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Old Yesterday, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
3,478 posts, read 3,484,699 times
Reputation: 4887

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pathrunner View Post
Good ole "caliche"! Saw a lot of it on the trails in the 85028 with my dogs. Do people actually drill through that stuff when building or renovating, though? I know they didn't back when Phoenix was being developed, and in more recent decades.

I'd be curious what your experience is with that, and the stats on it if you know of any.
This topic has been discussed before but from a builder's perspective, it just didn't make sense in Phoenix Metro to build basement homes. There is no frost line that you have to build a foundation under like northern or midwest homes so if you are not digging to begin with...there is no reason to try and break through the clay that we call dirt out here.

I think it would make sense from a heating/cooling perspective but from what I have heard, digging a basement in Metro Phoenix is just cost prohibitive for most developers who are looking for a quick turn-around on the neighborhoods they are building. Much easier to just level the post-tension slab and go.
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Old Yesterday, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
992 posts, read 514,589 times
Reputation: 1748
I hate to say this, but this is pretty overwhelming. By the time you find your "perfect" home, it will likely already be under contract after some type of bidding war. Your list of requirements is extensive, to say the least - and you are competing with buyers that are waiving inspections and appraisals.

Best of luck to you. I know your agent has her work cut out for her.
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Old Yesterday, 10:29 AM
 
11 posts, read 1,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sno0909 View Post
I hate to say this, but this is pretty overwhelming. By the time you find your "perfect" home, it will likely already be under contract after some type of bidding war. Your list of requirements is extensive, to say the least - and you are competing with buyers that are waiving inspections and appraisals.

Best of luck to you. I know your agent has her work cut out for her.
I've posted a few replies to my OP, adding some information on how I'll go about making an offer. In short - quickly once I have the info. I need to know the price I offer is appropriate, all things considered (I don't "fret" or "stew"); above list if warranted (I realize that's more often the case than not in the current market); not making the offer contingent on it appraising at list (I can make up the difference).

As for waiving inspections, yes I know many people are doing that, which also means many sellers may be counting on it, which increases the odds of a buyer getting stung. I'm capable of doing a basic inspection myself, but if I see anything that I think requires a professional opinion, I'll bring someone in to to take a look. If it means I don't get the home, so be it.

Even in this tight market, I do see homes sitting out there for 30 days that might not be "perfect, but would work for me and so many of them have the same basic floor plans that I've little doubt another one will come along. I track homes every day, and almost every day I see a pending fall through because the buyer "didn't perform," or something came up in inspection, or perhaps they found out about an insurance issue with being near the canal. I see them come back on the market, and interestingly, I've seen the next offers lower, the same, and sometimes higher than deal that didn't happen.

I suppose my agent does have her work cut out for her. I appreciate that she's taken the time to get to know me and I've told her that on more than one occasion. She seems genuinely interested in helping us, not in just making a sale. Honestly, I think she enjoys the challenge. We relate to each other pretty well.
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Old Yesterday, 12:20 PM
 
6,981 posts, read 8,440,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldJiminMissouri View Post
We’re a semi-retired couple - wife is younger, still working and hoping to find local employment with one of the big employers after we move back, if not before. She used to work for Honeywell and sees openings there, Intel, NG, etc. If she changes jobs before we move, we’ll focus our home search with commute in mind. If not, best we can do is try to not go too far out, cross our fingers on the commute.

I should say that while my background is in public & media relations, since our first home I’ve always done a lot of work myself. On this last one, the house from Hell, I’ve done everything - hung new drywall, re-plumbed, added sheathing, Tyvek & siding (old masonite board had to go), so while I’m not a pro, I’ve worked alongside them & so might be more focused on the guts of a home than many buyers.

I sure have no problem spotting the lipstick on a pig, if you know what I mean.

Honestly, I’m too old for this s**t, so we’re focused on finding a home that needs next to nothing. If we did do the fixer-upper thing again, I’d have to budget at least $150k, find a crew and just sit it out for a change.

