Sunday, February 21, 2016

House-hunting

Greg was called into work yesterday, so the engaged couple couldn't look at real estate in Ojai, as they had planned. Ellen called to see if I could go with her to a nearby complex, instead; she was interested in two possibilities there. Sure, I could, and she said she'd be over in the afternoon. I spent the morning vacuuming, dusting, moving furniture here and there, and generally tidying up, more or less "staging" the place for the first time El saw my new sofa.
Betty called to say she was going to list some things for sale on line and she wanted to know what contact moniker she should use. Why in the world she couldn't just come up with something herself I don't know, as a username is surely the least important thing about selling. I told her I use "mimiisselling," and she immediately said she'd use "bobbiisselling" (Mimi and Bobbi were our babyhood nicknames.) I told her about meeting my hitherto mysterious neighbor and mentioned she looks about thirty. Betty expressed surprise, as she thought I lived in an over-55 community; I can't imagine where she got that idea.
El called to ask if I'd come to her place first, as the properties were closer to her. Sure, and I did.
We went to "Stardust," a name that just tickles me--I'd move there in a heartbeat for that alone. It's a mobile home complex, but of course, the prices invariably run gst more than what I paid for my fair-sized house in Little Egg. The kicker (right in the rear) is that owners are also obliged to pay "space rent," which varies from three-hundred plus a month to six and more. Of course, this is in addition to a mortgage, utilities, taxes, fees, and any other items that can be thought up to separate homeowners from their money. I must say, it's very nicely kept: clean and scrubbed looking and just about every home has nicely-maintained shrubbery and flowers.
The first one we had seen before and oh, boy, it's a dream. It's brand new, with an enormous and beautiful kitchen, with up-to-date appliances, granite counter tops, a breakfast bar, and more. There's a large living room, three bedrooms, two baths, a good-sized laundry room, good storage inside, and an outdoor--well, I guess you'd call it a "shed," but a large and well-made new one. I love the way it's laid out, as the master suite is on one side of the living area, and the two guest rooms on the other. Of course, it's about what I would expect to pay for a villa on the Riviera, but El said she can afford it if she sells her condo for a reasonable price. Ellen asked the agent about a contingency clause and they discussed that.
We then saw another in the same park. This was built in 2007, practically last week, but El considers it elderly and wasn't enthusiastic about it. I thought it was a steal for the price. It has vaulted ceilings, a large and beautiful fireplace, and a kitchen even larger than the first. It does need a bit of updating, but is livable just as is. An outrageous twist--this is California, folks--is that, although the cost in considerably lower for this than the first place, the space rent is a more than a hundred a month higher. It's nine years older, so how can this be? Because with each subsequent sale, owners are allowed to raise it by certain increments, and this was sold to the present owner three years ago. Anyway, El still hasn't yet put her place up for sale, so all of this is moot right now.
It was after 4:00 when we finished and we went back to El's to get my car and drove separately to my place. El likes my couch a lot and we sat on it and chatted for a bit before saying goodbye. Still following the eating down project, I had another somewhat odd dinner: Rice-A-Roni and red grapes.


2 comments:

Martin Moran said...

Oh house hunting. I love it and I also hate it. It causes so much joy but it can be so frustrating to find the joy. I have also dealt with a lot of bad real estate agents. Just ones that are in a rush and want to sell the house even if it is really not the right one.

Martin Moran @ Buyers Agent San Antonio

Doyle Hunt said...

When buying a new home you must take your time, but you should also be deciding whether the house you are buying is worth it or not. You must be aware of the house-buying procedures, save up for your down payment, get your credit and finances in order and find out as much as you can about your chosen area.

Doyle Hunt @ Real East Van