Sunday, December 27, 2015

It's Starting......


Is about all I can say! I noticed today that all the real estate sites, that are linked to the MLS listing for St Luke's church, are now saying that the listing is gone and means....its starting....

I must say, that being a Virgo I am sure is what is making this experience more difficult, or should I say adventure. I keep thinking about what I paid for the property and ever time I search for similar experience as mine. All I get are pages for people who spent this amount on some property in Detroit and that has nothing but its exterior walls. 

The consistences of the internet is convincing me that it isn't possible to buy a property for under fifteen hundred dollars that isn't in the middle of the ghetto or with out any major systems or walls in the home. But here I am proving the consistence of the world wrong, that it is possible to buy a home in small town America for under a grand and it not be in the ghetto, darkside of the moon or in deplorable condition.

Yes, the home and church are severely neglected and have been vacant for over a decade but I am know what I am buying, I have the knowledge and experience to put things back, plus this property is over a century old. These are to be expected, but this doesn't mean we won't be able to live on the property for fifteen more year and until we sink 50 grand into the property.

The sad thing, that I have to stress to anyone thinking about buying a property for 1000$, 500$ or 1500$. Is that some of these properties can be in better condition then your current rental. Here we are living in a seventies style duplex, that is in horrible neglected condition.

Here, ever dual pane window is drafty aluminum, non of the exterior doors seal in the frame, and the floor joist of the building is 2x6. All the sub-flooring is stapled down, half of the staples are missing the joist, and this allows for the worse squeaking building you have ever heard! I can't wash my hands after flushing the toilet, as there is no water pressure at the sink, the plumbing is so corroded that breathing on it can cause it to explode, the main water line is 30 feet of irrigation grade PVC not attached to any walls and our heating system, heats up the inside of the walls more then the interior. The entire first floor has only one HVAC vent. The sad thing is that none of this can be easily repaired, it would require a thirty thousand investment.

With a home over a century old, it is build to last and will last another century, the wood windows can be re-glazed, the doors can be refitted, plumbing can easily be replaced, frankly a person can live in the home with all these issue and a person can invest a few hundred dollars in materials to fix many of the issues ever few months. Where as a newer house which was just built cheap....there is no way to fix cheap.

With all the reading I am doing, trying to find a similar experience, I just keep getting negatives and that is it. I keep thinking there is going to be some hidden charge for thousands from the title company, there will be liens, the home will be condemned, it will be zoned commercial, or there be multi thousands in back taxes. Its pretty much, that there is no way, come hell or high water that you'll be able to live in this property.

What they fail to tell folks considering buying a home that they can afford is that in small town America you don't have these issues. You'll finding out the folks at city hall will look at you crazy when you come from a big city and want to know about easements, codes etc...

One big thing, that a lot of people are stressing is that when utilities are turned off for a large amount of years, that they will not be turned back on. That if the electric meter is pulled, that electric will not be turned back on until the electric is brought up to code and 200 amps. Plus you'll need to pull permits, and have inspections.

I emailed city hall, and asked if they could tell me what it would take to have the utilities turned back on, she asked me if we are talking about the old AME church, I was like oh boy! and then she replies back. Come to city hall, pay a 150$ meter fee and will get sewer, electric and water turned back on for you. Then call the gas company to have gas turned on. WOW okay!

Then their are back taxes, and that is another big part of buying a abandon property but here is the kicker. I am buying an old church property, places of worship aren't required to pay back taxes and why do I need to worry about that? 

Next comes the "commercial property" issue, sending many of thousands to turn it into residential and hiring a lawyer to help. Well there is a home on the property, the church is in a residential area of town and how does this effect me? So worse case we can't live in the church, so we have a home to live in. Plus there is a conversion for sale, not many towns over and he is currently living in the church with out any hassle. Also this property is three times the square footage of ours, and his taxes are under $400. a year...shesh why am I worrying?

