Monday, May 23, 2005

Now Here's A Shocker!

Got a call from the cabinet guy and guess what? Delayed again! He said his guys told him they wouldn't be done by 4 PM today. He's gonna call me in the morning with a time to meet tomorrow. He sounded very dejected. As Trisha noted, it will be interesting to see if he will really pay me the now $600 he owes me.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Finally, Some Good News!

Spoke with the cabinet guy today. We are meeting between 4 PM and 5 PM Monday to inspect the cabinets. If all is ok, he'll only owe me $500 in late fees... But I'm at the point now where I won't believe this job is done until I actually see it.

Tucson Property Auction Tomorrow!

I know it's not much notice, but if you are in the Tucson area or interested in buying land in the Tucson area, there will be an auction of 85 properties this Saturday (tomorrow). These are properties a judge has forced the Catholic Diocese of Tuscon to auction to settle abuse claims. From what I heard on the radio, most of the properties are empty land. However, the auction is a "no reserve" auction, so the highest bidder gets the property, no matter how low the bid. Details and registration info can be found at Click the "Listings" link and then the "May 21, By Order of US Bankruptcy Court, S. Dist. of AZ 85 Properties Throughout Arizona owned by the Archdiocese of Tucson" link.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Making Some Money

Well, one way or another, I will be making some money on this property. I just called Joe The Cabinet Guy and asked for an update. He said "You're gonna be making some money on this." He'll call me at the end of the day to give me more details, but he did say he knows what he signed and he's good for the money. I'd prefer to make more money by selling the place, but $100 a day is better than nothing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Wait mode

Not much going on the last seven days. The cabinets at the house are supposed to be in and finished by 6 PM tomorrow. I pulled comps again for the house and that process just proved to me that real estate really is an inefficient market. I used the same site to get the comps as I did two months ago and it returned a completely different set of houses. I got 20 houses each time and there wasn't a single duplicate between the two lists. And the sales dates spanned about the same time frame too, so it's not like the more recent one showed a bunch of more recently sold houses. But at least the prices were fairly consistent.

I received the second interest payment from my hard money loan and was told the loan may be paid off early. This is nice, as it just increases my ROI. I'm also going to Las Vegas next month, so the extra money will come in handy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Cabinet Situation

I heard back from Joe today. He was out of town over the weekend and yesterday, which is why I was unable to contact him. However, the cabinets still should have been completed while he was away. As I suspected, he had subcontracted the job out and he tells me he has now fired the subcontractor and will be taking over the job himself. Provided I agree, he said he will get the job 100% finished by 6 PM, May 18.

So we're looking at another week delay. But what are my options? I don't think I could get cabinets from someone else in a week. Truthfully, I don't want my money back, I want the job completed. And, strange as it might seem, I still like the guy. I like that he put his response in writing and gave a deadline. My gut feeling is that this guy is professional but he just had some bad luck with a subcontractor.

I faxed him back saying I would grant him an extension provided he gives me a new phone number I can reach him at and, more importantly, he agrees to pay me $100 per calendar day for each day after May 18 that the job is not complete. I asked him to sign the fax and return it if he agrees to these terms.

Update: After finishing typing this, I got his return fax. He agreed to my terms.

Monday, May 09, 2005

I'm Being Played

My wife and I went out to the house on Sunday. The cabinets were supposed to be installed Friday afternoon. We pulled up and the old cabinets had been moved from inside to outside in the carport, which I took as a good sign. However, when we entered, the new cabinets were still not installed.

I've spent today calling Joe every 15 to 30 minutes for the last 6 hours. He is not answering his phone. Well, he did once, but he must have hit the button by mistake. He never said hello and I heard him talking to someone else. I could hear sounds like big things moving around. I finally hung up. He also never gave me the other number he said he could be reached at, so this is the only number I have. Based on the messages I get when I call, this is one of those Cricket pre-paid cell phones and it doesn't have voicemail.

I sent a fax to his office this morning. That fax stated this was the third time he has missed a deadline and that he was in breach of contract for not getting this job completed within 10 working days. I said I will be visiting the property again at 6 AM on Wednesday morning. At that time, the job will be complete. Either the new cabinets and countertops will be installed or he will be giving me a refund. One way or another, the job ends at 6 AM Wednesday. I threatened legal action if this is not resolved by then.

I should have called him Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon, but I was laid up with pneumonia.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cabinet Update 2

I never got a status phone call last night from Joe, so I called him today. When he finally answered, he said he was at the property and was making sure everything was ready for the cabinet guys this afternoon. He also volunteered to haul away some garbage that was in the carport - some old wood that was replaced when the back porch was rescreened and some old blinds. That was a nice gesture.

I've been calling Joe all day today - about every 30 minutes since 9:00 AM. I suspected he was avoiding my calls because he's got a cell phone with Caller ID and he never answered. He also doesn't have voicemail. Well, when he did answer this time, he mentioned he had another number he would give me to use since the phone I was calling on he usually leaves in his truck. So he could be telling the truth or he could be snowing me. I guess it doesn't matter as long as he was at the house today working.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Cabinet Nightmare

I drove out the house this morning, thinking I'd do a bit of quick cleaning, take some photos, and get the place ready to go on the market. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the cabinets were still not installed. In fact, the old cabinets were still there. They have been removed from the wall, but they are just sitting on the floor. I got on the phone and this was my conversation with the guy I bought them from:

"Hi Joe, this is Shaun. I was wondering if you could give me the address of your office, so I can come down today and pick up my refund check."

"..... What's wrong?"

"Well, my contract states the cabinets would be installed within 10 days. We're now starting the third week and they still aren't in. Therefore, I'd like my money back."

" They still aren't in? Damn.. Let me call you right back."

About 15 minutes later he calls and explains what's going on. I guess he subcontracted the installation to another company and they said they could not get into the house. Joe says he gave them the lockbox code. I guess they had a little discussion between them about who was to blame, but the bottom line is this: Joe's crew will be back today after 3 PM to fully remove the old cabinets. The subcontractor will swing by tomorrow to verify the place is ready for installation. Then, they will start the installation Thursday after 3 PM. They are having to fit me in after other jobs, which is why everything is being done in the afternoon. If need be, they will work through the weekend to complete the job. Joe will call me each day with a status report.

One positive from all this is that I have seen the value of comps rise during the two months I've had the place. I may be able to sell it for more than I thought. Always assuming, of course, it ever gets on the market...

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