It looks like and of course the precursor, are quickly coming to an end. As of yesterday we have a signed contract on our house in Parker Colorado. Hopefully by this time next month we'll be free and clear of the house and able to move on with our lives here in California.

UPDATE: sorry folks the washer and dryer are sold!

So this weekend only, if you're interested in buying our house you can get the washer/dryer included in the deal! You gotta act fast though, they are going on Craigslist, if they sell there they won't be available as part of the house deal.

They are a really nice washer/dryer set to! Front loaders, Samsung, I don't have the model numbers handy, but they were over $2k less than 8 months ago when purchased new.

For a little more on our house check out 

For those of you who have kept up with and now you know how much time we spent looking for a house in Colorado. Well that house is for sale and our lives in Colorado are quickly coming to an end. We are picking up and moving to California, and the house is for sale. Check out the full blog post for more details about the house.
The house sold in August of 2010. Unfortunately we took a rather large hit on it. To be honest, I wish it hadn't sold! Oh well, life goes on.

So we have been in Colorado for a week now, tonight is our 7th night in our home, and we are in heaven! We’ve had a few hickups, I’ll talk about those here to update everyone.

We got here last Thursday and went down to Colorado Springs to get a checking account so we could get a better rate on a mortgage, unfortunately we didn’t have 20% down for our first home, so we did 80/10/10, this bank in the springs was for the second 10. Well, to be frank, the bank sucks. Basically they came in with a different rate than they originally told us, changed numbers at the last minute, and were downright painful to work with. I highly recommend if you ever get the chance to work with TCF Bank that you run away as fast as you can. I plan to pay off that second as fast as we can and get away from TCF Bank.

From there things looked up, closing went alright, once we got thru the bank headaches, and we got the keys to the house. I came to the house in the moving truck while Natalie and her mom ran off and picked up a few things, as I got here the neighbor was outside chasing down the previous owners dogs. They were watching them while they went to the closings and unfortunately the dogs had gotten out. I helped in getting one of them back in their house, a golden retriever who didn’t want to leave our house, and planted himself on the ground. I had to pick half of him up and drag him across the ground! I repeated the process a few hours later when he escaped again.

Unpacking Friday went well, we had the help of some high school kids, and in three hours we had the truck and horse trailer unloaded, far faster than I expected. My parents arrived into town, and Natalie’s father arrived into town later Friday as well. Saturday and Sunday we spent time with our families unpacking and trying to get things going in the house. We shopped for a washer and dryer, finding something on Monday and having it delivered on Tuesday.

Natalie's new toys, samsung 419s

Since we moved in we’ve found a few things wrong with the house. Here’s a quick list

  • Windows that needed tightening up.
  • A sump pump that was basically flooding the yard
  • A kitchen sink that started leaking
  • Carpet with gum embedded in it
  • a yard that wasn’t mowed
  • lots of dirty rooms
  • none of the Ethernet ports were actually wired up in the house
  • random trash left in and around the house

All in all the week has been good. I’m up and running in my home office, though it is not 100% setup yet, lots of work left to do in it. Natalie has been going to the barn every day to ride her dressage horse, I think she’s very happy with the horse, the barn, and our new home.

We bought a lawn mower off craigslist for $40, it ran, but not well, so I took it apart and found that the intake manifold was broken completely in two. I looked for parts online but didn’t find anything local so I pieced it together best I could with some super glue. I mowed the yard today, or at least most of it, some during lunch, and then more after work until it started raining. I’ll try to finish it up this weekend. I’m going to go ahead and order the replacement manifold as I don’t know if the super glue will hold up to the gasoline.

We’ve still got a long way to go with the house, we don’t have any couches yet, but will spend our time looking for the right items for us.

More pictures and a lot more coming in the next few weeks, stay tuned! isn’t going anywhere any time soon!

This blog post is going to be shorter than it could be, but for once in my life I’m going to hold back some information. I wouldn’t want anything I might say to jeopardize the closing of our house!

So I was playing around online tonight, go figure, and came across this photo slideshow of the house. These are not photos I took. (here are photos I took)

So we are closing on the 31st of this month. I went out to Colorado last Friday and went on the home inspection. I had a good day, this was my rental car!

