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Old 02-10-2012, 07:21 PM   #57
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Frank, thanks, I'll keep that in mind. Cork is .43", so it would require some modifications to fit it in under the doors under the gaucho sofa. It looks like the cork is already sealed. We have friends who put a cork floor in their kitchen and had to put several coats of a sealant on it. No rubber tiles at Lumber Liquidators though. Glad to hear cork works well.

We have some area bamboo things—kind of like area rugs. They scratch easily, but maybe that's just because we got them pretty cheaply. I hope the bamboo you get is better grade.

Gene
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:31 PM   #58
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Ikea has rubber floor.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:17 PM   #59
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Thanks again Frank.

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Old 02-16-2012, 01:24 PM   #60
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Moving slowly on house. The present day state approved real estate contract is twice as long (16 pp.) as it was when we bought the house in 2000. I am going through it slowly to make sure I have all the changes I want ready when we get an offer. I am going much too slowly, but it seems there's lots of other things to do.

I looked at what Lumber Liquidators has to offer on the internet and they have some cork that locks together, but it is 7/16" inch. This will not easily fit in our trailer without some modifications, more than I want to do. Two doors that open downward get in the way. Cup hinges would solve that, but I don't have the proper tool for that. I wanted to look at it anyway, but the LL store in Grand Junction doesn't open until Friday and we were two days early.

We went to Home Depot in Grand Junction to see if they had the same Traffic Master (house brand) planks that were marked "linoleum" in their smaller Montrose store. They really are vinyl, not linoleum. Linoleum is a better product for several reasons—more durable, color goes all the way through the product rather than just on the surface so gouges are easy to repair and aren't so visible, and it is a natural product rather than one made of oil. The vinyl planks have some decent designs and the product is often less than 3/16". One other thing—the people at HD were actually helpful and didn't disappear when they saw customers coming. When Joe Nardelli ran HD for several years the "workers" got so unhelpful we stopped going to HD, but things have changed.

Next we started looking at flooring stores. The first one was closed and looked to be out of business. The second one had a product called Karndean Loose Lay. It is less than 3/16" thick vinyl in a plank 10" x 41". It looked to be better quality than the Traffic Master planks. Because it doesn't lock, there's less waste because it isn't necessary to align tongues and grooves on cut pieces. If you put it on a slippery surface, it is very difficult to move. The surface is not smooth, so it reflects light more like real wood. But in a travel trailer with extremes of temperature, the manufacturer recommends using 4' wide adhesive around the edges and along the seams. Apparently pressure sensitive adhesive works well for this—you can pick up the planks if you need to with that kind of adhesive using suction cups or a toilet plunger. Because it is thin, it should be easy to cut with a utility or carpet knife. The salesman in the store was helpful, but wouldn't budge on price—$5/square foot. And they wanted shipping too—$50 unless they could group some orders. We brought some samples home.

The "Antique Kerri" (VGW39T-7LLST) looks the best in our trailer. The wider planks look better to us than the narrow (less than 5") ones. We have partitions and cabinets with a Formica surface that is a light tan oak-like design. This design is also oak-like, but a bit darker and will provide a contrast to the Formica. Maybe it would have been better to find a maple design to match the new table, but there wasn't one. This morning I started looking for Karndean flooring on the internet and found it at $3.39/sq. ft. and no shipping (American Carpet in Dalton, Ga.). I ordered it and will save well over $100, maybe close to $200 (no tax, no shipping, far lower price). I don't mind paying a little more to a local store, but not so much it amounts to price gouging. I will have to buy some epoxy paint to seal the subfloor, some adhesive and some quarter round and rubber molding for trim and will have a better looking floor for around $250. I would have liked to find 12" x 12" tiles as they are easier to cut around all the corners and curves without screwing it up, but the only vinyl tiles were peal and stick and would not stay down in a trailer. Cork floors are all planks. We never found linoleum or rubber. I'm sure we could have found more stuff if we had looked harder or gone to Denver.

I am attaching a sample photo of the plank. It is the one on the top. The color looks darker and more red than a large sample and there's more variety in the grain too. The one on the bottom is a little lighter and redder (same grain design), but still darker than the actual planks.

Gene
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:09 PM   #61
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Gene;

Take a look at zillow.com. If it covers your area and the area you are interested in moving to, I think you will find it interesting.

John
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:20 PM   #62
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John,

I have looked at Zillow. The values it assigns to properties around here are strange. There are too few sales to understand the market easily and they probably use a computer program to come up with value. I expect the program works better in more densely populated areas, but around here it is suspect. Sales here have been mostly in the towns where values are pretty low and most of the homes are modest, and outside the towns where there is much more land and bigger houses. In turn, these properties are divided into working ranches, hobby ranches and ranchitos (retirees and others who do not work the land). There are a lot of vacant parcels, many left from before the real estate bubble broke, also. The higher end ranches have been selling better. The rest of the market has stagnated, but 2011 was better and 2012 is starting to pick up.

