Friday, March 28, 2014

I'll come back to that stuff later.

Seriously I will.

The house is completely lifted off of it's foundation now. You have no idea how weird it is to see it jacked up and set off to the side.
So here are so pictures.

Today the house should be moved off to the side, and then it's just a waiting game to find out when she will hit the road!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

you bought it.

I have been to a fair amount of auctions in my lifetime. From horse and livestock auctions, to antique auctions  and I'd even gone to a charity bachelor auction with some friends in college. So it wasn't my first rodeo.

 When we walked into the building the auction was being held at, there was about 4 times as many people than the previous auction. That basically told us, that houses were going to be selling fore much, much more than before. But since the houses being auctioned off were located out of town a little way, they were easier to have moved with less restrictions.
We weren't able to snag a seat and stood in the back. I did get myself a cup of coffee and a cookie though. The auctioneer got up and then told everyone the process and asked if this was anyone's' first auction. He let the newbies know that any movement above the waist was considered a legally binding bid. He was kidding...but I've always been terrified to touch my face or hair at an auction because I don't want the auctioneer to think that I am bidding. I mean as much as I'd love that early 19th century dresser... I'm not that into paying an arm and a leg for it. After all the was game time.
There were over 30 buildings to be auctioned off in this auction. But lucky for us the house we wanted was near the beginning. The first few buildings were TINY guest cottages and garages. They went for a couple grand each. OUCH. not looking good to get our home for $500 or a couple grand either. But we had our budget worked out and we had a number in mind for what the highest we could go and still be within our budget.
Houses were selling high.... and then ours was up. I don't even know what was happening but there was a huge rush of people bidding. My husband had the bidder number and was standing behind me so I couldn't even see if he was bidding. I didn't want look...the price was climbing higher, and higher. My heart was racing. I couldn't breath normally. A bunch of bidders backed out, but the price was still climbing and it was between us an another bidder. Bidding continued for a bit longer. I didn't even know if we were still in the running. I couldn't look. And then finally i heard the auctioneer cry "SOLD!" and it was sold to us. We were still well below our budget so we were happy with that. But up next for acution was the matching detached shop to our house. We wanted that as well. So here we went again.
The bidding at first was fast and furious again...but then it was down to my husband and another fellow. I was shocked at how the price kept climbing and climbing and climbing. But I was rationalizing in my head that we couldn't build a new one for that price and it DID match the house... Finally the auctioneer cried out again "SOLD!" and it was ours. We came out $1,000 below our max budget for the two structures.
I was dizzy, and my heart was still racing, but I was happy that we got the one we wanted. Apparently a lot of people wanted it too because they left right after we bought the house. When we were filling out the paperwork, and getting our keys, one of the other houses we were interested in sold for $136,000. Everyone that was at the auction was absolutely shocked, and I think that was a record setter for all the flood auctions. It was a nice home...but ouch.
We picked up our keys, and garage door openers and then headed out to check out our new home.

searching for the one.

Now I will pick up where I left off. We had toured homes that were to be auctioned off in a flood buy out in the past. But we were only halfheartedly looking. There hadn't really been anything that stopped us in our tracks and made us say “THIS is our house!” And we just weren't in the right place financially. But fast forward a few years, and now we are in a different place and needing a new home. I love the area where we live, but we needed a new home. It’s not very often that homes with acreage come on the market where we live. And if they do…they are WAY out of price range.
So back to the flood homes we went. Seems like every 6 months the city of Fargo or the county auction off homes they purchased along the river. These homes are anywhere from 100 years old to just a couple years old, but a majority of them were built in the 70’s.   Many of them have been updated, and are BEAUTIFUL, while some of them haven’t been updated which makes them just as beautiful. It really surprised me that homes with original 70’s wallpaper and carpet still exist and that people can happily live with them.

Check out this carpet.
This was in the basement, and wouldn't actually come along with the house....but wowza!

And this room.
That mirror-y thing was like a built in buffet with cabinets, and that thing on the right....was a 3-D sculpture of The Last Supper that was BUILT IN to the wall!
Check these sinks out. Each bathroom had a different one!

I was in love with this sink. I could play hair dresser at home!

I hate black sinks, because you would always see spots, but it was an unusual shape!
But then there was this room.
This room was located right off the kitchen. I could picture it with some modern furniture and a flat screen tv above the fireplace. 

To be honest...I absolutely LOVED this house, it had GIANT bedrooms, and separate bathrooms attached to each one, the master had HUGE walk in closets too...But unfortunately, the bad outweighed the good. It was going to need new siding to update it, and new doors and windows, it also had asbestos that needed to be removed and the task up updating everything seemed daunting. But we could have bought the whole house for $500. Yes, $500. No one ended up buying it, and it will either be demolished or re auctioned. It just depends on what the city decides to do.

