Some possibilities

We have spent 3 grueling days looking at property!!!  It is so much fun, but work too.  I keep a notebook of all the places we see with our impressions written down, I snap some photos, hubby has taken bits and pieces of video for us to review as well.  I think what’s also sort of tiring for us is THE HEAT!!  In and out of the airconditioned car — from reasonable temps to 108 — over and over again.    Today we checked out one of those “over 55” communities.  It was nice, but we just weren’t sold on it.   You can get a great house, and they are offering quite a few free “upgrades”, but we simply found others we liked better. 

Here’s a sampling of what we have seen…  Keep in mind that ALL of these places are in foreclosure.  We have learned that when people find out they are going to be foreclosed on, they tend to “trash” the home they are living in!  Some of the places have been absolutlely horrific.  Well, maybe not quite that bad but it really is amazing what some of them look like.  One house had the microwave oven smashed up, many others were super dirty, with many closet doors torn off and cabinet doors askew.  Foreclosure homes (AKA bank owned) are normally sold “as is”.  In other words you can’t ask the seller to fix this or that.  You take it on as YOUR project! 

Here are some pictures of places we have seen. 

Fun in the sun

We have safely arrived here in the HOT California desert!  Our first night was spent “meeting and greeting” the super nice folks that own the house we are renting.  Sharon and Kevin live in LA, but have this place as their vacation getaway home.  When they’re not here, they rent it out to folks like us!  We hit it off so well with these people that we ended up sharing a bottle of wine and then going out for dinner (Mexican food – YUM) with them. 

Sunday we spent driving around all over the Desert Cities… checking out different neighborhoods that we may or may NOT want to look at homes in.   Then in the late afternoon, we came back “home” and hit the pool!  What fun!!!!!!!!  We barbecued our dinner, and fell into bed exhausted at 10pm.  Today we will spend some time with our real estate agent, Tracey.  Here are a few pics I wanted to share:

The pool and part of the back yard

The pool and part of the back yard

 

We think this is a pomegranate bush? In the back yard garden

We think this is a pomegranate bush? In the back yard garden

 

They have a fig tree!  We've been picking and eating - delicious!

They have a fig tree! We've been picking and eating - delicious!

 

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Suz in the pool 🙂

 

Desert sky in the morning

Desert sky in the morning

Time for a holiday

Yup, it’s time for a bit of a break.  A vacation if you will.  Soon we will board our aircraft and fly south for some of the hottest summer weather anywhere.  Are we crazy you ask?  Crazy like a couple of foxes I say!  We lived for four years in the California desert (it’s all we could take of the summers to be honest) and so when I say that the area around Palm Springs virtually becomes a ghost town in July and August, I do know what I mean.  We are going there for a variety of reasons.  One – to enjoy some honest-to-goodness sunshine; Two – to romp at will in the swimming pool; Three – to look pretty darned hard at the real estate market there, and TRY like crazy to find a steal of a deal!  We doubt there are many folks braving the 114 degree weather to go make silly, low-ball offers on homes this time of year.  We hope to be one of the few.  Our goal is not to move back to California permanently.  No, we are hoping to find a good investment property, possibly a home we can rent from time to time to friends, family, and acquaintances.  A place that in a few years time we will be able to “escape to” for a week or two at a time in the winter especially.  A home that maybe, just maybe… we will flock to as real ‘snowbirds’ do – flying south for the winter and back north for the summer.  A residence that sometime in the future will again be worth substantially more than we plan to pay for it. 

While there we decided to rent a house for the week!  We looked at staying in a hotel, and while they are much more reasonably priced this time of year (as opposed to wintertime), we still felt like it would be nice to stay in a home.  A place where we can not only sleep, but also cook lots of our own meals as well as enjoy the thrill of our own private swimming pool!  We found it on VRBO.com – a fantastic site that has vacation home and condo rentals all through the USA and the world!   We also have plans to visit at least three of our friends still living down there.  Hopefully it will be a great week long getaway. 

I’m taking three books with me — ahhhh I can close my eyes and see myself beside the pool, reading eagerly as I LOVE to do!  Here are the three:

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

This book I have in audio form – it’s on my iPod and I will be listening to it on the airplane, waiting at the airport, etc.  So far I’m really enjoying it – I’m about 1/3 of the way through. 

The art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

This is a new book (published in May) and has received RAVE reviews!  If you are a dog lover, if you read “Marley and Me” – apparently it’s a must-read!  I had it on ‘reserve’ at our local library and picked it up today.  Can’t wait to get started. 

James Herriot's Cat Stories

James Herriot's Cat Stories

I have happily read everything by James Herriot, and loved it all.  So this will be a re-read for me.  Picked this one up for pennies at a garage sale 🙂  Since it’s been a good few years since I’ve read it, it will all seem like new!
Our lap top is coming with us to the desert so my next post – complete with pictures- will be from Palm Springs!  I CAN’T forget the sunscreen!!!!