Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
You'd think that having moved 9 times in the past 11 years we would be old pros, right? Unfortunately, not quite so. However, Mike did have a genius idea for this past move that I wanted to share. I only wish he would have had the idea sooner so we could have applied it to everything that was in storage too & not just in the house.
Pretty much everyone tapes the bottoms & tops of boxes when moving & then writes on the top with a marker based on what the contents of the box are, what room it will go into, etc., right? And then, as a ton of people are helping pile all these boxes into your new place, they mostly end up in one room, all piled on top of each other so you can't find that one certain box...sound familiar? Here's the solution: Buy a bunch of rolls of duck tape brand duct tape. Yes, this brand matters. They come in MANY different colors. Get one color for each room of the place you will be moving to. When you pack a box that will be going, say, to the kitchen, peel off 2 small squares of the color designated for the kitchen & place them on the SMALL ENDS of the box. Not the top or the long side...the small ends. This way you can see them more easily if you stack boxes sideways & usually fit more boxes. If you want to take the extra step of labeling the specific contents of the box, feel free. However, with as many boxes as end up with miscellaneous contents that just need to go to a specific room, this seemed (at least for us) to get them in the right place a whole lost faster. Enjoy your move!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Fast forward about 2 months. The night we finally got the key to the house was a very rainy one. I went out on the back deck & saw an absolutely beautiful, bright rainbow above the trees with the mountains covered in fall colors in the background. It was like another sign. A sign that things were finally getting better. I know they won't be perfect, but I felt like I could finally take a sigh of relief. My family is where we need to be. I have included the pictures below. Unfortunately both were taken from my cell phone and aren't the best quality, but I hope you can enjoy them anyway.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Later that morning, we got a call from another potential buyer, stating he finally had all the money together to buy & move the home. Hallelujah!! I was thrilled! So at this point, we knew we'd be moving, but not sure exactly when.
Fast forward to Tuesday night. At about 6:45 PM, I opened my front door to find a letter taped to it, stamped by a deputy or constable, stating we had 3 days to remove our family, belongings, AND home from the property or would be heading to court. Wow. First time we've ever had an eviction notice. And we ALWAYS pay on time. This time, Maria took it past the cops letting Mike go, twisted the story into a HUGE lie about her life being threatened, and was taking the power into her own hands by trying to evict us. Mike then spent most of the night looking up the legalities of evictions, discovered we had some rights to extend our stay a bit longer and fight back, but at that point, I had FINALLY hit the end of my rope emotionally. We were downright mad & the kids were totally confused & scared. I was then determined we would leave ASAP. Well, when ya have to work full time and take care of kids, 3 days is just NOT possible!
To be sure that we were still in the right, knowing she went about the eviction process incorrectly, we proceeded to put in a 30-day notice and paid the last 30 days of lot rent, doing everything involved to cover our tracks just in case. Meanwhile we worked with the buyer to speed things along as quickly as possible. As of Friday night, we had the moving truck half loaded. Mike was originally scheduled to work on Saturday, but at the last minute got it off, thankfully able to help us all day Saturday. We continued packing, loading, cleaning, and doing tear-down of the house to help out the buyer. By Sunday morning, we were outta there! Note, at this point, we still did not have any money from the buyer...going on trust being in such a hurry. Oh, I forgot to mention, we also got word that the park manager was wanting to press charges against Mike. So, we had no idea if cops would show up again or what would happen!
Now I failed to mention, in the mess of all this, I still could not stop thinking about a home I had looked at about 3 weeks earlier. Somehow we knew something was going to happen & I guess you could say we were preparing. Seems to happen that way repeatedly when we move. I believe it was that Friday, we signed papers to put an offer on a home in Brigham City, near my family's home. Thankfully, after minimal negotiations, the offer was accepted.
This is not a simple sold-moved-done situation. Nothing would surprise us. We still would not be shocked at all if the manager tries to come after us for anything. People talk about taking losses on homes because of the economy. Our loss came to over $10,000...not just based on what we could have gotten (that would be over a $15,000 loss), but over $10K directly out of my checkbook. That was a painful one to swallow, but a price we finally decided to pay for the safety and sanity of our family. We call it bail money. That was one major reason we decided to look in Box Elder county. We got a loan with $0 down because of being in a rural area, and the sellers have agreed to pay our closing costs.
