Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Update on search for a drier place

We've looked at several alternative sites for gardening. Our criteria are:

1) Nearby -- 6-8 miles from where we live in Everett
2) 2-3 acres with at least 1/2 acre available for gardening. We wouldn't necessarily use all that at the same time, but it would be nice to be able to alternate plots.
3) Uplands, of course, winter gardening possibilities.
4) A small house that would qualify the property for a mortgage and give us some rental income to help cover the mortgage.
5) Room to park an RV for when we sell our boat.

Right now there are a lot of short sales on the market. These are properties where the buyer is under water -- owes more on the mortgage than the house is worth -- and the bank agrees to accept less on the sale than the buyer owes. The bank puts the property on the market and sets the price lower than they'd like to get. They hope to collect a lot of offers and then they'll go back to the offers and ask for their highest and best price. The sale goes to the highest bidder. Sounds fair. The bank may loose some. The problem is that this kind of sale can take a long time. The bank can take weeks or months at each stage in the process hoping something better will come along.

We've looked at two properties, both less than 7 miles from where we live. Both are right outside Snohomish on the west side. One is 1 1/2 acres with a house. But that one has a problem. A neighbor has an easement on the property for a septic field. That, plus the septic field for the house and the house itself mean that half the property is unusable. That still leaves 3/4 acre. But it is not fenced, no shed, water not easy and location (across the street from a major shopping center) doesn't appeal to us.

The other peoperty, that we will probably look at again, is only .82 acres, but is somewhat better laid out. It has a detached 2-car garage that could be rented with the house or not. It has lots of fruit trees, though not well cared for. It has a barn with a chicken area, a tack room with hay storage, a horse stall and a small 'office' area. All the outbuildings have water and power. The house is 3 bedroom, one bath with a one-year-old roof and all appliances. The prime crop area on this property is a 1/3 acre well drained pasture.

We might make a contingent offer on the second one and keep looking. If it does really take a long time and we find something better we can just take the offer off the table.

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