There’s a fine line between traveling around the continent in a trailer and living in one, down by the river. For the last month now, we’ve been doing the later.
Specifically, we’ve been in Boulder, Colorado, trying to wrangle real estate deals on properties that have a unique set of qualities. They have to be worn-out ugly boxes, on great properties in upscale neighborhoods.
We’ve made three offers and been in escrow twice: the third one looks like it might stick. The first one countered us by a paltry offer by $1,900 (from $799,900 to $798,000) so we walked. A week later, they lowered their asking price by $30,000.
The second property was dubbed “The Bug House” by the kids from the thousand-odd bugs that were in various stages of life swarming the interior of the house. There was a melon-sized hole in the siding from birds that had pecked, and a patch-job on the roof from a racoon that ate it’s way in to the walls. The landscaping had all but taken over the 35,000 square foot lot and the building stunk of the 70’s. In a word: perfect.
Too perfect, it turns out. We backed out after the owners (realtors, ironically) refused to clean out their personal belongings.
Number three is closer to the ideal blend of nasty and potential: outdated, ugly and undersized, but a great one-acre lot (including a tennis court) with fantastic views of the Rockies and upside re-sale price of more than $1 million.
Whether or not to buy, certainly has been the questions as the credit market is imploding as we speak. Our numbers look good enough for now, but only time will tell: the mortgage companies seem to be rewriting their rules weekly.
With nothing to do but wait, we did the most logical thing and leave. We’re currently in Wyoming, on our way to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. After that, perhaps a trip to the West Coast and back again to Colorado in time for the closing.
But if we’ve learned anything: it’s that anything may happen, so we are not promising anything.