We’ve been working with a Realtor for a few months, just doing all we can to get up to speed on the market - what homes are really going for, what areas command more money (and why). After having made one trip just to get to know our Realtor and having toured homes from Verrado to Queen Creek, we know where the airports are, have seen all the rehab activity in Ahwatukee (flippers? Sky Harbor making people leave??). Know about the pending water problem out west, too.

Yep, things have certainly changed since we lived in the east valley 15 years ago!

Anyway, we learned a lot on that trip, but probably left with more questions than we got answers.

With a budget of $650k-$800k we have options, but have a pretty long list of wants, so most of what’s out there now doesn’t make the cut. Fortunately, the way we’re most likely to do the move, I can come down and camp out somewhere for 30-60 days until I find the right home. I may be doing this right when it hits 120, which if nothing else will let me know how well the a/c system’s performing on any prospective new home.

We’re most focused on above 3,200 sq. ft., 4 good-sized bedrooms (or 3 with loft), 3-car garage. We’re looking at both 1 & 2 story, but also those with true basements, which we do see listed, though rare.

A “true” basement to me is one with water/sewer and no lift pump. We do have concerns about basements dug in the area, given we’ve not seen any listed as unfinished, so foundation inspection’s impossible. We don’t know if the same soil structure that makes digging so expensive actually results in more stable foundations than what we deal with in the midwest.

In case someone wonders why we might want a basement, let’s just say the weight of her exercise equipment, the size of my record collection (several thousand albums), the desire to set up a true music room for my hifi system, makes having a very large, open space right on a slab attractive. It’s how we’re using the walkout basement on our current home and it works well for us. A basement’s not a requirement though, just an obvious way to keep doing what we’re doing now.

Pool costs - I’m not worried about the chemical & cleaning costs. I think I’ve got a handle on that. What I’d like to know is how long the major mechanicals last & a low-high cost for replacement, including if we go SW.

I also can’t get a handle on the costs for pool electric which I understand is going to vary widely depending on size, water features, etc. Let’s just say a dead calm rectangle isn’t what we’re looking for. It’ll need a pump system for smaller water features that create some movement and noise. It’ll have a small spa. The ideal pool won’t be large (only the two of us), but will be built to current standards, with adequate recirculation/filtration.

Total electric bill - I break out the pool electric costs b/c if we decide the cost of buying a home with a pool, plus powering and maintaining it isn’t all that cost effective, we’ll pivot to looking for a home that has a backyard we still would want to actually use - lots of shade, fruit trees perhaps. Actual grass. Decent cooking island. Perhaps enough space if we ever did want to do the pool, there would be a place for it. Something where you can see a bit into the distance. No patio home. No 2-story patio home on the other side of the wall either.

If it weren’t for the commute (and the cost), we’d head up north a bit and enjoy a little room, sky, topographic relief.

Anyway, it’s important to us to know when it hits 120, assuming we do get a home built in the last 5-10 years that’s done right, whether we’re going to see $200, $500, 1,000 or higher bills.

We’re clueless on whether any of the leased solar systems provide enough KW to more than offset their cost. Honestly, we don’t even have a handle on how many KW we should be looking for, so even if it’s an owned system that’s relatively new, we don’t have any way of evaluating what it’ll really do for us. Some of the systems seem so small, as if they’re more for show. Others take up entire roofs and again, we don’t know if that’s more a sign of older tech, or of systems that really are designed to handle the home’s total power need.

Home age is clearly another factor when it comes to energy efficiency, but again, we don’t have enough information to know when certain newer building practices came into play, nor how to spot them on a home.

Clearly homes built before 2001 go for less money, but how much of that is location, layout & how much is horrible insulation, no radiant barrier roofing, single pane aluminum frame windows, massive old heat pumps that never performed well even when new I haven’t a clue. I see some difference in the soffits of the newer homes, and some kinds of small panels on the roofs that might be some kind of limited venting system that I can envision being more to keep pressure balanced than to provide airflow, but again, I just don’t know what to look for.

