And the road goes on forever...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Yuma Foothills Lot for Rent $325

Marc is about due to be done with moving some more of our stuff from our Yuma lot so we now have room to offer it for rent. Please note we are also interested in selling this lot. 

Rental can start January 1st to however long someone wishes to stay, however a two month minimum is required. Lot rent is $325/month, all due and payable in advance for length of stay. Water and sewer is included, tenant pays electric and garbage. Electric deposit is $100 and last month’s billing will be taken out of deposit and any overage sent back to tenant. Full hookup is 50 amps on a parking slab and tenant will have the entire lot to themselves since a vacant park model occupies the other side of the lot. There is a huge patio, full six foot block walls, mature landscaping and front privacy wall and 3 tier fountain and firepit. This is NOT just a gravel parking area with hookups and a visible-to-all-lot with short walls as so many others are in the Foothills. If you value privacy, you will love it here! *(Spa not included in rental). 

There is a lot of additional parking out front for toys or when friends gather. Pets upon approval—no yappers though, as my neighbors hate that. Neighbors are all owners, not renters. Street is a very quiet spur road (E. 52nd Drive on east side of Fortuna Wash), merely two long blocks to desert and mountain edge with plenty of BLM land and ATV trails. The lot is midway between two golf courses and close to shopping. Please email itcyhitchatyahoodotcom with Yuma lot in subject and I will get back with you right away. 

For those of you in the Yuma area, Marc will be there through Dec. 24th and can show personally. Thanks for your interest.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Facing Winter Doldrums Alone

Marc left for Yuma yesterday on a wonderfully sunny but 4 degree day. We drove to the airport in Appleton about 50 miles away and I was just happy we didn’t have to fight bad roads and snow. We are due for more of that much of this week. He has the next two weeks off to return with more of our stuff and the Dodge and cargo trailer we left behind. In addition, his northern California friend Bill is purchasing our smaller fifth wheel trailer so will arrive by Tuesday to pick that up and help Marc with his loading tasks. So while I will suffer in Wisconsin’s white single digits, Marc will bask in Yuma’s nearly 80 and sunny degrees.
I’ve a long two weeks of mostly bad weather stretching out before me so in anticipation of that I gathered some “tools” to combat cabin fever and the winter doldrums. So it’s just me and the kitties hunkered down in front of the fireplace, watching it snow. I’ll become an expert puzzle whiz, relearn how to knit (learned but haven’t done any for 35 years), and finish up the final novels I missed of my favorite now-departed author, Robert B. Parker. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sorry Folks, It’s Kind of the Hibernation Season

Yes, Wisconsin has suffered the same brutally low temps as many other parts of the country the past two weeks. Often when we step outside to now coated, slick icy or snowy walkways, it hurts to take a deep breath. Wednesday’s high temp will be -3 and with a 20 mph wind added they are warning of dangerous wind chills of -35. Needless to say, I spend all of my time indoors these days; even doing the least amount of driving possible since my car is not four wheel drive nor do I even have snow tires. The road departments do a great job of keeping roads clear but since they use salt, the cost on car bodies is extracted in a short lifespan.
Rocket finally capitulated and gave up going to the sliding door asking to go out. I think it hurt his feet the last time he trounced through the snow and with the wind chill ruffling his fur decided being outside during this time of year isn’t such a great thing after all. Now he merely looks at the white blanket and acts pissed off and then turns around to pick on the new little girl whom we’ve named Munchkin. We purchased a four-story cat condo hoping that would help with diversions but Rocket doesn’t like sharing despite many up-high perches easily shared. He is slowly getting more accepting of the intruder but I play referee much of the day.
Little Munchkin is an absolute sweetheart; docile, playful, and getting more at ease with each passing day. We’re really glad we saved her and made her part of our family. Now if we can only get Rocket to agree!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s hard to believe it’s nearly Thanksgiving already. We will miss being able to be with family or friends but just intend to spend it quietly here in the apartment with our cat family. Yes, we now have another addition—a cute, sweet little girl we picked up from the Portage County Humane Society on Saturday. She had a rough time during the fall, having been picked up as a stray at the beginning of September and being extremely emaciated, dehydrated, and full of worms and fleas. The shelter nursed her back to health and put two pounds and a pot belly on her tiny frame. She is definitely a chow hound so we’ll have to watch it that she doesn’t become obese!
She’s very quiet, calm and affectionate compared to Rocket and doesn’t appear to have nearly his energy level so we’re hopeful she will make the lap cat that Rocket never turned into. Rocket was getting a little better with me that way just before her arrival but now he is in a bit of a snit and trying hard to remain alpha. I keep them separated if I am not here to supervise, but they are getting better at getting along every day. We’re having trouble coming up with a name for this little girl (estimated to be between 9-12 months old) but she is a pretty little thing on her short pudgy little legs with her direct gaze.
On another note, we made an offer on the lot across the street that was our favorite but the owner is unrealistic as to its value in this market so we weren’t able to come to an accord. We may move further afield to other villages to search to see if we like anything as well; prices seem to be more reasonable and maybe with sellers who are actually motivated to sell rather than choosing to continue to own their property as the highest bidder. 

