Chris Hammond
Tuesday, June 2, 2009 10:53:53 AM

So here we are, two and a half months into our house hunting in Parker Colorado and as of right now we have one offer out there on a short sale, the original short sale we offered on. This third offer was more of a, hey see if you can get the bank to do another appraisal, kind of offer, lower than our rejected offer, but it is still out there.

We were looking at a house in Whooping Crane (street) in Parker Colorado, but the owners have yet to respond to our offers with any sort of a reasonable counter offer. They countered to our final offer, but remain about $5k off the mark, so we’re going to just drop that house and move on. We’ve got another short sale that we are likely going to pursue, the benefits of this house over Whooping Crane are that it is newer, larger, nicer, and has a pool in the neighborhood.

Here are the fronts of the two houses

Whooping Crane

Whooping Crane by you.

Short Sale

From the Front by you.

What do you think?

Chris Hammond
Saturday, May 23, 2009 11:56:32 PM

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!

Chris Hammond
Saturday, May 23, 2009 1:35:20 AM

So Natalie and I made our way here yesterday, stopping in Colby Kansas to sleep last night and then finishing the drive this morning. We started off the morning looking at houses on 1-2 acres outside of Parker, though to be honest up until after lunch today we were pretty disappointed in what we were finding, nothing that struck our interest. Well after lunch I think the floodgates opened up wide. We went into three houses and found each of them to be somewhat fitting for us. Though after seeing the others we ruled out the first, it had a great finished basement, but because of that pretty much no storage space available.

The second house was cool, had a "man cave” in the back yard, which was just a really cool looking shed. The yard was amazing, it had a hot tub, though it wasn’t included in the house price. We liked this house, a decent garage, good looking out front. It’s asking price is 318k, and it really is a nice house, unfinished basement. With some research though it looks like the asking price is too high for the area, which means if we are going to offer it’ll be probably 50k less than asking, maybe. We may not even offer.

IMG_0661 by you.

From there we headed to the best house we saw all day, if you judge the garage alone, it was a 4 car garage.

4 Car Garage! by you.

Though the front of the house didn’t do much, and Natalie didn’t care too much for the neighborhood.

After that we headed over to a neighborhood we’ve visited on the past two trips, and looked at our third house there, all three within literally a stones throw from each other. This one we found to be awesome.

Front by you.

3 Car garage, huge deck out back, hot tub, granite counter tops, lots of things we like. Then we figured out the bad part. This is yet again a Short Sale, with an asking price of $325k. Which to us seemed like a decent deal, but after some research I’m not so sure. It looks like there hasn’t been a house sold in that neighborhood above 300k since October 08, and even then not many have sold for above 300k in the past year. The house has an offer on it, and supposedly the bank is about ready to review the offer on Tuesday, so we may make an offer, but the more I think about it we will likely make a pretty low offer at this point. It concerns me that the price of the houses in the area is low. This house sold new in 2k5 for 370k. A brand new house we looked at on the first trip sold for 300k just a few weeks ago, brand new!!!

Here are more photos of the house and neighborhood.

Living RoomMaster BedroomMaster BathroomMaster BathroomtubBathroom sinkHis Closet

Her ClosetDining RoomOfficeKitchenKitchen and Living RoomKitchenTenants

Hot tubSide of HouseSide of HouseFrom the RearFrom the FrontNext DoorNeighborhood

NeighborhoodClubhouse/PoolFrontThe Back of the HousePool

 

 

Tomorrow we’re heading out looking at another 10-15 houses. We’ll see what we find.

Chris Hammond
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:15:42 PM

Natalie and I are headed off to Parker Colorado again this weekend to look at houses. So here’s a recap of what happened originally.

1. The original offer we made on the short sale house in Parker was rejected by the owners.

2. The second offer was accepted by the owners, but after a month rejected by the bank.

3. We’re likely to make another offer on the short sale, less than our second rejected offer to try to get the bank to do another appraisal and see if they’ll come down on what they want for the house, it’s about 20k more than we are willing to spend.

Beyond that additional offer, which we can get out of at any time, we’re going to make another trip out there to start the process over of looking at houses, we might look at one we looked at previously, but likely will be seeing totally different houses. We upped our search price range to see if we can find something above our range and make a lower offer to try to them within our range. We are also going to look at a few places a bit farther out of town that have 1-2 acres, everything we’ve looked at up to this point has been 1/3 acre or less.

While we’re out there we hope to spend a day just looking around, we really haven’t had much time to cruise around the area the past few trips. I may even take my K2 inline skates and hit a trailer if the weather cooperates. We are also slated to pick up some gokart engines for the Kenuam’s as they’ve picked up a new hobby and found some parts on the Denver Craigslist.

We’ll take plenty of pics of the trip this weekend. We’re actually driving this time, booked a rental car through priceline for <$20/day with that and the price of gas we should save some money over flying, and be more flexible on when we come back. We’ll either leave Sunday or Monday and head back to STL.

