Saturday, October 16, 2010

Adventures in House Hunting

Some of you might remember my post on the pros and cons of a house we found a few months ago.  We decided not to buy the one in the post, but have been searching continuously-mostly online until we find something interesting.  A month ago we did find something interesting and made an offer several days later.  The listing agent still hasn't responded, and all kinds of twists and turns have arisen since then.  It's still in the works, but we're looking for other options too.

Thursday our son was with my parents, and Tony just had a bug to get out on the road.  Me, I was looking forward to a day at home without my son, getting stuff done.  By the title of the blog, you've probably figured out who won. 

Our agent had sent us a list of homes that had been served with a trustee's sale notice and I went thru it to see if anything on it met our needs.  There's a 10 acre parcel listed, but with a trustee sale, opening bids aren't released until the day before the sale.  The county lists parcels with previous and current years valuations, so I use that as a guide.  This 10 acre parcel was valued at $93,000 last year, and $1,000 this year!  OK, now my curiosity is aroused enough to consider leaving home.  It was a little hard to locate on the map because it's in an undeveloped area.  We found the names of a couple of dirt roads and knew we could get to it.  What we didn't know was the condition of the roads...

This is what we were faced with after driving over a couple of hills with washouts as deep as the one on the left of this photo.  Did I tell you it was a narrow road?  With a steep enough drop-off to make me quite nervous?  Or that the ruts were situated such that we had to drive as close to that drop-off as we could without falling off?  What about the fact that the road is rocky granite?

You might be asking why we stopped and got out. 

The road we were on ended and there was a three foot deep, five foot wide ravine before the next one started.  That's Tony making a rock bridge for the tires to drive across.  I would have helped, but I was busy taking pictures and limping around.  Yeah, as soon as I stepped out of the car I slid into that rut on the left side of the picture.  Tony couldn't see me and didn't know I had fallen.  I wasn't sure I could stand up with sliding more.  It was kinda funny!  Here's my injury:

This is from the day after.  The one I took at the scene doesn't really show anything.  I got familiar with the contents of the first aid kit kept in the van.  Glad I bought one when we bought the van!  Did you know neosporin stings??

That was just the beginning of the adventure though.  Once we got onto the other road and wound our way around a couple more hills, we took two month's worth of rubber off the tires trying to climb back out.  We could smell the burning rubber.  I prayed.  God answered!  The granite on this road wasn't ground up and rocky.  It was large rocks and small boulders.  Driving from one to the next, hoping we wouldn't start slipping back down.  We got over that hill, came back to where the other road joined this one and kept on going.  Turns out this road has been taken care of, and it's the route I suggested we take in.  I agreed with his route because it was shorter.  Yikes!

We got out of there and continued on into the next series of towns to look at houses that Tony had researched.  Keyed the addresses in to the GPS but "she" wanted us to go a different way than what Tony had written down.  We went miles out of our way, drove by 2 houses he thought we might like (we didn't) and then tried to find two more.  One was empty, so we got out to look around.  Not bad.  Not in the area I'd like to be, but it sat on a hill looking out over the valley.  I decided not to be so firm in where I want to live and told Tony we could investigate this one more.

Darkness had now come upon us, but we tried to find the 4th house anyway.  It didn't exist.  Or the address in the instructions didn't.  We gave up and decided to go eat.  He said there were photos of the one we looked at online so I was eager to get home and see them.  Know what the listing said?  2500 gallon water tank to store hauled water.  You don't know Tony so you don't know how ironic that is.  The reason we haven't left the area we're in is because water is a prime requirement of his for any property we buy.  The town we live in has irrigation ditches, and most of AZ does NOT.  I couldn't believe we were in the car for 6 hours to look at 4 houses and one parcel of land, with one of those houses not even having water!

I think I was a good sport about it though.  I didn't rub it in too much, but I did remind him that I'm supposed to be the navigator.  :-)