Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Henry A. Darling House Is Now Back On The Market!

She seems friendly.
There is a difference this time, however. The Realtor, Ms. Reni Rose, isn't calling it the Henry A. Darling home any longer. That name has been entirely expunged from the offering. Like it never even existed. Perhaps this is an attempt to downgrade the historic importance of the home? Deprive it of any anthropomorphic characteristics? Making it more demolition accessible?

I mean, how can you demo something with such a distinguished name as Henry A. Darling? Better to just make that go away. After all, giving an historic home an important name does lend it a level of significance that it might not have had previously. All that said, I personally think she could have at least called it Hank. Everything and body needs a name. Oh, and Reni also took away Hank's birthday, which is 1907. I sense an agenda here. Do you as well?

Here is the new 2015 description of this house (link).


Perhaps you have also noticed a new detail that wasn't mentioned in the previous prospectus. The lot size. At nearly half an acre this version literally screams "split me!" Or at least it might to the next couple of blithe innocents that show up in town thinking they've just found their potential dream home site. To be accomplished by lot splitting and bulldozing their way to a cost covered McMansion nirvana.

Compare the above verbiage with the Realtor description the last time Hank was on the market.

The Henry A. Darling House. This home exudes a kind of permanence and sense of place that can only be earned. On nearly half an acre this historic 3Bed/2Bath Craftsman style residence is located on one of Sierra Madre's most desirable streets. A full-width front porch, wood siding, and clipped gable roof announce the character of this Arts & Crafts period home. Original features continue on the interior with an impressive river rock fireplace, oak floors, built-ins, and wood wainscoting with plate rail. Beautiful wood windows look out onto lush greenery from every room, enhancing the relaxed Southern California feel of this home. Extensive intact period features make this home the perfect restoration project. The rear garden is planted with specimen plants and mature foliage creating a private and unique outdoor environment.

Certainly no more "exudes a kind of permanence and sense of place that can only be earned" this time around. Or "perfect restoration project" for that matter. No sirree Bob. And yes, do speak with City Staff. And maybe The Tattler and its readers as well. As you know, Hank is officially under blog protection.

"Hank"

For your further understanding, here is the recent troubled sales history of Hank.


It does appear that Hank has been on and off the market a couple of times lately. What I've heard is that the current owners are now trying to sell the place because they ran into some planning approval difficulties. Perhaps you've heard that as well. Something that has led them to believe that perhaps Sierra Madre is not quite right for them.

Which is sad. We were all looking forward to getting to know them.

Unfortunately, there is also this.


We all show disappointment in different ways.

Tonight is the Mayor's "State of the City" Address

The City of Sierra Madre is hosting the 2015 State of the City on Thursday, March 12, 2015. The event will be held in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. The event begins at 6:30 pm. Come learn about the current topics pertaining to the City including current city finances and upcoming projects. This year’s event features a short musical performance by St. Rita School students and Presentation of Colors by Brownie Troop 15161 and Cadette Troop 5361. Light refreshments and beverages will be served. 

For more information please contact the City of Sierra Madre at 626-355-7135. Location City Hall, Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre, CA 91024

It is good that this yearly event is being held at City Hall this year, and at an hour accessible to the working man and woman. Traditionally this has been the time and place for the person running the government of the City of Sierra Madre to speak with great solemnity about the City's finances, and then darkly warn of the consequences should the residents not cough up some additional tax revenue.

I guess we'll have to wait and see if that storied tradition holds.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

89 comments:

  1. Oh Mod, you have given me a 5 am belly laugh when stating "We all show disappointment in different ways." Too funny!
    Then I see the unfortunate word, LITIGATION. Could we collectively all say, Shame on you Ms. Brown?

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    1. Somehow Mrs. Brown and Sierra Madre got off on the wrong foot. It is a shame it has come to so difficult an ending.

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    2. Its hard to know what the tactic is now being pursued by the Browns. On the one hand they are threatening to sue the city. On the other hand, they now put it up for sale. Maybe they want to determine their damages. Maybe they should sue Reni Rose for not disclosing the true condition of the property. She also needs to disclose that if a buyer wants to tear it down, there are alot of state and government rules that will prevent that from happening regardless of whether this house is on Sierra Madre's designated list. Reni Rose is in a bit of a pickel on this one. She has expunged the words "Henry A. Darling House" from her listing so its clear she's trying to diminish the historical significance of the property. She is focusing on lot size which means she's pushing lot split and demolition. She's going to find herself in a real mess unless she is very careful here. There is going to be a huge outcry if anything happens to that house.

