Friday, March 15, 2019
House Hunters: Motherlode - Part 1
It's Christmas Eve and we're headed to Sacramento. It's become a Christmas tradition for us to leave the headaches of the season behind and come up to our state's capitol where we can dine on the Delta King...a permanently docked steamboat on the Sacramento River...on Christmas Day.
Usually, it's in conjunction with a vacation to the area (you can read the stories on those past trips on this blog). This year, we have a different purpose.
A couple of days ago, we signed a contract to sell our house in Southern California. Yep, we're giving up the life of never ending traffic jams, overcrowding, and various numbskulls clouding our days in exchange for the slower paced life in the Sierra foothills in the historic gold mining region of the state.
But, first, Christmas.
As it usually happens, we're winding up at the Doubletree Suites in nearby Rancho Cordova. It's basically our go-to hotel in the area. Nice, big rooms...near a light rail station...and all the Doubletree, chocolate chip cookies you can eat at a price I can live with.
I can get cheaper in the area and I can get better but, here at the Doubletree in Rancho Cordova, I get a good mix of quality with price.
Fully sated from our Christmas dinner and bags of candy from Candy Heaven, just up the street from the steamboat, we tuck in to rest up for our big day tomorrow.
After breakfast, we're heading up to Sutter Creek off of highway 49 in Amador County. I have been looking for months at houses in the area and have winnowed it down to a list of five that look like they'd work for us. I've made arrangements to meet an agent from Coldwell Banker to show us those five houses and suggest others that might work for us and our budget.
In a nutshell, here's what we need...
Wheelchair accessible or can be quickly made accessible
1400+ square feet
What we want...
A big lot
Separation from neighbors
As turnkey as possible
...for a budget of no more than $400,000 (or less if there are some major renovation projects to do).
Our GPS on T-Mobile is very flaky up here in the foothills beyond Sutter Creek. This first house is about a mile outside of town and the actual waterway that the town is named after is part of the 1 acre-plus backyard.
We find it, just past the junky looking yard nextdoor that looks like it came from an episode of American Pickers.
The driveway is heavily fissured (that'll need to be replaced) and yard maintenance has not been a high priority for the owners...did I mention that it's also huge? Seeing that very large and very messy yard, this city boy immediately abandoned his dreams for a large piece of rural land.
A few minutes later, the real estate agent shows up...Tammy. Introductions and then she takes us into the house. Tim stays in the car because of the four or five steps to go inside.
The house is ok...a bit dated with narrow hallways and doors. Bathrooms are tiny.
It's just a few minutes before we cross it off the list and call out "next!"
Let's see if this episode gets better on our next episode.
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