Chris Hammond
Friday, August 7, 2009 12:02:37 AM

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!

Chris Hammond
Friday, July 17, 2009 2:09:56 AM

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 (www.project240z.com) 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!

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
Saturday, January 3, 2009 12:54:40 AM
Natalie and I spent most of today looking around Ft. Collins. The first thing we did after breakfast and leaving the hotel was to head to Autozone to get the check engine light scanned on the Envoy. The code reported a problem with either the MAP or one of the hoses. I ended up resetting the code, and we drove the rest of the day, a couple hundred miles, without it coming back on. Perhaps it was just the altitude yesterday that caused a problem. After getting the Envoy squared away we started calling Dressage barns in the area and went and visited a few. We found one that I think Natalie really likes, Chatellen, I like it too, but mostly because of the beagle Joe. Well Joe and check out the view from their farm of the mountains.

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