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Archive for April, 2008


Monday, April 28, 2008

I’m chomping at the bit to get started on the house. I’ll be there May 1st (this Thursday) ripping out sections of the wall to see what condition the house is in. My very first permit is in my hand and allows me to do “investigative demolition” to determine the current condition of the structure and foundation. Seems weird that you’d need a permit to poke holes in your own wall. I mean, think about all the angry boyfriends who punch holes in their walls in fits of relationship stress. That’s $47.50 per jab, fellas.  

Word on the street (wall street, that is) is that we’ll get word on the loan tomorrow. This is really the big go or no-go moment. If the loan comes thru, then things will kick into really high gear. So far we’ve talked to the planning department in Capitola and they’ve given us good feedback about our plans. Now I need to draw up site, floor and landscaping plans to get the ball rolling on approval for the front addition. Additionally I need to draw up really detailed plans for the existing site modifications that we want to do. Those should get approved very quickly. The addition could take up to a six weeks to get approved. Kari and I are franticly working on different floor plans (I’ll post the finalists soon) but we need to dig into the walls and down to the foundation to check the current condition of the bones. That will determine how much gutting and replacement we’ll need to do. Reggie, aka The Pundit, our awesome contractor and quickly emerging friend, and all around nice guy, says that we’ll probably need to shore up the foundation around the perimeter in order to hold up the new roof. We may not absolutely need it, but it seems like the right thing to do for the long-term.

The Bad News Is…

Monday, April 28, 2008

The bad news is that housing prices are dropping like crazy. The bubble has burst and California housing prices are down 31 percent since their peak in April of 2007. The good news is that housing prices in Santa Cruz county are the fourth highest in twenty regions, behind South Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and San Francisco Bay Area. Santa Cruz has also suffered the third smallest decline behind Santa Clara and the bay area. That tells me that state-wide, Santa Cruz is a desirable place to live. I hate to sound optimistic in this increasingly pessimistic landscape, but, well, I am. I don’t expect housing values to start climbing anytime soon, and I’m sure they’ll continue to fall as the shock wave of the credit crunch continues to propagate, but I think that of all places, Santa Cruz will be one of those more mildly shaken.

Speaking of pessimism, check out this link, where I found my data:

C.A.R. Median Home Prices Down 29% In March

One Year

Monday, April 21, 2008

Gonna rebuild the Tola house. Should take a year. Please donate. 

Yard Work

Monday, April 21, 2008

We spent a recent weekend tearing out blackberry bushes and weed-whacking. We carried stuff out of the yard – stuff that had been piling up for probably 25 years – and created a giant heap in the driveway. Later that week a really nice guy named Ed (cool name!) came by with his truck and hauled it all away in two trips to the dump. Don’t worry eco-warriors – we carefully separated everything out so that there would be no waste – the paint and lead and DDT and other chemicals from the 60s was separated from the motor oil and toxic mold and Coors ICE cans and grass clippings.