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Our Family Album - Andiron Estates

(Last Mod: 04 November 2010 18:14:51)

13199 Andiron Way

Larkspur, CO  80118-6612

An andiron, also known as a firedog, is a horizontal bar used in a fireplace, usually in pairs, to support a log while it is burning.

It is pronounced "AND-i-ron" just as if it were the two words "and" and "iron" run together. The emphasis is on the first syllable and a soft emphasis is placed on the second. Many people seem to want to put pronounce it like "AN-durr-on", usually with a soft emphasis on the third syllable. This is wrong.


I have always wanted to live in the mountains, but I also hate long commutes. Short of waiting until I retire or finding a profession where I can truly work from home, the only option of satisfying both desires lies in finding a home in the infamous "urban-wildland interface." While a number of such places exist within short commuting distances of northern Colorado Springs, they are all extremely pricey. When I first moved to the Springs in 1995 I tried to find someplace and discovered that I needed to go way out west past Florisant before I could find anything in my price range.

Then along came the real estate bust of 2008. Prices in Colorado did not drop nearly as much as in other parts of the country, largely because they didn't go up at ridiculous rates in the years prior. I wasn't looking to buy a house since I was rather content to be living in a house that I had worked very hard to pay off and living debt free has a lot of advantages. But then I saw a flyer at the Chapel Hills Mall for a house that really caught my eye. It was a large house -- about 3000 square feet -- on roughly three acres of land. It also was located not too far away - in fact the commute to the Cadet Area at the Air Force Academy is only about six miles further than from the house on Dublin. The price when I first saw it was $328,000. That was too high for me to take seriously -- I figured I couldn't get serious about anything much above $250,000. A couple weeks later I saw an updated flyer for $308k. I told myself that if it came down below $300k that I would look into it. A couple weeks later the flyer was for $299k, so I drove up to the house to see if from the outside and liked what I saw. So then I called the real estate agent and asked some questions.

As it turned out, the timing was such that Phoebe and I were arranging for her and Stacy to come visit for a few days at the end of August, so I held off scheduling a visit until they were here and we could go see it together. That went well. Phoebe was a bit concerned about the road conditions in the winter -- and rightfully so -- but otherwise seemed to like the place. I went ahead and negotiated with the owner and we settled on a price of $285k. I probably could have worked it down some, but I think I got a reasonable price. The sale closed on 26 Sep 08 and since then it has been a very slow process of moving from Dublin to Andiron. The plan is to get the house on Dublin fixed up enough to rent out for the next couple of years and then sell it. This will hopefully let me ride out the market downturn and sell the place well into the recovery.

The place is significantly larger than the house on Dublin. The county records indicate that the property is 2.63 acres and that the house, built in 1997, has a total square footage of 2898 square feet, but I can't tell if that includes the finished basement which is listed as being 658 square feet. So the "official" size could be either 2900 or 3550. A reasonably careful measurement shows it to be about 3200 square feet, right in the middle of the other two. Since Dublin is 1670 square feet, Andiron is right about twice as large -- though I must admit it doesn't seem like it.

As was the case when I moved into the house on Dublin, I have a wish list of improvements I would like to make to this house. I'm sure that, like Dublin, none of them will ever happen. But who knows?