Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Great Place But No Cigar

I have no idea what that means, other than I won't be handing out cigars to celebrate the purchase of my new place.

As soon as I hit the fairgrounds at 6:00 pm (boy were they surprised to see me back), having lost an hour along the way, I met the realtor and my two friends at the house .... in the dark .... with flashlights in hand.  We walked the perimeter first, getting stuck with cactus along the way.  It looks pretty well kept in this picture ..... it wasn't in person.  Knee high grass and cactus were everywhere looking to poke you.
When Patty said it was "rough", she was right.  Really, I thought a good tractor operator could whip that into shape in about an hour.  The inside wasn't as bad as I expected.  However, it seems the owner decided to remodel himself, texturing the bathrooms with inch thick plaster and painting with colors that would make you want to throw up ... maybe that's where his color choice came from.  

Even if you watch every episode of Chip and Joanna Gains Fixer Upper, it doesn't mean you know how to remodel.  He retiled the kitchen counter with half inch thick grout.  When the pieces didn't really fit, he just glued them on anyway.  Note to self ... gut the kitchen.

The small bathroom had almost-black VERY rough tile he had glued on the floor.  A cleaning nightmare.   The wooden cupboard he had used for a sink was covered with very dark two inch tiles.  He must have then poured some kind of goo over it all, but wasn't too careful.  It dripped on to the floor.  The bath surround didn't fare much better.  Another GUT job!!

The master bath was ... well livable ... just don't eat before you enter.  At over 2,000 square feet, the house had plenty of space and sort of an open concept.  I could have made the laundry room into a  fifth bedroom, it was so big.  I kept saying "I don't know girls ... look at THIS", but truly a lot of it really WAS cosmetic. 

In the end, I stayed up with the nicest Realtors in the world until 10:00, getting it written up.  Here's the deal on the short sale.  Having had a previous buyer, the bank had already gone through the approval process, getting okays from the divorced owners and approving the sale price.  Those buyers backed out, but no one told the bank.  That meant for ME, it would close in 30 days.  

Bright and early, with absolutely NO sleep as I re-designed the kitchen and bought furniture for every room (in my head of course) and worried myself about the condition, I trotted off to take a look in the light of day.  

Since I had called the Building Division, I knew all the setbacks.  There was plenty of room to build an RV cover on one side next to the existing 30 amp plug and a 20 x 30 garage on the opposite side for my car.  Packrats are a problem here ... your vehicle needs to be protected.

I dug down beside the house in several places to find the skirting totally rotten.  They nailed it on, then pushed dirt up all around it.  That's BAD!!  It meant termites were a big problem, as evidenced by their little tubes running up the sides here and there.  That's a BIG EXPENSE to dig out and replace it with concrete block or flashing.  

Finally, while walking on the back patio checking out the construction and looking for wood rot, I noticed a hollow sound on several of the tiles.  Hmmmmm that's not good.  Around the corner I went, pulled back the weeds and found THIS!!  Squirrel heaven.  I could almost fit in the hole myself.  Upon further inspection, I discovered the hole underneath was so large, the concrete had broken and fallen down, making for the hollow sound from the tile.  
That was the death bell I heard in my brain.  This entire patio would have to be removed.  I saw dollar signs.  Especially since the Realtor and I had discussed just how much money I could put into this place and not go under water.   I would be looking for my scuba equipment if I purchased it.  

I sent Vince a note saying I was withdrawing my offer.  They said they understood perfectly and that was that.  No cigars this time around!!  No matter, it was really fun to see my two girlfriends again and say hello to the people at the Fairgrounds RV park.  

This morning I'm off again for California!!


  1. Have you thought about Pinal County? There's lots of properties with acreage.

    1. I was trying to stay closer to the southern end of Tucson. That's where my friends and their Quilting Guild reside. If nothing comes up, I'll widen my horizons.

  2. I think you made the right call. Have you looked into trying to get a RV Port Home and put it on a piece of property? That piece of property would do the trick, but they would have to come way down in price and assure there is no asbestos there so it doesn't cost an arm and leg when you tear it down.

    1. I've actually looked at everything so far. Most of the places I could do that would require a ride down a long dirt road that I would have to keep up. LOL

  3. If you take the banks asking price I'm willing to bet your remodeling would cost you about 80% of that. which would leave you upside down, AND with a 15 year old MF home
    If you take that banks asking price and you add 40% you'd be in the high end ballpark for the neighborhood
    The dwelling is probably only worth about 20% of the banks asking price
    Which would put the land and infrastructure at 80%
    I'm guessing the only way you would come out ahead if you could get them to knock 65% off the last asking price, ( no higher )give the unit away free, put in a concrete pad,, built what you want.
    Landed and infrastructure would already be there, saving the big bucks
    You will find something better just hang tight
    Price the cost of a piece of land in the neighborhood( 1 acre)
    price the cost of all the infrastructure to the land
    Price the cost of a manufactured home and add it all together and see what you come up with
    You'll have a better handle the next time you go looking

    1. That one would probably have cost upwards of $40K just for repairs, not counting $28K for a small garage and RV cover. That's pretty close to $40K more than the realtor realistically thought he could resell it for. Not good!!

  4. "No Cigar" is a reference to the days that gambling with slot machines was not legal. The machines were then used as "entertainment" with lemons, cherries, oranges, cigars, etc. as prizes. These prizes "could" be traded with the bartender for cash if you weren't suspected as being a fed.
    This is the basic story as I heard it. I wasn't around to experience it, but I worked for a company that made the more modern machines.
    So... "Close, but no cigar" if the reels didn't line up for a prize. We like it when folks come over to Nevada to exercise our slot machines.

    1. That's SO interesting!! I had no idea!! Well it would have been a big gamble if I purchased that property, that's for sure!! Thanks for the info ... I love it!!