Cabin Notes

Longtime readers know I talk about our Cabin in Arnold, CA quite a bit. Well, I’ve just added three albums to my .Mac Gallery that may explain: Purchase, Fire, and Enjoy.

My wife actually saved the money to make the down payment on this place, and it was back in the summer of 2001 when she began looking, making innumerable trips up here, which is about a 3-hr drive. I probably came up a half-dozen times myself. Dismal. I just couldn’t stand anything. Then it was around October, I think, when the agent called us up and within 3 minutes of entering the place I was ready to go write an offer. I saw the potential immediately. We offered $12,500 more than it was listed for. Had we not, we’d have lost it to another buyer that very day. In total, it was three days on the market.

So we entered a contract, and that’s where the problems began. Turns out the seller built the house over the property line a few feet and didn’t disclose it in the contract. Long story short is that it took so long to sort out that he wanted to back out of the contract in order to re-list it for more. We had to take it to arbitration, and after a year and a half we finally got it. We made some concessions on various costs associated with the property line adjustment and he settled. Then he walked away, leaving everything.

In February of 2003, we finally got the keys. We spent the next three weekends cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. Then a week off, then two consecutive weekends where we had various friends and family up. On the sixth week of possession, after fighting for a year and a half, we closed up, went back to San Jose, and went to see a movie. I had voice mail on my cell when we came out. It was from the Arnold Fire Department. That was April of ’03, and we didn’t complete the rebuild and furnishing until Christmas, 2004. It effectively took us three years to get this place.

That’s part of why it’s so special to me. In the end, just like I endeavor to do with everything bad that happens, I try to position myself to eventually be glad for it.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.

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