Thursday, September 24, 2009

short and not-so-sweet

The inspection on the pseudo-dream house was a @#*%& NIGHTMARE. A nightmare in which you have to jack up the house and rebuild the whole structure. A nightmare in which the sellers removed structural beams because they "thought it would look nicer" and so now it turns out the whole stairway is lilting to one side because it isn't being held up. A nightmare where there is rotting wood all over, and bathrooms not done to code, and wiring that is so freaking old, we can't even get a mortgage or home insurance.

In some ways, it was a blessing to have so many gigantic problems, because it didn't leave us in a gray area. We needed a huge number off the price of the house, and we needed the wiring throughout the house redone correctly in addition to that huge number.

I have no idea what kind of workers this seller has been hiring, but both the inspector and a contractor we asked to come give us some estimates, told us that every single thing he touched was done incorrectly. Electrical sockets were wired incorrectly, bathrooms were plumbed wrong, venting was incomplete or illegal. There were sump pumps tapped into the sewer line (not allowed) and drywall that was improperly attached.

By the time I'd visited the house with the inspector and then the contractor I was completely overwhelmed and Josh was beyond terrified. We loved the space in the house, but we couldn't imagine what we might end up uncovering if all of these problems were visible just on the surface!

We asked for tens of thousands of dollars off the price of the house, and the additional non-negotiable items like rewiring the house and bringing the bathrooms up to code, and weren't surprised when he said no. I think the seller was surprised, though, when we said thanks but no thanks, we're withdrawing our offer. In fact, he has since called us 4 times to ask why we aren't negotiating and to insist that he thought that was his starting offer.

It would be funny if I weren't so tired of this jerk.

So we're back to being homeless as of November 13th, and I've taken to looking up rental apartments rather dejectedly. I don't want to have to move twice, and I know I said I was okay with it, but now I'm fretting over the double moves, and the packing for storage and packing to live in a rental, and with the fear that we'll never find a home (irrational as I know that sounds).

I worry that we are in a precarious situation because we sold our house in a down market, with very low interest rates, but if home prices start to go up or mortgage rates start to go up, we'll be TOTALLY screwed. Screwed as in, won't be able to buy a home.

Sigh. If I let myself go down this road too long, I start panicking, which isn't like me, but we've never taken quite this big of a risk, and I've never sold a home. It is a lot of money, and the process is harder than I imagined. Everyone keeps saying that selling your home is the hardest part, and I hope they are right. Now we just need to find a house!


Anonymous said...

Awww, I'm so sorry, sweetie. Hang in there. Good or bad, EVERYTHING passes! :::fuerte abrazo:::

liz said...

Even kidney stones.

YG&B said...

now you know, real estate really is a bitch. and your seller was an ass. and his broker deserves to lose that commission for behaving so unprofessionally. you will find a house that you are happy with and you can afford. you just are in an incredibly expensive market. in the meantime, the only way you can guarantee that you will not have to move into a rental is to go through all of the trouble of packing as though you did.

Meika said...

That sounds like the house from hell. I'm sorry that it ended up being such a traumatic experience, but just imagine if you'd ended up buying it! Isn't that a movie, _Money Pit_ or something?

We just met with our second realtor this evening and I am totally with you on the whole, "What if the market suddenly shoots up??" issue. No one in their right mind (well, at least no one in our situation) would buy a house before having theirs sold in this market, which leaves things feeling really unsettled, doesn't it?

Best of luck - I am now off to review your post on How to Keep the House Clean for Showings with Two Psychotic Children Constantly Dumping Buckets of Cranberries on the Floor Three Minutes before the Doorbell Rings. Except I think you put it more nicely and made your children sound less deranged.

Sam's Mom said...

I absolutely feel your pain... except that we went the opposite route. As opposed to being homeless we had 2 houses on which we were paying two mortgages for an extended period of time. That's not much fun either.... so at least you don't have that to look forward to!

It WILL all work out... soon you will look back and all this will be behind you.