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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Big Boy!

My stack doest grow straight and erect. It has gained 56 inches this week!



I think me shall namest it "Big Boy."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Falling Back and Re-grouping

Well, the home sale attempt is being postponed two weeks due to lack of response. For those of you who are following this blog, you will know that we are attempting to sell the resident home using the "5-Day Method." The whole concept is based on making the advertising look so intriguing that you get flooded with calls and have a very active open house weekend. What do you do to make the ad so interesting? You start with a price point at or below 50% of the house value. This is supposed to get you 25 phone calls by Friday evening. If you don't get 25 calls then you cancel the sale and start again. As of Friday I have had exactly 7 phone calls! Here in Dayton we have so many foreclosures that our price point isn't attracting real buyers. there are so many piece of junk properties being offered below $30,000 that our ad is lost in the sea of foreclosure sale ads. If you click on the above link you will see that the author of the book has a forum for people to subscribe to. Here you can read what people are doing and get a feel for the process if you feel you need to try it. It may not be a very good system if you have very little equity in your house. It is geared towards getting fair market value on the day of the sale. This means you won't necessarily get top dollar but then again, you won't have any commissions to pay to real estate agents who don't put forth an effort to sell your home either.

What are we going to do? We are going to take a two pronged approach. The purpose of the advertisement is to draw attention to our house. We also want the real buyers to attend our open house. I don't think retail buyers are attracted to a half price ad. I know I wouldn't be looking in that price range myself. I plan to edit all of my online free classified ads to reflect a new date. I haven't had one response from any online ad. I will also post several online ads. Some for say $88,000 so that it looks like a real estate listing with an open house date. Maybe one for an open house with no price and then the big impact ad! What is that you ask? Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. I have posted a question on the 5-Day Forum and will be interested in seeing what the "experts" say.Since these online ads will run for the next several days or until I pull them, they will test my next step. In a traditional market, when you don't get a single bite, what do you do? Lower the price. So reduce the price we will! We are thinking of changing the ad to read $100 or Highest Best Offer. That should attract people from all parts of the spectrum and I'm hoping that will jam up the phones for a few days!

I will keep you all posted .....

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Wrath of Ike

Today I was working on this



when it started to get windy ..... very windy. Several times I had to run down these steps to take cover. Especially when this happened.



Later, when standing in the kitchen I saw our pear tree come down. This was a shame because it was finally producing pears that were bigger than a walnut. Just this week Deborah asked how we could get the pears off that were at the top of the tree.


I'd say it is no longer a problem!

Guess what I'll be doing for the next few weeks ....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Ad!

DAYTON
WALNUT HILLS 1500 SQ. FT BY OWNER
Beautiful Home.
3/BR ,2/BTH, Finished Attic
2 Car Gar, Orig. Woodwork, Garden
$29,500 or Best Offer
Inspection Sat. September 20th and Sun. September 21st
10AM – 5PM
Will be sold on Sunday night to
HIGHEST BIDDER (937) 256-0410



Selling Our House Next Weekend!

No, we are not selling the "Crack House" we are selling the residence house that is three blocks away! I have mentioned before that we are using the "5-Day Method" to sell the house. We bought a book several years ago called "How to sell your house in 5-days" and decided way back then that this might work for us when the time was right. The concept is quite unique. The traditional way to sell a house is for the seller to establish a price that they would like to get for their home. Then lower it after 3 months, then lower it again. Then accept an offer below the asking price or haggle with the first person in many months to make an offer and hope the deal closes. The "5-day Method" is different. We offer the house for less than half of what it is worth. Advertise it like crazy in as many places as possible and hope we get 25 responses to our efforts before the open house on Saturday and Sunday. If we get fewer than 25 responses we postpone the sale and increase our efforts. Right now we have about $300 tied up in advertising and promotion and $250 for an inspection report. Some of our ads will hit a little early but the main effort begins on Wednesday. We only have ONE open house and that is for two days. This makes life easy, doesn't it? We only have to clean the place up one time! Out of the 25 responses to the advertising we should get the three real buyers for our home. On Sunday night I call the people who have left bids in a "Round Robin" bidding sequence in increments of $500 until we have a high bidder. All this does is establish a value for our home. Nothing is binding until we sign a sales agreement. The end result is that we have a real buyer for the house AND a back-up for $500 less. The house should bring fair market value, which it would do if we used a traditional method and we don't have to pay a commission to a real estate agent! Besides this, it will save us up to one years worth of mortgage payments, taxes and insurance. So our acceptance threshold is considerably lower than it would be if we used a traditional method for selling this place. What does this mean? Some lucky buyer is going to get a real deal on a ready-to-move-into-house next weekend and we get to move into a home with a leaky roof that is in dire need of being finished!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bulk Head Doors


