Over the weekend we went to look at a couple new properties. The first one (click on pics to be taken to listings):

seemed like an absolute no-go. It's got two completely vacant units that are a total shambles (one from abandoned reconstruction, and one from a supposed roof leak (though the unit smelled like it'd had a fire) - which made the ceiling cave in). On the outside the place needs to be completely re-sided, and it obviously needs a whole new +/- 1600 sq. ft. roof ... neither of which will be cheap, and there really isn't a nice looking / properly finished surface in the building (even in the units that are being lived in). Things like moldings and baseboards are missing, walls are halfway painted, etc. But as awful as it looks - that's all cosmetic .. it's the roof, the siding, and the total re-do of the collapsed ceiling unit that turned us off. We're talking over $20,000 in repairs and upgrades. But hey - what do you want for a $35,000 listing price?

In addition to that, we've dubbed one of the tenants (who didn't know we were coming because he doesn't have a phone) "Pot Boy". He looked about 20, and his apartment WREAKED of the good old Mary-Jane. And the piece de resistance ..... he followed us outside the building after the tour, discussing what the place needed to have done, and was our new best friend - until someone pulled up in a van (another tenant?). Anyway, as I got into our car I heard:

Pot Boy to Van Man: Can you get me some?
Van Man: unintelligible (pulling out his cell phone).
Pot Boy: $3
Van Man into his cell phone: Can I get $3 worth?
Woman on other end of phone (phone was on SPEAKER, believe it or not!): unintelligible yelling - I think about someone owing money ... but we were pulling away by then.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen ... I witnessed a drug deal right there in broad daylight (not 5 feet from my car) on speakerphone no less! Needless to say, it didn't add anything to the appeal of the property.

The second place seemed like a much better option:

It's basically turnkey - needs painting on the outside, and a small electrical upgrade - about $7000 in repairs/upgrades .. and we already know the folks to hire. We loved it instantly, and regretted not bringing the checkbook with us to make a deposit (but the policy is to always go home and think it all over). On the ride home from Mannington I started to do the math on the two properties:

The Mannington place (the second one above) grosses $1500/month ... but the utilities are NOT separate and all are paid by the owner. So, when you subtract the declared utility costs, property taxes, insurance, etc. the $1500 drops down to $800. So for an approx. $57,000 investment (we'd buy it for $50,000 and put about $7,000 into it) we'd net $800/month.

The Salem place (the first one above) grossed about $1600/month before the two vacant units became empty (currently it's making $900). The listing price is about $35,000, but there's no way we'd go over $25,000 for it. So, $25,000, plus another $25 - 30,000 in repairs/upgrades gets you to the same basic investment as the Mannington property. But, the gas is separate for each unit at the Salem property (paid by the tenants). When you do the numbers for the remaining utilities, the property taxes, the insurance, etc. you come up with a gross of about $1100-1200/month once the two vacant units are occupied again.

So we set about pondering the fact that the numbers dictate we buy the scary one - and whether or not we really want to tackle it. Then yesterday afternoon we got a call from the Realtor - someone from Morgantown went to see the Mannington property and is going to make an offer. Why is it we always find these great places (that have been on the market more than 6 months), and then right when we're about ready to make a move on them someone else snaps them up? Anyway, we're not going to make an offer on Mannington - we were trying to talk ourselves into Salem, but then my dad found something else completely online yesterday.

You see, my mother - though she refuses to admit it - HATES anyplace she's living. She finds the things that are wrong with it, and then ruminates about them. In the process she idealizes wherever she used to live. Example: when we lived in WA she hated everything about it (except the view), now she remembers it as being the best place she ever lived. When we were in California this last time she wanted to go back to WA! And she was all for coming back here (until she got here) - but now that we're here - she wants to move back to CA! There's just no winning with her. And I know whatever we do, and wherever we go in the future, this will always be the case. If we moved away from here, she'd hate where we went and miss WV. This is just how she is - she is never happy.

Anyway, my father did this nationwide search for something interesting that met our criteria and he found ..... drum roll please ...... this:

It's very tempting - huge lovely old house on a 1/2 acre lot (plenty of room to garden) only about a half hour's drive from Springfield, MO (where they supposedly have REAL health care for my mom). Seems to be in a cute little town.

And yet - 1) I don't really want to move again. 2) I don't know if I can stand to stay living with my parents much longer (even in a 6 bedroom house). 3) My mom will still hate everything about it. 4) I'm tired of change/ drama/ limbo. I just want to pick something and FINISH it for once.


La Yen said...

How much weed can you possibly get for three bucks?

LuluBunny said...

That was my thought too. But he probably didn't need much anyway - I'm sure he could stay buzzed for a week just by keeping his doors and windows shut.

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