House #17: Officially Ours

March 17, 2010 · 5 comments

We closed on the purchase of The Escher House today… Okay, we almost closed — as usual, the seller (the bank) hadn’t yet signed all the closing docs, so we’re waiting for that to get completed, at which point we will officially own the house…hopefully by Thursday morning…

We’ve spent the past week getting bids on the house, and are planning to try some new contractors on this one. First, a couple of our bids came in a bit higher than we had anticipated, so to keep our contractors on their toes, we decided to shop around a bit. Second, our main crew of contractors are finishing up The Pine House and starting on The Neighbor House (for our buyers) over the next few days, so they’re a bit thin on manpower to start The Escher House at the same time. Ultimately, shopping for contractors is a good thing. It’s nice to have backups and it’s nice to ensure that we’re always getting the best possible prices.

Originally, we were looking at spending about $50-55K on this rehab, with a good chunk of that going towards replacing all of the cedar siding with Hardiplank. While most of the cedar is in decent shape, the Hardiplank would look a lot nicer (in my opinion). But, after running the numbers, it appears the significant savings by not replacing all the siding is a worthwhile trade-off. We’ll likely replace the siding on the front (with a combination of Hardiplank and cedar shingles), and then just patch around the rest of the house.

Given the savings on the siding, I’m now hoping we can get this project done for between $40-43K; in fact, I’m willing to skimp a bit on the upgrades to try to keep it in that range. Hopefully there won’t be an surprises!

Demo of the sun-room addition, the decks, and the shed in the back start this weekend, and hopefully the new roof will go on as soon as that’s completed. Then we’ll bring in our main crew to replace/repair the siding and gutters, paint the exterior and start working on the interior. Depending on how the schedule works out, we hope to complete this on by the end of April.

5 responses to “House #17: Officially Ours”

  1. Don Hines says:

    I am glad to see someone is actually going forward this close to the end of the tax rebate. I am kind of on hold right now. Would you mind sharing your thoughts of what that will do to REI during the summer/fall months.

  2. J Scott says:

    Hey Don –

    Personally, I think we could be in for a rough ride from May 1 through the end of the year. Most of the buyers who are seriously considering a purchase are going to try to get in before the April 30 deadline, and those buyers who are on the fence may decide to wait to see if another credit is coming later in the year.

    We’re not going to sit on the sidelines, but we’re going to be very picky with our deals for the next few months, at least…

  3. Chris Ranney says:

    Good job J,
    I have a shortsale that the seller signed off on and went to the bank today. I guess now its time to wait and see. Good luck on this one.

  4. J Scott says:

    Good luck, Chris! Let me know how it goes…

  5. Tom Tarrant says:

    On some houses we’ll replace the front only like your plan and use what comes off the front to patch sides and back. That way the curb appeal is on par and I get free material that matches perfectly for patching. Then again, I’m a cheap arse like that anyway. Ha!

    We saw ATL prices fell 4 points in Feb, hope that isnt the start of a Dirty South trend thats coming here to San Antonio too. We are barely holding on to our prices and activity is off about 5% from last year. Its going to be grim after (if) the tax credit expires.

    Good luck this year dude!

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