Monday, June 4, 2012

Eating Humble Pie

There is nothing like sitting at your dining room table while a home inspector who just spent the last two hours of his life crawling over inch of my home explain his findings to the couple who gave me some money and signed a contract saying they will buy it. Pretty much it was like eating a big slice of humble pie.

 Over the last eight years, we have worked to fix up our house piece by piece. A lot of blood sweat and tears. But there were some things that we just never did, mostly because it didn't make sense to do them until we also did a larger project or because though ugly, it was functional and since we weren't thinking of moving anytime soon, we were comfortable waiting until we could do it right. Things changed and we found ourselves moving and then our thought was why invest thousands of dollars into a house when we probably won't get it out in a down market.

 So I got to listen to the inspector talk about sticky doors, bad gutters, a roof with issues and many other things. The sticky doors are just a product of older houses that swell and contract with heat and humidity. Currently things have swelled just a bit and they stick slightly. In the spring and fall they are perfect and in the winter just a touch loose. The gutters are bad, no doubt about that. They don't drain water well and need some work. But there was no sense doing them until the roof was taken care of first. When we bought the place, the owners had just put a steel roof over two layers of shingles. Not something I would ever do. They also did a horseshit job of it. Sure it didn't leak but it because it was over two layers of shingles (which shrink and expand too), it meant that once every couple years I had to spend an afternoon up on the roof tightening screws down. They also did a terrible job around the chimney pipe with the tin job so it required a new caulk job every couple years to prevent leaking. The thing that bugged me most was that they joined two different roofs with two different slopes with one long piece of tin which meant that there was an air space between the two different slopes that caused the tin to bow down in that area. To top it off, the roof installers lapped the tin most of the way over the gutters rendering the non-functional.  None of these problems were critical, none caused any functional problems but all didn't sit well with the anal retentive side of my personality. If I had tons of money, I would have torn it all off and done it properly but I fought it off with the cheaper side of me that said well lets just wait until the roof needs work and do it all of once. Well that hadn't happened yet and so here I am eating my humble pie feeling like a complete jerk trying to pawn off a sorry excuse for a house.

 Fortunately, the buyers seem to take it all in stride and I have propped up my bruised ego by telling myself that it is still the best house in its price range around town despite all its flaws. I suppose I'll know how it all plays out in a few more days after they have a chance to talk with the realtor. All this has reawakened my desire to someday build my own house where I am in control of my destiny instead of inheriting other peoples problems. Until then, I'm just going to have to learn to like some humble pie now and then.

(Post addendum: The realtor called back and said the home buyers were okay with the inspection and the last hurdle is the home appraisal which I am sure will come in more than the loan. I am beginning to breath much easier.)

7 comments:

kymber said...

Ed - we had a similar situation when we sold our home. when we bought the place and had our original building inspection done - there were no major probs. 4yrs later, in which time we upgraded all of the appliances and did some painting and completely landscaped the yard - the buyer's building inspector turned up a bunch of crazy crap that scared the buyers as it was their first purchase. thank goodness that their realtor was a pro and was able to explain to them that the inspector was taking his job a little too seriously! i am glad that the people are still interested in your place - whew!

your friend,
kymber

Ed said...

Kymber - Yeah, these are first time home buyers but after talking to the father this morning, they weren't too concerned with anything. Makes me feel better about 48 hours too late.

R. Sherman said...

I shudder to think about what an inspector would find here. Fortunately, thanks to last year's hail storm, I've got a new roof, gutters and siding, so that's not a worry.

Cheers.

sage said...

Ed, sounds like you need a good hail storm... I wonder if Randall heard about the two lawyers who had just gotten great insurance payoffs to help them get out of the debt on their offices. The one who's office burned asked the one who's office flooded, "Starting a fire is easy, how did you pull off a flood?"

malor said...

reading this and the comments makes me wish for a hail storm. i would like to sell my house and move to a country where i can have chickens and orchard but what stops me is the fear of selling my house due to its many flaws...

Ed said...

Sage - Love that one!

Malor - I wouldn't worry about it. Your house will be priced for the condition it is in and you can sell it as is, meaning no matter what the inspector says, the buyers still can't get out of an as is contract. That is how we bought our new house which needs some work in places. But it was also very cheap for the neighborhood so it was priced on worth.

PhilippinesPhil said...

We're just starting the visa application process to return to the US and I will most likely take your advice and rent since the plan is to return here once my teenagers are all married off. Shouldn't take long since they are all such lookers. After that, back here and build our own place, hopefully getting it right the first time. Humble pie? I eat that for every meal dude.