Sunday, August 8, 2010

House, or, The WTF Post

Our Heroine is even closer to The American Dream of Home Ownership Subject to a Huge Mortgage. Here is the house update.

Ok, first, it won't be a huge mortgage as compared to other mortgages. It's just a lot of money if you think about the normal things you could buy with it. Second - this looks like a huge list of shit that's wrong with this house we're committing to, but it's not a new house and nothing is seriously, terribly wrong.

My husband has been doing an amazing job going to all the inspections, asking the right questions, lining up repairs if we have to do them. He gets all the credit for this update.

The well inspection was first. The pump is fairly recent, the well isn't terrifyingly deep (174' iirc) and has plenty of water, and the water is free from harmful bacteria. Buuut the well pump is sitting on the sand in the back half-acre and the power cable is just hanging out a couple inches under the sand. WTF? It needs a little pump house covering it up, and it needs the power line in a real conduit in a real trench a real foot or two under the ground.

The septic tank is in the front yard. The owners dug a bunch of mini-foxholes in the yard before they found it, but it was eventually found. It's in good shape and the leachfield passed, but the septic guy would like to replace a baffle for some reason. That one's optional.

The FHA appraiser dude appraised the house for 5k more than we have offered. Good! (Even better, FHA doesn't consider outbuildings in the appraisal... G wants to get it re appraised after we close and get the outbuilding / pool / hot tub included in the appraisal, get some instant equity, maybe get us out from under the PMI.)

The home inspector said good things and a few weird things. No termites - would've shocked me if there were. The crawlspace needs a couple more ventilation holes. One of the floor joists was jacked up and put on two supports - one of the supports is on a pier, like it should be, but one of them is just a post sitting on the sand. WTF?

There are two wood stoves and a propane furnace. One of the stoves, in the Fireplace Room, failed FHA inspection. We have to promise to remove it and if we burn the house down with it we get no insurance. It'll go with no regrets, because the great room / den has another newer wood stove, which passed inspection. Yahoo! My parents will just groan and roll their eyes, but I am totally nostalgic for wood fires. We had a (shitty leaky smoky dangerous) wood fireplace when I was a kid, which was replaced with an equally horrible fireplace insert. My mom doesn't remember it fondly at all but I do - I remember how to start a fire, how to tell if your wood is dry, how to chop wood, how to scream and drop the wood on your toe when a beetle crawls on your arm... I can't wait! Well, I could do without the bugs I guess.

The den / great room is an addition off the kitchen. It has heating ducts running to it, but they're all smushed and terminated in a bucket. A bucket? Yes, the base of a bucket is jammed in a cut-off piece of duct as a plug. WTF! That has to be fixed. And the attic over the den needs a roof vent and a gable vent.

The water pump for the swamp cooler went out a couple days ago, but the homeowner was already fixing that on Friday. And the swamp cooler is perched on a rickety wooden contraption near the hole in the wall for it, but not actually touching the hole in the wall. I don't know if that failed or not, but if it's not fixed when we buy it'll be the first thing I fix.

The south roof is totally shot and needs to be replaced, and there's a lot of peeling paint to be repainted. We wrote those into the contract, so they're definitely getting fixed. Apparently we get to negotiate about the other stuff. It's under 2k in repairs, so we'll see how much we can get the sellers to pay and we'll get the rest done on our own dime.

Less than three weeks to go! If we close on time, we close on my sweetie's birthday - what a great birthday present!


  1. Fingers are TOTALLY CROSSED for the best possible outcome for y'all. Keep us posted!

  2. Best of luck with the house. That's a huge step.

  3. Good luck and we're hoping all the best for you :)

  4. Sounds a lot like work, but hopefully all goes well and you're able to get everything done!! Good luck!

  5. Thanks, yall. :) I was bored at work today and I measured the outbuilding from the google maps sat picture. It's 2000 sq ft. Plus the same in an upstairs. Can't wait to show it to yall!


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