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Patch

What Did I Agree To…?

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I recently lost a great friend, and fellow golfer. We had known each other since our grade school days. Well over 60 years.

He was an avid golfer, and usually played 3 rounds a week, in three different states no less. 

On my last visit with him, he asked a favor of me. He owned a mobile home in a small town, which he said was his retreat from the rigors of big city living. I'd never seen the place.

I happily agreed to take on this favor for him. He was a good, deserving friend. Since he had out lived his entire family, there was no way I would say no to him. 

He gifted me the place, and asked that I make the necessary repairs, and that once completed, I gift it to some deserving, low income  family. I asked him what the repairs might be. He said about $2500.00 worth, while not specifically naming anything wrong. He was to write me a check when he was released from the hospital. He passed away 2 days later while still in the hospital. 

So here I was, an owner of a mobile home, in need of repairs, that I had agreed, sight unseen, to fix up, and give away when said repairs were completed. 

My wife and I drove out to the place today to see what was up. What we expected to find was not to be. This place turned out be an old, worn out shack, and that discription is being very, very nice. 

I should explain that although not super wealthy, my friend was quite a long ways from being in the poor house. A really long ways.

First thing we found were two soft, sunken, spongy floors. A heating furnace that had not worked in quite some time. Every window let copious amounts of outside air in. Even when shut. Four interior walls panels would need to be replaced due to rain damage. This also meant the roof would need leaks repaired. Cabinet doors needing new hinges, and missing knobs replaced. Suspected plumbing leaks. Cracked shower walls. Skirting panels missing. A well worn out wooden deck/patio area. A roof top swamp cooler that sounded like a train wreck while running. Two metal sheds outside with unknown boxes of  junk in them. I could go on and on. 

My wife and I just looked at each other, smiled and shook our heads. She asked what I was going to do. After a long pause, I replied "exactly what I agreed to do. I will fix it up, and give it away to someone in need.". 

Yeah, more on this new adventure later. This could take few months to complete. I really got myself into something here. . 

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What does the place mean to you @Patch ?  Is it important or a responsibility you've been saddled with?  Get rid of it or keep it as a shrine.  Neither option makes you less a friend...or diminishes the memory.

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If it is going to take more to repair it than what it is worth, sell the land and donate the $$ to a place that helps homeless vets.

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Interesting topic.

Wasn't the favour to organise (but not pay for) what he thought would be minor repair work and find a deserving family to give it to? He wasn't expecting you to spend your own money or even the amount of time that you are now contemplating.

In your position I would be looking to sell it as-is and then donate the proceeds appropriately, and I would have a clear conscience in doing so.

However, if you're saying you now want to give money and time to this project in his memory, well of course that is a nice thing.

Good luck with it!

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Was it in your friends nature to mess with you on a regular basis? If so this is the perfect troll from beyond the grave. 

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The definition of a volunteer...

...someone who misunderstood the question!   :-D

 

3 hours ago, dennyjones said:

If it is going to take more to repair it than what it is worth, sell the land and donate the $$ to a place that helps homeless vets.

^^^ This ^^^

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Just a thought.

I recommend donating it to the local National Public Radio station.  I am not sure if they will take it, but here in CO, they take any car, boat, RV, motorcycle, etc. in any condition.  They use it to help others develop/teach skills in fixing and then sell the fixed up cars for use in supporting NPR programs.

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Did he actually transfer this place over to you? If it's still part of his estate, you could run into some issues here (but it also might be better if that's the case because the executor would be the one deciding what to do with this place, not you). It might be worth a call to the executor. Just a thought.

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6 hours ago, upndown21 said:

Was it in your friends nature to mess with you on a regular basis? If so this is the perfect troll from beyond the grave. 

You might be right...lol

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3 hours ago, DeadMan said:

Did he actually transfer this place over to you? If it's still part of his estate, you could run into some issues here (but it also might be better if that's the case because the executor would be the one deciding what to do with this place, not you). It might be worth a call to the executor. Just a thought.

This. 

I'm not sure how you can sell or give away real estate you don't own. 

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No, it's something I don't mind taking on. We were buddies. In addition to owning my own contruction company,  I am also a retired custom home builder. I finished up helping my youngest daughter build their home a few months ago, and this will give me something to do. I need to stay busy both mentally, and physically. I have also kept my contractor's license current. 

I did look into having it demolished, and hauld off in pieces, since it can't be moved safely. It's a 24X55 model. Best quote I recieved was $6K. $6000.00, or less will fix it up nicely. 

Structurely it is sound. The lot it is on is pretty nice, with a great view of the Mojave desert, which my wife likes. Taxes are reasonable. There are no liens agaist the place. It's free and clear, and the titles are in the process of being transferred.

We will get into it next weekend. First thing will be to set off several bug bombs both inside, and under the it. We did not see any signs of  bugs, or rodents, but you never know. 