I do understand when I get to the point of making an offer, doing what I've done in the past - asking for utility bills - might answer my questions, but I really want to have some handle on cost before I get to that point. I really do want to factor as much of my anticipated cost of ownership into my decision to even make an offer. To me, not factoring in as much of the total cost of ownership as I can would make about as much sense as looking at homes with a hard cutoff based on their list price when you know in this market, offering list probably isn’t going to cut it.

Some may say my Realtor should know all of this and believe me, I have been asking. But even if she had all the answers, I’d feel compelled to try and learn all I can independently of her. So if you’ve got a bit of knowledge that speaks to any of what I’ve mentioned - or get the gist of what I’m trying to learn and know something I should consider that I haven’t mentioned, please let me know. I do know I’m asking a lot in this one message, but please understand, this is my way of trying to do right by my wife.

Moving’s never easy, but when you’re pushing 70, well, yeah, this one’s gonna be different.
Check out https://agritopia.com in Gilbert. It's a very nice master-planned community. Also, many have basements with larger square footage homes. Bonus, you are much closer to the job market versus Verrado.

Being a passionate audiophile myself, I understand the desire for a basement. If I'm a betting man, your wife doesn't appreciate your gear in the living room. Lucky guess? Though streaming services made my CD and LP collection a liability. lol My fingers are crossed that that I will never buy an LP or CD for the rest of my life.

After reading your analytical post, I can see the audiophile in you.
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Old Yesterday, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,658 posts, read 10,362,034 times
Reputation: 13171
YIKES ! Rent for a year so you can get what you really want. This is way too much to do and gives me a headache just thinking of it. Let you wife find a job in a place first.
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Old Yesterday, 01:03 PM
 
11 posts, read 1,381 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MN-Born-n-Raised View Post
Check out https://agritopia.com in Gilbert. It's a very nice master-planned community. Also, many have basements with larger square footage homes. Bonus, you are much closer to the job market versus Verrado.

Being a passionate audiophile myself, I understand the desire for a basement. If I'm a betting man, your wife doesn't appreciate your gear in the living room. Lucky guess? Though streaming services made my CD and LP collection a liability. lol My fingers are crossed that that I will never buy an LP or CD for the rest of my life.

After reading your analytical post, I can see the audiophile in you.
Thanks. I think Agritopia did cross my virtual desk at some point, but based on your recommendation, I'll go take a look. Yes, we did tour some homes in Verrado and then took the time to drive back in both ways, "down low" and the old way by Sky Harbor. Didn't seem viable & the buildout still seems pretty thin out there.

Actually, when it comes to mixing my hobby with the living room, both of us are pretty much in agreement - it doesn't look great, crowds everything, etc. A basement multi-purpose room can work, as I mentioned, but a large media library room set off from where I listen is also a possibility.

I know many people who, like you, got out of physical media and that may happen for me one day, or at least I'll pare back, leave the DJ of my youth behind, if you will. But I wasn't able to do that before we began transitioning belongings, so much of it is already in climate controlled storage down there.

Packing & moving all that was a chore. I'm happy to have most of it behind me. Just the jazz section to go - and the equipment. Looks like I can post photos here, so in the event what you "left behind" still interests you - here ya go! Waiting for a Decware amp to arrive. Hopefully within a month.
Attached Thumbnails
Moving back to PHX - trying to determine total cost of ownership-img_3402.jpeg   Moving back to PHX - trying to determine total cost of ownership-img_3435.jpeg   Moving back to PHX - trying to determine total cost of ownership-img_3433.jpeg  
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Old Yesterday, 01:12 PM
 
11 posts, read 1,381 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZgarden View Post
YIKES ! Rent for a year so you can get what you really want. This is way too much to do and gives me a headache just thinking of it. Let you wife find a job in a place first.
Looks like you're up in Prescott? My late father retired up there, so been up that way many times. Yes, renting is a possibility we've discussed & our Realtor's giving us rental options as well. At a minimum, as I mentioned earlier, I expect to end up finding some place for 30-60 days when we get farther along. In addition to the market research I'm doing now, there are projects that need to be wrapped up before we can put this place on the market.