My parents rushed down last weekend to help us move. On the way, my dad felt strongly impressed to write a bill for congress to basically give more rights to mobile home owners. I do not doubt the Lord's hand in this, knowing I hit the end of my rope, but that we still couldn't back down and leave all these families without help after our attorney didn't do his job. This may be a long process in the works, but hopefully with good results in the end. Thus, almost breathing. I feel like I can't fully breathe until we know this is all completely done.
This has been a truly bitter-sweet situation. The bitter has been blatantly obvious with all my recent rants. But I would be so ungrateful if I didn't find blessings among all of this. We have gained so much knowledge through this process. But most of all, we have met amazing friends & ward members along the way. We would not be the same without the experiences we have had, and for that I am grateful. We are going to miss St. George and all our friends there, but are also excited for this next chapter in our family's life.
Here are a few pictures of the house being almost ready to move, and the last a picture of the house we put an offer on.
Thank you all so much for your continued support.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Several months ago I had a guy from Connecticut contact me. It was very strange because he saw the house on the internet & right off the bat sent an offer, sight unseen. He also requested it furnished. I asked which furnishings he wanted included for me to be able to consider his offer. Pretty sure he didn't need the bunk beds & cribs, but I had to know...especially since his offer is less than what we owe on the mortgage, but we're looking to go extreme measures at this point to get out. To cut this a little shorter, this guy has hardly answered any of our questions to him and has only responded, usually with another offer, ever couple of weeks. Very flaky!!
About 2 weeks ago I had a couple look at the place. They actually own a mobile home park about 190 miles from here and were looking for homes to move to that park to rent/sell. This opportunity would be PERFECT!! This way we would be able to bypass the park manager here, not having to get an application approved!! They seemed impressed, but many have before & all disappeared. Finally about 1-1/2 weeks later, they called back wanting more information. The last few days I have been having my bank send his bank necessary information to help him hopefully get the financing.
Meanwhile, our prospect in Connecticut wrote back with a proposed potential offer for us to once again "consider". I stated that I would accept pending approval from the park and would get the necessary forms sent to him. Over the course of this week, Mike has talked to our park manager at least 4-5 times requesting that she fax a copy of the application to a number for him. (OK, so she thinks it is his, but we don't want her to have his info & convince him to go buy one of her properties, so it is a "regulated" fax number.) All she has sent at this point is a letter requesting he contact her directly to give his address and other information. I THINK NOT!!! We demanded again, and she has lied directly to us stating that she has sent it...hmm....where could it be? Oh, by the way, she refuses to just hand one to us to send him. Weird?? And this prospect once again has not responded to my emails.
So, back to the couple that looked. They are not putting a direct offer in until they know if they can get financing...fair enough. So we will continue to send whatever information they need in hopes of this working out. They actually seem serious...hallelujah!! So, as I told my mom, if you happen to be including us or would consider throwing in a few extra prayers, please don't pray for us. I know, sounds crazy, but it hasn't exactly worked yet. New plan...Please pray for Cody (potential buyer) to get approved for financing and that it will go smoothly. This would be a great opportunity for him as an investment, and a great way to get us out!!! I really don't want to leave my friends & ward down here, but I do feel we need to be closer to family and want out of the mess in this park. Hopefully this is the next step in the right direction.
For now, we'll get to work on fixing the damage from the storm & hope this will be the perfect place for someone very soon.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
As far as the "spies" go, they actually called the manager to report that my friend stopped in the empty lot driveway next to my house for a max. of 30 seconds to pick up my kids for school. She found this unacceptable and called my friend's husband to let him know it.
