Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Wow, it's been a long time since I've updated this blog.  My only excuse is laziness, plus we've been really busy since returning to Spokane...more on that later.

We spent a week boondocking out at Government Wash east of Henderson in Lake Mead NRA.  We made a few trips into town to do shopping and laundry, including checking out the Smart & Final in Henderson.  It puts the Smart & Final in Blythe to shame! 

We left Government Wash on Tuesday, April 3, and headed to Las Vegas Bay Campground where we dumped tanks.  After dumping tanks, we headed north, stopping in Ash Springs to fill up with gas, diesel, and propane before getting to the city park in Pioche. 

We were planning on staying in Pioche a week, but we were having trouble with both our generators and our propane blue flame heater (probably because of the altitude of over 6,000 feet), so we stayed only two nights.

On Thursday, April 5, we left Pioche for our home park in Delta, Utah, Antelope Valley RV Park where we can stay for free up to four weeks per year.  Once we got set up at the RV park, Earl took both generators down to Delta Sports Center to have them serviced...something that hasn't been done since we bought them.

We were going to leave the following Thursday, but the weather turned bad with thunderstorms in the forecast, so we ended up staying an additional four days.

When we left Delta on Monday, April 16, we spent that night at the Grantsville Reservoir, a county park a few miles south of Grantsville, Utah.  The following night we stayed at one of our Passport America parks west of Wells, Nevada, Welcome Station RV Park.  This is your basic, no-frills RV park, but the owner is very friendly and there are nice places to walk the dogs.

On Wednesday, April 18, we continued north on US-93, stopping in Jackpot to have lunch at Barton's Club 93.  We then continued on to Rock Creek RV Park, a city RV park in Twin Falls, Idaho, where we spent a couple of nights.  While in Twin Falls, we shopped at Costco and Sportsman's Warehouse where I bought a new pair of hiking boots, since my old ones were being to fray around the edges!

When we got to Nampa on Friday, we checked in at Leah's Landing.  This is a new RV park near the Interstate at Exit 36 (Franklin Road).  Originally, it was set up for manufactured homes, but it apparently went bust before any homes were moved in.  The new owners have set it up as a combination manufactured home/RV park.  The daily fee is more than we usually spend ($33.74 including taxes), but there is good space between sites and lots of places to walk the dogs.  The monthly fee isn't too bad...as I recall it was around $350 including electricity.  We spent three nights here while visiting my mother who lives in a small town south of Nampa. 

When we left Nampa on Monday, April 23, we were planning on staying at our usual stop north of La Grande, Oregon...Hilgard Junction State Park...but it was still closed for the season, so we continued north and stayed at the Wildhorse Casino RV Park near Pendleton. 

The next day we arrived in Spokane and spent the night at the Quest Casino in Airway Heights.  The next morning, we dumped tanks at the Chevron station just south of the Casino and then parked the fifth wheel in front of the house while we unloaded it.  After getting everything out that we needed, we took the fifth wheel down to the storage lot where it will stay until this fall when we head south again...or until we take a trip somewhere.

When we sold our camper in January, we got a big chunk of money.  We were going to use that money to upgrade our house...change out the remaining aluminum windows for vinyl ones, new carpets, linoleum, and window treatments.  However, as we thought about it, we realized that we could sink $10,000-$20,000 into upgrading the house, but we'd still have a 40+ year old aluminum box that wasn't worth the money we would have put into it.  So we began thinking about buying a different house.

We looked at newer manufactured homes on leased lots, manufactured homes on their own land, single family homes, and condos. 

The problem with a manufactured house on a leased lot was, if we could get one cheap enough to pay cash for, we'd be in the same boat as we our with our current house...an old one not worth fixing up.  While we could get a personal loan (not a mortgage) for a newer, more expensive manufactured home on a leased lot, the interest rate was high (8+ percent), making the loan payments plus monthly lot rent expensive.  So we discarded that idea.

We checked into getting a mortgage on manufactured homes with their own land, and while that was possible, they had to be no more than 20 years old and be a double wide.  We saw one we really liked and would have bought, but it did not meet these two requirements.  Another few were ruled out because they were in really poor shape, needing several thousand dollars worth of repairs/upgrades.  One was a really nice house except the people who had lived there had been smokers and the inside smelled like an ashtray...we made one circuit around the inside and left!

We also looked at several single family homes, but found that most of them in our price range needed a lot of work.  While we wouldn't mind doing simple stuff like painting, maybe even have carpets replaced, we weren't interested in spending the money on major repairs.  We did see one really nice place that we liked a lot...it wouldn't have needed much work at all, but it was on a busy corner and it was a short sale.  We weren't convinced we wanted to get involved with a short sale.

We looked at a couple on condos.  The first one we looked at was nice on the inside, but after walking around the complex, we could see where things just hadn't been kept up like they should have been, which is often indicative of a condo association that is underfunded.  The second condo we looked at was really nice.  It's what we would call a townhouse or even a duplex, since there are two units together with a common wall.  However, unlike the first condo we looked at, there is no unit above it.

We decided to make an offer on this condo...it was countered, and we accepted the counter offer.  We've had the place inspected and it does need a few minor things fixed, like a new water heater, but there is no major work that needs to be done.  So now we're waiting for the appraisal and a new water heater installed, which the bank insisted be done before closing.  We're not sure exactly when it'll close...it was originally scheduled for June 18th, but that's not going to happen since the water heater we wanted won't arrive until the 19th and then it has to be installed.  Hopefully, it'll close before the end of the month!

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