My wife's working now, and unless her employer changes & calls everyone back in, she can continue to work from home. Providing we get her decent internet, that would allow her to transition to the new home once I've got it set up.

This all is, undoubtedly, quite a chore, but not as stressful now as it was when I started. Learning more every day, some of it thanks to people in this forum who have been good enough to pass on the kind of info. that's pretty hard to come by if you don't actually live in a place.
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Old Yesterday, 01:19 PM
 
6,981 posts, read 8,440,328 times
Reputation: 6371
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldJiminMissouri View Post
Thanks. I think Agritopia did cross my virtual desk at some point, but based on your recommendation, I'll go take a look. Yes, we did tour some homes in Verrado and then took the time to drive back in both ways, "down low" and the old way by Sky Harbor. Didn't seem viable & the buildout still seems pretty thin out there.

Actually, when it comes to mixing my hobby with the living room, both of us are pretty much in agreement - it doesn't look great, crowds everything, etc. A basement multi-purpose room can work, as I mentioned, but a large media library room set off from where I listen is also a possibility.

I know many people who, like you, got out of physical media and that may happen for me one day, or at least I'll pare back, leave the DJ of my youth behind, if you will. But I wasn't able to do that before we began transitioning belongings, so much of it is already in climate controlled storage down there.

Packing & moving all that was a chore. I'm happy to have most of it behind me. Just the jazz section to go - and the equipment. Looks like I can post photos here, so in the event what you "left behind" still interests you - here ya go! Waiting for a Decware amp to arrive. Hopefully within a month.
Subjectively speaking, I've never met a tube amp that I've liked (they cannot drive a variable impedance load very well). But they look cool. I don't recognize your speakers?

Well, those LP's act as pseudo-diffuser (think room treatment). So they still add value. I ripped my entire CD collection lossless and it totaled up to 13 TB (plenty of SACD's). I never use it.

Re: homes. Make sure to drive out to Agritopia. I bet you will be impressed. Just realize there are plenty of younger families in that neighborhood.
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Old Yesterday, 01:32 PM
 
11 posts, read 1,381 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MN-Born-n-Raised View Post
Subjectively speaking, I've never met a tube amp that I've liked (they cannot drive a variable impedance load very well). But they look cool. I don't recognize your speakers?

Well, those LP's act as pseudo-diffuser (think room treatment). So they still add value. I ripped my entire CD collection lossless and it totaled up to 13 TB (plenty of SACD's). I never use it.

Re: homes. Make sure to drive out to Agritopia. I bet you will be impressed. Just realize there are plenty of younger families in that neighborhood.
I've heard the knock on tubes, but thought I'd find out for myself & get some of my tube friends off my back. The Sansui AU 719 has seen better days, should have been retired long ago, but other components were candidates for the scrap heap before it. Couldn't pull the trigger on anything that required much fiddling on my part. Sure, I could still probably figure out how to set bias, but really more into listening. The speakers are Zu Audio's Omen II (see link) - the "Dirty Weekend" version with fewer frills. They replaced an original set of Infinity Reference sixes, so that took care of one of my really, really weak links. I can't bring myself to drop loads into the gear and the ZUs were recommended by a few friends as decent bang for the buck. Turntable is a restored Thorens TD124/II a friend picked up for the price of a six-pack. Wish that's all the restoration cost. https://www.zuaudio.com/loudspeakers/omen-2
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Old Yesterday, 01:57 PM
Status: "is it 110 degrees yet?" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: northwest valley, az
3,160 posts, read 1,947,125 times
Reputation: 4326
wow, I havent heard the name "Sansui" mentioned in decades

we sold ALL our non digital media before we moved out here to a man who was starting a mobile cd/album/cassette business, so we didnt have to do ANYTHING with that stuff aside from helping him load his truck..

wont ever buy media again at this point, although there is no doubt how much better the vinyl digital masters sound than anything else..
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