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Strategies on selling a house.

specsaregood

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#1
So, I posted in the other thread that we have started the process of finally buying a much bigger/fancier house; and I'm in the position where I'll have to sell our current house. I've bought a couple of houses now; but never sold one and thought some of you might have some suggestions.

Background:
1. Current house is paid for and has no liens.
2. It is in a very desirable working class neighborhood --the type of neighborhood where people know each other and adults that grew up here actively seek out houses to move back with their young families. I just randomly pulled up a local facebook group and saw 3 people asking if anybody knew of homes coming up for sale here.
3. The house is in decent shape; but needs a fair amount of updating and has little minor issues like funky wiring from being built in the very early 60s.
4. It has a nice sized lot that backs a softball field, probably best lot in the neighborhood.

Position:
1. I have no desire to do any updating myself or managing a project of fixing it.
2. I don't really want to put any money into the house.
3. Basically I want to sell it as-is.
4. We don't need to sell it immediately, we'll be waiting until we are all moved out before listing it or selling it.

Questions:
1. Should we seek out a flipper to sell to?
2. Do fixer-uppers sell well using a traditional real estate agent? My gut says they don't. It's tough to estimate value since pretty much everything else that sells in this neighborhood only sell after being updated significantly.
3. Are there any realistic situations where you partner with a flipper to do the updates and split any additional profits made?

This is new to me; I'm open to any suggestions.
 

hammerhead

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#2
So, I posted in the other thread that we have started the process of finally buying a much bigger/fancier house; and I'm in the position where I'll have to sell our current house. I've bought a couple of houses now; but never sold one and thought some of you might have some suggestions.

Background:
1. Current house is paid for and has no liens.
2. It is in a very desirable working class neighborhood --the type of neighborhood where people know each other and adults that grew up here actively seek out houses to move back with their young families. I just randomly pulled up a local facebook group and saw 3 people asking if anybody knew of homes coming up for sale here.
3. The house is in decent shape; but needs a fair amount of updating and has little minor issues like funky wiring from being built in the very early 60s.
4. It has a nice sized lot that backs a softball field, probably best lot in the neighborhood.

Position:
1. I have no desire to do any updating myself or managing a project of fixing it.
2. I don't really want to put any money into the house.
3. Basically I want to sell it as-is.
4. We don't need to sell it immediately, we'll be waiting until we are all moved out before listing it or selling it.

Questions:
1. Should we seek out a flipper to sell to?
2. Do fixer-uppers sell well using a traditional real estate agent? My gut says they don't. It's tough to estimate value since pretty much everything else that sells in this neighborhood only sell after being updated significantly.
3. Are there any realistic situations where you partner with a flipper to do the updates and split any additional profits made?

This is new to me; I'm open to any suggestions.
I'm in agreement with you on letting the new owners do the upgrades. They will have their own ideas of what they would do with the house so anything you do may increase the value but I doubt you'd get a return on investment. Flippers are out to make money. It would take a cut in sale price if a flipper that's experienced would buy it.
Really, the only ones that make money are the trades doing the work.
Your best market would be first home buyers.
 

Uglytruth

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#3
What are you going to do with the cash?
Pay down debt or invest?
 

Goldhedge

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#4
If you don't have a price in mind...

Call 3 Realtors and get broker price opinions (BPO) from each. A BPO will have 3 current for sale homes and 3 recently sold homes (within last 6 mos) within a square mile of you.

This will give you a general idea of market value in your area, based upon your sqft and amenities.

You don't have to use a Realtor, but they do offer access to the MLS. Some discount brokers have a tiered system for access. You pay an upfront fee for MLS access and services. Depends on what you want to handle. Tiered means you handle the calls, set appointments to view, etc.

Newspapers sell only 3% of the homes. MLS is where the action is.

Realtor fees are negotiable. For example if you list and your broker brings the buyer off the sign in your front yard (no buyer's broker involved) you could negotiate to pay a lower fee say 4% or 5% instead of 6% or 7%? I don't know what the particulars are in your area, but you can always ask!

You can also hire a real estate lawyer to write the contract. (this depends on your state laws. NY for example lawyers by law are a part of every real estate transaction - weasels that they are.) This works great if you have a buyer already.

If you FISBO (for sale by owner) expect to get calls from brokers wanting to list your place. The seller pays the buyer's broker - from the proceeds - the fee for bringing the buyer. Chances are the buyer's broker will handle the contract pieces. You can use a lawyer to review the contract.

