Today – Buyer’s Remorse

Yesterday’s win is today’s remorse. I awoke at 3:30 AM with a serious case of buyer’s remorse as I began re-thinking everything bad about purchasing a lot in Modoc County.

The biggest issue is the $195 per year payment to the county on behalf of the Last Frontier Healthcare District (LFHD). I’ve read all about it and there is nothing one can do to escape this annual “Special Tax.”

On the other hand, I’m bound and determined to figure out Modoc County Real Estate and there’s only one way to do it – join in. The LFHD may single-handedly be the demise of the current recreational property fiasco in Modoc County. And, that would be a good thing. I think it’s a clear case of unintended consequences.

While laying in bed, I couldn’t stop wondering if there were a reasonable way out of this financial conundrum. The more I thought about it the more I realized my sleep was over.

Out of bed by 5:00 AM, I felt a knot in my stomach. I hate being stupid, but that’s how I felt – and still feel as I write this. However, this is an educational experience and that includes a full understanding of buyer’s remorse.

At least I didn’t pay more. The value of Modoc real estate is taking it in the shorts, not that it was ever a good deal.

 

Yesterday – Modoc Tax Sale

The Modoc tax collector closed the Modoc tax sale yesterday. Over 200 parcels were offered to the public at auction via a web-based auction on bid4assets.com.

I watched the last couple of hours of the bidding as blocks of offerings closed at a rate of 20 or so parcels every fifteen minutes. I noted that, on the last day of the sale, the tax collector lowered the minimum bid on some of the parcels..

When the minimum bid on two of the lots dropped to $500, I decided to make a bid. Immediately an auto bid offered $600. That was enough for me on that one. The two lots offered for $500 ended up selling for $700 each. Both were in Modoc Recreational Estates.

The minimum bid on a few lots was lowered to $800 each. The highest bid price I noted was $1,500 and another sold for $1,300. Both were in Modoc Recreational Estates.

The minimum bid on about five lots in Pit River Recreational Estates, out of about fifteen,  was dropped to $800 and two of them sold. I couldn’t quite pull the trigger.

Eventually it was down to one lot and I planned to buy one, so I pulled the trigger on item 188 – after the minimum bid was lowered to $800. But, somebody had already bid $800. I figured there might be an auto bid. Sure enough the price jumped to $1,000 after I bid $900. Now I would be forced to bid $1,100 – which I did.

That ended the auction for me. I put my blinders on and went to the bank. When my $535 credit was applied (deposit and admin fee), I owned $601.65 for a total acquisition cost of $1,136.65.

The bank teller asked me if I was certain I wanted to send the money by wire transfer as it would be final and irrevocable. I said yes, and gulped.

For better or worse, Lot 29, block 80 of California Pines Unit 3 will soon be in my name. I laughed when the email from bid4assets.com congratulated me for my “win.”

From where I sat, it appeared that about ten percent of the 200+ lots offered were either sold or withdrawn.

 

 

Tangled Web

IMG_3732 Cal Pines.jpg

For about two years I’ve been evaluating real estate in Northeastern California. But before I get into that, I need to preface the conversation by saying that I was a real estate agent/broker for 37 years.

During that time I thought I learned a lot about real estate sales. In fact, I did. However, there is an entirely different world of real estate out there. The real estate world in which I operated was legal, ethical and conscientious.

Real estate transactions in Northeastern California are mostly different. The genetic makeup of real estate in Northeastern California, and particularly Modoc County, is infected with corrupt motives. Much of the county is owned by Southern California corporations that operate on a basis not normally seen in California’s real estate industry. And, one of the most prominent owners and sellers of real estate in Modoc County is the county itself.

It appears to me that Modoc County is in the middle of a major conflict of interest.

The properties of which I speak are generally “recreational properties.” Lots range from an acre to a few acres. They were created in mass at a time when land was cheap, laws were lax and oversite was non-existent.

