Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Places at the Beach

Update on my sinusitis: the over-the-counter decongestant, throat lozenges, and ear plugs all worked out pretty well, and I had a good night's sleep. I still feel lethargic though.

At the end of my 'Happy New Year' posting I mentioned that on New Year's day we would be moving our stuff from the old beach place to the new beach place. Here's the scoop on that.

In early 2003 we bought a mobile home (with a stationary addition) in Lewes, DE. It had been owned by our friend Susan who had let us stay there several times. The trailer is 8 feet wide and 40 feet long, and is in a small mobile home park about 2 miles from the public beach. The trailer was built in 1955 and although it has been 'moderized' a bit for convenience (including the 10 x 30 addition in the 70s), still retains much of its retro charm. Since we love being near the water Joe & I have been going to our Li'l Retro Getaway (or LRG for short) at least one weekend every month, year round. In the summer when its beach weather we've gone several weekends in a month. We've also had friends and family join us for weekends.

Joe & I enjoy and have profitted from real estate investing, so naturally our thoughts turned to the possibility of a real estate investment at the beach - an investment that we could also enjoy using. The LRG is not real estate, it is personal property (like owning a car). So we decided to start looking around in Lewes. We found a newly built home we liked in an established neighborhood. We approached our friends Kerry & Hugh who share our interest in real estate investments, about investing with us in this house. The house was purchased by someone else before we were able to make an offer.

The four of us began looking at other places, but nothing was quite right. Many needed more fixing up than we were prepared to do. Another place was in 'move in' condition, but was located very close to a main road, and we were afraid it would be difficult to sell due to the traffic noise.

Then Joe discovered a new community we had not previously visited. I thought that new construction in this community would likely be out of our price range, but we decided to take a look anyway. To our surprise, the model home lady told us there was a 'spec house' in our price range. A 'spec house' is a new house built before there is an identified buyer, so you do not get to pick your carpet color, flooring, countertops, etc. But when we looked at this house, we liked all the selections that had been made. The model home lady also told us that the builder wanted to get the spec house off the books by the end of the year, so he was offering a significant price reduction if we agreed to settle by Dec 31. We brought Hugh & Kerry to see the house and the four of us decided it would be a great investment. So now the four of us own this house.

The day after the settlement Joe & I put up blinds and curtains on the first floor windows and sliders, then moved the sofas, ottoman, and dining table/chairs to the new house. Then last Saturday we moved the beds, kitchen and bath stuff, lamps, TV, etc. and began arranging everything. Saturday night we had dinner at Grotto pizza, watched a DVD, and then stayed overnight in the new house on New Year's day/night.

As much as we like our funky little trailer, there is no need to keep it now that we will be staying in the house when we come to the beach, so we are going to sell our LRG. But hopefully someone else will enjoy the cozy 'ambience' as we did and it will continue to be a fabulous Li'l Retro Getaway.

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