Chris Hammond
Sunday, June 21, 2009 2:13:34 AM

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
IMG_1171

The Deck
The Deck

The View
The View

The Kitchen
The Kitchen

The Backyard (some of it)
IMG_1159

Chris Hammond
Monday, June 8, 2009 11:47:13 PM

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.

Chris Hammond
Saturday, June 6, 2009 12:18:45 PM

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.

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
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:59:09 PM

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 (http://twitter.com/christoc/) 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.

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, May 1, 2009 3:19:48 PM
Well it looks like we're going to start our house search over again. The bank came back and rejected our offer on the short sale in Parker, Colorado. So now we need to plan another trip or two out to Parker to look at other houses. From the previous two trips the house we offered on was the only "one" we just had to have. Hopefully we'll find another "one" for us!
Chris Hammond
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 1:07:55 AM

So we’re about three weeks into, or just about, the Short Sale process on our second offer on the house in Parker, Colorado. For those of you who don’t know me, I am an impatient bastard! I hate waiting, so this process is agonizing. I’m actually impressed though, both Natalie and I haven’t gotten our hopes up TOO much on this house working out. Sure, we would love it to work out, it really would be the perfect house for us, exactly what we wanted, views, big garage, unfinished basement, decent yard, great kitchen, beautiful house with the “Colorado” look on the outside.

But we know that the price we offered may be too low to get into the neighborhood, had it been two years ago when the house was brand new there would be no way we’d even be able to consider the house. Now with the potential for a short sale we stand a chance, though it’s probably only a little chance.

So we just remain here, waiting to see what happens. According to the seller’s agent, he thinks, or was told, he may here something by Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. We will see if that happens, like I said, we’re trying not to get our hopes up.

We’ve started listing off all the stuff we need to get rid of before we move, now to just have a garage sale and start getting rid of things. The neighborhood here in St. Louis usually has one every spring, but we haven’t heard anything about it yet, so maybe we’ll have to have our own.

If there are any friends who need a Hutch, or Kitchen Table (only 2 chairs though) let us know, we aren’t planning on taking my old table and hutch, they match though, and are Ethan Allen if I recall correctly. We’ll also have a microwave (best MW I’ve ever owned, can cook a bag of popcorn complete in 2 minutes), and lots of other random stuff.

Chris Hammond
Thursday, April 16, 2009 6:25:58 PM

So earlier this week I heard from our Realtor in Colorado. He said the owner had accepted our second offer on the house and had passed it on to the bank for their review. Supposedly the seller’s realtor said he hopes to hear back in 7-10 days from the bank. I don’t know if I believe that or not, we’re not getting our hopes up. It would be nice to know soon, but only if we get it! At least if the bank turns us down we will know and can start looking for other options. With as busy as things have been since we were last in Parker we haven’t looked at other houses.

I did get a scare last night. I checked my voicemails for a new message and the message came across with a fax shrill, so I hung up and checked again. Well the first message it played was the voicemail from our agent from last week telling us that  the owner had turned our first offer on the house down. I wasn’t sure that it was an old voicemail, I thought it was from last night, so I called David up and asked him if he had called. Fortunately he hadn’t, it was in fact last week’s message. So I immediately went and deleted the voicemail, no more mistaking that damn message for a new one!

I’ll post another update when we hear more!


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