So yeah, houses were selling for $500 at the first auction we went to. Lots of them were, but the problem was, the city is VERY particular on their moving restrictions. Houses needed to be less than 32ft wide to be moved down their streets. Which meant, houses needed to have multiple cuts made. Which added up to more $$$ for whoever bough the house. 
We did kick ourselves for not buying one at that auction, considering how cheap they sold for. But none of them were "the one". Most of the houses in this auction were sold for salvage or not sold at all. The highest price for a home was $26,000. It was bought by a couple that was to have it moved to their property. It was a house that we liked, but we didn't love it. There was another auction coming up in a few weeks, so we went to go check out those houses in hopes of finding the one. 

first things first.

First, things first. My name is K.K. and I live in just outside of a small town in rural North Dakota. The town is about 40 miles northwest of the sprawling metropolis Fargo. Ya sure ya betcha! I live on a 6 acre farmstead with my husband, our three dogs, three horses, three barn cats and a Shetland pony. The house we currently live in was ‘built’ in 1920. I say ‘built’ because we actually aren't’ really sure when it was built. And from the information we got from a fellow who lived there for 40 years, it sounds like the house was pieced together from a few other buildings. The current house is about 1,500 square feet and in true old farm house fashion not very well laid out. The rooms are small, and some ‘updates’ have been done… poorly. The main floor heaves all over the place, nothing is square, dust blows in 12 months of the year, and to say it is poorly insulated is an understatement.
Our current home...if you look closely you will see flying monkeys in the background.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my house. But there are just too many problems with it. We've had a leaky roof, there is questionable wiring,  frozen and busted pipes in the ‘laundry room and the previous owners had dogs, which isn’t a problem, but they have done some damage to the house, then cheap laminate flooring was thrown on top of it and now my dogs think that the kitchen is their personal bathroom. It’s disgusting. They are house trained in every other house…except mine. I've tried everything under the sun to get rid of the problem, but it’s deep in the wood and then covered up with thin flooring. We would have to completely rip out the flooring to fix it, and then before we put new flooring in, we’d have to replace the beams in the basement, and while we were in the basement, we’d probably have to dig a new basement because ours is damp. We have four… yes FOUR sump pumps in the basement and they are running all the time when the ground isn’t frozen. People’s eyes bug out of their head when I tell them we have four. They thought they had it bad with two sump pumps.
Now we were faced with the decision of what to do with the house. We could stick hundreds of thousands of dollars into fixing it up, adding an addition, and attaching a garage, but at the end of the day we could put all that into the house and would still have a house that doesn't make much sense. So we played with the idea of building a new house on the property. We weren't sure if that was the route we wanted to pursue because everyone says building a house is the leading cause of divorce in this country. But we found a builder that we liked, and settled on a plan that we liked. I say settled because it wasn't exactly the house of my dreams, but it would be just fine. I had been on the phone with them a few times and everything seemed to be coming into place…until they told me “oh, you know? I talked to my boss, and we decided that we don’t want to build outside of Fargo… We've found that our customer service just isn't up to par when we have crews building so far out of town...” and blah, blah, blah, excuses, excuses, excuses.  So I called a few more builders and no one was willing to build out in our area. Well no one in our price range that is.
So what the heck were we going to do? Enter Fargo flood buyout homes. Fargo is located on the Red River, which is the only river in North America that flows north. DON’T quote me on the fact that it is the only one that does, but I know that it does flow north. We have had some MAJOR flooding. I've had friends that had to evacuate their homes and then lost them to the river.
I've filled my share of sandbags...Okay so this is about 1,000,000 of them and I didn't fill ALL of them...
I've helped build sandbag dikes, and I've filled my share of sandbags. When the flood is a coming, everyone gets together to try and save their city. But with the massive flooding we've had in previous years, the city of Fargo was looking to a more permanent solution to it’s citizens building temporary sand bag dikes. So in recent years they have been buying homes located along the river, with plans to build a permanent diversion to keep the rest of the city safe. I’m not sure if you are familiar with the topography of North Dakota, but it’s pretty flat on the eastern side. When the river is flooding, it can just kind of keep going.  So the city and county has been offering residents along the river, 110% of the assessed value of their home to buy out their property. Then the city or county holds auctions for people to buy the buildings to salvage or to have moved. It gives people the opportunity to get a heck of a deal on a ‘new’ house while recycling a building in the process. Many of these homes go on to become lake homes, or hunting cabins, they also become farm houses, while some can’t be moved or aren't worth moving so everything inside is salvaged.

We had played with the idea of buying a flood home a few years ago, but it just wasn't the right time. Well we decided that maybe now is the right time. Follow along on my journey to get my ‘flood house’ moved out to my farmstead! It’s been stressful, but I keep telling myself…it will be worth it, it will be worth it.