The FSBO website we will use, lists on their website and others like Zillow, realtor.com, mls, and others. How many depends how much I want to spend. It seems like a lot of money, but compared to what we will ask for the house, it is a very small percentage and certainly smaller than real estate commissions. The FSBO websites have 6 month programs for many of the things and then lower prices for a 6 month renewal. If we get in going by the end of this month (I know, I was going to do this months ago), that will take us through August.

I believe Zillow aggregates from other sites like Realtor.com and has listings from just about everyone. I haven't looked at Zillow for Santa Fe, but have used other real estate sites. We've looked inside 40+ houses in the past 2 years and have driven all over the place, looking at the outside of many more. I am eager to be on the buying side as it is much more fun. I'd rather be making a dinette table, putting in a new floor and caning a chair than selling a house. Well, the caning is pretty close to as bad as selling a house.

I'm almost finished with gathering and organizing all the paperwork. I discovered I'll need a copy of the septic permit from 29 years ago, but the county should have it. The list of disclosures has grown exponentially in the past decade and is a pain for a seller, but very good for a buyer. I'll feel better about it when I buy a house. If I didn't have some background in real estate law, I'd find this overwhelming.

Gene
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:03 PM   #63
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Gene;

Makes sense about Zillow. We used them a lot when we sold and bought, downsized, last year and found them valuable when it came to price negotiations at both ends. However, we live in a small town with a lot of buying and selling going on so they were pretty accurate.

When we were selling our realtor had us take all personal pictures off the walls, clean everything possible off the counter tops in the kitchen and no kleenex boxes out. Also, all toilet lids down.

It's a real pain, Gene. The most depressing for us was to get it ready for a showing, leave and come back an hour latter to find no one showed up.

Good luck;

John
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:56 PM   #64
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John,

The realtor we had was not so compulsive. But the book I read was even more insistent on removing things than your realtor. There's nothing worse in selling a house than having an empty one—they look smaller and cold. The other extreme is the cluttered house with 50 cats and cheap furniture and a pile of dishes in the sink. I guess that's worse than empty. I think things that show warmth and that real people live here make the most sense. We have Navajo rugs and prints from our travels on the walls—softens the expanse of logs and paneling and adds color. I'm not sure what we could do with the toaster and all the other things that get used in the kitchen all the time. Barb has so much kitchen stuff the cabinets will explode if she tried to put them all away.

I suggested we learn how to bake bread before someone shows up, but we compromised on scented candles to make sure the house smells good. It has been proven that people don't notice smells that are unpleasant to others because we get used to them. Thus, someone who has 50 cats doesn't think their house smells bad. When we first looked at this house, the owner had 8 cats and was such a clean-freak, that there was no cat smell at all. She scrubbed the Formica counters in the kitchen so vigorously she had worn it down so it felt rough instead of smooth in places. She was a realtor and did have some sort of thing to make the house smell better, maybe fresh baked bread incense.

The other things that realtors don't like is for the owner to be present. I was told people don't like to feel like they are interfering in the owner's life and want to leave faster. Maybe that is so for some people, but not us when we are looking at a house. I like the owner to be there so I can ask questions. I'm more likely to get a detailed and maybe honest answer from an owner.

If a realtor brings someone here, we can go hang out in the trailer and if we see the people first, just tell them to take their time. Out here, there's no where else to go.

When we have sold property, houses or vehicles or anything else, we have had our share of no shows. They are the bane of selling. Sometimes they are delayed somewhere, but with cellphones they could call.

Tomorrow I cut the vinyl floor out of the trailer except for the bathroom. I probably will leave that as it is. I have to remove one dinette seat, the table and the subwoofer. I will remove the vinyl in cabinets or wherever it is possible to get to so I can examine the subfloor for problems. The vinyl under the other dinette seat in the cabinet was stapled to the floor and all the staples have popped from expansion and contraction. That vinyl is curling. Once I seal the subfloor with something, I'll leave it bare in the cabinets; no reason to put a floor down there.

Gene
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:26 PM   #65
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Hey Gene:

Just curious, if you don't mind my asking, but why Santa Fe?, what draws you to that area. I think Colorado would be a better more diversified area..., except the very cold winters. Not to mention, what I feel would be more opportunity for travel diversity.

