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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I have to admit it, I'm a bit of a hobbyist..... Here's the current situation:

We have made an offer on a beautiful house. This house was built in 2008, and it's absolutely gorgeous, and a "screaming deal". The one fly in the ointment is that the departing former owner took all the appliances with him. Stove top, range hood, garbage disposal, refrigerator, trash compactor, microwave.... They took out all the light fixtures & the shower heads. They bashed up a fireplace trying to scavenge the marble surround.

And, they took out the HVAC, both the furnace and the condenser. Chopped the connections leaving the house, apparently with a bolt cutter. Squashed the liquid and return lines pretty good.

I'm thinking of taking on the replacement as a DIY project. I might hire a guy to actually start up the system. Aside from that, I do know how to weld, have a gas torch - brazing with that Sil-Fos stuff doesn't seem like a big deal. Might be a good excuse to buy one of those nifty little Meco torches. And I have a Robinair vacuum pump.

Has anybody tried a different shielding gas other than Nitrogen? I have a big tank of Argon for my TIG welder.

As for sizing it, I figure I can go next door and ask a neighbor to look at his ( same size house, same contractor ). It's a well-insulated 3500 square foot house in a temperate area ( San Francisco Bay Area ).

Is there any percentage in going for something more exotic than a simple furnace/ac unit? Like maybe a heat pump? What about those higher-SEER A/Cs? Are they any less reliable than the low-SEER units? Need more cleaning and TLC?

- Jerryk1234
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh and they also yanked out the thermostat.

I love gadgets. Thinking about one of those fancy Internet thermostats....

- Jerry
 

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when they cut the lines they vented the charge into the world without CFC licenses right there you have them....check with the lawyers on your side could be a big plus for you guys at closing...if thrown out across the table:whistling2: $$$$ at closing act ignorant...sounds like a foreclosure rip out
 

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Yup, it's a foreclosure. We're dealing with the bank. It's already an incredible deal, i don't think we could get anything more out of them. The HVAC situation is actually just an amusing little side thing. The real sticking point, that might keep me out of this house - is a highly restrictive set of CC&R's. Things like
* No car repair.
* No hobby shops or power tools
* No antennas
* No using the garage for anything but parking cars. Garage doors to be closed when owner not actually ingressing or egressing
* bunch of other stuff that I forget.
OTOH - and this is the interesting part - there is no HOA to actually enforce these CC&R's. Apparently, the builder went belly-up before organizing an HOA.

I suspect this thing still won't fly for me - did I mention I'm a hobbyist? - but my wife wants it....

- Jerryk1234
 

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I wouldn't go with a heat-pump, electric is mighty expensive there (I live close by), to a point, gas is cheaper.

If there is no HOA to enforce the rules, go right ahead and do what you want, nobody can stop you.
 

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I wouldn't go with a heat-pump, electric is mighty expensive there (I live close by), to a point, gas is cheaper.

If there is no HOA to enforce the rules, go right ahead and do what you want, nobody can stop you.
*** Well, there is verbiage in the CC&R document that says that the HOA *or* other owners can enforce them. Of course, it's not that easy for other owners. They'd have to take me to court.

Another thing that worries me about the the lack of an HOA is that when you drive into this development there is a sign:
"This is not a publicly maintained street". So if there's no HOA, who maintains the street? If nobody, how will it look 20 years from now?

- Jerry K
 

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It really depends, you would have to contact the city, because if there was never any organization developed to maintain the area, the city/county/state must.

To be honest, it could be quite a mess. I wouldn't get into it if i was you.
 

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If you do decide to get the house, check with the utility company to see if there are rebates offered for new high SEER installs.
 

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The reason that it is an incredible deal is due to they are selling a worthless piece of property that will take a lot of money to make habitable. I would not touch it with a ten foot pole, unless you have as much money available to bring it up to being able to live in, or sell in a couple of years after fixing up.

No house is worth putting the amount of money that you will have to, before you are able to get a certificate of occupancy.
 

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It really depends, you would have to contact the city, because if there was never any organization developed to maintain the area, the city/county/state must.

To be honest, it could be quite a mess. I wouldn't get into it if i was you.
Varies with teh state. And can be hard to get any municipality to do it, since they aren't collecting a street tax. if the state/municipality does do it. then they get to increase taxes. Which can be a substantial amount.


Almost sounds like the OP is gonna buy a white elephant.
 