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    3. Rene is walking a very fine line here. She sold them the house. Who knows what she told them. Usually agents are always part of the lawsuit. Now she's selling the house. What does she tell prospective buyers now. She has removed the reference to the "Henry A. Darling" house. We need to all keep an eye on this one. Something smells fishy in Denmark.

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    4. I hope Reni's professional liability insurance policy is paid up.

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    5. If the house is as bad as Judy Brown represented to the City Council, people may need a hard hat to view the property.

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    6. The Brown's were pretty agressive people. No offense, but I would not want them as my neighbors.

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    7. I'm now very suspicious when they excise the "Henry A. Darling" house from the selling points. Only the Tattler would pick up that nuance. Thank goodness for the Tattler.

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    8. I guess these people are now marketing the HAD House to a different kind of buyer. Not the kind we want I fear.

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    9. How can such model residents as the Browns try to sell something taht isn't safe. LMAO.
      But remember , they L O V E Sierra Madre.

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    10. Is Ms. Rose now going to disclose all the bad things the Browns said about the house i.e. that's is unsafe and hazerdous and all that baloney. I say good riddance.

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    11. The people at City Hall know the real story of what the Brown intentions were and it wasn't just a couple of naive people buying their first home.

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  2. a "state of the city" speech at city hall complete with music from the mayor's mom's school. at least Nancy Walsh spared us this dog and pony show when she was mayor. Want to take bets on how long it takes before Harabedian laments that the UUT tax rate is going to drop and bad things will begin to happen? Will he mention the additional monies in reserve (per the CAFR report from the last meeting). Will he tell us, truthfully how much additional revenue came into the city from the water rate increases, or all the money from increased property tax? No, he will focus on the drought, the imperiled library, and his new PUBLIC SAFETY Commission.
    Up next as mayor, John Capoccia.

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    1. So Harabedian has selected a private school, instead of our local PUBLIC school, to come in to perform for the State of the City Address? Harabedian hates public schools.

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    2. Harabedian never attended public school K-12. Probably explains why he supported Torres.

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    3. Harabedian belongs to Larry Wilson's "Wine & Brie 4 Change" club.

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    4. Ah yes. The Rusnak Rebels.

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    5. White Leather Interior Warriors 4 Demonstrable Societal Change.

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    6. Can't we all just get along?
      ~ the late Rodney King

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    7. Sorry, too late.

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    8. Beemers to the Barricades!

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    9. “Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry”

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  3. Now is the time for all those on this blog to step up and put their money where their mouth was and buy the house and save it and restore it

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    1. Can you host a bake sale?

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    2. 6:08 used to be bitter, but she's over it.

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    3. You always have to be aware of the potential for relapse.

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    4. Ain't no sunshine when she's gone.

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    5. Act Naturally

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    6. I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better (When You're Gone)

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    7. 6:08 or maybe Judy Brown wants us to buy it now. Don't worry, there will be a good buyer for this property who will restore this home to its former glory.

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  4. 21,337 ft lot, less than half an acre, and the water meter moratorium is still in place. Lots to east and west are half this size hence the greed of lot splitting and resource consumption be dammed.

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  5. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

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    1. I don't think that Reni Rose lives in Sierra Madre. So what does she care what happens to that house or whether it has any historical meaning to Sierra Madre.. She focused on making some money.

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    2. I just don't like realtors particularly when they make money at the community's expense. As long as they get a commission, they don't care what they sell. They would sell Lizzy's Tavern if you let them.

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  6. Blaming Reni Rose for what her client wants printed is wrong. It is obvious the Browns don't like out town and never had intended in preserving Henry's darling little house. Maybe they will do their homework before they buy their next home. We can only hope they don't buy in Sierra Madre, a town we are all trying to preserve.

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    1. Not sure Reni is being blamed for anything outside of muting the focus of the HAD's virtues. At least she is warning her potential clients this time about what they might face should they go the demo and split route.

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    2. How do we make sure this beautiful home is not sold to anyone that wants to demolish it? Preserve Sierra Madre have any ideas?

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    3. It appears the foucs is now on the size of the lot. I too love it that "Henry A. Darling" House has been expunged. I've noticed how Reni Rose has been absolutely silent on everything. If the Browns were telling the truth that they neve intended to split the lot or bulldoze the house, I would have called their agent, Reni Rose, as a witness to say what their intentions were. Never happened. The Browns also said the house so dangerous and unsafe that it had to be torn down. What happend with that? I don't see that in the description anywhere. I also have to ask why no realtors speak out in support of preserving this town. Judy Webb Martin did at one meeting. Reni Rose has never said a word. Its called wanting to profit by the towns destruction. None of these realtors care about what happens to this town.

