Archive for the ‘Adventures in Real Estate’ Category

The last two days cleared 70 degrees. The day before that was over 60. Today, we won’t even get close to 40! I’m a huge fan of winter and am always sad to see it go, but sometimes spring gets a little ridiculous!

Our buyers did their inspection of our house this weekend and it looks like they’re really going to buy it from us! I guess this is really going to happen. What a relief…

Our latest idea for what we might do with our property, as far a small business venture, is hops. The price of hops is way up right now (to the point that our favorite brewery had to jack up the price of their beer by a quarter a pint). But even when it isn’t, it seems like a decent money-maker for the amount of work involved. We bought rhizomes for 5 different breeds of hops recently. We’ll start those this year and see how they do, which breeds do best, and whether we like it. Maybe someday we’ll ramp up to an acre or more of hops for local breweries or home-brewers. We’ve even been reading up on what it takes to get organic certification.

That’s one of the things I love about this place we’re buying. The options are pretty much only limited to what we have the time, skill and inclination to do. How lucky are we?


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Wow. So I guess this dream might really come true! We got an offer on our house and negotiated a price and everything. It was less than we were hoping to get, but their offer is not contigent on them selling a house, so that’s worth something. We still have to get through inspections, but things are really looking up!

Our agent kept saying that things will happen when they’re meant to. I always thought that was a bunch of rubbish. Things just happen, I said. I think I may have to recant. I don’t know how to view this as anything other than a huge blessing. I lead a truly charmed life.

I did have a feeling, though, that this offer would come in now. You see, I’m in San Francisco right now. My sister and I are here visiting a good friend. I thought to myself that if an offer was going to come in, it’d be while I was vacation, because then it would be a huge pain in the ass. Isn’t it nice when Murphy’s Law works to your advantage?



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The Bad News: We are out of the running on the house in Montana City that I told you all about. Someone else put in an offer on the house with no contingencies and it was accepted. Bummer, but we sort of expected that house to not work

The Good News: Tomorrow, we’re going to put in an offer on another house that is, in many ways, even better.

This house isn’t quite as cute or as big as the other one (but it’s still very cute), but the history of it is really cool. The sellers are a couple in their 80’s who built the passive solar house in 1990. They had a huge organic garden, fruit trees, a big greenhouse (two of them, in fact). I’m not sure if they had animals or not. Now they’re too old to get up and down the stairs easily, much less continue on with all that, so they’re selling.

We would have an established garden plot, an easy-to-reassemble greenhouse, a neighbor is currently paying a small amount to irrigate and hay the remaining acreage, so it’s definitely fertile land (for Helena). There is a big ol’ maze of a barn with some heated rooms. Basically, when it comes to our agricultural ambitions, we’d only be limited by our own aptitude and inclination, rather than by the amount or quality of our land. It’s also very cool that we would be continuing with their original vision for the place.

It’s in a beautiful spot, near Lake Helena and looking out over the Valley. The area is mostly agricultural, so it’s still pretty wide open (I expect that will change in the years to come). The things we don’t like about the house are all easy fixes for the most part. The kitchen is not much bigger than my current one (read: too damn small), but there is a perfect spot to put in another counter. The formal entrance is awkward, but easy to remove entirely.

It’s still at the top of our price range, so wish us luck in the negotiations! And once we get an offer accepted, wish us luck in selling our house!

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I’m beginning to question whether I have the discipline for this whole blogging thing. Regular posts?! Sheesh! Oh, well, if I’m just talking to myself here, that’s fine with me.

Real estate sucks. There, I’ve said it. We found The House. We loved it. Great location, nice land, super-cute house with an attached greenhouse, guest house, 2 productive wells. Everything we were hoping for and more. It was the kind of place I can see myself in for many years to come. It was just so “us”.

It had been on the market since December, but we hadn’t gone to look at because it was just a tad out of the range of what we wanted to pay (less than 10k! We can still easily afford it, we were just being stubborn and cheap!). What a mistake… When our agent called to find out about covenants so that we could be sure we wanted to put in an offer, she found out that an hour before we saw the house, an offer had been accepted. It sat there for 3 whole months, and was gone right when we decided we wanted it. I guess we’re not entirely out of the race. The offer is contingent on a house selling. So if we sell our house first and get an offer accepted, it’s ours unless the other folks will go so far as to get a bridge loan or something! It’s a remote chance, but I’m really praying for it. I just haven’t seen anything else out there that even compares.


In more promising news, I started some seeds yesterday! Brussels Sprouts, onions, kale, rosemary, sage, oregano and the most lovely broccoli I’ve ever seen. I might have started them a touch early, but I’m just too excited. I couldn’t wait!

This is my first year starting seeds indoors, so I’m excited to see how it turns out. I bought a flourescent tube light and set them up in our heated workshop area. I was surprised it was so cheap. I’ll be sure to take photos as they sprout!

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