Chris Hammond
Friday, March 27, 2009 1:00:40 AM
So Sunday Night Natalie and I were kind of freaking out. We didn’t like Fort Collins, and we didn’t know what to do. Actually, on Monday we were in the same boat, we looked at Longmont/Boulder, found a nice barn or two, but nothing on the housing front that would fit in our price range. Heck, Tuesday around noon we were still in the same boat, unsure of what we were going to do.
Chris Hammond
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:33:30 AM

So Natalie and I headed south from Fort Collins this morning with the intention of getting to Parker and looking at dressage barns. Well it was my intention, but I found out that Natalie hadn’t looked up any barns! After stopping at the So All May Eat Cafe, http://www.soallmayeat.org/, to say hello to my fraternity brother Brad (as much of a hello as my sick voice could muster) I started looking up barns in the Parker area with Samantha, our GPS.

I found a place called Trinity Sport Horse (I think) and headed that way, but just after getting off the highway in Parker I found a tack shop so I cut across 4 lanes and we went into the store to ask around for dressage barns in the area. The first place we tried ended up not existing, at least from what we could see. So then I looked up Stellar Stables using Google on my mobile phone, I plugged the address I found online into the GPS and we headed further south to see what we could find. We came across a big white barn on Daley road, at the place that the GPS told us that Stellar stables should be, but it wasn’t Stellar Stables, it was Saddle Up, http://www.saddleupfoundation.org/.

We stopped in there and met a lady named Sabrina who told us that Stellar was just up the road and that she boards there. She spends some time working at Saddle Up, which we found out is a therapeutic horsemanship barn.

We then headed up to Stellar Stables, home of the Dressage Dream team, www.dreamteamdressage.com, and ventured into the barn. It’s an amazing place. The trainer there is another aussie, and Natalie is excited about the potential learning opportunities that are available there at Stellar Stables. As of right now that is the barn of choice, so we started looking around Parker Colorado this afternoon for housing.

We ended up getting in touch with a Keller Williams agent, thanks Aunt Sandra for the connection! We got preapproval lined up through his mortgage guy and then spent a few hours driving around Parker looking at neighborhoods with the agent. We’re going to spend some time with him Wednesday looking at houses for sale and seeing what we can find in the area.

So far our opinions of Parker are that it is far more suiting for us than Fort Collins was. It is much more suburbia, like we are used to, with Denver only a short drive away. We haven’t stumbled on any trailer parks, which was something we couldn’t seem to get away from in Ft. Collins.

Our house hunting trip to Colorado is almost over, we’ll be back in St. Louis Wednesday at 10pm, barring any delays. We don’t expect to find a house in Parker just yet, so we will likely schedule another trip out here in April.

Chris Hammond
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 12:58:19 AM

If you’re in need of a real estate agent in Ft. Collins check out www.maryanddick.com, Mary Greenberg has been extremely helpful for us in our search for a home.

I actually feel bad that we aren’t sure on Fort Collins anymore, bad because Mary spent two days showing us around town. If we end up deciding that FC will work for use we will definitely be working with Mary again.

If you’re looking for the perfect agent here in Larimer County give her a call!

Chris Hammond
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 12:48:28 AM

So Natalie and I have two days left here in Colorado, and we’re actually further from our goal than we were before we arrived last week.

After spending a couple of days driving around Ft. Collins we’re not convinced that FC is the place we want to move to anymore. It’s an interesting town, and there are some cool features, but we are not sure that those features outweigh some of the things that bug us.

We spent today driving around looking at Dressage barns near Longmont/Boulder, we found a few cool places. We’re going to head down south of Denver tomorrow and look around at some other barns down there. Based on what we find down there we will spend Wednesday either looking around there, or coming back up to the Longmont area. We want to spend some time driving around whatever area we think we will decide on and make sure we find out as much about the area as we can before making another trip out here in April to house hunt.

So far the Longmont/Bolder area a quick scan of Realtor.com doesn’t give me a good feeling of being able to find a house that will fit our desires. I only found a few houses that were under $350k, and I don’t think any of those had a 3 car garage.

Chris Hammond
Thursday, March 19, 2009 11:27:20 PM

Natalie and I are heading off to Colorado for the next 6 days to start our house hunting process. We'll hopefully be taking a lot of photos and even some video of the houses we look at, so you will get a chance to follow along as we work through our first time home buying process.

Stay tuned as we get ready for this big life changin moment!

Chris Hammond
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 10:11:46 PM

So I just booked our flights from St. Louis to Denver for our first house hunting trip to the Ft. Collins area. I checked the flights last night and the price was at $390 at the cheapest. So I figured i better book today before the prices go up since we are just over 30 days (if not right at) until we would fly. Surprise surprise the flight ended up being $30 less than last night when I checked. Score!

So we’re flying Frontier Airlines into Denver, I’ve had good experience with Frontier in the past, I should probably go ahead and sign up for their frequent flier program as we may have to make a few trips and then I’ll make trips for work. I think I got the same deal I could have had if I had booked it on Frontier, I ended up booking it on Priceline. Travelocity was still $30 more like last night.

Sometime before the trip I’ll get our hotel and car rental, both through priceline I’m sure :D


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