Oh no I didn't rent this, yes I did

I won’t get into too many details on the inspection for a number of potential reasons, but it went very well. Nothing too major was found, and the one item we wanted inspected is getting replaced!

Now we’re in the bind of figuring out how we are going to get to Colorado for closing, hopefully with all of our furniture at the same time. We’re currently planning on loading up the horse trailer and a budget rental truck with all of our stuff, putting the 240Z ( on the car trailer, and drive all three rigs out the day before closing. We might leave even a day earlier, but in order for that to happen I have to rearrange a work trip that is scheduled Mon-Wed the week we close (we close on Friday). I hope to know if I can rearrange that trip tomorrow.

So we’ve started packing, throwing lots of things out, reorganizing what we have, and want to take with us. We’ve got a long way to go, but I think we’re making good process so far. I’m hoping to get the Datsun back together this weekend and to spend the weekend packing up the garage. If I can get that done it will leave my office, and then clothing. Hopefully Natalie will tackle the kitchen this coming week!

Natalie’s last day at the barn working is tomorrow, it’s a big change for her, not working every day. I look forward to seeing more of her!

Seems like each trip is turning out the same way. We find a few houses, mostly short sales, that we like. We make an offer. Rinse, repeat.

Natalie and I got back from Colorado again this evening. I’ll post a longer update from the trip later, but here’s some pictures of the latest house we’ve offered on. We actually upped our offer A LOT, right before we left this afternoon.

This house appears to be made for us. The upper level is nearly 100% tile floors, which will be great for the dogs. The backyard has hardly any grass in it, and what we saw was being chewed on by one of four dogs, so that will need to be planted/sod. The interesting thing about the backyard is that it is 60% (rough guess) paved, that’s right, paved. There’s concrete all the way around the sides, and somewhat down the middle. You might ask why. Well we figure it’s because of the dogs. Our dogs at the last place we rented ran a track around the yard at the fence, I figure that they paved to account for this.

The inside upstairs is great, only a few things (trim to pain) left to do. The downstairs is another story. It was finished at one point, but our guess is the dogs made a MESS of the carpet, so it was all cut up. The basement doesn’t smell good, but hopefully we can get that corrected if we end up buying the house. It’s a short sale, so who knows if we will ever hear anything on it.

The Front

The Deck
The Deck

The View
The View

The Kitchen
The Kitchen

The Backyard (some of it)

We’re off to Parker again Thursday through Saturday to take what I think is our 5th house hunting trip? Maybe it’s only trip four, either way, we’ve seen a lot! Hopefully this will be the winning trip.

Today I received an email from a title company out of Aurora Colorado, attached to the email was a bunch of title paperwork regarding one of the short sale homes we have a bid on. I didn’t get my hopes up too much though as back in April I received pretty much the same paperwork on this house, with different purchase price numbers as this bid is lower than that other bid. The last time this came through prematurely as the bank hadn’t yet accepted the offer, and it looks like this time it’s the same mistake.

At least we know something is still moving, I called the title company to see what they had to say, they said the bank hadn’t yet come back on the offer, but they were shooting for a July 15th closing if the bank were to accept. So we’ll see what happens, we’re still keeping our fingers crossed as this is the house that is our first choice. We’re looking at another trip out to Parker probably next week to do some more house shopping and possibly start looking at apartments in the area if we’re not able to locate a house here soon.

So one of the complaints I’ve had in this whole process of looking for a house is the lack of websites that actually show you good photos of a home. For some realtors don’t or can’t upload high quality photos of a house. Well we finally found a home that has high quality photos online, and I must say it is a great thing to see!

Here’s a link to the photos of the house I found. (click on start tour, then click on Full Screen).

Now, that tour doesn’t show you the garage, which is another one of my beefs, but it is definitely a step up from most of the listings we’ve seen.

Are you a realtor? Do you realize that people want to see large, high quality photos of a house? Are you not able to upload those to the listing websites?

