidently died and the family just cleaned out the fridge and her personal effects and left all the furniture in place.  That’s not a big deal in monetary terms but it is definitely an advantage for us to buy a place that comes fully furnished.  It even has a pool table in the basement. 

When I left Buchanan we had ruled out the little house up the street, mainly because they wanted way more than we thought it was worth.  While I’ve been over here next door to Lapland Marilyn made a couple more visits to the house and compiled a list of what it would take to make it into a retirement home.  The list turned out to be shorter than she had expected.  Then she made a real stinker of an offer to the vendors who responded that the offer was so insultingly low that they wouldn’t counter offer.  That made me feel good because I think in any negotiation if you don’t initially get told to fuck off then you offered to0 much to start with.

A few days later the realtor phoned Marilyn back and at that time she made a slightly higher offer which was still significantly under the asking price.  She also made it 100% clear that the new offer wasn’t a negotiating point but rather a final offer.  The vendors initially rejected that offer too but a few days later the realtor phoned back and said that if we would sweeten the new offer by $2,500 the vendors would likely roll over.  Apparently there were two executors involved and one wanted to just get the sale over with while the other wanted to hold out longer.  Adding $2,500 to our offer still left us under our drop dead price so we agreed and this morning Marilyn signed the papers.  We both think we’ve bought the place low enough that, if we decide we would really still like to build new, we can get out of the place we just bought without getting hurt.  Its been on the market for close to a year but we are buying it for 2/3 of what it was listed at. 

We’ll close as fast as the liars lawyers can get the paper drawn up and with any luck that will get us moved in before the snow flies.  Since the place comes furnished we won’t have to arrive with much more than our suitcases.  The only pressing renovation prior to move-in is to rip the damn carpet out of the kitchen and lay some ceramic tile.  What the hell is wrong with people anyway?  Who puts carpet in their kitchen????

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