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Helen, I Found Us a House for One Dollar!

It started here back in 2006 when I had been blogging only a few months. Helen and I had “met” on the internet, and somehow one day we joined forces and took up the real estate business, having lots of fun along the way and making many new friends. We focused on buying a 21 room Victorian house in New York State that was up for auction on EBay. To this moment that post gets hits every day; checked a minute ago, and it has had a total of 6,402 page views.They'll Do Anything For a Dollar House

Couple of days ago in the comment section of one of my posts, Helen (being bored, I suppose) wrote this:

Sometimes I think we get too serious, Shirley. Wanna buy another house? ;-)

This has been our exchange to this point:

Helen, I wish you would look and find us a good deal to work on. Was that not the greatest fun. I will never forget those days.

I haven’t found a house, Shirley. Will a purple grill do?

Helen, I don’t know. I sort of hate to see us going from being established Real Estate Brokers to second-hand purple grill dealers. Not sure that is a good move, not only because of individual self-esteem issues, but in consideration of the global respect and admiration we have previously acquired. I’m really busy today (important person that I am,..and all that, you know…)so I can’t commit the time that is needed at the moment, but I don’t think I’m for the purple grill business, although I must confess I did not check out the link (important, time starved person that I am…and all that, you remember…). At the least we probably should stay in the housing market, maybe a mobile home, a high line RV, or…maybe even a trailer in a trailer park.

Now, I haven’t heard from Helen in several hours, but I’m not holding it against her, for she’s probably busy, (important person that she is, and all–you know) and in the meantime I’ve found us a house. A bargain of a house: Total charge? One dollar. Is Helen ever going to be surprised when she reads this.

“Finally, a mortgage I can afford.” That was more or less the thought of thousands of people around the country who read online about an old, sprawling two-story farmhouse in Leesburg on sale for a dollar.

There is a catch: The buyer must be able to afford to move the house. But after The Washington Post reported on the house last Sunday, linked to the article on its home page and suddenly, it seemed, the whole world wanted in.

The article received 1.47 million hits on that day.

“I have to get there first,” said one man, adding that he would have no problem towing the more than 2,500-square-foot structure to California.

Full details here. (Just don’t try to buy it out from under us, please.)

Hang on, everybody, for I’m sure we’ll throw a housewarming party and invite every one of you,  or on second thought, maybe you will want to throw the party for Helen and me. That’s probably the proper thing. If Helen doesn’t show up soon, we’ll get together–you and I–and plan one swinging party as a surprise for Helen and our new house. I’m sure she will want us to buy it. Has to be moved, though. Hope she has a big lot, for the house is in Leesburg, Va–much closer to her than to me. Besides I live in a motor home, remember…and at my house in Crestline, I just don’t believe there is room for that beautiful house you see pictured above.

Exciting, huh?

Stay tuned for all the action, and if anyone sees Helen, tell her to get over here. We have lots of work to do. For one thing, I need her 50 cents, then there will be closing costs, escrow fees, maybe even attorney charges…not sure.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 83 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

28 replies on “Helen, I Found Us a House for One Dollar!”

By the way….since I have a whole bunch of roses in my yard…maybe we could spruce up the decor at the bar-b-q and put a couple or three on each table…of course they will have to match the purple grills. Thinking about it…what colors would match? We will have to arrange to have some one come clip those too…they are in close proximity to the lemon trees. “IMPORTANT PERSON I AM AND ALL …YOU KNOW” I am far too busy at the moment to commit to clipping roses and picking lemons.

Jean, the roses will be perfect to go with the purple grill BBQ. I believe any of the pink tones would work, and of course lavender and white, if you have those.


ugh…I have two lemon trees…I will donate the lemons for your lemonade but there is a catch you’ll have to come get them…been busy (important person that I am and all-you know).

Yes, Jean! I knew someone would come through with lemons and I don’t believe it will be too big a problem to pick them up. I’m actually in Crestline tonight–here until Wednesday–and Jerry would probably be willing to put a couple crates in our Jeep. At least we could get them as far East as Lake Havasu that way. Might have to do a relay. Someone pick them up from us, and scoot them on to Helen’s property. Thanks for your help. You might want to round up some of your friends to join in the project.

Happy Mothers’ Day, by the way.


“There is many a use for a preacher.” Someone wise, once said. LOL

They have been known to wrangle with stopped-up toilets before a Sunday morning service.


Shirley, I don’t know Kris Keyes. Does he have a bobcat ( )? Because this yard need work, if we’re moving that house her. 😉

Helen, I don’t know if Kris has a bobcat or not; I know he has a lawn, though, which is unusual in Arizona, at least where I live in Lake Havasu. He has many connections, though, and if he takes on this job, I’m sure he can get a bobcat moved to your place. Now that you bring it up…your yard…is it worthy of this beautiful place. Not too big a mess, is it?

Happy Mothers Day, Helen.


