Category Archives: Las Vegas Attractions

Housebuying Woes

One of my goals for 2010 is to buy a house.

We need to close on a house by the end of April. We started looking for a house in January.

Obviously, there is a top amount that we can afford, and that number is contingent on the HOA dues.

The homes in HOAs are usually better maintained than those that aren’t.  There isn’t always a lot of pride in ownership in Las Vegas.

We also need a home with at least three bedrooms, although four would be better, so that we have room for children (when the time comes) and my sewing room (which will be my work).

We do want a home with a yard, a decent sized kitchen, and nice sized living area.

Most of the houses for sale in Las Vegas are bank owned or short sales. There are very few houses for sale by a real person. The list price for the house that is either bank owned or a short sale is actually lower than the price the bank expects the buyer to pay, sometimes $10,000 lower.

97% of the homes we look at are bank owned.  This usually means the floors are worn and stained, the switchplates are missing, the paint is dirty (though painting is the easiest thing to fix), and many times the appliances are missing. Some of these homes are in worse condition missing cabinets and fixtures.  As I understand it, though, most homes can’t be financed if they aren’t in “livable” condition. This means it has to have a sink, stove/oven.

It seems more than 75% of the houses we are looking at are not in livable condition. 15% are in bad neighborhoods. 5% are too much. 4% are nice, but won’t work for us. 1% are just right.

The most frustrating thing that happens on the 1% that we like, is while the home is listed on the MLS, it’s not actually available.   Our realtor calls the listing agents for homes we plan to see before we go and see them.  After seeing the house our realtor calls the listing agent to find out about making an offer on the house and the listing agent apologizes that he/she didn’t have time to update the listing and the house is in contingency (or has a contract).  It seems that the listing agent should be more ethical and warn realtors that their houses are in contingency the first time we call, before we waste our time seeing the house.

The search continues as we look at 30+ houses a weekend hoping that there will be one that will be right for us.

Laughlin

The drive to Laughlin is mostly desert with very little to see, unless you count Searchlight, until you make the turn onto 163 leading to Laughlin where jagged peaks dot the scenery.
 
Scenery Along 163 into Laughlin

Scenery Along 163 into Laughlin

Laughlin is a small Vegas like strip of hotel/casinos nestled on the banks of the Colorado River just below the Davis Dam. 

Laughlin

Laughlin

 It is about 95 miles from Las Vegas.   

The attractions for those from Las Vegas are the numerous recreational water activities and a variety of restaurants offering river side dining (located in the casinos). The water is sparkling and clear. 

Caution: (1) US 95 is under construction between Searchlight and 163, with long delays; (2) temperatures are up to 10 degrees warmer  than Las Vegas year around.

Lake Mead

PC and I went to see if we could spot any wintering eagles along the shores of Lake Mead. We went during the Superbowl. No, I didn’t watch the Superbowl and I don’t even know who won, yet.

We didn’t see any eagles. Not surprising at the hottest part of the day, even if it was in the 60s.

We did see some gulls and ducks, though.

We went to Echo Bay first. The last time we were out there was at least ten years ago. The water used to come up around a point where the resort sits. We could park at the resort and walk down a short incline to the water.  The water is now about a quarter mile away. No eagles. No wildlife. Dead, silent, scary.

Then we went to Overton Beach. There were signs that the boat launch was closed due to low water. They weren’t kidding.  There was very little water at Overton Beach and it was more like a river than a lake at that point.  I thought it was interesting and PC was disappointed at how far the water is down. The area around Overton Beach is marshy, not like a lake at all. In fact, if you didn’t look South toward the lake, you would just think it was a river.

I have some pictures from Overton Beach that I’ll post, hopefully this evening, along with pictures of the drawings and watercolors I did recently. I’ll post them right after Bible study, and after I finish my watercolor homework.

New Years Eve 2008: Ringing in 2009

The fireworks show in Las Vegas this year was pathetic compared to years past. According to local media, the reason the fireworks were  pathetic was because new rules were passed requiring casinos (in this case) to submit a plan for approval before firing fireworks from the top of their building. This rule is supposedly a safety measure passed after the Monte Carlo fire in Jan. 2008. I did not research the validity of the media’s claims.

In Jan. 2008 the facade of the Monte Carlo caught fire due to sparks from a welder. Little known fact, a lot of the facades on the casinos are made from Styrofoam, very flammable, but easily replaced in case of damage. I should dig out some pictures, if I have them, of the facade of the Monte Carlo after the fire. Mercifully, the fire was rather minor despite the flames and smoke.

The trouble I have is understanding how shooting the fireworks from the ground is reducing the risk of fire, but I suppose it made sense to the lawmakers.

Las Vegas Snow Pictures

Snow Again

Las Vegas usually gets snow once a year, and maybe it sticks. If it sticks it’s usually snow we received overnight. But no more…

I love the sound of falling snow, that hushed whisper it makes, dampening all other sounds. It seems that time stands still when it snows.

It’s a week until Christmas Eve. I’m dreaming of a White Christmas, and it just might make it this year.

Snow

It snowed in Las Vegas yesterday. It did not snow at my house which is not in Las Vegas. I live in the ‘burbs. The snow level yesterday was reported at 3000′. Home is at 2400′ and work is at 1800′. My sisters were disappointed, they only received rain, like we did, and they’re also at 1800’. My in-laws are at 2600′ and they had sticking snow. We went to visit the snow, I mean our inlaws, yesterday.