Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oh...What To Do?!!!

In the last post you may have read that we put a bid in on a house. It seems that while I was away having fun in Detroit, my bored husband began looking at property and stumbled on a foreclosure. Well, our bid was accepted! Yikes! Now what should we do? We have until midnight on October 28 to back out of the deal, so we are making lots of calls and making plans to have the property inspected and to get estimates for tons of work from contractors. We will be busy this week, for sure!

So I've been trying to approach this using  my typical linear, logical thinking - although my lockstep approach isn't often the right way to go about making a decision and may be of no help whatsoever! I've tried to look at the pros and cons of living in one place over the other:

Great neighbors within a quick walk
Fabulous view of Pike's Peak
Open space in back yard and easements for riding
Quiet living on a cul-de-sac
Large barn with ample hay storage
Three car garage
House is paid for
Trees and shrubs we planted over last three years are beginning to
flourish and grow
Vegetable garden beds are established
Invisible dog fence installed
New furnace and AC
Lower taxes
Close to Kit Carson Riding club facilities

Almost double the amount of pasture
Main floor master bedroom
Lower elevation - may mean warmer temps and less snow.  
Scott might find it easier to breathe
Possibly less wind
Camper can be parked at home - wont' have to pay storage fee
Ability to have chickens and other livestock
Four miles to shopping and restaurants
21 miles to Dad's house
Immediate access to main road that will be plowed in winter
Shop equipment may fit in the garage
Large stable across the street with multiple arenas where I might be able to ride
Fenced back yard that might contain dog
House is a blank slate - cost of new kitchen/flooring/paint included in estimate
Automatic waterers in barn and pasture
No covenants to comply with
No HOA fees
House will be paid for if we can sell the current home for a reasonable price

If you think of something I might be missing, please let me know!

Here are some pictures and some additional information about the 'new' house. The house was built in 1994. It appears that it had a loving, caring family until 2007 when it was sold for a lot of money. The new owner financed EVERYTHING with 2 different mortgages. The new owner didn't seem to love the new home and didn't take care of the property. The new owner walked away at some undetermined time.

This is a view of the front of the house. It faces south and sits on a knoll of almost 9 1/2 fenced acres of land. 

Here is a view of the back. The fenced yard might hold Tucker, although I'm not sure that I would totally trust him not to jump over the fence. The yard and gardens were probably very attractive at one time. The small tree in the foreground is just one of about 25 that may have been honey locusts, but which are now all dead :(  The tarps on the roof are gone and the roof has been replaced - naturally with the cheapest shingles.

We really like the floor plan of the house. It has a total of 2500 square feet on the first and second floor. It also has a basement that is half finished and could be made into a nice entertaining area. The rooms are all fairly large and open and seem to be light and airy. 9' ceilings on the main floor and a 2-story entry help promote that feeling.

The front door opens into this entry way, just to the right of the stairs. There is a large window in the dormer that makes this area very bright, and there is a fairly nice chandelier for night time. Two large bedrooms are located to the left and right of the balcony upstairs, separated/connected by a 'Jack and Jill' bath. The tile in the bath is dated and at some point my husband and I could redo it. We've had success with that type of project previously.

This is the master bedroom. The photo was taken from the french doors that open off of the great room. The door on the left opens onto the front porch. The bay window has a view of the distant mountains. There is a copse of trees that shield this corner of the house from the main road. Carpet and baseboards would need to be replaced and again, the tile in the bath is very dated and will probably be one of our first 'do-it-yourself' projects.

We were able to get this house at what may be a bargain because at some point the upstairs toilet became cracked, probably from freezing. When the bank began working with the listing Realtor, the Realtor had the power turned on so the house could be shown. The pump works well and water from the cracked toilet flowed down ruining a lot of sheet rock, carpet padding and all of the wood floors. The great room and the eat-in area of the kitchen have no sheet rock on the ceiling. More sheet rock has been removed in the basement. The wood floors were pulled up and cut away from the kitchen cabinets. We have had contractors in to give us estimates and have priced flooring and installation and even a new kitchen. The inspector will be at the house, with us at his elbows, on Monday. 

This is the view off of the front porch. You are looking at a large riding stable that has a number of barns and arenas. It is all fairly modern. I am going to talk to them to sound them out about the possibility of using their facilities, especially when the weather is rotten. Our paved driveway is fairly long. It meets with a highway running E/W. We do hear noise from passing cars, but, as the road is well traveled, it will usually be plowed promptly in the winter.

This is a view off the back porch. I imagine this porch will be a wonderful spot for morning coffee on nice days and a refreshing drink in the evenings. We have room to put a small table for summer dining as well. The steps lead down into the enclosed back yard.

This shot is taken from behind the barn, looking north. The pasture seems to be less weedy than what we currently have. There is a paddock area and one large pasture, which probably takes up about 7 acres of the land. We have electric tape that we could use to divide the pasture and there are already plenty of gates.
The neighborhood behind us has large lots with large, expensive homes. 

This is what would serve as a least for several years. The two 10 X 10 stalls open to the south and look towards the house. These doors are the only openings in the stalls. There is very little room for runs coming off the stalls. The garage door on the left opens into a large area that could be used for hay and tack storage and could hold the tractor as well. There is an open area of paddock to the left that would probably be the turn-around spot for the trailer. There isn't that much room between the drive and the stalls, so any runs we made would be small. You will also notice that they have a concrete 'sidewalk' in front of the stalls. The paddock goes around and behind the barn, so there is an entrance to the paddock to the right. It's possible that we could use Priefert panels to give the horses access to the stalls and the paddock.

This looks like it was used as a run-in shelter for the horses (and for countless pigeons!) It is located behind the stalls on the right side of the barn. It opens directly into the paddock and has now doors. It faces south. I'm thinking this would be the main shelter for my guys. We could possibly create doors into the stalls (located on the left) from this area. I could also use panels to create a space for each guy in here if I needed to keep them separated. (Doc does get tired of Pippin's that may be needed!)

As you can imagine we have been living an emotional roller coaster. The inspector comes on Monday so we'll know more about the condition of the house at that time. We are aware of many issues that need to be addressed, but those don't seem to be deal breakers. After we get the estimates for the work that needs to be done and do the math, then we'll have to do the hard part....deciding where we want to live. Arrgghhhh! What to do? What to do?


  1. Looks like a nice house and nice chunk of property. I hope there isn't extensive mold due to the water damage. Don't worry about making a decision until you get more information from the home inspection.

  2. Wow! Look what happens when a wife leaves a husband home alone for a few days. He shops! (But not at the mall). Sounds very exciting, and like a big decision. That's nice that you have time to gather more information before making your final decision. Looks like it has lots of potential. Good luck with your decision.

  3. Wow! Lots of huge changes! I think I would choke my hubby for signing up and making such an important decision while I was away. Such a stressful time, but at least you don't have to make up your minds until after the inspection.

    Personally I'd not want all the work of fixing up the place, especially just before winter. You'll have much to do just to prepare the house for your comfort and safety before winter arrives. Could make for some very stressful holidays, too.

    The property has some great potential, though. Too bad the barn and paddocks aren't set up the right way for horses, though. And I'd also have some concerns with the noise and traffic from the stables across the street. Do they have events and competitions going on sometimes?
    Of course, the upside is that you might be invited to participate, and that would be fun.

    Lots of pros with the new house, and lots of cons, too. The inspection will tell you more and then you'll know what to do.

    Best of luck!


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