After that I will hire some day laborers to remove the skirting, and clean out, rake out underneath the place. There is no telling what might be under it after sitting there for twenty years. That's something I dont want to deal with personally. 

Once clean out, myself and my son in laws will check, and shore up the stabilizers/footings underneath as needed. 

Once the place is stable to my satisfaction, we will get rid of stuff. Some will go to the local land fill. Other stuff to the second hand store. My wife will make those decisions.

I figure working on it part time, it will be a +/- 6 month adventure.  If I went full tilt boogie on it, 4 weeks tops. No need to rush it. 

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15 minutes ago, dsc123 said:

This. 

I'm not sure how you can sell or give away real estate you don't own. 

I was in his will. No problems. 

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17 hours ago, Patch said:

No, it's something I don't mind taking on. We were buddies. In addition to owning my own contruction company,  I am also a retired custom home builder. I finished up helping my youngest daughter build their home a few months ago, and this will give me something to do. I need to stay busy both mentally, and physically. I have also kept my contractor's license current. 

I did look into having it demolished, and hauld off in pieces, since it can't be moved safely. It's a 24X55 model. Best quote I recieved was $6K. $6000.00, or less will fix it up nicely. 

Structurely it is sound. The lot it is on is pretty nice, with a great view of the Mojave desert, which my wife likes. Taxes are reasonable. There are no liens agaist the place. It's free and clear, and the titles are in the process of being transferred.

We will get into it next weekend. First thing will be to set off several bug bombs both inside, and under the it. We did not see any signs of  bugs, or rodents, but you never know. 

After that I will hire some day laborers to remove the skirting, and clean out, rake out underneath the place. There is no telling what might be under it after sitting there for twenty years. That's something I dont want to deal with personally. 

Once clean out, myself and my son in laws will check, and shore up the stabilizers/footings underneath as needed. 

Once the place is stable to my satisfaction, we will get rid of stuff. Some will go to the local land fill. Other stuff to the second hand store. My wife will make those decisions.

I figure working on it part time, it will be a +/- 6 month adventure.  If I went full tilt boogie on it, 4 weeks tops. No need to rush it. 

“Full tilt boogie”. I am stealing this. 

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On 5/22/2019 at 3:38 PM, Patch said:

I was in his will. No problems. 

Sounds like a nice way to honor your friend.  Hope it works out for you. 

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A little follow up. Spent most of sat/sun going through a storage shed. Check the furniture. Did an inventory of repairs/replacement stuff, and general cleaning. 

We set off several bug bombs friday. The day laborers took off some of the skirting, and rakedout underneath the place. Paid them enough to have decent holiday weekend. They will be back for trash haul off next week. 

Nothing wierd was found underneath other than some minor sagging, and the axles with no wheels on them. That was expected.

Inside, will take some effort. I will have Lowes deliver lumber stuff, and other r&r essentials.  next friday evening.  

Power will turned on by the end of the week. 

This is going to be a "weekends only" type of thing for me and other family members. We are going to do one room at a time

A Goodwill truck will haul off the stuff my wife wants the 2nd hand store to have next weekend. 

All in all, I figure about $5K +/- will spruce up the place nicely. 

Another good thing is I get to go through some old sets of golf clubs, and other golf paraphernalia. I already saw a set of Liquid Metal irons. Anyone remember those? 

 

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Just another update. Soft spots in the floors are fixed. New paneling up on some of the walls.

Case lots of caulking have been used. 

On one of the floors I raised it 4" inches. Plan is to make it a step up, dining alcove of some sort. My Wife is to decide what kind of floor covering we should use. 

Had an electrician come out and check the breakers, lighting, switches and plugs.

I am having a guy from a local mobile home outlet come out and give the underside of the place a good, qualified look see before completely button it up. 

Installed a couple of window 18K, btu a/c units. The old swamper was not cutting it. These were old ones I had lying around. 

Ordered a tank of propane to be hook up to see what gas appliences might work. My buddy was doing the all electric thing. Place has a gas cook top, and furnace. Pretty sure the furnace is history. For some reason, the natural gas supply to the area was discontinued. 

The gas water heater, he replaced with an electric one. I don't like the way it is plumbed, or wired. 

Also contimplating replacing the windows with newer, more energy efficient stuff. The existing windows are pretty drafty. 

On the golf side there are three sets of clubs he had stored. One set being some really old Pings. I think I already mention the Liquid Metal stuff. Found a couple dozen PV-1s I am now giving some play time to. Not seeing any difference from my e7 gamers.  Alot of the golf stuff is going to the local highschool's golf team. Lots of little things. Tees, divot tools, 6 loose putters....etc.

I am letting one of the day laboerers stay in the place for security reasons. He says it's better/cleaner than his normal digs. When we come out, we bring our RV, and hook into the utilities. Our dogs like him, and he likes cheap beer. . 

Everything we are doing out here is legal, and per existing codes.. My contractor's license is on the line, and requires I do this. 

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