As for upgrades... you don't have to do anything. You can sell it 'as is', but that might give the impression it really needs fixing up! Some folks might like the funky 1950's kitchen cabinet look. Who are you to 'think' for them?? Don't!

Negotiate! When someone says 'Will you update the kitchen?' just say 'No.' and that will be that! 'Will you replace the carpet?' 'No, but I'll pitch in $2k carpet allowance. How's that?'

Roof. Check your home insurance. They might cover it? A new roof, while a nice feature, isn't all that special because it came with a roof to begin with. Not as if you added sq ft to the place.

What will make money is a remodeled kitchen and an updated bathroom, a 2nd bathroom. Finishing a basement will get you $1 for $1 spent, i.e., a wash.


NOTE: It all depends on the laws in your state - every state has their own laws!
 
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EO 11110

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#5
sell them the dream - like the best lot in the neighborhood, etc. only spend money to frame/fluff the dream. what kind of cheap but cool stuff could you do to that large lot that backs to ball field? make the ball field part of the back yard -- it's great for kids, dogs, practicing ball, flying drones, hitting golf balls, etc

also, does the neighborhood throw parties, etc? pics of parties would be great. july 4 is not far off

once they buy into the dream they'll overlook the negatives -- 'we'll fix that, no problem' will be in the dreamers' heads
 
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specsaregood

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#7
What are you going to do with the cash?
Pay down debt or invest?
Pay down the mortgage on the new house. I've thought about fixing this up and renting it, our other house in the Caribbean brings in good money off long term rental -- mgmt. company handles everything. But I don't really want the hassle with this one; and would rather get rid of the new mortgage; plus our longtime neighbors would hate us.

If you don't have a price in mind...
Call 3 Realtors and get broker price opinions (BPO) from each. A BPO will have 3 current for sale homes and 3 recently sold homes (within last 6 mos) within a square mile of you.
This will give you a general idea of market value in your area, based upon your sqft and amenities.

Roof. Check your home insurance. They might cover it? A new roof, while a nice feature, isn't all that special because it came with a roof to begin with.
Thanks for all the great info. The house actually has 1 year old completely replaced roof comes with a transferrable 50yr full warranty on it. I figured that wouldn't raise the value all that much even though it cost a fair amount.

sell them the dream - like the best lot in the neighborhood, etc. only spend money to frame/fluff the dream. what kind of cheap but cool stuff could you do to that large lot that backs to ball field? make the ball field part of the back yard -- it's great for kids, dogs, practicing ball, flying drones, hitting golf balls, etc
also, does the neighborhood throw parties, etc? pics of parties would be great. july 4 is not far off
once they buy into the dream they'll overlook the negatives -- 'we'll fix that, no problem' will be in the dreamers' heads
great ideas, yeah we have a private swim club down the street that is full of neighborhood folk with lots of parties and we have block parties as well. I'll have to dig out some pics. guess its all about marketing.
 

EO 11110

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#8
parties - great! i'm thinking a mention in the marketing -- and a photo album in the house for the realtors to use when they do their showings

the guys are sold -- the back yard hooks them

tool to get the girls -- so-called 'allowances' -- asking price 200,000 -- seller giving 10k toward flooring/kitchen/whatever allowances. buyer gets this money at closing. woman now has 10k in her mind/hands to 'update' the thing to whatever stupid shit that women want.

so your real price is 190k.....and she's ready to go along with husband that loves the yard/location. the extra 10k goes on their loan - so doesnt cost you anything but a meaningless bump in agent commission
 
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dacrunch

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#9
Paint is cheap... and gives a "clean feeling" (and rids the old smells. Same with carpet... Those are 2 "cheap throw-away fixes" that make the prospective buyer stay and look around rather than run away (especially women)... Scrub the finger-prints off the doors (scuff marks can be cleaned - spreading the paint - with a rag soaked in ammonia). Clean or replace the electric switches, outlets and cover-plates. Pressure wash the "old look grunge" outside... Clean up the back yard... make things "tidy" even if they "need repairs". If you have an aging asphalt driveway, a 5 gallon bucket of asphalt tar. Improvements don't look "overwhelming" that way. Fix or throw out everything that's "broken" (lamp fixtures, rotten fencing). Replace the broken window panes in the shed... Improve "curb appeal". (Make it like that girl who makes you do a "double-take"...)

Be careful that some areas don't look "too clean" compared to others (making them look "worse" than they are)... Keep some "harmony" that "doesn't clash"...

