Wednesday, November 16, 2005

When it rains, it pours....

The real estate gods are not smiling upon us.  I don't know what we need to do to make amends... maybe make offerings of fruit baskets or something.  Fate turned against us this week.... the woman who was buying our house revoked her offer.  Even though our realtor TOLD her the lot was not divideable she didn't believe her and was counting on that for investment purposes.  Only to be given a rude awakening by the county when she actually went to check it out.  Luckily, we still had the other competing buyers who are still interested... though they're asking us to pay $5k in their closing costs.   They, however wanted to buy our place out of pure love, not avarice so I'd actually feel better about selling to them.  Gardeners, who would love and appreciate our yard.  With a new baby on the way.
Then, yesterday's inspection of the adorable little farmhouse, pictured below killed any possibility of that working anyway.   First, there was the problem with the electrical.  The owner, an electrical engineer by trade apparently thought he could totally lie his ass off about the wiring to the garage conversion and not get caught.  His story - it was all done as part of a 60's remodel and all he did was put outlets on existing wiring (that was poorly done as it was) so didn't need permits.  Yeah right.  The obviously 90's era electrical panel, wiring materials and total amateurish job (panel itself was a fire hazard) totally gave him away.  An EE degree does not make you a licensed electrician.  Then there was the roof (again a patchwork of amateurish work that would need to be totally replaced... with who knows what kind of trouble underneath).  And the worst problem - the foundation.  Crumbly on one side of the house (and would need to be repoured), plus unstable brick foundation losing its mortar on the other side which would kill any chance of our getting earthquake insurance.  With good reason.  This place being 20 miles closer to an active volcano, and the whole region ripe for "the big one".... no way in hell was I going to risk our lives in an old 2 story house that could very well come down with minor shaking.
Oh, and the clincher?  Exposed asbestos tape (peeling) on heating ducts in the stairway.  With that we actually cut the inspection short by an hour or two and ran for the hills. 
Today we looked at a 1978 split level that has a mother-in-law's apt. situation totally set up on the lower level.  It would require nothing to move in.  I got over my inherent disgust of all things 70's housing (be they ranches, or split levels) and we're going to make an offer.  They've already got one that's contingent in the hopper but it's bumpable. We're offering $5k over their asking price (it was underpriced anyway).  Cross your fingers.  It's not my ideal but for a split level?  It's damned cute.  Brand new, paned windows with shutters... a deck, hot tub... fantastically landscaped.  Fireplace and pellet stove.  Small kitchen and bathrooms but in this price range I can deal with those.  Terrific quiet neighborhood.  Fully fenced backyard.  With a firepit!  And a pond!!

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