Home Buying

Property inspections

Went out to the property today and met with a bunch of people. Often when I have an inspection it is at most me, the inspector and my realtor. This inspection included myself, my realtor, the sellers realtor, the inspectors and the sellers husband and kid. Quite a group of people.

After exchanging our greetings the inspector got to work. The owner showed me the drain valves on the house and how to get the well pump started. It was quick, two drains under the house (somewhat easy to get to) and a breaker box for the well house. That was the first time seeing the inside of the well house — not sure what they are supposed to look like but this one was a dirt floor, a huge water tank and a really exposed motor / air pump running on a belt. Quite loud, you could hear it from outside of the tiny well house.

The inspection lasted about 5 hours. While that was going on the owner offered to take us on a tour of the trails that they had cut. My realtor and myself followed him through the forest. I tried very hard to hide my excitement… my own trails. We went down the creek which was flowing slowly. You could hear the water further down so I think there might be an area where it pools. So peaceful. Everything is winter gray at the moment, I can only imagine what it is going ot look like after everything greens up again. I can totally see myself cutting new trails to go all the way to the back of the property, bike trails for sure. Right now they have them cut off on the side of the small creek, so only about 50% of the property is utilized at all.

The owner gave me a run down of the neighbors, nobody is super close except for the couple that has 3 acres in the front of the property. Mostly sounds like people that would not be going or building anything for a while. The access road next to the house is completely closed off to the public, the utility easement that runs next to the house is just that, a utility easement (though it is quite overgrown). One of the neighbors raises Alpacas and they sometimes get into the woods. Cool.

I do not have the report in hand yet, the things that they pointed out to me while there was the pier / beam foundation is out of spec by an inch in one place (common for pier / beams). They (and my realtor) said don’t do anything until that gets really bad as it is likely to damage more of the walls when being fixed (you can see some separation in the molding in places). I knew that was going to come up going in though. What I didn’t expect was a active termite colony. They said they cannot look inside walls, but it did not look bad. Just the tubes. That will need to get addressed before moving in.

Other than that, they were unable to locate the septic system, which is a big problem since one thing I do know is that in the five years the current owners have had the place they have never gotten the septic system pumped or did anything to it. The inspectors will not probe for it as they are not allowed to do anything destructive to locate it. They recommended calling a septic company out to locate it with rods. I called around but was unable to find anyone that would come out that same day, but later on one place I called and left a message called back and said they could be out the next day… not great having to drive another four hours but necessary as this could be an early expensive fix if there are any issues.

Waiting on the full report form the inspectors. Will go out there again to meet with the septic people.

Home Buying

Stress tested

Trying to buy this property has been one of the most stressful house buys I have ever experienced. I have purchased several homes, all of them were mostly non-events but this house…. not so easy.

The first hiccup came just after the sellers accecpted the contract. While the mortgage broker was looking it became clear that the house was some sort of conjunction of more than one house type. This was also apparent when going in the home. When you first walk in off of the amazing full width deep country porch you arrive in a big room with a vaulted ceiling. This is just an open room with a fireplace on one end. Going past the living room you arrive at the dining room. The ceiling here (and throughout the rest of the living areas) is very low, from the appraiser they called it at 6.5′ — much lower than the 12 – 14′ ceiling I am accustomed to in my current home. Not anything I have not lived in before, just a jarring difference between the 10′ vaulted ceiling in the rest of the home.

Because it looked like this could be a “mobile home” it would change the loan quite a bit. When financing a “mobile home” you have a limited number of banks to chose from, and because of that the rates are higher. In fact the mortgage broker I was using did not have any lenders to work with if it indeed was a mobile home, but only if it was a single wide mobile home. If it appraised as a double wide or manufactured home then everything was fine.

This is the first time I wanted to back out of the deal I would have lost my option money but that is just a few hundred dollars. Going further would mean that I would need to lay out closer to $900.00 to get the inspectors out moving my total loss to around $1,200.00. I chose to go ahead and will see what happens.