Enjoy your holiday everyone and be safe!

Friday, November 22, 2013

It Finally Happened

This is what we woke up to this morning! The weatherman had been threatening us almost daily it seemed and for weeks it didn’t happen…until now. Since it’s a nice sunny day it is rapidly melting and actually is due to stay fairly nice into next week and Thanksgiving although we are due for bitterly cold temps this weekend of around 2/15 degrees.
Rocket was at first a little taken aback that things went from green to all white but within minutes of touching his first snowfall he was enjoying the snow so much he didn’t want to return to the apartment.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Oh Baby, it's Cold Outside

Temperatures have been running about 15 degrees colder than normal for the past six weeks in Central Wisconsin, causing an early seasonal hibernation on my part. It’s just not fun to go out exploring when the wind chill brings things down to zero to twenty degrees! Thus, I added a new addition to our apartment in the form of a treadmill so I can keep up with my walking. Even Rocket says he might like to try it out.
We’re at that in-between season when fall’s glorious colors have faded but winter’s whites haven’t shown up just yet. I guess we could call it the Dead Season, although some patches of grass are still green and there are a few lingering rust and orange colored leaves left on the oaks.
Amherst Pond seems to already be gearing up for its freeze-over with the first encroachment of ice so the gulls were seen massing on the flowing Tomorrow River instead. One has to wonder where they go in the dead of winter since even the Great Lakes freeze over.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Muted Colors of November

I haven’t been getting out much since my last entry as temperatures have dropped substantially and we’ve had a spell of off and on rainy days. Fall is just about gone and once again Marc is due to leave tomorrow for his week in North Dakota.
Marc and I just got back from wandering into town for our first breakfast out at Sciortini’s, a small cafĂ© on the main drag. Pancakes and coffee were the perfect foil to the chilly morning. The skies decided to dump a little more than mist on our way home so I snapped raindrops falling on the Tomorrow River.
Rocket and I have been enjoying some of our last days in the town park. Every day seems to get a little colder or wetter and all too soon it will be covered in white stuff. Rocket has enjoyed running through the crunchy leaf piles with me tagging along at the end of his leash as though he was a little kid playing in the yard. When it’s time to go, I herd him back towards the car, open the door and tell him to get in and he obeys just like the (mostly) good boy he is. He reminds me all afternoon on the days the weather is too inclement for me to want to stand in the park for a half hour, that I am being derelict in my duty to him, in not getting him out. The park trips really are the highlight of his days where he gets to cavort over three acres of grass, trees, and dead leaves hiding field mice and moles as squirrels tease him from the trees.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Search Commences

I spent the better part of last week running around Amherst and Stevens Point looking at lots. We know we eventually want to be in a position to build a home so I thought it prudent to get an idea of lot costs and also compare what is available in resale homes offered. As little as a couple years ago, there was plenty of inventory of older homes, many of which had been foreclosed on and were offered at really good prices. The choice then would have been to maximize dollars spent and buy a resale.

Today however, things have changed. Most of the good foreclosures have been absorbed, inventory is down and prices have increased. Given that much of the housing stock is old there is always the possibility of major rehab expense so in analyzing the situation it makes more sense for us to just build exactly what we want. We know we want a very modest home in terms of size and amenities; property taxes in Wisconsin are very high compared to what we are used to and we wouldn’t want to be in a situation of going into retirement owning more house than we really need. After RVing for so long, even 1000 s.f. seems like a palace to us!

