We spent about six months looking for the right property in Twentynine Palms. We seriously considered two different motels, but they had zoning and code problems, making them too expensive (I'm on first name basis with the planning person at the City). When we saw the Dairy online, we initially didn't consider it because it looked so completely broken down. But those are often the interesting properties. We went out to see it, several times, and then made an offer which was eventually accepted.
When we arrived at the property for the walk through, the previous owner was still there packing, with half a dozen “friends” helping themselves to her stuff. The owner had never known another home—she lived there since childhood and is probably in her late 60s now. Her parents willed her the property, and now she and her four lame, blind, and grizzled dogs and one cat are moving into an RV (we don’t know what happened to the parrot). We are trying not to get involved.
Let’s just say, she was traumatized. As anyone would be.
But that was no excuse for not being out of the house after closing. Anna was the bad cop, refusing to let anyone inside, and Ted played the good cop, helping them load Uhauls of stuff from the patio and parking lot. And still they were not done, so we gave them three hours the next day (after that, vehicles would be impounded).
And then they were gone. Hopefully for good, although I have my doubts. These were not people who have a lot of options. And the property is basically a trash dump of all their stuff.
Below are screen shots of their photos from the real estate website. Looks enticing, right? The photographer used the hoarder's technique--no ground or floor shots:
Anna does most of the writing. Ted does most of the photos. But sometimes we switch. We are repairing a distressed property in 29 Palms, California, and eventually hope to run an artist residency there.