The worst offenders were and still are sub-dividers whose corporations exist only by a continuous chain of “fishing” activities. Lots are mostly void of value because Modoc County has a very limited economic base. The corporations “fish” for inexperienced buyers, who think big brother is watching out for them.

The very worst case scenario is one where the landowner (often Modoc County) offers lots, but not title. This is very common.

The ongoing tax sale in Modoc County is a testimony to the case I am making. Hundreds of lots are for sale and the Modoc County tax collector is offering them at prices three or four times their economic value.

Notice to bidders. If you purchase one of these lots, you may be contributing to the tax sale of 2025.

The lots of which I’m speaking would be more valuable to society if they were all recombined and resold in economically viable units.

What’s going on here? I’m watching.

And, I’m going to purchase a lot. Call it education.

 

 

Always Wanted to Live by a Creek

The only creek I ever lived by was Butt Creek in Plumas County. And, I only lived by it for a month each summer when my brother and I would camp out with my grandparents.

Maybe that’s why I started thinking about adding a creek to my yard. Been thinking about it for years.

Now there is a creek in my back yard. Here’s how it went down.

First I hired my rancher to haul three giant boulders down from our ranch.

IMG_5034 boulders

Then I hired a landscape contractor to build the creek. The contractor purchased the pump, creek rocks and liner in a kit. He added Sonoma field stones in the creek and around it. The kit contained a liner to hold the water.

IMG_5036 liner

A submersible pump sits in the hole at the bottom of the photo. The creek is “pondless” so no water stays on the surface for long. The pump moves water at 6000 gallons per hour. (100 gallons per minute). Water is stored inside the underground containers, shown in the photo, when the pump is turned off.

IMG_5172 water

We tested the pump and liner before adding more rocks.

IMG_5179 rocks

At this point, we began to leak water underneath the large bolder farthest to the left. It took about two days to solve the problem, but now it’s looking good.

IMG_5184

My granddaughters like it. Creeks are like a magnet for kids. Can’t wait till the three and four-year-olds arrive. They already have plans to sit under to falls.

Here’s how it looks today. Planting done.

IMG_5198 finished

Sounds like a real creek too.

 

 

 

 

 

How to cook a roast so it is done rare and medium at the same time.

Roasts are great, especially a prime rib roast, but I can never satisfy everybody. Mostly the guys, like their meat rare or medium rare. The ladies, especially my wife, like their meat cooked to at least medium if not well done.

Until yesterday, I could never solve the problem. In an effort to keep half of the roast from over cooking, I cut the roast in half and put the rare portion in foil. The remainder portion, I left on the Traeger grill to cook longer (thinking it would be more well done).

After a about 20 minutes I removed the portion intended to be medium from the grill and opened the foil on the half that was intended to remain rare.

To my surprise, the half that was in foil was medium and the portion on the Traeger was medium rare. Exactly the opposite of what I was trying to do.

So in failing, I succeeded. And, I learned how to solve my problem.

Pretty simple solution, but not intuitive.

The Kite Nest

Over a month ago, a pair of white-tailed kites moved into our neighborhood. They were very visible and very out of place.

The neighbors behind me have a large back yard with redwood trees and live oaks. They were selling their house and had moved out, leaving it vacant. The house sold quickly and nobody appeared for several weeks.

The kites took over one of the live oak trees and seemed to be building a nest and mating activities began.

Then, after a couple weeks, although the nest was not visible to us, it seemed that eggs must present. Several times, we observed the kites chasing off invading ravens.

Three or four times I nearly retrieved my camera during moments when the kites perched on the very top of the large redwoods.

I feared that the new neighbors would move in and disturb the nest before the chicks were hatched and gone. It seemed unlikely that the duo would succeed in their efforts.

Escrow closed last Friday and yesterday the new neighbors hired a tree service to trim the trees in their new back yard. At 8:00 AM, the chain saws began to buzz.

An army of tree trimmers invaded the live oaks.

The kites are gone now, which is not surprising. Wish I’d taken that picture.