My husband, wise man that he is, suggested that Kris Keyes join our team, and I’m seeing that as a wonderful suggestion, seeing that Kris has described himself as

“Of course as for me I am fantastically talented and wonderfully good looking too…not to mention tremendously charming, and so on, etc, etc…”

Too bad he doesn’t have a site to link to, but he’s bound to come by and see this. He does have a Facebook site, but I don’t know how to link there–not sure if it can even be done from here. Anyway, I’m nominating Kris Keyes as our PR person. He’s a preacher and has an awesome singing voice. He’ll be perfect…but we do need to have a response. We may be forced to email him.


Good morning, Real Estate team. In the night I awoke with this dastardly thought: What if we are not successful in buying the house, and we have all those grills, purple paint, fine paint brushes, tall, clear glasses and crates of lemons? And who is in charge of the actual purchase? I think R Guy would be the one but I haven’t seen much of him lately–for one thing I have been quite busy and haven’t been to his site in a while (important person that I am,..and all that, you know…). But if he swings by or someone sees him, I think it would be a good move to ask him to be in charge of the actual purchase of the place. What do you think, Helen? Or maybe we could snag your husband, and let Bill be the financial guru.

And Helen, I’m loving the emphasis on preachers since I have so many of them, and if you want me to I can round up dozens more–all sizes, shapes, and opinions. They’re big on opinions; also on slabs of meat and grills, although I’m not sure if a purple grill fits in with our conservative views.

Speaking of conservatives (and the others) I agree this endeavor should be non-partisan, and I would love to have the Obamas. Can’t you see those beautiful little girls cavorting on our lawn, and Michelle in her beautiful pink-capped sneakers. I think we should ask the Prez to keep his shirt on, though.

An obvious move is the Lavender tea cakes, since the house will be on your property and you already have one pot of lavender. And think about it: our tea cakes will co-ordinate with the grill. Purple and lavender: get it? I’m thinking there is not another group in this world that has matching tea cakes and meat grills.


One more thing Mike. Jayleigh is only bringing one preacher, but Shirley has five or six. I even have one. He’s a nephew and a youth pastor. But he’ll need a grill to keep him busy all the same. Get that many preachers together and you can’t tell what might happen. “The grilling hand is sure.” Another one of those famous quotes you never heard of. Might come from a different religion, but it’s TRUE nonetheless.


Shirley, I just located a recipe for lavender tea cakes. And it just so happens I have lavender growing in a pot on my deck. Now that my plant is about blossom, it seems perfect. What are your thoughts on lavender tea cakes? And do you or any of your readers have tea cake experience? Or more lavender for that matter. I can’t manage the whole thing myself, being just too busy (important person that I am, and all–you know). I don’t think we can count on Mike fro this one. LOL

Another question? Just how tall do these pitchers need to be? Oh, Shirley the details.

And the glasses. Yes, they must be clear. If there is one thing unacceptable, it’s unclear glasses. If you are reading this and have tall, clear glasses you could send, please respond.

Shirley, I understand Mike’s propensity for frugality but I still think we need 667 grills. Getting 666 seemed like a bad sign to me.

I am so sorry you didn’t get to meet the pigeon. He’s a special bird. Harvey I think, and as I told you he once did some work for George W. Bush. Do you think the W. could come to the party? Now that he’s out of office, he can’t be quite so busy. We will, of course, be inviting the Obamas (You did agree to the non-partisan deal, right?) , but they won’t come. He will find some excuse (important, time starved person that he is…and all that). She will too (important, time starved person that she is…and all that).

Jayleigh, welcome to the team. And bring your hubby. “Nothin’ better than preacher-fried steak.” That’s another quote from someone famous. But I can’t google it; I’m too busy (important, time starved person that she is…and all that). Does he have any other capable preacher buddies? With 667 grills, we’re gonna need a lot of preachers. And since this is a non-partisan party (Shirley, you did agree to that, right/) I think it should be non-denominational, too. Shoot, we might even put a priest on one of those grills. Cooking, I mean. You didn’t think I wanted to grill a priest, Did you? Well, I do have a couple of questions I might ask. LOL

Meat. Meat. Yes, Shirley, we’ll want some slabs. After all, what are all those preachers gonna do if they run out of something to grill? We are responsible for keeping them busy. We don’t want any idle minds getting loose in our house and trying to turn it into the workshop for you-know-who. 🙂 You do know who, right?

As to the loss of the purple grill. Well, perhaps we can get someone to donate some purple paint and some fine brushes. Fine brushes matter in the same way tall pitchers do. Oh the details.

When do you think we can be ready, Shirley?


You know, Helen, I was admiring the house, looking at that front porch, and I just feel it calls for tall pitchers of lemonade and probably some simple tea cakes. I wonder if some of our readers might have lemon trees in their yards and could ship crates of lemons, once we know the address of the house and are sure we have the deed in our possession. We’ll need tall, clear glasses, and will want to install an ice-maker in the kitchen if there is not one already available.


One more thing, Helen. The pigeon did arrive; didn’t see him, but found the dollar bill fluttering near the front door of the church, and, additionally there were distinct signs of pigeon.