We have received our so-called "second notice" from the park's attorney. The first notice was received in March, 2009, and the latest August, 2010. This states we are to cease and desist doing running a business from our home. We have discussed this with the park previously that we do not run a business from our home. My husband simply has to drive his work van home because they do not have an office within hundreds of miles of our home. He is considered a "remote tech". We do not sell any products from our home or do any advertising. This also bothers us because the park rules state that we are to receive a notice from the park before any legal action will be taken. They have skipped past their own rule to go directly to their attorney.
Awhile back I mentioned our attorney not responding to our calls & having no clue where our lawsuit stands. On August 17th, I called and left a message with his answering service. No call back....not a surprise. The next day my neighbor, who is also a party in the lawsuit, sent an email to the attorney's mother....as they have discovered that is the only way to possibly get through to him. (Note, she works with her son, the attorney). The neighbor was demanding answers for those of us involved as this has gone on far too long. He even had to threaten reporting his actions to the Utah State Bar if we heard nothing. Finally, a response!!
The attorney wrote back, in short, stating he has been struggling with mental health, family, and financial issues so we might want to hire another attorney. (That would have been nice to know...oh, a year ago...before we ran up the bill!!)
Also, the courts apparently decided to move forward with at least the neighbor's injunction portion of the lawsuit. They mailed out a notice of the hearing within a week's notice, but somehow the attorney never got it and neither did the neighbors. According to the attorney, the courts should allow us to re-file based on the above mentioned circumstances with our attorney and not receiving the court notice. As a result of not showing up to court, the case was then dismissed "without prejudice".
OK, that might be fine and dandy if we hadn't already put money into hiring him. And at this point, any money I have in savings I'm debating whether to use toward hiring another attorney (with unknown results) or paying off whatever is left of my mortgage if I ever get an offer that is approved on this house, being that we are already planning to take a loss.
And by the way, still no response from the 4 news stations I have written to. I am hoping more park residents will also write, making obvious the need for assistance in this situation affecting many, many families.
So, there is the "shortened" version of it. Now we are back to square one trying to figure out what to do & where to go. Mike is working on forming a residents association as a forum where we can collectively gather information from concerned residents. Aside from that, just more reading on the state laws and decisions, decisions.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
We visited an extinct volcano about 15 miles out of town. The boys still love to collect lava rocks each time we visit. We also took them to see the outside of the St. George temple & visitors center. Always such a beautiful, peaceful place. Annie got to see the Christus statue for the first time & was in awe.
Rather than spending the money for tickets to Tuacahn, we attended the Music of the Night pre-show. There were 7 performers who sang & danced to songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The talent was amazing! Annie even smiled a bunch...especially when they were dancing. For those who don't know, Tuacahn is an outdoor amphitheater where broadway shows are performed among many other events. People come from all over to see these shows. It is only a few miles from my house & to get there you either have to pass within 1/2 block of my house or 1/2 mile on another road. So if you're ever headed to Tuacahn, drop on by to say hi. We'd love to see you!
After our visit to Tuacahn, we went hiking around Dixie Rock and another area nearby referred to by some as "Fat Man's Misery" or the narrows (but they are not the actual narrows of Zion's Park). I am still amazed by the incredible scenery we are surrounded by.
The last night of their trip we stayed home to celebrate Utah's Pioneer Day. How Pioneer Day also became a day for fireworks is still beyond me, but I like it! Good food, friends, & a fireworks show was the perfect ending to a fun-filled week with friends. Thanks Thomas family for coming to visit us. We love you guys!!
Friday, July 9, 2010
Park will approve a potential buyer for a park-owned home after denying them for a resident owned home listed for the exact same price on the same street.
Park will approve a buyer, previous resident will then purchase another home, and then buyer will then be denied, only to have previous resident in a financial mess, frequently losing at least one home to the bank, then being turned over to the park for their profit. This has happened to many families!
Manager has yelled at children living outside the park coming into the park, telling them they will be sent to juvenile detention if they are seen here again. (doing NOTHING wrong)
Manager has yelled at children for riding their bikes on the street. Note, we don't have sidewalks and are only allowed to have rocks/gravel in front yards (many surrounded by bricks to keep tidy). Where are they supposed to ride?
Residents are not allowed to add fences to their yards, but park owned homes can do this to theirs.