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    4. Reni Rose is probably pushing for the demolition. I wish I had a tape recorder to hear what she tells prospective buyers. She's probably worried about a lawsuit herself from her own client. She wants to get out of this thing as fast as possible and if it means the Henry A. Darling House gets torn down, so be it.

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    5. Usually when you sell a house like this, you would say its the "Henry A. Darling House". The fact that its now been removed does suggest a new gameplan with ominous consequences for this house. I'd like to know how Reni Rose is pushing this and what she's telling people about it.

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    6. Reni is stuck between a lot split and a hard place.

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    7. It's like when you want to sell the family pet pig Peggy to the butcher so you'll have some extra cash for bingo. You don't tell the butcher the pig's name is Peggy.

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    8. The current owners have booked Hank into hospice.

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    9. Neil the Pig is spinning in his sty.

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    10. Well you do have to question Reni's judgment. When Podley Realtors didn't want Carol Canterbury in their office anymore, Reni Rose took her in. Quite a liability if you ask me.

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    11. I'd really like to know what Reni is now telling buyers about this house. If the house is in the condition that the Brown's said its in, then its unsafe to even open the front door. My guess is that all the way through this, the Browns were not being forthright and Reni just kept her mouth shut.

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    12. 8:07 - why did you have to bring Peggy into this?

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    13. Peggy only had 3 legs. "You can't eat a pig this good all at one time."

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    14. That makes her a tri-hog.

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  7. The one thing I've always loved about the state of the city address is always how they say it doesn't cost the city anything. Except for lights, HVAC, staff time, building use, advertising, flyers, etc, etc.

    This original Joe Mosca idea needs to go away.

    Drinking game key phrases:
    Full Service City
    Local Control
    Property Taxes Not Enough
    Costs Continue to Increase But Revenues Do Not

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    1. Attract & Retain Quality Staff

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    2. When does that start?

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  8. Hank needs a publicity agent.

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  9. Does anyone know who Henry A. Darling actually was?

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    1. A charming former resident?

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    2. An unknown fact is that his real name was Henry The Darling.

      He changed it after it was discovered he wasn't the only darling in town.

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    3. I don't care who he is. When a house has a name, it shouldn't be demolished. That's why Realtor Rose is marketing without a name. Too bad, though the cat is out of the bag. People will now come from far and wide to see the Henry A. Darling House.

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  10. I wonder just what the Browns want in their lawsuit - to force the city to et them demolish the house, or to make the city pay them for it?

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    1. Whichever enriches the Browns the most. They don't give a rat's you-know-what about Sierra Madre or preservation.

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    2. It is a revenge suit. They're angry as only the excessively entitled can be.

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    3. I am certain the Browns were fed a lot of BS when they walked into this mess. But none of that came from the city.

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    4. I don't think they were fooled about anything. Remember that in public comment Mr. Brown claimed that they had bought and renovated at last one historic structure before.

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    5. If the realtors misled the Browns, then they are on the hook. Disclose, Disclose, Disclose. Reni better hope this home doesn't sell at a fire sale price. She made the money when they bought it and she'll make more money when they sell it. She comes out of it smelling like a Rose - excuse the pun.

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  11. Realtor Rose is looking happy because she made her money anyway - and she'll make more when the house sells again. The Browns' architect, ex-planning commissioner Vandevelde, may not have been so lucky. Would he have been paid for work done so far? He's not the first planning commissioner to use what he's learned for personal enrichment, but he's going after it in a big way.

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  12. Open House at the Henry A. Darling house this Sat and Sun. Time? I missed that on the way home (I pass this area several times a day). Maybe it is on line.

    Anyway, anyone who values Sierra Madre's history and pleasant in-tact neibhborhoods should take a look at the house 4 doors up to the west. Beautifully restoration of a spacious historic house and lot with mature trees that has been underway for several years.

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  13. http://www.trulia.com/property/3191994935-126-E-Mira-Monte-Ave-Sierra-Madre-CA-91024

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    1. I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities for people to see this home. Reni Rose always overprices her listings and they stay on the market forever. This is so she can beat out her competition.

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    2. Its a common agent strategery.

