Monday, March 28, 2011


Sunday we had breakfast with friends and then took a drive towards Eugene. I find it surprising that these daffodils seem to be just growing willy-nilly alongside the freeway, like some Johnny Appleseed Daffodil sprinkled the bulbs about.
Sorry about the quality of these photos. I did what I was told is a "no no" in my photography class: I took photos through the window of a moving vehicle.
But take my word for it, these are some sort of daffodils just growing wild on the side of I-5.

After showing me the tiny house where he used to live in Marcola when he was about 18, my husband and I then went to his sister's house and we had a nice visit with her and her son and daughter-in-law. We are sort of parallelling their lives right now in that they are living in a rental after having sold their home. Like us, they just purchased a lot, and where we are having a manufactured home put on our lot, they are building a "real" house.

As we left to go on our way back home we saw a couple of deer in the yard.

As I've told a few people we seem to be "moving at the speed of Oregon". Our contractor was to call the sellers to get permission to get his excavator on the property to check the spring. I think he was going to do that today, a relatively dry day, as he was concerned about making tracks through the hay meadow.

I'll be happy when escrow closes and we can actually start on the construction. And then I'm sure I won't be able to wait until it's all done and we are moved in...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cat In The Box

Clyde occasionally gets fixated on Ollie for some reason. Earlier today I cleared out a box that had a bunch of older bills and miscellaneous papers and I left the box on the floor. Ollie thought it would be a good place to park her big behind in.

Maybe Clyde can't figure out what she is doing in the box.
She seems to be aware of his presence and is mildly annoyed.
Now she is just pretending he isn't there at all.
Silly creatures!

In other news we had a big storm come through here last week. It knocked out the power in a bunch of areas, including ours. We weren't as lucky as some, and were luckier than others. Our power was out from about 3:30 in the afternoon until 8:15 the next morning.

The bad news for us is that our big tv appears to be fried now. It just won't turn on. We've managed to attach the cable to our little 16" tv and that's what we're watching now. How I miss our big tv. :-(


We got a cost estimate from the bank for the property and construction loan.

Yikes! If the construction costs are as high as they are estimating (and she did say they are estimating on the high side), then we will NOT be able to move forward.

As it is written now it will take every single bit of cash we have. That wouldn't be so bad except then they want an additional four months worth of "reserves" in the bank. That basically means four months worth of mortgage payments. Which will not be there after the 20% down payment and closing costs.

We met with the transport guy yesterday. We figured it would cost a little bit extra to get the house parts up to the property because of the bit of hill they would have to travel. Fortunately it was not as much as we had anticipated.

Today we met the contractor at the site. Though specific costs were not discussed I felt a little better about everything. I had the impression that the construction cost estimates that the bank had were very much on the high side.

I am praying every day that if this was meant to be then God will provide the means for us to make it happen. I also ask that if it's not to be then we will know and it will just fall apart. So far it seems to be happening.

Though it is hard to let go of control I am leaving it in His hands; like the Carrie Underwood song says, "Jesus, take the wheel!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Offer Accepted!

We got the call around noon today. The sellers accepted our counter to their counter.


We have 20 days to do our "due diligence". That means we will ensure that the building permits are current and the septic approval is confirmed. We are going to have an expert check out the spring and maybe even check on the possibility of digging a well.

If we can get all our questions answered then we will get our financing in order and begin construction.

Last week I sold my cows in California. How ironic. I didn't know how much longer it would take before we would be able to get a place here and I got the impression that the lady who was taking care of my cows was getting tired of it. She and her brother sold their business and even though I was reimbursing her for the costs associated with keeping the cows it felt like she didn't want to do it anymore.

That's okay, I can't blame her. She was kind of pushed into it by her brother anyway and I really thought we would have the cows here by now too. The cost of hay is rising sharply there and I figured it would be easy for me to get new cows and I would save a bit in the meantime. I didn't get a real good price on them, but whatever.

That seems to be my motto: Buy high, sell low. LOL!

I still have the horse and pony and the bull. I'm looking forward to the day when I'll have them all together again. I'm sure my sister (who is taking care of the bull for me) is too!

At least now I'll have more blog fodder as things progress!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Daylight Savings Time

Last night was when we turned our clocks forward one hour for Daylight Savings Time. So if you haven't changed your clock make sure to do so, unless you live in a state where it doesn't apply (like AZ).

When we turn our clocks forward that always means spring is not far away. Here are some of the flowers in our front yard.

We received a counter offer for the property in Yoncalla and we'll be making a counter-counter offer on Monday. I hope this doesn't go back and forth too much.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We Bought A House

We've been having a tough time finding the property we want with a home that is acceptable so we started looking at bare land to place a manufactured home. Of course the next logical step was to look at manufactured homes.

Originally we had been thinking of a Palm Harbor home. Our friends here have a really nice one and there was a similar, but a bit smaller, model on the lot. We were calling it the "baby" version of our friends' home.

The problem now is that Palm Harbor is apparently having financial difficulties (they filed for Chapter 11). In the last couple of weeks they've gone through a "reorganization". Several lots have been closed and they were having big discounts on the homes that were on those lots. The original salesman we first talked to was no longer working there.

We were still thinking about getting the baby house and when we went to go talk to a salesman we discovered the lot was closed with a sign on the door. It said "Closed for spring break. Call xxx-xxx-xxxx for a personal appointment." Then our friends had a small repair done on their home and remarked that the repairman seemed concerned for his job.

