Out in California, which has been pummeled by the meltdown in the housing market, skateboarders from far and wide are draining pools in foreclosed houses so they can rip a few half-pipes. The skaters are literally traveling in packs, with pool draining tools to empty the pools so they can have their skating parties:
In these boom times for skaters, Mr. Peacock travels with a gas-powered pump, five-gallon buckets, shovels and a push broom, risking trespassing charges in the pursuit of emptying forlorn pools and turning them into de facto skate parks…Skaters are coming to places like Fresno from as far as Germany and Australia. Mr. Peacock said his floor and couch were covered by sleeping bags of visiting skateboarders each weekend.
What’s most impressive is that the skaters are using sites like realtor.com and realquest.com to find foreclosed houses with pools.
So my wife and I are starting the painful task of trying to find a house to purchase. And for all you cool cats who live in the Northeast, you are more than familiar with the insane state of the real estate market and how it just brings out the “very best” in people. So, before we even really got started on this quest, we actually found a place that we both liked. It was a place that needed just a ton of work as it had not been updated since the go-go 1980′s – it had wonderful sheer wallpaper, lots of wallpaper runners, stenseled flowers on the walls, and lots of other vintage 1980′s amenities. Just bust out the big hair and the teal suit and you are right at home. In addition, the roof had never been replaced since the house was built, all the appliances were 20 years old and the bathrooms were original. In a nutshell, it just needed a ton of work. But the space was great, the layout of the house was great and it had a ton of potential (ah, potential – famous last words for baseball prospects…I think you know where this story is going).
The house was on the market since May, it had been seen by over 80 people and received a grand total of zero bids. The price was reduced around the time we saw it. The bid we put in was a little low, but we thought it was still very fair based on the condition of the house. We did our research and knew that other houses in the area in similar condition were sold at that similar prices to what we bid. The owner obviously wanted more and in a move that is easily one of the most outrageous and un-professional moves I have ever heard of in the real estate wars, he called up all the different realtors that had shown the house (without his listing agent knowing) and informed these people that the price was reduced. He also said that the minimum bid he would entertain would be $5K more than what we bid. We initially resisted, but eventually re-submitted the higher bid and were the first people to do so. But that seemingly did not matter as the owner informed us through the listing agent that he had accepted a bid for the exact same amount as what we bid, but that it was a “cash bid” or a non-contingency bid for the house.
Needless to say, we were dissapointed by how the owner had handled the situation. But I guess it means that there is another place out there that is far better.
So I have just been so insanely busy with my new job that I have really found little time to take care of some pretty vital items in my life…like finding a place for my family to live down here in VA. We were close with one place that we liked, but it blew up at the last minute which was somewhat dissapointing. I then scrambled to find a temporary 1BR apartment at the Village @ Potomac Falls apartment complex. Its good for the time being and it buys more time for us to find a more permanant place to live.
I have been so consumed with work that I have been completely out of touch with what is going on out there in the rest of the world. Its nuts, as I am usually very diligent about keeping up with current events. I think I miss the NY Times on a daily basis that I had the relative luxury of reading daily for the past year and a half. One of these days I will come up for air and take a little time to enjoy the silence,