Odometer (U-HAUL Truck): 52,122
Odometer (Legend coupe): 544,457
Odometer (Legend sedan): 150,595
Odometer (Vigor): 105,948
Odometer (Integra): 237,259
Odometer (ILX): 180,646
Odometer (NSX): I don’t know! It’s coming back from my brother’s place in a few weeks!
I’ve moved into a garage. Well, not literally, but pretty much.
On Friday, August 26th, I officially closed on a new house that has more garage space than living space, and I’m totally okay with that. Allow me to introduce my residence in central Phoenix. Conveniently located in the up-and-coming “Uptown” area, this 1949 place started life as a simple, brick, 3-bedroom, 1-bath home. It was later remodeled to incorporate an additional bedroom, bathroom, and laundry on the east end. Then finally – and most importantly – a massive multi-car garage was tacked on and the existing carport was enclosed as well. Here was the photo from the for-sale listing that I first saw.
My (2 or 3) avid blog followers may recall that it was Friday, May 27th when Jason and I drove to the Arctic Circle in Alaska. Later that same day, my friend Rob in Phoenix sent me a text message saying that there was a home with a 5-car garage for sale near him. My interest was piqued but I was far too busy road tripping to think about real estate transactions. Besides, I was perfectly content in Scottsdale even though it meant renting out storage units in other parts of town for a couple of my cars. I’d been doing it for over 7 years and was used to the routine. Here was Rob’s text convo (a screen shot from his phone, and the photo is now missing).
The Alaska trip concluded and I got back to my daily grind without thinking twice about the Phoenix home. About a week later, Rob sent another text. “Price drop of $20,000 on the 5-car garage.” “Oh yeah,” I thought. “I should at least do a drive-by.” And I did so that weekend. I liked the home. While sitting in the car – my Legend sedan, as it were – in front of the house, I pulled out my phone and shot a quick email over to my friend (and real estate agent) Leif. That was June 11th. Here’s what I said:
The rest of the story – and it’s full of twists and turns, I assure you – I’ll leave for another day if I end up sharing it at all. But hundreds of emails, thousands of dollars, and almost three months later, I own the home.
Or rather, my mortgage company owns it, but my name’s on the paperwork! Here’s a summary of the timeline:
- May 27 – Notified of the house
- June 5 – Return from Alaska
- June 6 – Price drop of $20k
- June 11 – Emailed my agent
- June 21 – Sellers accepted my contingent offer, my home listed
- June 29 – Lowered my price $4,500
- July 8 – Lowered my price $5,000
- July 18 – Lowered my price $5,000
- July 27 – Offer accepted
- August 4 – First buyer fell through
- August 8 – Back-up buyer’s offer accepted
- August 12 – Inspection performed
- August 26 – Final repairs completed, both properties closed!
It really was a miracle that things came together in the time that they did. I cannot say enough about the level of professionalism and skill of my real estate agent, Leif Swanson. He was so organized and on the ball. Every meeting we had, his paperwork was filled out in advance and he had the ultimate of respect for my time.
Here’s the verbatim summary from the for-sale listing of my new home:
Beautiful 4 Bed, 2 bath, 1552 sq ft, 5 car garage (split into 3 separate garage units, 2/2/1) lovingly remodeled by artist and engineer. Large back yard, fully landscaped with garden/utility shed, w/ irrigated lot. Split, open floor plan, neutral color palette, 6″ baseboards & crown molding. Large screened patio, breezeway, dusk to dawn outdoor lighting. Interior tile flooring, newer dual pane windows, shutters/blinds, soft water unit, electric hot water tank, and updated 200 Amp electric service. Renovations have been legally permitted & approved through the City of Phoenix. Open kitchen offers pantry, Granite Island, stainless French door refrigerator, and in-island convection oven. See Doc tab for list of additional items to convey.
The property itself is a corner lot with over 10,000 square feet in area — twice as large as the piece of land I sold in Scottsdale. Can you say yard maintenance? That will be a new experience for me! Guess it’s time to start shopping for a Honda lawnmower.
I wasted no time in having company over, as my friend Branson flew down from Salt Lake City to spend the weekend with me. Following are just a few of the many photos sharing the events of this exciting transaction!
Check the 6-minute video for a full tour. Be sure and watch to the very end for a fun blooper.
Home before remodel (taken from Google) – May 2014
After remodels – June 2016. Extreme makeover?
U-HAUL time! I put 78 miles on this thing and it took 2 trips to get my furniture transported.
Retrieving the last load from Scottsdale.
This is how my die-cast model cars were transported. More on that in a second!
Starting to get settled in.
Retrieving the Legend sedan from the storage unit where it had lived for the last 2 years.
Clean-up time at the Scottsdale home!
The banner was the last thing to come down.
Unloading at the new house, with some help from Rob and his Ford Escape.
James paid us a visit in his Fiat that day.
Visit from Lance from Seattle who I bought the Integra from.
Enjoying my back patio.
Saying goodbye to the Scottsdale place one last time.
Friends Chandler, James, Jack, and Rob at the new pad
Following up with Charlie and Cindy, who I bought the new place from. They’d left me detailed (and laminated) notes on each of the plants on the back patio, with care instructions!
Charlie and Cindy were great. They’ve even now sent me photos from throughout the home’s remodel! There was a fireplace removed, a wall pulled down, and the original casement windows were repurposed as a gate in the backyard.
Gate to alleyway
The final transaction details came to me via text. The deal was final as of 2:01 p.m. on Friday the 26th!
Making it official with a key handoff. My neighbor Drew took the photo for us.
This is now the first time in over 4 years of ILX ownership that the car will have a garage space.
Removal of the for-sale sign the following morning.
Visit from Justin
Climbing on top of the roof with Branson to find a new home for the model cars.
Pulling the Vigor out onto the back driveway for a day-trip.
James and his mom paid a visit, too.
Official change-of-address confirmation received! Pretty sweet!
Now, time to try out some of the neighborhood cuisine…
Come visit me!