08 September 2009

My Little House: Not a Done Deal Yet

I think I get along ok, in my little way. Little is the way I like it. Some may question my motives, but none can question my happiness. It's hard to talk to me sometimes. I try my best to use eyebrow semaphore to communicate, "Are you about to bore me? You better think it through a bit before the jowls start flapping." Usually fails. Public knowledge of me buying a house opened me up to all kinds of social angles, invited and not. And it's FASCINATING. You homeowners all have a story, and let me tell you... I wouldn't write it down. Most amounts to either bragging or fear. I know, I know, there is so much mystery, tricks of the trade, possible disasters, putting in track lights tripled your house value, people you know got a mansion for pennies...

Because your eyebrow kung fu has no power over my blog, let me bore YOU for a bit:

I'm buying a house at 50% of the appraised value of my neighbors (only 2 neighbors.) I'm 10 minutes bike ride from work, I have 1500 sq ft with 16ft ceilings, and an observation deck. The property is urban but fenced and walled on all sides including secure parking. A fortress. The house has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths. New kitchen cabinets. It's adjacent to an abandoned industrial area, perfect for dog walking that will eventually become a "greenway" paved bike trail.

After investigation, the history of this strange box-like house revealed itself. It was first built to be an industrial 4 car garage. Concrete pad out front, ramped concrete that meets the front of house, brick block on 3 sides, pillars in the front, and a scissor-truss roof that is totally self supported (I could take out all the interior walls if I wanted.) At some point, it was walled in and divided into rooms. Looks like a house. Smells like a house. Was a garage!

It was a garage for the neighbors who at one point subdivided their lot, made it a house and gave it to a relative. As a result, the water supply is shared from the neighbor. The house, on the market in various forms for 2 yrs (no one normal wants this house), now being sold to an outside buyer, needs it's own water supply. That water supply will cost 20K. 200ft of trenching required.

Now, all inspections, appraisals and agreements are done. We are just waiting for the water issue to be scheduled so we can get a closing date. We are in limbo. 7 weeks. Limbo hurts. We've packed 100 boxes. We can't start projects... we can't do anything really until we move. We spend a lot of time thinking of how we will remodel the house. I spend a lot of time living there in my brain.

Rooms will be connected for a giant studio, skylights in kitchen and studio, deck will become an Arizona room, air conditioning installed, water harvesting tank will be installed (900 gallons per inch of rain,) tiled floors will be poured over with stained concrete, etc.

Buying a house is tedious and for the most part boring.
My mate Jane, a lover all things antique, is in love with an 80's stucco covered box.
My mate Jane talked today about putting in a weather station and a blaze orange wind sock on the roof.
My mortgage will be lower then rent I payed 20 yrs ago.


Doug said...

I'll help with the Weather Station!!

julie said...

tom you funny! i love the way your house sounds. they truly are living beings. i have no advice. just get something you can make a home in. a space you can paint in.

Tom Baumgartner said...

Good news today! Looks like the water service will happen in a couple weeks and we can close end of October or beginning of November! Hoorah!