Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Changing Priorities

May 2012

So I haven't written in over a week because my next post should be more about our depave efforts and the work on the driveway.  But honestly, I can't get motivated to blog about gravel and digging.  Also, I am currently STILL dealing with this project so motivation is low until I can truly cross it off my list.  Luckily, we never stop remodeling so there is always another project to talk about. 

We had big plans for house in the spring and summer, all of which had to do with us working in the yard.  We wanted to build a back patio cover, enclose our patio into a screen in porch, add raised beds, install fences and gates, and put in a fire pit.  All of these things were exciting, but we knew that none of these things would really help our resale value. They would be nice additions to our house.  The problem is.... we really need to think about the resale value of the house and make some priorities. 

Before you get too nervous, we are not planning on selling our house.  I hate a half-finished project and could never turn my back on the Castle now.  However, several houses in our neighborhood started going up for sale and selling for above asking price.  It appears that the Portland real estate scene is back and our neighborhood is a hot place to live! Yay!  That coupled with even lower interest rates then when we bought two years ago made us think about refinancing.  We started talking our mortgage broker who was great!  If you live in the Portland area Gary Boyer is where it's at, and he encouraged us to think about it as well.  The goal was that we could refinance and actually have a mortgage that is lower then what we used to pay in rent in downtown.

The problem I saw was that there were a few GLARING issues in the house that might make an appraiser a little nervous about the house.  These were not big deals to us, but I know to an outsider they showed some red flags.  1. The stains in the basement from a few small but persistent winter water leaks, 2. Small outstanding issues from past work, missing trim, unpainted windows, etc.  and last but not least.... The staircase.  This is one of the worst parts of it all.  Just to give you a reminder see pictures below... Scary!

There was no way anyone was going to give us a positive appraisal with the current state of our blue trimmed, cracking plaster, water stained ceiling, poorly lit stairwell.  It looks like we had a new project and it was a big one.

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