Cabin Day #1 – My Side of the Mountain

cabin day 1
slc

You may remember I put a contract on a “fixer upper” cabin in early August.  These past few weeks I have read various library books about cabins.  Building, designing and living life in a cabin.  My favorite title was Cabin Porn, Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere by Steven Leckart, but one of the most interesting I read was Cabin Lessons, A Nail-by-Nail Tale by Spike Carlsen.

I have also contacted a credit union for a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) loan, the county building department about future building permits, a structural engineer for an Improvement Location Certificate (ILC), a stone mason to look at the condition of the stone fireplace and foundation, and an asbestos testing company which took 20 samples (one positive).  In between making these contacts, I read extensive government documents regarding fire mitigation, asbestos testing requirements and demolition guidelines.

On September 5th I closed on the HELOC loan and on September 8th I closed on the cabin property.  It was a childhood dream to live in a cabin in the mountains some day.  Ever since reading one of my favorite books My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.  That day has come.

Today, I drove about 40 minutes from my home in Loveland up to the property in Glen Haven to begin work on my “fixer upper.”  Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly what I dreamed of…

I was a little out of breath in the video from cutting and hauling tree limbs to the slash pile for almost four hours at 7400 feet above sea level.  I also didn’t have cell service to call anyone for help.  More cabin updates to come…

 

“Adventure is out there”

I watched the wonderful Disney Pixar movie “UP” for the first time Saturday evening with my three grandchildren. They picked it out.  It is a touching love story about dreams and adventures.  Part way through my almost four-year-old grandson Dylan looked up at me and sweetly said, “I hope you never die Nannie.”  I hugged him and reassured him by saying, “I don’t plan to anytime soon.”

If you haven’t seen this animated movie, here is a preview of the love story that begins the adventure.  Losing a spouse is sad, but life and adventure goes on.  It is an inspirational movie.  (Note:  The book title in English reads: My Adventure Book.)

If you have seen the movie, please leave me a comment with your thoughts.

“Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?”

Joanna and Chip Gaines begin their hit show Fixer Upper on HGTV each week with that question.  I love their show and others which depict people taking on a fixer upper property and making it into something wonderful.  You might say I’m addicted!

taking on a fixer upper
Photo by slc

So, to answer the question, “Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?”  My answer is yes, I do!  This week I successfully negotiated a contract on a fixer upper in the mountains about 40 minutes from my home.

The original cabin with a stone fireplace was built in 1938.  It is a one room structure built on a stone foundation.  In 1989, former owners crudely built an attached two-story addition to the cabin.  This addition was not permitted and later deteriorated beyond livability.  The cabin has electricity but no running water or septic.  It has a primitive outhouse up the hill for the owner’s convenience.

So why am I buying this property?

First, I can afford it and it is a good investment.  The property was listed “as is” for $98,900.  I offered $85,000 and the sellers accepted.  Other fixer uppers we have looked at have been listed around $200,000 with major work needed. Mountain properties in the area typically go for $120,000 and up for smaller lots and cabins.  Once I fix this property up as now planned, we could probably list it for over $200,000.  The financial risk of taking on a fixer upper at this price is fairly minimal.

Second, it could become a source of income.  I am hopeful demolition, rebuilding and restoration will be completed by about August 1st next year.  At that time, I would like to offer it as a Vacation Rental By Owner, VRBO.  The property is near the Estes Park area and I would market it to people who are looking for a quiet place in the woods for their short-term stay.

taking on a fixer upper
photo by slc

Next, the thought of being the general contractor on this project is exciting.  I have already learned a lot from visiting with the planners at the county building department, a structural engineer and visiting websites on codes, permits and even sealed vaults for septic.   Designing the new structure will probably be my favorite part of the process.  I have already drawn a rough sketch of the proposed layout of the new addition.  Fun stuff!

Lastly, I have always (since about seventh grade) wanted a home in the woods.  Since moving to Colorado over 20 years ago I have wanted a  cabin in the mountains.  Since I have a passion for taking on a fixer upper and I have always wanted a cabin in the woods, this one is a pretty good fit.

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Looking for a free daily devotional?

I came across this free downloadable daily devotional today and thought I would share it with you.  It is from Hope-Full Living, Daily Devotions for Christian Seniors.  I think would be great for those seniors who can not attend church.

daily devotional

Peggy Whitson’s age and experience graces the “magic of space” again

Rocket Woman Peggy Whitson Breaks Records | AARP
Published on Nov 16, 2016

“At age 56, NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson has spent more time in space than any woman in NASA history. Her career has a long list of accomplishments, but she’s about to add one more. On November 17, she’ll become the first woman to command the International Space Station twice! Follow her journey aboard the International Space Station here: http://go.nasa.gov/2fuZ7Pt

Want to know more like I did then read on and watch the following video?  Turns out Peggy and I both grew up in rural Iowa, we are close to the same age and we both love gardening!  Who knew?

Astronaut Peggy Whitson:  From Chicken Entrepreneur to Space Station Commander Video

By Steve Spaleta |

“The NASA astronaut has lived the American Dream, starting back when she was selling chickens to make enough money to pay for a pilot’s license. Now she is set to launch to the International Space Station for her 3rd tour of duty. Whitson explains five things you didn’t know about her in this video from NASA Johnson Space Center.”

Click on Peggy’s picture here to view the video:
Peggy Whitson, www.space.com
Peggy Whitson, www.space.com

credit : NASA Johnson Space Center

Rockers prove you’re never “Too Old to Rock ‘N’ Roll”

Rolling Stones perform Desert Trip
rollingstone.com

On October 7th, legendary rockers Mick Jagger (73) with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan (75) kicked off a three-day music festival, The Desert Trip, in California. Saturday featured Paul McCartney (74) and Neil Young (70).  Roger Waters (73) from Pink Floyd and The Who (Roger Daltrey, 72 and Pete Townsend, 71) played on Sunday. Rolling Stone magazine writer Steve Appleford reported the “festival’s unprecedented musical summit…is a gathering of historic headliners with rich catalogs of hits and groundbreaking work that has influenced several generations of music-makers. All the players at Desert Trip remain among the top live acts, despite time and age that have left many of their contemporaries behind.”  Read more

“‘Tonight we’re not going to do any age jokes or anything, OK? Welcome to the Palm Springs retirement home for gentle English musicians,’ Jagger joked early on of the fest that has been called ‘Oldchella’ and worse. He was prepared to prove otherwise.”

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One of my favorite inspirational songs…

When I first heard this song, I wrote it down because I wanted to share it with you.  I thought it was so inspirational, especially during my first year of retirement when I didn’t feel I had a purpose any more.  I hope you find encouragement, grace and peace through these words as I did.  To God be the glory. Enjoy…

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey
Video Source: YouTube.com

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