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The reason that it is an incredible deal is due to they are selling a worthless piece of property that will take a lot of money to make habitable. I would not touch it with a ten foot pole, unless you have as much money available to bring it up to being able to live in, or sell in a couple of years after fixing up.

No house is worth putting the amount of money that you will have to, before you are able to get a certificate of occupancy.
*** Not precisely true. Let me present the facts. It's a tough decision for us, because it is such a good deal. I personally would not consider it at all, but it's very attractive to my wife, so I have to consider it seriously.

* This is a brand new million dollar home. Everything in it was done to the highest standards - granite, marble, vaulted ceilings, crown moldings, rounded corners on the sheetrock. It has a sheetrocked 3-car garage with epoxied floor. At the grand entrance, there is a curving staircase with hardwood-topped railing supported by polished ironwork with formed "baskets".

* People have lived in this house, therefore it does have a certificate of occupancy ( I would check this with the county ).

* The damage that was done was limited to removal of equipment, appliances & fixtures - I figure $20K to restore it with high-end appliances. Say $30K to be safe. No sheetrock was damaged, no broken doors, no water damage of any kind. I estimate that I could have it ready for move-in in a month.

* It is not a condo or townhouse, it is a single family house with a 1-acre lot. Though sloped, the lot has a lot of usable space.

*** That's about it for the pros. Now for the cons ****

* The list of CC&R's is quite ridiculous. "No hobby shops"??? I enjoy
woodworking, metalworking, car repair, classic car restoration, electronics, etc etc etc. If, however there is no HOA to enforce the CC&R's, they might be moot. I'll be talking to my lawyer on Monday.

* My estimate on time to make habitable might be flawed, although I don't think so. It just doesn't take that long to install a light fixture, stove top, or shower head.

* If there is no HOA, then road maintenance is a real issue. Asphalt repair is extremely expensive.

- Jerry K
 

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This is a brand new million dollar home.
If it was lived in, its not brand new.

Have you looked at how much the property taxes are?
 

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Regardless if it had a COO before, you will need to get one now, that the previous owners ripped it apart, and took everything, including HVAC. As for a million dollar home, in my area, probably would go for $150,000.00 in the condition. My area, a million dollar home, in your area would be a five million dollar home, and still same rules apply.

The home is no longer a million dollar home, and with this market, it is worthless, due to the condition it is in.
 

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If it was lived in, its not brand new.
*** OK, it's three years old. Close enough to brand new in my book.

Have you looked at how much the property taxes are?


*** Not yet. Per California prop13, they are pegged to what you pay
for it.

- Jerry
 

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Regardless if it had a COO before, you will need to get one now,
*** What's a COO?
that the previous owners ripped it apart, and took everything, including HVAC. As for a million dollar home, in my area, probably would go for $150,000.00 in the condition. My area, a million dollar home, in your area would be a five million dollar home, and still same rules apply.

The home is no longer a million dollar home, and with this market, it is worthless, due to the condition it is in.

*** I don't see the missing appliances - with the possible exception of the HVAC - as a huge deal. That's just stuff that you can go buy at the store.
Be assured that here in the Bay Area, if a $150K house can be restored to $1million status with $20K of appliances, there's no shortage of sharpies who will do it. The RE market just is not THAT depressed out here.
Out here, the foreclosures are going $100 to $150K below market. Many of them are being snapped up by RE people or investors.

We looked at another house - just as big and fancy, but a bit older, and with some serious water damage and a musty smell. I saw the water damages as a much bigger issue than appliances. There was a $30K termite quote which was peppered with expressions like "we might find more stuff in there when we dig". In fact, neither the termite people nor the selling agent actually knew what was causing the moistness. I had visions of having to gut the bottom floor and moisture-proof the underlying hillside, and having to buy some major drainage engineering to really fix the problem. Or, it could just be a seeping pipe somewhere.

- Jerry
 

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*** $157

- Jerry
Way over priced in this Buyers market. Especially in the fact, that you are going to have to put in at least $20k for a decent HVAC system, another $15k for bath upgrades, and $30k for Kitchen upgrades. Not worth it, when you are looking at least putting in almost $80k to $100k to make it a place that you can sell in a couple of years if the market starts coming back.
 

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Certificate of Occupation. You need to talk to city hall and a lawyer, before you sign on the line, because personally it is not worth it, unless you have enough to cover updates needed, and replacement of missing hvac, etc. Not worth it in this market, unless you have time to do it to have ready in a few years to make a profit from what you put into to make it equal to the Comp's.
 
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