Old trick - bake some bread or pumpkin pie when you're showing it... (odors, again, affect the subconscious)... It's a question of the potential buyers "overlooking" the costs of repairs and "having a good feeling" about the place already "as is".

It's not just "lipstick on a pig"... but a "minimum make-over"...

Also - depending on your "personality" - using an experienced realtor can really be an advantage, since they are quite "in tune" with their buyers' psyche, while YOU AREN'T... and they know quite well what to show, dwell on, avoid, dismiss.... while you might just be saying the WRONG THINGS...

The "get quotes from 3 realtors with comps" is excellent, because if you "overprice" your house, you'll chase away potential buyers who will NOT COME BACK later when you either "lower the price" or "make improvements".

Also, major decoration changes (unless things are falling apart) can be a waste of money, since the buyers will have their "own taste" which is almost guaranteed to NOT be the same as yours.

Realtors can also tell you what kind of improvements are "in the money", i.e. increase value more than the cost (paint, carpets, tidying) - or "out of the money" i.e. cost more than they would increase the sales price (like a swimming pool).

Your role is just to say "we loved living in this neighborhood" and "these have been great times living in this house" and "the kids were very happy"... and not more... It's really tempting to nag with "I always thought about doing this or that", but that's just "confusing"... and only applies to YOU.

Also, a FURNISHED house (but NOT cluttered" greatly increases buyers' ideas of how THEY would furnish it, compared to an EMPTY house. Furniture also "conceals" defects... So even if you've already moved out, it's worth the $$ to RENT furniture for the sales showings.
 
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dacrunch

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#10
I keep adding to my posts, haha... so you might want to remove your "likes" or read the "updates! ;)
 

EO 11110

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dacrunch

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#12
did it again haha!! twice or thrice!! Been through a LOT of houses... and even had a realtor's license for a couple years (but no sales - was the 2000's bubble - and I only showed houses that cost 1/3 of the buyers' income... that they wouldn't lose in a "crash"... so they went with the other realtors showing them granite-countertop houses that they bought before getting foreclosed...). I went back to pipefitting... haha! I couldn't sell them their "temporary dream house" that would become their "nightmare"... but I don't have a "guilty conscience"...

I'd had enough "bad choices" in my own past to not inflict them on others...
 
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BackwardsEngineeer

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#13
specs lots of great suggestions.. random thoughts(that is pretty much all I have anyway)

Flippers- they are pro's to semi pro's, they will have an advantage and should be your last resort.

What you want is a thirtysomethibng couple, all hyped up on chip & joanna, with shiplap on their minds!

Once you determine what you are willing to accept for the property, clean it up good and casually mention to any neighbors you talk with how excited you are about your new place. Go on and on about how much you love the old place living by the ball field, but you just need broader horizons. Each one eventually will ask what your doing with the old place to which you respond you're going to talk xxxx the realtor. xxxx should be the sleaziest least liked person covering your area. This will instill fear of the bad neighbor in your neighbor and they will be hell bent to find someone to buy your place. Telling everyone at church, grocery store, post office how great your place is, but they had better hurry because xxxx is soon to be involved and it could end up a meth lab within months....

Good luck if you private message me you name, address and phone number I'll throw you into homebot which will give you a good idea of your property value!
 

Ensoniq

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#14
as an old guy who has sold a lot of houses in his life I’ve taken the approach of ensuring the aesthetics

if the guy doesn’t like it but the wife does you still have a chance at the sale

vice versa = not so much
 

Voodoo

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Lots of good advice so far. I just cant believe that people are dumb enough for most of it to work. And when did men shrivel up and let the wife run the show, especially on a major purchase like a home?
 

specsaregood

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#16
I keep adding to my posts, haha... so you might want to remove your "likes" or read the "updates! ;)
I will no doubt it again multiple times as the time comes closer.
It sounds like after we get moved out and the place emptied we should have a good cleaning done outside and inside.
Then I think I'll have to join facebook temporarily and put the word out to the neighborhood to see if we get any immediate serious offers, I have a hunch there will be some.
 

dacrunch

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#17
Lots of good advice so far. I just cant believe that people are dumb enough for most of it to work. And when did men shrivel up and let the wife run the show, especially on a major purchase like a home?
You live in Amish country? haha!
From what I've seen, it's the "wife who chooses the home" and the husband who has to fix it the way she wants it...
 

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#18
Lots of good advice. My 2 cents, get a professional RE photographer to do your house pics, even drone footage - good pics bring in lots of potential buyers.
 