I came away from the week’s travels much more educated and feeling comfortable with our decision that indeed, building would be our best decision. Then it became a matter of making a decision between locating near Amherst or Stevens Point. I think we’ve made up our mind that our village should win out on that score since it is ridiculously easy and inexpensive to build here. There is no plan review, we submit plans directly to the one building inspector who is available every Monday and he includes up to 8 inspections for free; building permit costs are under $500 total; there are absolutely no impact or SDC fees charged, and wonder of wonders, hooking up to municipal utilities (water, sewer, gas) is free. Yes: I said FREE. I must have had a complete look of incredulity on my face when I learned this from the village administrator Marcy because she responded “WE want you here!” Alrighty then….without further ado, some of the possibilities.

You’ll see why looking at land can be so exhausting! My wandering around Stevens Point took me to some choice opportunities, but always with some catch. This half acre lot on Ann Drive in the village of Hull, about six miles north of Point (offered under $20,000) was very nice and even had a mature apple tree bursting with crisp, fresh, tasty apples! It also fronted a relatively busy county road. Cross it off the list.
Not far from Ann Drive, still in Hull, is a cul-de-sac road with four acreage parcels, each consisting of four acres and all priced in the low $20’s. But, the cul-de-sac is not far from busy, noisy I-39 and it also sits out by itself with no close neighbors. When I was younger I loved the idea of being a country dweller but at my age I have come to appreciate the amenities and security a neighborhood can offer. With Marc traveling often on his job the last place I want to be is way out in the country by myself in the event of an emergency. Cross these off the list.
This acre piece located only about three miles from old town Point even had the advantage of small river frontage and a dead end road in a country setting. It also had a couple of neighbors. But at the top of the price list near $50,000 it would have made for a very long “wrong side of the city” commute for Marc. So given the price, cross it off the list.
Located in a good area of Plover near to the Walmart and most major shopping in Point, this small subdivision offered up two acre parcels in the mid $40’s. However, it was carved out of a tree plantation and the entire lot was thickly covered in the same size and species tree. What on earth would a person do with all this lumber? I noted the neighboring homes had clear cut enough trees to make for their building envelope and then left the rest just wooded as was. Hum, not my idea of a fun place to live. Scratch this one.
In Amherst, I found a couple of country subdivisions filled with McMansions. They felt far out but in reality were probably less than 2-3 miles from town. Most parcels were a minimum of two acres (lots are big here) and were reasonably priced from high 20’s to mid 30’s. Although lovely, in rolling wooded hills filled with flocks of turkey, looking at my potential neighbors filled me with dismay. We don’t want a McMansion! Plus, with obvious CCR’s, where would Marc be able to park all his “stuff” and trailers? Not here certainly! Off the list it comes.

Heading towards Plover on County Rd. B I looked at a two acre parcel very well priced in the low $20’s. It sat sandwiched between the county road and a circular neighborhood road thus roads on front and back. Hmmm, don’t like that. It also had a slight swale to it, indicating there could be standing water potential in spring thaw. Besides the one loop neighborhood road there would be nowhere to walk directly from the property since County B is too busy and narrow. Cross this off the list.
I really liked this in town lot offered in the high $20’s but upon inspection Marc didn’t feel the same. Scratch.
We gave thought to this FSBO also in town because it was a huge lot for town, 1.5 acres. As if two surrounding roads on the above piece weren’t enough, this parcel was surrounded on three sides by roads! Too bad because it was level and very usable but busy County B and the thought of a squished Rocket if he ever got out convinced us it isn’t for us.
I’ve saved the best for last. Across the street from our apartment is a forested section of land with three lots available. They have been for sale for quite awhile. They are owned by a lady richer than God so I’m not sure just how much motivation for a sale actually exists on her end. Two of the lots are perfect size at around .8 acre. Not too big, not too small. It’s in the village with no CCR’s or any requirements save for the fact that any residence must be at least 900 s.f. All city utilities are already stubbed at the lot; there is a tremendous feeling of being in the country right in the city. How much simpler could it get? A little clearing for a building envelope, leaving perimeter vegetation for privacy (the parcels back to around five acres of forested vacant land), with no immediate neighbors at the current time—ah, this could be just right for our little Northwood’s cabin! Stay tuned!