Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Dreaded Update

Sorry I've ignored your call, text, email, etc. asking me how the house is coming along.  It's just about all we think and talk about these days (besides how adorable that kid of ours is), and yet it feels scary to share beyond our little family.  But here goes...

Last week was Inspection Week.  The home inspector forgot to reschedule us in his calendar, so he pushed us back until Thursday afternoon, while we kept our other appointments on Tuesday.  Since the home is a foreclosure, we are also responsible for the well, septic and termite inspections.  We were really concerned about the condition of the septic tank since it hasn't been used in nearly two years, but to our delight, it was just fine.  The holding tank under the house for the well water had a busted bladder, but we felt comfortable with the estimate provided to us.  Finally, there was only a small amount of termites in the garage, and again, we felt fine with treating that as well.  All we had left to worry about, we thought, was the roof.  We knew it hadn't been worked on since the house was built in the 80s, and we had to wait until Thursday to find out about its condition.  Our "worst case scenario" of just the roof being shot has now turned into a laundry list of items that must be addressed in the house before we could even move in.  One of the chimneys didn't have flashing adequately installed, so water has been dripping down into the crawl space and has caused the hardwood floor in the family room to buckle; there is likely mold underneath so it needs to be torn up, mold dried out, floors replaced and refinished.  Most of the window sashes are rotted and need to be replaced.  The roof is completely deteriorated.  Plus a host of other smaller jobs that need to be done (some we could do ourselves, some we'd need professional help).  Whew.  Thursday was emotional.  Then on Saturday we got the inspector's official estimate.  Patrick and I took turns freaking out, each of us trying to calm the other, then reverting back to our own worries.

We decided we'd bring in Jeff, a contractor who has done quality work for my parents over the last several years, come to the house and give his own estimate.  Which brings us to yesterday.

Jeff showing Zeph and me a snake in the yard.

To make an already long story short, he got us to a number that we feel comfortable with if the bank agrees to lower the sale price.  Since we are getting a USDA loan with 100% financing for moving to a rural area, we can use the money we would have spent on a down payment to work on the house.  But that just covers the major issues---we'll still have tons of ongoing repairs, upgrades, etc. so we really need to bring down that mortgage payment.  We submitted our counter offer to the bank this morning.  Our agent doesn't feel very confident that they'll lower the price at all, and if they don't, I think we may have to walk away.  I hate even typing those words!  To make matters worse, our Church Hill house has already been rented out starting in July (we had to give 60 days notice) so not only will we have to start our house hunt from scratch, we may also be homeless!  If this happens and you live on the East Coast, get ready for a Ward Family Tour this summer...but wouldn't you rather come visit us here?  Please continue the prayers and good juju vibes, everyone!  I'll update soon.

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