Prices are dropping

Chris Hammond

So we gave up on the house we were making offers on earlier in the week. We gave them our final offer and they came back with an offer that wasn't close to that so we are done with offering on that house for a while. I got an email from this morning, it looks like they dropped the price $3k recently, too little too late for us. We'll take a look at making an offer again in the future, but it won't be any more than we've previously offered, perhaps less.

So right now we have two offers out on short sale homes in the Parker area. We're hopefull that one of those will go through, but we're not expecting to hear much back on those any time soon. I did get a email last night with an interesting house that just went on the market in Parker, so perhaps we'll see if we can't line up a few more new listings and make another trip out there in the next month and look around.

We're starting to think we may end up doing a short term, month to month, lease on an apartment out there if both of these short sales fall through.

So with the “state” of the economy, and all the drum and glum you hear/read about these days, and everyone says it is a buyer’s market, someone must of forgotten to tell the sellers! We’re having a hell of a time trying to come up with something in Parker Colorado that fits into what we want.

We’ve now made 7 offers on 4 different houses, and we’re aren’t any closer than when we started. 2 of those 4 houses are short sales, one we actually still have a pending offer hanging out there, and the other we are likely to bid on again as our 8th offer we’re about to make will be the third on the particular house, and I don’t think the seller is going to come down in price where we want. So far the buyer has only come down in price by $2k, and based on our request for the hot tub, washer, dryer, they cut the closing concessions by half. This next offer, which we’ll sign in the morning, will be the last offer we make on this house. We’ll see how the seller comes back.

Needless to say we are getting very frustrated with this process! We would like to move, but  we really don’t want  to settle on a house we won’t be happy with.

And we wait for 5pm

Chris Hammond

So yesterday we put in another house offer in Parker Colorado. This time for a more reasonably priced house, with the offer being around 89% of their asking price. I’m not sure if they’ll accept, counter, or just ignore us like the last offer. We’re anxious to find out. If they were to accept it that will put our closing date on 6/30, which once you start to think about it is just right around the corner! yikes.

I’ll post an update when we hear about the offer.

So one of the things you might find with twitter is that if you post messages on there you’ll find people start to follow you. Well lately I’ve been getting real estate professionals following me ( because I’ve been tweeting about Short Sales and other things in our hunt for a house in Parker Colorado. Today I visited one of these annoying twitter users and ran across an interesting link about the Short Sale process in the Napa Register (newspaper). While it doesn’t exactly show you everything involved with a short sale process, it does talk briefly about it, and what changes are available for the process right now.

So this was day 2 of our third trip to Parker Colorado, ultimately I think this is day 5, maybe 6 of house hunting here in Parker. We started off at the realtor’s office discussing what we thought would be a good offer on the short sale (#2) we came across yesterday.

After that we headed off to look at houses around 9am this morning. We saw ~14 houses today, some of which were good, some of which were not so good. It’s amazing how many houses are for sale that are within close vicinity of the powerlines that split through Parker. We found one house that was right on the 18th fairway of a golf course, but the power lines were not far from the house, so that was ruled out. We found 2 golf balls in the back yard without even having to look, so maybe it was a good thing that the power lines ruled out the house. Two houses down the house had a huge flagpole that had a large net to protect the backyard, house and deck.

We also found a great looking house, it was perfect in almost every way, until we went into the garage. It was listed as a 3 car garage, but there was physically no way that it was possibly a three car garage, I should have taken a picture, it was a 2 door garage, with about 1/2 a car space on one side, the biggest problem though was the two support pillars in the way preventing you from parking a car there.

We found a number of houses with hot tubs today, and a number of nice backyards. We also drove around the neighborhood where the short sale house (#2) is again and looked around, it was good to see that someone was swimming in the pool and there were two lifeguards, so my fears that the clubhouse wasn’t open anymore were eased.

We came across one house that has been on the market for just over 40 days, it has 5 bedrooms, 1 of those being in the finished basement, 3 full baths, and a decent backyard. It’s a bit out of our price range, but we’re going to make an offer, quite a bit lower, and see what they come back with, hopefully we’ll be able to negotiate in our range. We’re going to sign the documents on the offer tomorrow, I’ll wait to post pictures of it until we hear something back on the offer. No sense in showing all our cards if the seller happens to stumble on this site!

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