Uglytruth

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Ensoniq

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Lots of good advice so far. I just cant believe that people are dumb enough for most of it to work. And when did men shrivel up and let the wife run the show, especially on a major purchase like a home?
I don’t think of it that way.

if a man uses his will to pick the house over the wife’s objections, he’ll hear about it 50-75 times a year for the next 30 years.

as long as it’s not a money pit and a reasonable value, the smart man preserves his future sanity by deferring ;)
 

specsaregood

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#21
I don’t think of it that way.
if a man uses his will to pick the house over the wife’s objections, he’ll hear about it 50-75 times a year for the next 30 years.
as long as it’s not a money pit and a reasonable value, the smart man preserves his future sanity by deferring ;)
Even then the man should have some wants/needs he demands. For me it was: a space for my office on the same floor as the kitchen, more land, and a garage big enough to fit our indoor training pool. You'd be surprised how many homes we passed up looking over the years as it seems many homes built in the past couple decades didn't have a garage deep enough, I guess because cars got quite a bit shorter on average. Other than those 3 demands, I didn't really care as long as DW was happy.
 

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#22
Once again - no one else is willing to do the heavy lifting...so here I go...

You should burn it down. Penny in the fusebox...or something...

If we are in a deflationary collapse (which some believe is coming soon)...well - there you go...

/sarc

I am joking...

Really...
 

hammerhead

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Lots of good advice so far. I just cant believe that people are dumb enough for most of it to work. And when did men shrivel up and let the wife run the show, especially on a major purchase like a home?
who cares as long as it sells.

My wife does the decor and I appreciate what she has made me do to get it the way she wants. I couldn't pick out drapes or wall colors or furniture.
 

Voodoo

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who cares as long as it sells.

My wife does the decor and I appreciate what she has made me do to get it the way she wants. I couldn't pick out drapes or wall colors or furniture.
Oh it definitely helps sell a house no doubt. But things like decor and cleanliness have very little to do with the value of a house. I've found that's driven by the Quality, Size, Age/Condition, Land value, Basement Size/Finish and Garage Size. The rest is window dressing and will make your house standout from others with similar value.
 

Voodoo

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Even then the man should have some wants/needs he demands. For me it was: a space for my office on the same floor as the kitchen, more land, and a garage big enough to fit our indoor training pool. You'd be surprised how many homes we passed up looking over the years as it seems many homes built in the past couple decades didn't have a garage deep enough, I guess because cars got quite a bit shorter on average. Other than those 3 demands, I didn't really care as long as DW was happy.
Lot sizes got smaller to pack more homes in and make building/development somewhat profitable.
 

hammerhead

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Oh it definitely helps sell a house no doubt. But things like decor and cleanliness have very little to do with the value of a house. I've found that's driven by the Quality, Size, Age/Condition, Land value, Basement Size/Finish and Garage Size. The rest is window dressing and will make your house standout from others with similar value.
Voodoo, sorry but I was being sarcastic with the who cares statement. Hope I didn't offend you.
 

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#27
I've found that's driven by the Quality, Size, Age/Condition, Land value, Basement Size/Finish and Garage Size.
And the biggest factor of all, location.
 

Voodoo

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And the biggest factor of all, location.
That's true, but really hard to nail down for value. I think it just shows up in land values.
 

Voodoo

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Voodoo, sorry but I was being sarcastic with the who cares statement. Hope I didn't offend you.
No worries, I'm used to trolling those with severe TDS. Pretty hard to offend me.
 

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#30
The problem with selling a fixer-upper is that most people just don't have the vision to see potential. They only see what is there, not what it could be with a little work. This just means that out of 100% of buyers only 5 or 10% would be interested. This is not really a problem when you're dealing with a pool of hundreds of potential buyers, but in small towns and more remote suburbs where only 10 buyers would consider it, you only have one person interested.
 

Voodoo

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The problem with selling a fixer-upper is that most people just don't have the vision to see potential. They only see what is there, not what it could be with a little work. This just means that out of 100% of buyers only 5 or 10% would be interested. This is not really a problem when you're dealing with a pool of hundreds of potential buyers, but in small towns and more remote suburbs where only 10 buyers would consider it, you only have one person interested.
That's true but it only takes one person to buy a house. Much harder to price houses in these areas. I LOVE a house with some really old shag carpeting. That's what I'm looking for to buy a house. Of course, not because I want shag carpet but that house could be the best buy in the area.
 