My biggest worry is relocating to a state that I have never lived before, with out funds for multiple trips to and from. It has to be a one shoot ordeal. I hope the cars make it and I will need to rent a trailer to tow behind the 1982 euro model Mercedes 300D. I don't know why I am worrying as the factory manual says you can tow up to one ton with out a braking trailer and close to two tons braked. But here is another problem society is tossing at me, in America cars/sedans are NOT meant to tow and one needs an SUV or Truck to tow anything. But that is not the case, in Europe they didn't have monster truck and SUV's for towing. They had cars with crazy amounts of torque such as my Mercedes. But they have been turned into a rich luxury ride that are incapable of towing....but yet my 82 300D says right on the spec sheet "taxi". So why am I worried?

So the moral of this post, is to tell folks. That regardless of what society says, you don't need a 400,000$ home and 60,000$ monster truck to live in this world. A person can still live like 1960 and live with in their means. A person can find a gorgeous century old, well built home for under 5k and with time refurbish the home to become your lifetime residence. If you go this route, you can pay the home off as soon as you sign the contact, you will have no mortgage, no rent and taxes are dirt cheap. You can then easy live on a minimum wage job, and look at it this way. You will have a yard where you can grow your produce, raise chickens for eggs and severely cut down your food budget. You also don't have to worry about city codes, getting fined for not cutting the grass, and all the other crap that comes along with buying one of these homes in Detroit. Also get this, in Missouri, you won't be snowed in!

There are so many more pluses with small town living, in long forgotten small America and it is all easily available! But society has breed it into us, that only investors can buy abandon/vacant properties and that you will need to come to the table with a brief case of large bills before you can take a plunge like this. 

Will I start a fad with this? Will I start a fad that will cause people to capitalize on this? Yes, I most likely will. It is America after all, with out greed and societies rule book....It wouldn't be America.....

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Adventure Begins!!!!

Well, I got my Christmas present!! I am overjoyed, nervous and all things inbetween now! I got a random call from the real estate agent and I assumed it was the month check up call. As I had planned to buy the property as long as it was still avaible but I have been battling disability for three years now. He always made it a point to check in with me from time to time. He asked what I could pay and I said, I don't have much at all right now. He made me a deal that was impossble to pass up and lucky he called right before my partner got paid. It was meant to be! My partner had a large check from holiday pay and a bouns. Our plans were to go to Flagstaff to shop, food and have a good time. If he had called a week later, it may not have even been able to happen!!

Its is going to be a very interesting adventure. If readers remember, we were never able to view the inside of the property and we were there back in April this year. With the property, we are not even sure if there is a toilet! 

Our plans are to head out after income taxes come in and do our best to secure the property and get utlities turned on. Then our next step is to save up enough of an egg to relocate. We will need to have enough money in hand, to buy a trailer and drive two cars out there. Then we will need enough money to live on, until my partner can find employement. We aren't sure yet, if he will be able to transfer to the town with a walmart. The main thing is though, that we will have some sort of a roof over our head.

That brings up another head banger, how do we get a roof on the church? There is sever water infatration on the church, which has lead to rot and well the longer the water is infatrating the structure the more rot that will occur. Lets face it, one cannot run down to the local home improvement store and pick up 150 year old moldings.

There is just so much swirling around my head, that I just feel that need to curel up into a ball and start rocking back and fourth. I tell my partner, that I wish we could just go rent a uhaul, load everything up and drive there this weekend. 

What is very interesting, is buying a 150 year old property that hasn't left the hands of the original AME church for that entire time! I've been talking to the title company and she has the contract but thinks the property is just a house. I said nope, there is a church and a home but one address. The contract only states the block and lot which you can see below identifys both the church and home.

So for now, we wait! The contract said the closing would be the 22nd of this month but the title company told me they are experiencing a snowball of contract and it will probably take longer. I found it really interesting that Missouri might be seeing a housing boom, maybe folks are seeing that there are many many many historical and interesting towns there. With low prices on properites, it allows folks to live a slower pace life and not running around trying find the monies to pay back a 500k morgague.

Hopefully this week, I will update the gofundme page because you never know who may want to just help. I am also going to redo my Craigslist ad about the property and then when the title is here I may try to find a grant. Ontop of monies needed to preserve the current state of the property, and updating. We are also looking for a young man who would be interested in joining in on the game plan. With my screwed up knees and legs. It is hard to do many labor intensive things. If I can find one or more folks wanting to join in and help. That would help me so much!

Now I leave you with some of the last flowers of the season..