Crunching Numbers

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I drove toward home extolling the virtues of Melva’s Place on Ocean Blvd. Perfect size house, wide street with space to park and store the boat trailer, two sheds, and large attic for storage, a house on the island that cost less than any house in our county at home. It was downright cheap in comparison.

Bruce sat quietly in the passenger seat, calculator in hand, punching numbers. “Interest rates are as low as they’re gonna go,” he said. “It’s probably the best time to buy.”

That sounded positive.

“We’ve spent over three thousand dollars in rental and hotel costs since we found the island. Multiply that by ten years. That’s wasted money.”

That sounded positive.

“Chincoteague is in a flood zone. No getting around that. The house is about two and a half feet off the ground. Anything south of Maddox is listed as three feet above sea level, anything north of Maddox is listed as six feet above. Ocean Blvd is just one street south. I’d say it’s probably between three and five feet above. The ’62 flood had six feet of water covering the island.”

That sounded negative.

“Could we move it to the lot, or raise it?”

“I don’t think you’d want to do that, costs too much. We looked at that when we were considering the house on Bunting Road. Remember, this house was built in 1950. It survived the flood of ’62. Gotta have flood insurance though, that’s probably a big cost to think about.”

Darn, another negative.

“Did I mention the workshop?” I asked smiling, “It has electricity and a cement floor, all those woodworking tools.”

“It’ll be the first part of the property under water in a flood too,” he said laughing at my feeble attempt to sway him. At least he was laughing.

We were almost home before Bruce said, “I think it might be a good investment. We could use it to stay in when we come to the island, and rent it out when we’re not there. When I talked to Debbie she said if we rent it to expect eight to ten weeks of rental at eight-fifty a week. That should be enough to pay part of the utilities and taxes. Not sure about cost of insurance.”

This sounded positive. I had gone from mere hoping to imagining pulling into the driveway and spending the night in Melva’s four poster bed.

“I didn’t go under the house, or look at the plumbing and wiring. We’re not even considering buying this property without an inspection. You know what we found under your Daddy’s house when we went to sell it.”

I did remember. Rot and a repair bill to the tune of over fifteen thousand dollars.

“Let’s make a ridiculously low offer and see what happens,” Bruce said.

part 4: https://trainswhistle.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/the-inspection/

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11 Responses to “Crunching Numbers”

  1. kimpoole3 Says:

    More suspense!

  2. train-whistle Says:

    glad you are still hooked. we’ll keep going. stay tuned. By the way, you have the cutest grandson ever.

  3. timkeen40 Says:

    Can’t wait to read the rest. Thanks for coming by my blog.

    Tim

  4. Ron McKinney aka "OldMack" Says:

    Let’s see. . .fifty-one years since that 200-year-flood of 1962. . . Yes, make an offer. Then jack it up and build a concrete “guest apartment” under it, which worked for our coastal dwellers following the storm surge of 1985 when Hurricane Elena swept by us. Some of those shacks are currently worth ten times what they were in ’85; that’s an unbeatable retirement plan. I love this segment, T.W. and will wait for the decision.

  5. allthingsboys Says:

    Sounds like exciting prospects! I hope it all works out! When we lived in New Orleans, we used to go across the lake and drive around all the lovely homes that were built on stilts. They were amazing sights to see. I love that rich history.

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