BigJim#1-8

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#32
That's true but it only takes one person to buy a house. Much harder to price houses in these areas. I LOVE a house with some really old shag carpeting. That's what I'm looking for to buy a house. Of course, not because I want shag carpet but that house could be the best buy in the area.
Shag carpet also could mean best built, most recently built houses you can throw a dead cat through the walls.
 

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#33
Shag carpet also could mean best built, most recently built houses you can throw a dead cat through the walls.
It could also mean everything needs updating, at the least (shag carpet means 60's/70's). Remodeling/restoration is twice the work as new construction, in my experience, and I bid accordingly.
 

Voodoo

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Shag carpet also could mean best built, most recently built houses you can throw a dead cat through the walls.
Yes, I love the large brick ranch houses from the 1960's. Original carpeting means great price. Most of those are built like a rock. Not sure what the economics caused that but we have seen many things change around that time frame so it wouldn't surprise me if quality in general declined ever sense.
 

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#35
Yes, I love the large brick ranch houses from the 1960's. Original carpeting means great price. Most of those are built like a rock. Not sure what the economics caused that but we have seen many things change around that time frame so it wouldn't surprise me if quality in general declined ever sense.
My folks built a brick ranch style in the early 60's, no sheet goods, all solid wood - roof decking, diagonal 1x6 siding under the Chicago used brick. They spent 25k and the house payment was $130 a month. My 95 year old dad still lives there.
 

BigJim#1-8

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Shag carpet also could mean best built, most recently built houses you can throw a dead cat through the walls.
I must post a disclaimer. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new construction house built by Wanka or his Dad. There are other craftsman on this forum who are great also.
 

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This thread demonstrates the importance of many of the players in real estate market. Many parts generate negative thoughts and feelings but all at times provide needed abilities to the whole..

Agents- honestly most here feel agents are not needed, manipulate and steer clients and deals. If you are in a lifer in a small market, paid your dues and have enough deals behind you agents may not be needed. Amazing though what a good agent can add to the process. First timers or newbies to an area can get burnt far beyond a commission... making agent value beyond measure. I pay a commission even in my own market!

Flippers- again often viewed as profit taking middle men, their focus on short sales and derelict properties is vital to the health of the whole. they have the ability to finance and tackle repairs, bring homes back from the edge... I have some great ones and some not so great, but they have their place!

Lenders of all sorts... it all starts and stops with OPM, and the conduit to it are great lenders. Think high or low of them, good ones make or break a lot of deals... often times the profit is in the financing

Attorneys.. depending on your state their role can vary, but nothing can ruin your day like finding out you have bad title.. have several and all have kept this butt from burning more than once..

Contractors in all shapes and sizes, some that tear stuff down, build it up, pour it, hammer it, plumb it, spark it, cool it, window it, roof it, sparkle it, door it, floor it, counter top it, cabinet it, polish it or sometimes just don't show up it. I always pay them, but sometimes not until la week after the job is done

These and dozen others are my current tools of trade, I use them just like when I had a pouch with my trusty Klien linemans, strippers, wiggy, 33+, in it. I maintain them all and treat them with the respect they deserve and it serves me well my clients get first rate service at a fair price. Which is about all you can ask for in this crazy world
 

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#38
My folks built a brick ranch style in the early 60's, no sheet goods, all solid wood - roof decking, diagonal 1x6 siding under the Chicago used brick. They spent 25k and the house payment was $130 a month. My 95 year old dad still lives there.
My dad built ours when I was a kid. 40'x40' square with 50' tall dome ceiling, all underground, 2ft thick concrete and steel frame. Lost it to the bank when I was in high school.... Its still standing from last I saw a few years ago.
 

dacrunch

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#39
Once again - no one else is willing to do the heavy lifting...so here I go...

You should burn it down. Penny in the fusebox...or something...

If we are in a deflationary collapse (which some believe is coming soon)...well - there you go...

/sarc

I am joking...

Really...
When I bought my first "fixer-upper" back in the early '80's, my electrician asked me if I wanted him to arrange some "Jewish Lightning"... Perhaps I should have listened to him then built new further away from the road... ;)
 

Silver

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#40
My dad built ours when I was a kid. 40'x40' square with 50' tall dome ceiling, all underground, 2ft thick concrete and steel frame. Lost it to the bank when I was in high school.... Its still standing from last I saw a few years ago.
Wow, 50' tall dome ceiling - that's a skyscraper! With 2' thick concrete and steel frame, it should be standing for centuries.