Terry.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:03 PM   #66
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Terry,

One answer is that of all the places we've thought about for years, this was the one we both agreed on. We found ourselves going there 2 or 3 times a year and that meant something. SF is more politically aligned with our beliefs, has many cultural opportunities, 4 different natural food stores, many fine restaurants, and is historic (we both like history). Barb has relatives in NM (her father was born and raised in NM) and it is a relatively easy trip up I-25 to Pueblo, Colo., where her parents live. It is a smaller city (80,000 I believe) with a lot to offer and Albuquerque is little more than an hour away if you can't find it in SF. NM has a good state parks system, probably better than Colorado. Colorado is not far for more recreational stuff. The winter where we live is mild by Colorado standards and SF has a similar climate to here. I actually would like more snow and cold, but you can't have everything. I'm pretty used to a foot or two of snow at a time, but that's pretty rare here. If we wanted to travel in the winter, it would be easier to do so from SF.

Floor replacement: I removed the dinette seat, table, subwoofer, the plastic floor molding at the rear of the trailer and tore up a little of the vinyl. The vinyl is 1/16" thick, but looks like mostly cardboard with a very thin layer of vinyl on the top. This is probably the cheapest vinyl sheeting you can buy; very appropriate for a "premium" trailer. I read somewhere vinyl starts at 10 mm., this is even less than that. The good thing is that it cuts very easily with a carpet knife. The subfloor has some black coating about 6" to 8" from the exterior wall. I guess that is to prevent water damage. I don't know what it is, maybe just some paint.

Tomorrow I get the rest out. I'll have to remove some cabinet doors to get a knife in tight places. I may have to cut 1/8" off the bottom of the fabric covered doors to give better clearance to the new floor since it is 3/16" thick.

Gene
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:10 PM   #67
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There is one major drawback to living in NM: they add sales tax to everything, including cremation services!

While a lot of our friends are downsizing their homes, we're adding 830 SF. We love our home and southwest Colorado. The addition includes an elevator, mini kitchen and an ADA bathroom. We refuse to let our children put us in an assisted living facility and we're fortunate enough to have the mean and facilities to have live in help if push comes to shove.

I think that that from a financial point of view, this makes more sense than selling in a down market.

Note to Gene: the only time we did a FSBO was in Telluride and the buyer was a RE lawyer.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:31 AM   #68
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Dennis,

Selling into a down market makes sense if when you buy, the market is still dropping. Then it can make sense to take your time and pounce when appropriate. There appears to be a backlog of foreclosures which will keep prices from increasing in most markets for some time. There is also pent up demand—that may get released as job figures improve (if they continue to do so). Then gas prices—as they go up, national pessimism increases. I suppose I want to time the market, something I'm constantly told by pundits is wrong. I don't think market timing is wrong, but timing this market is pretty hard. I'm also concerned that I am at an age where moving gets ever more difficult and this will be the last one (actually it's a double—move to a rental, move to a house we buy). I am also thinking about the dreaded question—what if we can't sell our house until prices start moving up and we get priced out of the SF market? We have a very nice house, plenty of room between it and the very large shop, and incredible views and privacy. I suppose I could live with staying. We have friends here too, but we left behind friends on the Front Range and are still seeing them and keeping in contact.

You live in an area that has a lot of positive aspects aside from Durango traffic and oil and gas development. For some reason, I think you live somewhat north of Durango in the less populated areas and near the ski area. I have no idea why I think that. It is a nice place to stay.

I think we have about an 11 or 12 year limit on where we live, and then it is time to move and try something new.

Funny you should mention selling to a lawyer. I bought my first house 40 years ago from a lawyer with a realtor, but sold it to another lawyer on my own. Barb and I bought a house from a lawyer, but we did have a realtor. Since the realtor became a client, I made the commission back.

Gene
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:19 PM   #69
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We live in the North Animas Valley, about 13 miles from the middle of town and 14 miles south of the ski area on the Animas River. The oil and gas revenue is such that La Plata has the second lowest property tax rate in the state. We spend a couple of months a year in San Diego, so Durango traffic is nothing compared to SoCal.

Moving again is just not in the cards. We have too damn much stuff! Interestingly enough, real estate sales on high end properties are steady and going up.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:34 AM   #70
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Gene, we live near Seattle and things aren't to bad here. The restrictive building codes, density issues and geographegly
being surrounded by either water or mountians have kept Puget Sound real estate expensive. Anything with a mountain or water view is still 500knand up. Waterfront forget it. We are empty nesters living in a 3000 sf waterfront house on Wollochet Bay (tidal saltwater) with a magnificent view of MT Rainier. Even with all of these plusses I just can't make the call to sell. I don't want to waste my first summer with my new AS dealing with Realtors, openhouses, disclosures, all of the stress of keeping the house impeccable and then having people tromping through looking in my closets and cabinets. Maybe next summer. But this summer is for me and wifey, no kids just us. This economy won't last forever and things will get better. (I hope). Take care and don't let the stress get to ya. I've been asked to be an expert witness when mechanical issues come up in some of these big (wecall them microsoft houses). However I've always declined because of personal liability issues.

Dan
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