Posts Tagged ‘buying process’


It’s ours.


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Jumping in…

Our closing is set for a little over an hour from now.

My goal is mostly just to take my time and understand the fine print.

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I have often thought that you could tell the story of my life just from the dates on my Amazon wishlist and order history.

Today’s purchases, after a time-consuming comparative reading of reviews:

These seem like the best ones for us as we get started — I’m sure whatever major maintenance and/or repair issues arise will be things we delegate to qualified professionals, but if knowledge is power, it looks like these are three good shots in the arm.

Also, today, we went in for a long chat about our first-ever homeowner’s insurance policy. It looks like the main thing to remember is that it only covers things that are sudden and surprising. But I suppose that’s true of insurance generally. It doesn’t cover flood, earthquakes, or things we do to the house on purpose. It does cover if a hailstorm ruins our roof, or if the hose to the washing machine comes off and water gushes all over our house while we’re at work one day. Or if the whole place burns down.

Depressing! But good, I suppose.

I also saw, quite clearly, in dollars and cents, that you cannot afford to rebuild our house, even with significantly shoddier modern building materials, for what we are paying for it. We’re insuring it for more, but it’s still kind of sad.

The other thing we’ve done is visit the wallpaper-removal and paint-chip sections of our local Home Depot and Lowe’s. Just window (shelf?) shopping for now.

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Repair verdicts…

Our final list of requested repairs has been APPROVED… we had filled it out with several smaller items imagining that they would come back and agree to maybe half of them… but they agreed to everything major and all of the minor things too except two (replacing a missing slat on the laundry room doors and replacing a missing radiator knob, both minor/cosmetic!)

  • Even the chimney reinforcement!
  • Even the professional asbestos removal!
  • Even a $500 credit to buy a new gas stove if the one that’s in there can’t be brought up to brand new working condition (yet to be determined)!

We were definitely expecting to have to compromise more than this, so if the written agreement sounds as good as it sounded on the phone today with our realtor, we are one more HUGE step toward being homeowners. 🙂

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The asbestos is going to be $2820 to seal in or $3640 to take out. Quotes are from the best people in town who do this in the best old buildings in town and include air testing afterward to be sure it worked and is safe.

The chimney does NOT need to be rebuilt and just needs to be braced with metal things pushed down into the ground. Total cost for this, which does not need to be done immediately, would be around $4000. This is WAY better news than I was afraid of.

Our realtor is putting together a list of all the things we would like to be repaired. Obviously the seller will probably not say yes to all of them, but c’est la vie — it should start out as a long list so we have room to negotiate.

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Well… it’s not ours yet.

The house inspector, Benjamin, was incredibly thorough and great. He said it’s a very solid house with a good skeleton, frame, foundations, good wiring and up to date ductwork, AC, heat, etc. All the radiators work. He ran the washer, dryer, dishwasher, and oven.

Big issues:

1. The chimney is leaning away from the house. We have an engineer coming tomorrow at 1:00pm to help us determine if this is a $5K thing or a $30K thing.

2. The roof structure is great, but the shingles on the main part of the house will need to be redone in 3-5 years. Possibly earlier with bad luck.

3. The basement hot water pipes are insulated with asbestos. It’s not in horrible shape but it’s old and starting to go friable, which is bad. We have an asbestos specialist coming tomorrow at 8:00am to help us determine if it’s sealable and/or removable.

The rest of the stuff was little — a leaky faucet, a cap for a chimney, a small tree to chop down that’s growing too close to the foundation, an outlet that doesn’t work, doors that need trimstripping, etc. Understandable.

The house is 98 years old. The only concern it has that is not the same as every other 98 year old classy house on this 98 year old classy block is the chimney thing.

So… we’ll see.

After the meetings tomorrow our realtor will help us decide how to word our “Please fix it” list. The seller can either come down on the price by the amounts of the estimates or have things repaired. Or we can walk away from the house.

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