So after last week’s offer and negotiations made, they accepted my offer. Next step? The inspection.
I went back all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning, at 7:30am (in other words, I’m bleary-eyed, desperately clutching my coffee, with damp hair). There I met Mark, the inspector, and my realtor, Tanya. Since it had been rainy here for the last 3 days, any roof-walking was out of the question. So he whipped out his binoculars and made his notes. Then we walked around to the backyard, all looks good. Then he gets to the deck. Remember the past 3 days’ worth of rain? Well, add the fact that you can see two Great Dane’s fecal matters and you’ll get an Inspector dude not wanting to crawl on his belly to look under the deck. (duh, who would?!) Deck is of “atypical build” (which isn’t necessarily a good thing) but it is only about 2 feet off the ground (so if it breaks, no one is gonna die.). Not a deal breaker.
Next, he covers every nook and cranny indoors. Little cosmetic things here and there (lousy paint jobs, peel & stick tile, cracked lighting dome) were noted. Bigger things were a loose pipe in the basement, needs a railing for downstairs stairwell (there’s evidence of one that used to be there in the past), grading for the yard, and the biggest issue was that there was a mysterious water leak-stain in the 2nd bedroom upstairs. It’s definitely damp to the touch, and a little soft too. Hm. We can’t get into the attic crawl space because the homeowners’ closet is full with clothes and shelving. There were definitely some water issues with this place in the past. We saw standing water in the floating basement floor edges along with stains in corners (on the walls).
A half hour later, we get permission to remove the clothing and shelving that’s blocking Mark’s way to the attic crawl space. So we proceed to do so and he checks out the attic. There’s no visible reason as to why the ceiling is wet. The roof looks dry (albeit some previous water stains). So we have NO idea as to where the water is coming from. While he’s up there, he makes a recommendation that I throw more insulation up there – since it’ll only help with heating bills in the winter, along with preventing icicle formations in the winter too. Speaking of icicles, there are heating coils that the owners just installed last winter. Interesting – I never knew these things existed before. Cool!
Practically each room in this place has at least two wall types! Wood panels, drywall, stucco, bricks, etc. That’s gonna be fun to figure out how to work with each one.
Meanwhile, one neighbor kept coming over with comments – started off with pointing out how one gutter’s downspout was putting water on HER property. (Cue me thinking to myself “oh jeez, you’re already doing this NOW?”) But Mark was quick to point out that her gutters in the back was pushing water out down under OUR deck. (“That’s right, Mark, you tell her!”) Then later on, she rings the doorbell and asks to see what Mark was talking about – and she walks by – I smell that she’s a smoker. (“Ugh. Does she smoke in the backyard a lot? I don’t wanna smell any of that.”) As she’s in the house, she mentions that there has been 9 previous owners of this place.
“NINE?! Holy cow.
Maybe this isn’t the right place.
But waitaminute, it IS a townhouse. It IS a middle unit. It IS almost 40-years old (built in 1974). So ok 9? Not that bad I guess. I can deal with that.”
She also mentions that almost every single place in this neighborhood has had water problems, whether it’s from the roof or in the basement flooding. She herself has the basement flooding issues. Mark was extra-careful in checking out the basement in this place to see if there were current issues, which he didn’t see outside of the standing water that’s just outside of the floating slab. So yeah, definite water issues. But we don’t or can’t see anything current other than the one wet line in the bedroom ceiling.
There’s a new water heater (installed 2010, I think.. maybe 2012?). Furnace is from 1990, but there’s records of good maintenance history by reputable companies. New windows. Good water pressure all over the house. Lovely vaulted ceilings. Good natural lighting. About 95% of the electric outlets are GCFIs. The garage has reversed polarities in those outlets and it’s not grounded.
He’ll return tomorrow to start the radon testings and that should be done by Tuesday or Wednesday. I don’t need to be there. It’s a meter that he leaves in the basement for 48 hours. Tanya and I are both hoping he’ll walk the roof when he picks up the radon meter.
Cheryl, who is the seller’s agent for the townhouse, calls Tanya up about 4 times during the inspection to see how it’s going (“Poor Tanya, having to deal with such a pushy lady. Thank god it’s not me.”) Tanya mentions to her that I have a serious concern about the ceiling in the bedroom and it’s a potential deal-breaker, and that I want to know what is the story behind that.
At the end of the inspection walk-through today, he prints everything up and gives me the report in a binder. It’s 22 pages long. He’s VERY thorough! I pay the man, and we’re all off on our merry ways.
About 5 minutes after driving off, Tanya calls me up and tells me that the homeowners’ have called for a roof inspector to come out to check the roof this afternoon. (“Wow, pushy Cheryl was good for something for me for once!”) So stay tuned…