We decided to go check out another place in Sutherlin we had passed numerous times. It was a Crown Homes lot and we found out they sell Karsten brand homes. The salesman was very nice and not pushy at all. The salesman from the other company was what I would call a "typical" salesman, kind of pushy, and not really answering our questions. But enough about him.

The Crown salesman took us through some of the homes on his lot and we finally went through the one we both decided was "the one".
It had a nice open floorplan with a big kitchen that opened to the living room. There were a lot of windows and the house was nice and bright and airy.

This is the back and side. We like the porch and thought it might be nice to expand it to the back side. That would be a good spot for a bbq and outdoor table set.
So here's the tour of the model.

This is the formal living room for which I see no particular purpose, but whatever. I suppose it could be used as a game room or office. This is to the immediate right after walking through the front door.
Through the entry and then to the left is the dining area.
Directly opposite the dining area is the kitchen. It's nice and big.
This is the other side of the kitchen from the back corner of the living room.
Turning 45ยบ is the living room, or family room, with a fireplace in the corner.
Here's the view from that same corner but between the kitchen and living looking straight at the dining area.
I'll skip the guest bathroom and the two other bedrooms, since they are just regular rooms like what you'd expect.

Here's the master bedroom from the hall door.
Here's the master bathroom. It has a big tub for me in the corner, and two sinks and cabinetry on either side. I like having a his and hers sink.
Then there's the toilet of course. If you look in the mirror you can see a separate shower opposite the toilet.
Click here to see the floorplan.

This particular home was just sold at a discount on account that it was a "floor model" but even buying a brand new one was within our budget. We thought when the time came this was the house we'd get.

As it turned out there was another house, same floor plan, with some more upgrades, that was on another lot in White City, just outside of Medford. The store owner had bought it from another lot that closed and he was willing to sell it at a steep discount also, since it was already a couple of years old.

We took a drive to White City to take a look. It's not totally together, though the roof is closed up. They are also using it to store extra furniture from models that have sold. After walking through we could still get a good idea of what it would look like. The owner said we could have it for $98,000 and that was a deal we felt we could not pass up!

It has a lot of upgrades, even more so than the house in Sutherlin. The only thing this one does not have that the other one had was a solar tube in the master bedroom closet, and a skylight in the master bedroom. We only had to put $500 down to hold it, which we did today.

Once we find a property then we can start talking with the contractor to check on costs to perhaps add the skylight, which we liked, and the solar tube in the closet, which is a nice feature. There were a few other extras we would look into also, like extending the porch around to three sides, adding a garage, etc.

And speaking of property, we went to look at the property I mentioned yesterday. Very deceiving. The listing describes the topography as "level, sloped, steep, gen-slp [gentle slope]" and the lot description is "mrchtim [merchandisable timber], pasture, secluded, rprotim [reproduction timber]." I would call that a creative description. The only thing that was truly accurate in my opinion was "steep". It certainly would not serve our purposes.

And so, we decided to make an offer on the Yoncalla property. Our realtor is going to write it up tonight or tomorrow and we'll see what happens!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Possibility

Last week we drove to a property near Yoncalla to have a look-see. I had seen it on the internet before and when we finally were able to track an address down we actually went out twice and still couldn't find it. Then we got more detailed directions from the realtor and we headed out again.

It was funny because the pictures all show this huge meadow and the road to the property is down a road through a narrow canyon in a dense forest. The property is literally at the end of the road. Our problem on the prior searches was we didn't go far enough. We got to the "end of the road" and turned around.

Last week when we went looking "one more time" we followed the agents' instructions and went on through. We continued through the dense forest and suddenly broke out into a small valley.

Looking at the aerial below you can see the dirt road we came out on at the very top right. I'm still not adept at scanning with this computer so the photo isn't really oriented right, but you can see that north is pointing to the right.

There are several options on the property for sale in this valley, all being sold by one owner. They have about 160 acres for sale, available all together with a house for about $999,000. Another option is the house + 79 acres in the $650,000 range. A third option is the 80 acres to the north of the house for $400,000. And the final two options are the 80 acres split into 40. The western 40 is listed at $179,000 and the eastern 40 is listed at $259,900.

Oddly enough, about six months ago these last two were listed at $200,000 each. Apparently the owner is feeling the market out to see what will happen.

We are interested in the eastern 40 section. And I think looking at the photos you will see why. (It's the portion outlined in red in the aerial photo above.)

The east side is bordered by BLM (on the left in this photo) so at least we know that will never be logged.
The property is either currently or formerly a grass hay meadow. That would be good for me. Since I don't have a lot of animals to feed I could set aside just a few acres and grow my own hay. I'll just need to learn how to do that.
This is looking north from near the middle.

This picture is from the south east corner looking to the north west corner of the lot. You can see the tree bunch in the middle. I call it the "swirl" and if you look at the aerial you will understand why.

Driving back through a portion of Yoncalla is this interesting sight. Someone actually has a camel!
We are planning on looking at a property just to the south of Roseburg, hopefully tomorrow or at least some time this week. If that property doesn't pan out then we will most likely start making plans to make an offer on this property. One thing for sure is we won't be offering anything near what they're asking now. We know they haven't made any improvements since it was for sale before so it will be much closer to the original $200,000 mark.