Oh, Helen. I am so sorry I am not pulling my weight on this busy and all that, however it went, but I can see that despite your own busyness, you have done a remarkable job here today and I’m sure things will get rolling soon.

Mike Lowell seems to be the man for the grills, and I’m rather impressed with his sense of frugality in that he is willing to tackle the job with less than the 666 or 667 units you are recommending. By the way, Helen, I hate to be the one to break the news, but it seems the purple grill is no longer available…at least that was the message I received when I finally clicked the link. Should we proceed with the meat chunks if we don’t have a purple grill? What are your thoughts about that?

Yes, Jayleigh! We were hoping you could be a part of our team, and since your husband is a pastor two cents from you will be adequate…well, that is unless he is one of those preachers who rakes in mounds of money and hires Brinks to take their Monday morning deposit to the bank. If that should prove to be the case, your share would be a trifle more.

We definitely want Rob. Do you think he would want to be head chef? Let us know. I have some charming paper chef hats left over from one of our BBQs, and I’m willing to donate those. I’m hoping Dean will come aboard, for he has connections as far as the food is concerned.

Helen, are you still hanging in? I know it has been a trying day for you since I have not been here today as I should. I know you desperately need me–my foundational wisdom, sparkling enthusiasm, and remarkable ideas.


Shirley and Helen… might I put in my two cents… you know, for a SHARE of the house? Or perhaps a one night stay?

What do you say? I’ll bring my darling hubby who makes a mean breakfast. 🙂


Well, Mike, I can see that Shirley’s busy (important person that she is, and all–you know). Are you telling me you won’t do the grills? “The fine party depends on the grills.” I think someone famous said that, but I didn’t look it up; I was just too busy (important person that I am, and all–you know).

Are there any other takers?


LOLOLOLOLOL!!!! In case you missed it Helen, I was definitely not getting intot he managerial side, just being the investor. I know better than to get into the management side of things as it is, nevermind having two (very capable at that) women in the mix…that’s just asking for it!!
And who needs 667 grills…a good grill master knows how to cook more with less! (The trick is eating as you go! oh wow, I think I just realized how I got this little innertube around my mid-section!)


Not so quick.

I’m here. And I’m in. Haven’t checked it out, you understand. Been busy (important person that I am, and all–you know). But this is clearly a project for two women. We won’t be needing any male managerial skills. Feminine skills are way to good. But you’re welcome at the party, Mike, when we get it all ironed out.

Shirley, I’m gonna buy that grill (since you’re too busy to check it out. Part of this party’s success is going to be in the grilling of meat: large hunks of fine cuts, so I’m thinking we’ll need several grills. In fact, I say we put Mike in charge of grill location. What do you say?

Okay Mike, here’s the deal. Buy grills on e-Bay and Craig’s list. Be sure to submit a detailed expense report every other Friday at 4 pm PT (Shirley, you are daylight savings time, right?) so we can reimburse you for the cost of travel and other expenses involved in locating and picking up the grill. Just keep them at your house until we women decide what you next move should be. Are you in, Mike. Be sure to check back, If you locate more than 666. No, make it 667. That’s how many we’ll need. We’ll be having lots of guests. (If you finish early, we might put you in charge of pickles.)

Shirley, as to the house itself, yes, yes, yes. I sent a carrier pigeon with an envelope carrying my portion of the cost to you as soon as I got this message – you know, before I messed with the grill details – but, because I sent a relatively old pigeon, known well around these parts for his reliability, I sent a dollar bill (change is so heavy and really, it’s unfair to ask an old bird to bear such a heavy load after all he’s done.) Rumor has it that this very same pigeon once helped George W. Bush with some White House details. (more about that later, unless I get too busy (important person that I am, and all–you know) ) We are going to be bi-partisan in this house deal, right? Because I didn’t bother to check this pigeon’s party affiliation. I just said, “get this to Shirley ASAP, and, of course, he knew WHICH Shirley I meant (important person that you are, and all–you know). Anyway, as they say, “the check’s in the mail.” If there’s any change, keep it for the present. “Life is too short to worry about any old fifty cents.” I think someone famous said that, but I didn’t look it up; I was just too busy (important person that I am, and all–you know).

And Mike, so glad to have you on our team. We are counting on you to be a bit of a head starter since Shirley and I must delegate many details when we plan these parties (important people that we are, and all–you know). And I do hope I didn’t sound condescending. But we do have experience buying house and throwing parties. More later. Gotta run (important person that you are, and all–you know).


Hey, I just don’t have the real estate savvy that you do. Not that I’m chicken, but I’m not too big on details…..andI’m easily bought….I only want 20% of the proceeds from any sale. Everything else you can do with what you please!

I don’t know. The 20% is fair, but I’m not sure about my ability to manage Helen single-handedly. I can’t imagine what she will say when she finally gets here, and sees that other people are involved in her deals and in her management.


I read about this a couple weeks ago….too bad it’s gonna cost a fortune to move it!!

Mike, if I don’t hear from Helen, do you want to go in halves with me? Just 50 cents, then we’ll be the owners. We’ll boss Helen around; make her pick up all the moving costs.


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