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 http://www.ourcoloradolife.com/Blog/itemId/156/17960-Domingo-Dr-Parker-CO-80134-For-Sale-we-ha.aspx 

For those of you who have kept up with Going2Colorado.com and now OurColoradoLife.com 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 now that we’ve moved it was time to change up the domain name a little, going2colorado.com was so first half 2009. Welcome to OurColoradoLife.com!

All this time we’ve been using the site to track our adventures with the move, and now that the move is over it is time for the site to grow. So what comes next for the site? I’m overhauling the Flickr photo module I wrote for DotNetNuke, hopefully that will be done in the next week or so. We will also be adding some sections to the site. One of the things we want to do now that we are in Colorado is hike the 14ers, so I’ll be setting up a page and some features on the site to track our progress. There are over 50 fourteen thousand foot peaks in Colorado, our goal is to eventually hike them all!

People were giving me trouble for continuing to tweet about our Colorado adventures and reference #going2colorado so today, that hashtag gets replaced with #OurCoLife I also registered http://www.ourcolife.com just for the hashtag ;)

Stay tuned as OurColoradoLife blossoms, we love it here in this beautiful state, hopefully we can impart to you even a small portion of the beauty that this state offers.

So here we are, it is now week #2 in our new home here in Colorado, and we are still loving it!

Even though the past few afternoons we’ve had some brief storms, the weather here is amazing. Here’s a result of yesterday’s storm

Hail from Today

The hail didn’t appear to cause any damage to the cars thankfully, it was definitely interesting to see it all coming down, and then a result of the gutters. We were our furniture shopping yesterday, and while we almost bought something I quickly learned that getting a second mortgage instead of doing PMI hits your credit pretty hard. To be frank, my credit score dropped 50+ points in the past week! Oh well, I’ll just have to work harder to pay that portion of the mortgage off quickly. We were going to do no interest financing on the furniture, but I think we’ll just pay cash for it now, so hopefully by Friday we’ll have living room furniture!

We also stopped by the local mall, Park Meadows, holy cow that place is fancy! We hit the Borders to check out the computer book section, thankfully I found a copy of my book!

Tonight we figured out that a garbage disposal will not handle everything. So I had to clean out the pipes under the sink, lesson learned :) We also went skating for the first time in Colorado tonight. Natalie is not as comfortable on skates as I am, of course I’ve been skating for 18 or so years, so it' is understandable why. We went just over 7 miles tonight, if you look at the heart rate on the graphs you can see some data about the skate. We figured out it was mostly downhill the first 3.5 miles, then we turned around and boom, uphill into the wind. You can see my heart rate jumped and pretty much stayed up the whole way back.

On Sunday we got to meet the neighbors behind us, they also closed on their house on the 31st, but they’ve not fully moved in yet as they have a lease until the 24th of this month. They are a couple, around our age, no kids. I think we’re going to get a long great, we must of spend an hour or two talking to them on Sunday, it was nice. The house they purchased was one of the short sales we were bidding on, I think it worked out best for everyone right now, they got a great house, and so did we.

The rest of the weekend consisted of me driving around looking at furniture stores, electronics stores, and a VW car show! That was fun, nothing like the bug shows in California, but way better than any VW show I went to in Missouri. Here are a few photos from the show. I also got the Datsun 240z started up for a bit on Sunday. I’m hoping to get it to a muffler shop this week so I can get it quieted down and then maybe be able to run it a bit more frequently as I try to get it tuned up and drivable. Natalie spent most of the weekend at the barn watching a dressage clinic, though we did go out to dinner with a number of the people from the barn on Saturday night, that was great fun and a good time for Natalie to get to know some people.

This weekend coming up we have a lot planned. Saturday we’re going to go up to Leadville to watch the mountain bike race. A few of my fraternity brother’s are racing in it, as well as Lance Armstrong! That should be fun, we are looking forward to being up high in the mountains for a while. On Sunday I am going to head down to Colorado Springs to the SCCA Autocross down there. I’m thinking I might tow the 240z down there and see if I can’t drive it around on an empty space in the lot for a while to use the area to tune the car while driving, we’ll see if I can get everything together for that!

So that’s our update for now, hopefully everyone is doing well. We are really loving it here in Colorado, and look forward to lots of visitors this winter!

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! Going2Colorado.com isn’t going anywhere any time soon!

So this will be a quick blog post, but a much needed one nonetheless. We are up and running in Colorado! I’ll post later this week with a full detail of all of our adventures over the past week, but we made it safe and sound, closed on the house, and are now getting through the unpacking process.

I got the office setup today and will begin working tomorrow. Hopefully in the evenings I can get to some much needed unpacking!

A couple of thanks must go out. To our parents, both mine and Natalie’s, thank you for coming to Colorado and helping us! We wouldn’t have been able to get what we did done without you. Auntie Carol, thanks for the wonderful gift, it came today!

Seven Days from now we’ll hit the road and head to Colorado, all of our life’s belongings with us, except the horse which should be there at the barn by the time we leave St. Louis. e’ve got a lot to do between now and then, but I do have all the utilities squared away at the new place. I got internet/TV/phone setup this morning, then called the other less important utilities such as power and gas :D

We’ve been packing up around the house, there’s still a lot left to do, but hopefully we’ll get it finished tonight and Friday. Tomorrow we’re having a little get together at Dave & Buster’s here in town as sort of a going away bash.  http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=103101229567

Friday Natalie is going to a concert and I’ll begin loading up the trailer. I hope to have an idea if we’ll be able to get everything in the trailer or not, if I can cancel the Budget truck by 10am we won’t get charged. But heck, even if we cancel after 10am, it only costs us $50. In my mind that’ll be $50 well spent, as we have the truck reserved for a Monday pickup if we do need more room for loading things. It’ll also likely tow the 240Z better than the Envoy will.

We’re planning on leaving St. Louis some time on Tuesday, driving roughly half way (Salina Kansas or further) and then finish up the rest of the drive on Thursday. I’ll likely need to go down to Cplorado Springs on Thursday to get a bank account down there for our second mortgage, they’ll give us a discount on the rate if we have an account there for them to ECH from.

So Saturday at noon I booked a flight for Natalie and I to Denver, for our 5th trip to Colorado for house shopping. There were two homes that popped up last week, at the end of the week, that we thought looked great as prospects for us. We considered putting in offers without even going out and seeing them, but just couldn’t quite pull that trigger. After skating 12 miles Saturday morning, well to be honest I skated 11 and walked the last mile due to hardware issues with my skates, I came home and talked to our agent, and then started looking at flight options. I tried and tried to make Priceline work for us, but the best deal we could get on priceline was $350/person, way more than we wanted to spend. After a few hours of effort I finally came across a last minute deal on Travelocity with airfare and two nights hotel in the Denver Tech Center for $280/person, I booked it and less than four hours later we were on our way.

Play it again sam

Chris Hammond

At noon today we booked another flight to Parker Colorado, and it’s not midnight here in CO. We got into town around 10pm, drove by the two houses we’re looking at tomorrow to see what things look like at night.

Hopefully tomorrow will be fruitful, two great looking houses, both are NOT short sales. I brought the good camera this trip. Time for bed.

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 Realtor.com 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 realtor.com 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.

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