Residents are not allowed to rent/lease homes to others, but park owned homes are being rented out.
We have received eviction notices for having only a few weeds and also for having a few of our small rocks spill over into the gutter (easily happening when children all over the neighborhood come through the yard). Apparently I am supposed to watch this 24/7!
Manager has attempted to get a pet deposit from residents who own pets more than once after it has been already paid ($200), some only for having pets, some per pet, and not being returned when pet dies.
Neighborhood children have been ordered off the yards of other residents by the manager when they have had permission to be there by the home owner.
I gave written permission for my neighbor to park in my driveway when we were not here, but the manager put spikes in the driveway to not allow this.
Manager has offered to approve sales for resident owned homes if they will pay her several thousands, but they are again approved for park owned homes at same cost.
Previous park maintenance has damaged resident owned homes and refused to pay for repairs, but demands the residents repair them (not Shawn!!)
Management has spies in park. Manager has forbidden certain residents from speaking to me or my family. When they are seen with my family in the park, the manager is contacted.
Parks that are supposed to be for children to play on are never fully installed, leaving nowhere for children to play.
The ends of the streets are chained off, forcing fire dept. to cut through chains each time they need to get through in an emergency. This is not illegal, just quite annoying. However, if residents want to get around the corner to a nearby house still located in this neighborhood and have to go over or around chains, they will get reprimanded if caught.
Some residents are allowed to park in empty lots while others are towed or their guests' cars are towed. Our guests are expected to park at least a block away and walk to our house...which I don't feel right about when it is 105+ degrees outside! And my guests can't park on one of the next streets in the extra parking spaces and walk around because they would have to go around the chains and get in trouble for that.
As stated before, cash offers have been turned away supposedly due to "credit worthiness", but they refuse to make credit requirements known.
I was told to remove my realtor's sign, but the park was allowed to put their for sale signs up all over.
Our children are afraid to go outside to play during the hours that the manager is here. If any neighborhood kids see her car coming down the street, they all run inside the house out of fear.
I have had potential buyers request an application be faxed to them for park residency, but have been told that they are now required to apply in person so the manager knows they are the actual person with that social security # (although I can't see why they couldn't still lie in person if they really wanted to). I however was able to apply via fax. Hmm...wonder when that one changed. Other residents have admitted to not even filling out an application.
Various state licenses are required to be fulfilling the job duties they have legally. These licenses have expired, which are all public record. No one will do a thing about these either. What good is a license if no one enforces it...especially when over hundreds of families?
...and the list goes on. This doesn't even properly convey the feelings of anger, frustration, etc. felt by so many involved with this neighborhood. If you have any suggestions on how to get results, please contact me. Thank you.
If you missed the beginning of this story, you may find it by clicking HERE
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Many of you know of our current housing situation and the 8-year battle we have been fighting. Here's a quick re-cap. We listed our mobile home for sale approximately 8 years ago. The market wasn't so good at the location it was, so we shipped it South after several years to a location where we were told they were selling great! Apparently that was a complete lie by the park manager where we moved it to, just to get us there. We left it vacant for a couple years (still on the market the entire time) and then ended up moving back into it after losing a job. We have since then been doing lots of fix-ups and improvements. Frankly, I think it looks pretty darn good...especially for a mobile home!! Unfortunately, the park managers have denied nearly every buyer we have had for various excuses, none very clear to us. They have done this with many other families as well. This among a mountain of other things has made us want OUT!! We are currently involved in a lawsuit against the park owners & managers with other families to try to resolve these situations. It has even come to the point that many realtors in town refuse to even show homes for sale in the park because of not wanting to deal with the manager. Thankfully, I have an awesome agent who has bent over backward doing everything she can.
After working with an attorney for over a year now, pretty much nothing has happened. We have had promise after promise that a settlement offer & results would arrive within a few days. A year later...here we sit...same manager, same owners, no sale, etc., etc. To top it off, the attorney's office is next to impossible to get a hold of so we can't ever figure out what is happening. OK, so we are essentially suing with no consequences if they decide to flat out ignore it??? I DON'T THINK SO!!
