Saturday, August 30, 2008

Finally, a POS...

Today, we received the POS inspection for house A. This week, I'll contact our preferred contractor (that is, the contractor recommended to us by my stepfather), to get an itemized estimate of the seven pages of violations. Violations which range from major things to "Make smoke detector fully operable" (which sounds like, um, buy a battery, or, worst case scenario, buy a new smoke detector).

Now, more waiting.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Our realtor has finally made contact with the listing realtor for house A. This Saturday we're going to meet with her and hopefully make an offer.

Tomorrow is my last day at this job. We're moving out on Friday. Most of our belongings will go into two PODS, to be stored until we close on a house. We'll be living with my dad and stepmother.

I fully expect it to be another three months before we move into our new house, whichever one it ends up being.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More weirdness

Our realtor has spoken with the person responsible for such things at city hall to force the current owner of house A to get the point of sale inspection done. This is legally the seller's responsibility. The seller's agent still hasn't returned any of our agent's phone calls.

To my surprise, this morning, when I checked the listings of the houses that we are interested in, as I do every day, I saw that the asking price for house A had been lowered by almost 30%.

This is strange. I've called my realtor to see what she thinks. I guess it all just means more waiting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Interesting connections

This weekend, I learned that, for our two top choices, one is just around the corner from the house where my paternal grandmother grew up, and the other is across the street from the house where my paternal grandfather lived for a few years as a child.

Still waiting.

Monday, August 11, 2008


We're waiting for our realtor to contact the listing agent for one of the houses that we're interested in. She hasn't been able to get any response from him regarding the point of sale inspection. Once we have that, we can get a contractor to provide an estimate as to the cost of the work detailed in the inspection.

With the estimate in hand, we'll be able to make a decision as to which house is truly more attractive.

For now, it's just a lot of waiting.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The worst house in Shaker Heights?

A rather impressive house
15901 Onaway has all the appearances of a stately Shaker Heights home. It sits on 3/4 of an acre lot, across the street from Shaker Heights High School. It's a 4900 square foot ranch / Cape Cod, built in 1951, with an addition to the rear added later. It has hot water heat and central air. It has a slate roof and wood siding, covered by vinyl.

Driveway and second garage
This is the addition, to the back, which includes some office space and a second two car garage. Due to the shape of the driveway and the edge of the lot, one must back into this garage, making it far more useful as a workshop space than for parking.

Neon numerals!
One of my favorite exterior elements are the numerals, made from neon. They appear to have been damaged and repaired at one point. While it is unclear as to whether they are original, they are definitely at least 35 years old.

Inside the house, the kitchen looks reasonably decent, if not quite the build quality that one would expect of a house in this neighborhood.

Living room
In the living room, however, the water damage becomes obvious.

Dining room
Other rooms didn't fare much better.

More water damage

Master bathroom
The master bathroom has this, um, wonderful tub. Or perhaps awful is the word I'm looking for.

Shuffleboard room
The second floor was in better condition. The largest roof featured a shuffleboard court and a wet bar. Yes, a shuffleboard court.

Wood-fired oven
On the back patio, which is has a nice balcony (perhps a a railing could be put around it on the second floor?) is this wood-fired grill.

Back yard and patio
The back yard is spacious, although the landscaping needs some real work.

If you haven't run away screaming yet, check out some more photos. The house is currently listed at $139,000. Fixed up, it'd be a $400,000 house. I think, with the market as it is, the bank might be willing to take $30K on it. It'll take a ton of skill or a good chunk of money, but I think it's totally repairable.

From what I can tell, the pipes must have burst this winter. There is virtually no water damage on the second floor - the exception is by one of the radiators - which leads me to suspect that the radiator pipes froze. The house has good lines, and would be great for entertaining. Overall, it's a great deal if you're willing to wear a respirator for the next year while you fix it up. I doubt there'll ever be this much house at this price point in Shaker Heights again.

I've seen the city point of sale inspection report, and it's not so horrible as one might expect. The damage seems to be primarily to the plaster, as well as the usual foreclosure vandalism.

All in all, the house has great lines and great potential. There must be some other idiot than myself who thinks that restoring this house would be a good idea.