“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed & nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” Luke 8:17
Five sets of eyes all agreed, this is the house we should make an offer on. Five sets of eyes admired the updates and remodeling work. Five sets of eyes agreed the floors were beautiful, the layout fine, things were in great shape and just right. So great, very little work was left to be done. Only the fun stuff was left for us to work on, like the workshop, and the landscaping. Five sets of eyes, agreed.
Immediately, we decided, after losing a couple other houses to timing, we would make an offer–no second visit, no sleeping on it, no getting more opinions. So the papers were filled out and presented to the seller who happens to be a realtor. His response was that he had another offer but ours looked attractive because of the conventional financing. (Yay for conventional financing!) However, he said, to expedite things, he wanted us to remove the contingencies written into our offer, such as no inspections, no appraisal, and remove the radon and septic addendum.
Honestly, at that moment, we felt like what the heck, the work appeared great, surely there would be nothing wrong with not going through the expense of inspections etc. We slept on it.
The next day both of us felt that
Someone who does great work, should be proud to stand the test of inspection.
Why not? Our genetic and learned appreciation for craftsmenship in our own work, is always pleased and proud for you to admire the underside, the mortises, the tenons, the followthrough that makes the piece beautiful. I’m always pleased when someone notices the fabric pattern has been matched, or the seams as pretty and straight as they can be. That a garden I’ve planted is thriving because the ground work has been done. And as an administrator, the accountability of inspection is expected and required, not just because transparency is the goal, it’s the right thing, the good thing.
So we kept the contingencies, conceeding only to not basing the purchase on a passing radon test. In hindsight, and after doing a lot of reading about radon, we’d have left this in too. We elected to have the radon test and will get the results Monday. We were present when a home inspector looked through the house, along with our realtor. Our first visit to the house was under an hour. And our eyes didn’t think to look in places or at things that may be issues. We didn’t even turn on AC/heat so had no idea if things were in working order. We assumed.
The first revelation was the septic system appeared to have a crack because the water level was too low. In fact the guy said he has been to that house to pump the septic 7 times in a month. He said the house had a history of issues. He actually couldn’t pump the tank that day without the owners permission to cut some electrical lines that had been installed over the distribution box. This was revealed by digging down into the yard.
Next we learned that the duct work had leaks and that the insulation around the ducts was shredded, as if by mice, or damage by workmen. When the HVAC system was turned on, shreds of insulation blew all over, like pieces of cotton candy in the house. At least two of the rooms had baseboard heaters that didn’t work. Important behind the scenes mechanicals that aren’t necessarily revealed on a walk through.
Downstairs, the electrical panel had loose breakers and more baseboard heaters were found to not be working, but when the loose breakers were jiggled, the heaters appeared to start heating…just a little electrical nightmare in my mind. Because water was run in the bathrooms for tests, drips started from pipes in the basement. Again, hidden behind pretty walls, another vital area of craftsmenship seemed to be lacking.
Because of what the inspection revealed, at this point we’ve asked the seller for these things and a few others to be fixed, but the septic won’t be fully inspected until early this week. The contract deadline for inspections was set by the seller, for yesterday. He has since admitted he needs to more time too, to get a second opinion on the septic and to consider if he wants to fix the rest. One of our options is to lower our offer, but frankly that means the fixes would be out of our pocket. Not the most desirable. We’d probably elect to walk away if that is the case.
This would be our 20th move or so. A house is just a place we live. We like to live as well as we can but the house is just a building. I can make any place, a place we like to be, that our family likes to be. So, if this house doesn’t work out, I have a list of houses to view. We’ll be disappointed, but glad we didn’t get tied to something that has more to be revealed that could harm us or cost us time and money.
My prayer has been for the Lord to put me where he needs me in a job, and that He guide our house search and help us by revealing the things that need to be revealed as we make our most costly purchase ever. We can’t be disppointed that indeed things have been revealed. We are grateful for these revelations. We know the Lord is watching and guiding. We are also grateful for however many sets of eyes, our own, and others, help us make a wise decision.