Lake Geneva Foreclosure

Lake Geneva Foreclosure

<p>Wow there sure is a lot of talk on the “internets”  about foreclosures. Realtors have caught on finally, and they’re talking about it like it’s old hat. Strange enough, I seem to be the only one at the foreclosure auctions when I happen to go. They must all go on the <i>other </i>days. Something odd happened last week at the sheriff’s sale. Buyers actually showed up to bid on properties. See, most days, it’s a lonely scene at the jail. While I stand there wondering who might see me and think I must be at the jail to either turn myself in, or bail someone out, most days, it’s just me and the attorney’s. This week, the buyers were out, and it was a surprise. The foreclosure scene remains stable, with foreclosures affecting a very small percentage of our market. Distressed sales, i.e., short sales, pre-foreclosure sales, REO sales, are still not making much of an impact in our pricing,  and are particularly meaningless as it relates to the lakefront and lake access market around Geneva. </p>
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Speaking of REO, my interior renovation of the foreclosure I bought at the end of January is nearing completion. It was definitely not easy, and it wasn’t that much fun either. You know when some lady just breaks down and cries during an HGTV renovation? I get that. I really do. If I didn’t vote to the right, I might break down myself and look for someone to bail me out of my renovation disaster. Anyway, the interior is just about finished, although some small issues remain in the bathrooms, and the screened porch hasn’t yet been tackled.

Inside, I put up paneling (individual 3/4″ pine boards) pretty much everywhere. The walls had a nasty sand texture that just made the place look like an apartment, and I couldn’t handle it. I paneled, and I paneled. I spent about $2500 on paneling, and put it all up myself. It seemed easy, but I quickly realized it wasn’t. I put in new doors, solid core of course, and added new base, case, and crown. I built a total of 5 bookshelves, and removed 2 windows, and 3 stained glass windows. I had to have the blown seals repaired on 22 windows, which set me back about $2400. I also removed one Packers helmet (Jay Cutler will make the Packers long for Neck Beard Orton). I had about 900 square feet of hardwood floors installed, sanded, stained, and finished. I put in new kitchen cabinets, new Bosch appliances, new granite counters, and a marble subway pattern backsplash. I added a security system, moved some electrical around, and put in new light and plumbing fixtures.

The beams that you’ll see for the mantles are from a nice farmer in West Bend, WI who I found via a list compiled by Craig. I tore out a drop ceiling, had drywall put in, and removed from hideous tile, carpet, wood, and vinyl. I tiled the main bathroom upstairs, and that was probably the most annoying part of the renovation to date. I don’t enjoy tiling. I don’t enjoy grouting. I don’t enjoy silicone caulk. I do enjoy how the bathroom is turning out, and once entirely complete, I’ll update you with a few photos. For now, don’t judge me for my lack of window treatments and wall decorations. In due time, and if you’d buy and sell houses through me, that time may come sooner rather than later.

The walk out lower level turned out as planned, with an added bedroom and bathroom, and the addition of a bookshelf, new paneling and trim, new wiring, and obviously carpet. Everything upstairs and down was painted in Linen White, courtesy Mr. Benjamin Moore. It’s the look I was trying to capture, so as far as the concept goes, I feel good about it. The budget is another story. I’ve done this enough before to have a good handle on estimates, but this one got away from me a little at the end. I originally hoped to spend $45k on the interior portion of the remodel, and it looks like I’m going to end up closer to $48,500. Percentage wise, it’s pretty good, but when the dollars are coming out of your pocket, it’s $3500 that I don’t enjoy spending. That’s on top of the $45,000 that I didn’t enjoy spending. On top of the next $12k that I need to spend outside, that I’m guessing I won’t enjoy spending.

After a couple weeks of recovery and interior finishes, I’ll start on the screened porch. It used to be a sun porch, but I tore out the windows because I loathe sun porches. They’re cold in the winter, hot in the summer, and annoying in the spring. I prefer screens, so when the weather breaks, that will be my next evening project before I begin on the shingle siding slated for the street elevation. For now, I’m going to enjoy my 5th Penguins of Madagascar cartoon in a row.

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