Showing posts with label Cypress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cypress. Show all posts

Saturday, October 1, 2016

We moved in!

The house wasn't too bad. You could probably move in, if you wanted.

But we knew there were things we'd like to do, and it's always better to do them before moving in because, who knows, you might never do them.

To make a looooooong story short, we revamped the house we moved into in Cypress, Calif., and made it a show-stopping masterpiece. We redid all the floors, painted every room, put in a new kitchen, a new bathroom, modified two bathrooms, got the electric up-to-date, painted the front door and backyard trellis and got new hardware here and there to make this place a show house.

Did we overdo it? Probably. Was it worth it? I hope so.

We have finally moved in!

It is an odd situation to buy a house in one's 40s. You've lived and learned. You're wiser. But egads, I hadn't learned yet that you always go double! It takes double the time and double the budget to do what you set out to do. We doubled down, and we're feeling good — but, oh yeah, we forgot about something called furniture.

We'll get to that. But in the meantime, it is nice to have a five bedroom, three bath home. I love the space. It's wild to actually have space in a California home. It took major hard work to 1) simply buy a house like this, and 2) renovate it as we did.

It was perversely fun to talk to three or four contractors a day, stay on top of all of them and be constantly ordering items necessary for the remodel.

We assembled a ragtag Ocean's Eleven type of crew for this project, and in my power rankings of how good of a job they did, this is them:

1) Sergio the Floor Guy, 2) Captain Nemo the Tile Man, 3) Pedro the Painter, 4) Elias the Detail Specialist, 5) Bob/Rory the Plumbers (but, man, they're too overbooked!), 6) Scott the Electrician, 7) Josh the Tile Point Man, 8) Andre the Kitchen Planner, 9) Sam the Cabinet Guy and 10) Ed the Shower Man. ... We actually had a handful of other people involved, too, but the list is getting ridiculously long, and few guys we didn't feel that great about their work and/or price.

For a lot of this ride, I felt like the Ray Liotta in the sky-is-falling scene from "Goodfellas."

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Polack's view of SoCal real estate

Goodbye, Long Beach.

For the past 18 years, I have lived in Long Beach, Calif. — a gritty, eclectic city in Los Angeles County. But those days have ended.

My home at 3390 Lees Ave. has been sold, and for the time being, I am homeless — temporarily living in a long-term hotel I like so far.

Luckily, I am in the midst of escrow to get another home, three miles from the previous one. But this one is in a different city — Cypress, Calif., in Orange County.

The move is an upgrade in many ways. The home itself is much larger. The street is much quieter. The community may have more cache. But, man, it has been an extremely difficult process to execute this move.

Without the boredom of all of the details of why this move has been so difficult, let's just leave it at this: Southern California real estate. Gotta love it (yeah, right).

Cypress — I imagine not a lot of people outside of Southern California know anything about it. Perhaps its claim to fame is that it's where Tiger Woods grew up. I'm hoping his selfish personality never rubbed off on the Cypress community. By the way, here's the house Tiger grew up in:
Regardless of this move, my identity remains entrenched with Cleveland. However, my 18 years in Long Beach rivals my Cleveland time. Once I made it to college, I never again was a full-time resident of Cleveland. But with so many formidable experiences, and important friends and family, there, I know that home will always be CLE.

Long Beach has evolved, as have I, in my 18 years there. But I must stop my lamenting, reminiscing, etc., about L.B. In fact, this whole premise of "leaving Long Beach" is a bit silly because my daughters will still be going to school there, and I will be about a mile and half from its border.

This move made me realize three main things that I would recommend to everyone for better living. I guess they're my Polish real estate tips. But, really, these tips can help any Polack improve his life ASAP:

1) Throw away stuff — as much stuff as possible — immediately, and avoid bringing crap into the house. I had been in my home for just under eight years. To me, that isn't especially long, but it was significant. I thought I tried to keep junk out of the house, but with perpetual trips to Target, I brought in way more stuff than was necessary. I felt liberated to throw stuff away. If it does not bring you joy, do not keep it.

2) Do home improvements ASAP, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. I was pretty good with this one, although my L.B. home was in excellent condition when I got it eight years ago. But I had to upkeep this place, and I added a few minor upgrades.

The couple who moved in had a legitimate "turnkey." I moved out on a Thursday. They moved in on Friday, the next day. Too often I see people do upgrades to their home just to sell it. Why not do that early so you can enjoy those upgrades?

3) Location, location, location. Yeah, that adage in real estate is totally correct. I found something fascinating in Cypress. Nearly the entire city had similar home prices, yet after seeing a boatload of homes, I could pinpoint the best homes to two tracts. Once we sold our Long Beach home, it became a waiting game to hope something came on the market in those tracts.

It's still a bit of a waiting game, as we must complete escrow before we can remodel a bit and then move in. But at least the most hectic part is over — moving all my worldly possessions, but throwing out a ton that I realized had zero street value.