Many of you will recall that last March we had a little problem with the freeze/thaw cycle that prompted me to replace the right side wall with poured concrete in October. This last week or so I have finally removed the rocks that held the left side together and upon building my framework for pouring concrete it proceeded to rain for two days leaving me with an inch of mud in our basement and the added pleasure of having to remove the framework and re-dig several inches of mud out of the pour area. Hey, why do a job once when you can do it twice, right?
Anyway, I took this picture over the weekend before I got all the bricks in place and I am proceeding nicely with the project. I even used a few of our stones for the first step just to make the place look rustic.




You know, I just noticed that the graffiti on the lintel says "EAST SIDE." See, without the photo, I would never have figured that out. I'm impressed that they spelled both words correctly.




I was searching online for wood bulk head doors or wood cellar doors and all I could get were sights trying to sell me or screaming the benefits of steel replacement doors. I'm not opposed to steel doors but for these steps it would have to be custom made and I could produce a perfectly good set of wood doors for less cost and have them done before winter rolls around. Trouble is I couldn't figure out how to attach the wood framing and what it should look like. The good news is that when we travel around I take pictures and store them in an idea folder. Last year I wrote a post about Carriage Hill Farm where they have two sets of bulkhead doors. I had a picture in the folder and went back to take a few more. For some reason the stars must have been in the perfect alignment because one set was open at the exact moment of my arrival and so I took some pictures. These pretty much tell it all.






Now all I have to do is get the stars to align once again so that when I make the doors for our bulk head they actually close properly!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Week's Projects

There are three projects going on here this week. First the cellar stairwell now has the left wall poured and the foundation laid out. I have even started putting the bricks in place on Saturday so that I can make the bulkhead doors. I went and bought some pressure treated wood today and some anchor bolts so that I can get the framework in place and finish bricking in the side walls. I already have the wood cut, sealed and primed. Hopefully this frame be done by next weekend. All that will be left is to make the doors. I will elaborate more on this in a couple of days and post pictures because there is very little info available on the internet about wooden bulkhead doors.
The second project involves pouring the concrete hearth for the fireplace in the main bathroom where the second wood pellet stove will be inserted. I removed the brick hearth and leveled the floor of the fireplace with the proposed floor of the poured hearth re-using the bricks on Saturday. I had to do this so the pellet stove sits properly in the fireplace and doesn't need to be raised in the front like the one on the first floor because the back of the fireplace was an inch higher than the hearth. I didn't realize it until I installed the pellet stove! I caulked in the framework for the hearth today and have to allow the caulk to dry before I add the concrete. I have put a curve in the front and will pour this one in place and polish in place just for the hell of it!
Thirdly, I installed another 8' of chimney liner to one of the two in the back of the house today as well and hauled 70 bricks and two 13"x13" tile liners up onto the roof. Maybe I can get a start on adding the six extra feet to that chimney in the next week also.

While all this is going on I am trying to get the residence house up to snuff because we are selling it using the "5-Day Sale method" on the 21st. We got an inspection report done last Monday and we are putting the advertisements together this week. Since it finally rained here I now have to go and weed the garden AGAIN!Once again, it isn't easy being me.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Getting Screwed Royally!

AKA The Real Estate Tax Fiasco of 2008 (The Prologue)

Everybody in Montgomery County, Ohio listen up! I was just checking our real estate tax listing at www.mctreas.org and found that my 2008 evaluation on this place went up 96% while almost everything around us plummeted 10% to 60% in value! Out of 16 properties around us, twelve dropped in value while two commercial properties and two residential properties went up between 1.6% and 4.6% but nothing compared to our WHOPPING 96% which means our taxes will almost double. I'm going to fight this one. If they want to increase our property 4.6% when everything else is dropping I'll accept it but I can't sell this place for what they are evaluating it for. Right now I would be lucky to get $10,000 more than we paid for it because it is unfinished, has no garage, the back yard is a jungle and the front porch is falling off! I'll keep you posted. If I'm going to get phucked it would be nice if I got a kiss first ....