When I last wrote about our road to the Dreamhouse, I left off at a sad spot. We had just accepted a terrible offer that my gut told me was all wrong. We moved out of my in-laws’ house and back into our townhouse where I had always felt secluded and alone. I was miserable living there and double miserable moving back. I did everything I could to stay happy for my baby’s sake. Olivia would be two at the end of the summer so I tried to focus on throwing a party and finding us a new home. There were other things to keep me busy, like the ridiculous buyers and their insane inspection notes… think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts.
Time to start house hunting! We put together a great list of houses to look at with our agent. I really wanted to move back to the town where I grew up, but there wasn’t much in the neighborhoods we wanted. We would have had to settle in one way or another and it wouldn’t have been the Dreamhouse.
Then one day it happened. We found a house online and we kept going back to look at the pictures. It was mostly what we wanted with some bonus aspects that we didn’t even know we wanted. We took a ride over with our realtor. On the way, she explained that it was for sale by owner and that someone was going to be there while we looked at the house. When we pulled up, there was a woman sitting on the front porch with her teenage daughter and a big sweet dog. My memory is a little fuzzy on the details but I remember the woman and her daughter were blonde and the dog was a lab. I think. I’m pretty sure her name was Roxy.
Inside, there were beautiful wood floors with intricate detail in the entryway. The kitchen was slightly dated but I wanted to update a kitchen to my liking, anyway. Patio doors led to a big, fenced-in backyard and a deck. There was a mudroom off the kitchen (love it!) with a full sized freezer that comes with the house, and a two car garage with a workbench. Family room, dining room, living room and den. This house just kept going. Upstairs there were four bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Everything was in amazing condition. So we made an offer. Then it got crazy. We spent more than a week negotiating with a divorcing couple! This I do not recommend. Ever. She wants to sell the house at any cost. He doesn’t want to let it go so easy and is dragging it out for his own reasons. What can I say? Longest week of my life!
I had to be sympathetic to their situation, but still! It was pretty bad. Finally, we settled on something but we really didn’t get them to come down much. I was feeling like we had lost in both the negotiations. Not only were we giving away our home but we couldn’t get the sellers of this house to give us a little, either. Enter depression sub-level 2.
I was determined to keep putting one foot in front of the other, though. I did what I needed to do to get their lawyer the earnest money and schedule the home inspection. I packed up our house a little bit every day. Olivia and I were trucking along. We made it work.
Finally, it was the day of the home inspection on the house we planned to buy. Oh, I forgot to mention that the home was being sold as-is. That means that no matter what we found in the inspection, they were not going to fix it. Another thing you should know before I go into the details of the inspection is that the homeowners had canceled the date on us twice already because they were fighting or something, and on this day we said inspection or deal is off. They said we could do the inspection but their daughter would be home by herself this time. The inspector met us there and was quick to point out all of the rotting wood on the outside of the house. The windows frames were rotten. The trim was rotten. I was shocked if we passed any wood outside the house and he didn’t say it was rotten!
By the time we were ready to move to the inside of the house, a woman started popping her head in the windows. It was the weirdest thing. She showed up out of nowhere and was sticking her head in the window and saying hello to us. She got on her phone and started pacing around the front walk. Then she walked in the front door and called upstairs to the daughter. We were in the kitchen with the inspector and she came in to start talking to us. She introduced herself as the neighbor and started asking us questions. I was so weirded out and my realtor kept repeating, “This is not normal.” After it was all over, I quite easily located the nosy neighbor’s info online (yeah, I looked her us!) and she’s just the type of loudmouth busybody you don’t want living near you. Shocker.
Next thing you know, the man of the house shows up. He marched right into the kitchen and shook hands with all of us. He introduced himself, told us where he works and asked us if we had any questions about the house. The inspector was shaking his head. Almost as if he knew what was to come.
We had worked our way through the kitchen and mudroom to the garage. The inspector noted a large section of fencing leaning against one of the walls and a car parked in front of it. I don’t know how he knew, other than experience, but there was something fishy going on behind that piece of fence. He asked the homeowner about it and got a shrug for an answer. So he and the Rockstar lifted the section of fence out of the way and the whole garage wall was bowed inwards. He said he could not imagine what would have caused that kind of damage to the wall except for some extreme water or temperature situation. The wall was literally warped.
The rest of the inspection went fine. The basement was super clean and all the appliances were immaculate. Other than the homeowner, his daughter, their dog and his nosy neighbor hanging around us the whole time, there was nothing out of the ordinary. The inspector couldn’t tell us whether or not to buy the house, but he was able to strongly suggest that we ask the homeowner to open up that wall to find out what was causing it to bulge out like that. I don’t even think we let it get to that point. I figured that since they knew about it, were selling the house as-is, and were trying to pull a fast one on us, not to mention the weird neighbor and having had such a hard time dealing with this guy already, I could not move forward with buying that house. So we walked.
Until next time…