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  14. Ahhhhhhh! I want this house! I wanted it when it was first on the market, and I want it now. Finances however may not allow it. If there is an open house this weekend, I am all over it.

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  15. I'm sure Reni Rose is selling this house for no commission to the Browns.

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    1. As a gesture of kindness?
      You really think so?

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    2. She's doing it to prevent a lawsuit. She would be pulled into any lawsuit for misrepresenting what they can do with the house.

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    3. To 2:36 PM-I once owned a house built in 1907. It was on a raised foundation. This house went through several major earthquakes with little or no damage. The bulk of the house was redwood. The electricity had been changed along the way with no tearing out of walls. They fed the lines through holes in the wall that were not difficult to patch. As for plumbing, much of it was original. and was replaced from time to time over the years. The sewer line needed to be replaced. It had been the original. A/C was not done. We used units as well as ceiling fans. My daughter and I stripped the entire outside to bare wood. I then had it painted as the painted ladies are in San Francisco. All and all even to replace some of the wood siding, was not prohibitive. It was a labor of love. I was much younger then and that helps. The Sierra Madre house needs work. But what you put into it is going to determine the cost. The kitchen can be updated easily. If you want to change the inside totally by updating everything by todays standards, why buy this house? It calls for simple. So you live without air conditioning. I know, bummer. But so it goes. The joy of repairing something that is beautifully made is irreplaceable. There is nothing in that house that can't be fixed. What a showpiece it could be!

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    4. Thank you for that great post 6:16.

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  16. Check out the Trulia listing's photos. Back and side exterior needs some paint. No doubt the foundation is original and the Brown's families extravagant additional coulld not go up without vast retrofit of the old foundation. If it comes with the 1940's kitchen range in the photo--that is a big ticket item if you go out to buy one from the vintage appliance store.

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  17. The house probably has all original electric, which is a fire waiting to happen. Probably has an original electrical box, and a 100 amp drop. Which means petitioning Edison for a 200 amp drop, which means Edison won't let you do it unless you fix all electrical on the property. Which promptly will cost you 40-60k. If the foundation needs work, that's another 40-100k. If the fireplace isn't sound, that's another 40-80k. If you go that far you're going to want to put in real A.C. For an old house? 15k to figure out how to get it in and make it look decent (where do you put central A.C?). But now what about old plumbing? Really you'd prefer to put all this new electric through the walls (and new plumbing), which means ripping out everything to the studs.

    And all the bathrooms and the kitchen is dated. And if the electric is old, that means the walls all need to be ripped out in there to get electric in to handle modern loads (like a hairdryer and a microwave).

    And so on and so on.

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    1. So, another million to fix it up, then sell it for a good profit and everyone will be happy.

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    2. http://www.hgtv.com/shows/rehab-addict

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    3. I think 2:36 went for the worst possible case scenario. The place has been a rental property for years and tenants have lived there. I'll bet they were able to use microwaves.

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    4. These houses are built pretty well. They just need a little updating and it needs the right buyer who can live with the old Craftsman quirks.

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    5. Gee 2:36 you seem awfully pessimistic about things, These houses were built to last. Sure it needs some updating but the bones are great. They don't build houses like this any more. That's why people love to restore them. Quit the doom and gloom already.

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    6. Maybe that 8.0 earthquake will happen this year, knock that house off its already busted so-called foundation and all this yammering will stop.

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    7. I think it is safe to say that you will be the only person around made happy by an 8.0 earthquake.

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    8. When we bought our Sierra Madre house, it had the old fuse box, no proper panel. We had an electrician come out and install a new panel, move it because the fuse box location did not meet code, put a proper pole on the house for the wires coming from Edison, and then installed a second sub-panel in the garage and ran all the drops for that. Even added an outdoor electric run to power our pond. We did not need to update any inside wiring, just rerun some stuff to the new panel location. Wiring inside the walls was not touched as far as I know. Edison ran the new drop no problem. Total cost was around $5000. I think it was around $3500 for just the main panel and drop from Edison. No idea where 2:36 is getting pricing from.

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    9. 2.36 is a potential buyer ,trying to scare off her competitors? What fun!

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  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  19. If the owners were sophisticated (said they'd done an earlier renovation project) that shows the intent was to knock it down for the get go.

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  20. Open House for Sat/Sun does not give a time. Yet. I saw several cars stopping and looking at it today. Thought it might be the realtor's run through, but the front door was only opened earlier when a couple of guys were on the front porch.

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  21. Well, there you just heard it. UUT #3 is on the way.

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