The answer to this problem came from my parents. They were considering downsizing their lives and going the hippie route - putting all their possessions into an RV and travelling the country for a few years. They wanted a home base that felt peaceful, was easy to maintain, and family oriented.
We had a short, but strict list of requirements for a house: walking distance to our current town, minimum of five reasonably flat and cleared acres that were free of wetland restrictions, access for a 40 foot RV, a functioning well and septic, and a livable house. Not surprisingly, this left approximately 20 properties, all down one road, that met our requirements.
Houses down this road only rarely became available and we spent the winter keeping watch for any potential sales. In January, on Craigslist, I found an ad: Older home on ten acres 94th Street, Snoqualmie. That was literally the entire thing. No picture, no link to any other information, no phone number, nothing. What followed was the most mysterious email exchange.
I would like to come take a look at your property. I know a family who lives down your road (the Neylands) and they said that it is a great community.
Please let me know when a good time to come see it would be. Thank you,
The place is a mess. come have a look. Pigs are almost gone we only have one left. Chickens are getting thinned out by coyote's. Tree destroyed there house).We sold some timber last summer and branches need to be cleaned-up. No anyone with a backhoe I could barrow? I think I met the Neylands, we been here 10 years.
Thank you for your response!
Is the land mostly dry or are there any wetland areas? We would be looking for a longer term property - something to turn into a retirement home and horse property in a few years, so no need to be pretty now.
Is the house livable? Or is it too destroyed to be functional?
Was the property once a 16 acre parcel? The Neylands own Challenges Northwest, where the road cuves sharply to the right. Marti seemed to think so as she was remembering it. Apparently her kids used to be babysat by the fellow who built the house.
Do you have a ballpark on what amount you are looking for for your property?
The place was a push over ten years ago when we saw it. I worked on it four weeks to make it livable. I have some 'Cowboy Jim' Stories from neighbors etc.
I many low ball offers, really thinking I can get 399 for it. About half is flat, east half is sloped some and has wetland. The six acre parcel to the East, Jim Neil sold to Paul Boulanger in '98 is a dump and lilkly be auctioned by the IRS. The property in vacant/abandoned,Boulanger die last fall). Our property line is 6' from their front door.
At this point we knew we were interested in looking at the house, but didn't quite realize what we were getting into. Subsequent emails threw a few red flags into the mix (questionable roofing, well connections, a fire, and a title issues) but we were not to be swayed. Ten acres in this location is unheard of. Over the next four months we tried to get the seller to agree to a contact, but he was a bit dodgy and the process was slow. Luckily for us his craigslist ads and subsequent responses were not very inviting and any potential other purchasers were likely scared away...