The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Google Blogsearch and Devil Queen Updates

This is interesting, Google has a new search engine exclusively for blogs. CNN ran this story about it.

We've had some interest in our little, blue monkey-house this week. Unfortunately, everyone interested in buying it is also interested in owner financing. The whole idea of owner financing makes me twitch. My fear is some bottom-feeder moves in, trashes the house, never pays the mortgage, and I waste a lot of time and money evicting them from a house that I no longer need or want.

Our contractor is running behind on his last project. We have had rain for the first time in over a month this week. I imagine it's slowing him down. He should start Friday or next Monday. Either is fine with me. Really, it has worked out for the best. We're still trying to get enough money to finish the Queen. My wife is going to another meeting (?) today about the financing, but I have no idea what's up. I'm almost afraid to ask.

Lately, I have found myself rereading some of T.S. Eliot's poems in the 3 minutes or so that to myself during the day. In college I liked the Wasteland best, but, as I've gotten older, I find myself identifying more with The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

"I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid."

6 Comments:

Blogger Patricia W said...

My house just went on the market this week (I was running a little behind). I can't stand the idea of paying the mortgage on it waiting for it to sell when that money could be going into getting this house in shape. Rumor has it houses in my old neighborhood should go fast but who knows? There aren't any guarantees.

I bought my last house through a non-qualifying assumable mortgage as my credit was in bad shape. I paid 5k down and assumed the mortage. It was my understanding that if within five years I faulted, the PO's would get the house back if they made up the missed payments or something like that. That sounds very unattractive to me because I would be worried about the same thing you are; deadbeat homeowners. I think if you make the downpayment large enough, you get rid of the no-good-nicks. I wish you all the luck in the world in getting your old homestead sold.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Brad Bachelor said...

I don't know, owner financing may not be that bad. I had a buddy who did that and the guy ended up being a deadbeat and trashed the house. He ended up fixing it up and getting the guy evicted. In the mean time, the guy paid on it for two years so my buddy had that money coming in. the drywall and paint to fix it up was cheap and the cost to evict didn't end up being that much (around $1000 I think).
The point is is the guy paid $500/mo for two years, my friend got his house back, and for $1500-$2000 he was able to sell it again for full price.
Not bad if you want to put up with the hassle.

2:46 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

You can do a land contract with a hefty down payment and balloon it in 2 - 5 years. This means the buyer has 2 - 5 years to get a mortgage. You can collect interest in their payment just like a mortgage company does.
A land contract makes the buyer responsible for the property and they are legally the owners though you hold the deed until they pay you off. It also puts the real estate taxes straight and makes them resposible for them by the nature of the transaction though you are still the deed holder. If they default, the house has to be sold. You would be entitled to the balance owed. Make sure the down payment will pay your mortgage on the place for a year and subsequent payments keep it paid up in advance so that in the worst case scenario you have a year before your mortgage company forces a forclosure. They may also be able to assume your existing mortgage pending a credit check after 2 years if they get their credit on track, thus relieving you of the debt. Now, here is a little known tidbit of info. If you can get 20% of equity out of the new buyer and you trust them, you can sign the deed over to them but add in the description "excepting for a mortgage owed to ..... for $xxxxx.00". They could then get a home equity loan (no internal inspections!) and you would be paid off after the first mortgage of course. This is how we acquired the "Crackhouse" after 2 years when a normal mortgage was not attainable because the place was "Not habitable" by the inspectors' standards. Our situations are very similar. Two houses, two mortgages, one person working, etc. I'm just older and more confident as a result (of being older). If you really need to sell the place, make the asking price the same or slightly more than you owe. You won't make out but as you say, the monkey is off your back!

6:58 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I just tried out the Google blogsearch. I think it's a great idea ... the only trouble was it turned up some stuff other than blogs. Grrr.

8:11 AM  
Blogger John said...

Gary,

We were thinking about doing what you out lined, I just didn't know it was called a land contract. Did you go throught a real estate agent or attorney for this contract, or was it something that you handled on your own?

Thanks for all the advice, it is greatly appreciated (that is for all the other commentors as well!)!

8:14 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

You can do a land contract on your own but you ought to pay or split the $150 to have a title company handle the closing. They will draw up all the papers and get the signatures etc. It will also go on record at the county you live in in case anything comes up later. There will be some other fees involved for filing but not the $000s needed at a conventional closing.

9:14 AM  

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