So, I again called the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate, today seeking answers. In the Utah codes of law, it specifically states that it is illegal to unreasonably limit the sale of a home. That is OBVIOUSLY happening here. They should have answers, right? NOPE!! At least this time instead of just telling me that mobile laws are hard to understand, they said, "No state agency oversees mobile home parks." Oh, so we OWN homes but we have no rights in the state? EXCUSE ME??? I am SOOOOO DONE putting up with this crap & being denied any rights, especially when I have a stinking mortgage!!
So today I took the next step in hopes of something decent happening. I have done this in the past, but I am doing it again with the inclusion that the state is basically refusing to help. Hopefully it will matter now. I have written to Bill Gephardt, an investigative reporter at channel 2 news. If we don't hear anything from them, I will contact another news media and another until someone can help get me some answers and results. We own mobile homes for crying out loud. We don't have the money to hire another attorney just because ours isn't doing his job!! I'm sure the state would be protecting standard home owners in this case, we MUST have rights too. Please pray for results soon. Thank you.
By the way, if you would like to see the latest look of the house, Click Here
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Mark was Mike's college roommate. For many, that alone can forge a lifelong friendship, but this one goes beyond that. I believe Mark changed more than just Mike's life...he also changed mine before I even met him. He planted the seed that gave me the husband I will be blessed with for eternity. When Mark introduces people to Mike, he says, "Mike converted me back to the gospel." To which Mike responds, "And then Mark baptized me."
Almost 13 years ago, Mike was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know this may always be a controversial issue for Mike's family being catholic, but it has been such a blessing in our lives, following our beliefs together, and having the gospel in our family's life. Two years after his baptism, Mike and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple and sealed for eternity. This was only the beginning of many more blessed events. For these, I will be forever grateful to Mark.
Thank you, Mark. We love you and your beautiful family (and hope to see them again soon)
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Click here --->Oven Hot Mamas
Monday, June 21, 2010
Click HERE to see more pics of our trip!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
At the beginning of June, I went with the kids to visit my fam in Brigham. I finally had a much lighter work load to take along. It was wonderful to be able to just enjoy time with family & friends. Unfortunately, once again Mike was unable to come with us since we are saving his days off for December to go visit his family. Hopefully someday we will all be able to travel together more often. I do appreciate that he lets us go, and misses us while we are gone as we do him.
Here is our beloved B on the mountain & the view from my parent's house. I miss that place!
Grandma & Grandpa had a fun weekend planned for the boys. We rode the Frontrunner train to Salt Lake & then the Trax train around town. We went to lunch, visited the planetarium, did a little shopping, and hopped back on the train for the ride back. The kids loved it!
I took the kids, my brother Brian & a good friend of mine from high school to visit the Bird Refuge & Peach City. Most of the refuge was closed, but we got a few pictures in. Our goal this year is to visit some of the "basic" tourist spots in Utah that we have never been to.
Another night we were able to visit with a few friends in Roy. We did a little shopping & went to dinner. It was great to see them all again. (Missed pics on that leg of the trip)
Another highlight of our trip was cooking hot dogs & smores over the fire pit with some other friends.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Mike's cousin's husband was recently training for a bike race when he was struck by a car. He has bleeding and swelling of the brain, a broken shoulder, a broken wrist, and lots of scrapes and bruises. Thankfully he was wearing his helmet or they're quite certain he would have lost his life. He is making improvements, but it is a long road ahead to recovery. Please click the link below to see the impact these helmets take in an effort to save lives!
Monday, May 10, 2010
We were also able to see Mike's grandmother, mother, & one sister while we were there. Those are the pictures I have so far. I'll try to post most pictures on here soon, but this is what I have for now as my camera battery died.
Our little kickers & the little cheerleader
Dale & Darlene (Mike's mom) joined us for Easter this year & met the new granddaughter. The dress Annie is wearing is one Dale & Darlene got for her on their recent trip to Mexico. Cute, huh! Tyler has a hard time staying clean doing anything, but he did have fun!