The next big step in selling our house was the home inspection. This made me more nervous than anything. We're talking about a 40 year old house--and although in pretty good condition, is still 40 years old. The roof was brand new and the siding was good but it's the things you can't see in the walls and in the attic or the crawlspace that had me worried.
I admit, I did not read the 68+ page home inspection report when it came back. I was only interested in what the buyers wanted us to do.
Cari, told us right away to just ignore the $7500 credit the sellers wanted (in addition to the $3000 in closing costs) for the removal of the popcorn ceiling and replacement of the 30 year old pipes. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. If they don't want old pipes or popcorn ceiling they can buy a newer home.
Corrective action requested by buyer:
hire professional duct cleaner to clean air ducts and dryer vent
hire professional masonry contractor to repair and replace mortar on chimney
hire professional contractor to
install carbon monoxide detectors
repair or adjust the kitchen fan vent pipe to properly vent to exterior of house
repair foundation vent screens
install a back-flow valve to low point drain in crawl space
repair downspout on corner of house
repair damaged roof overhangs and eaves
repair leaking hallway bathroom faucet valve and laundry room stub-out and shut off
repair/replace nails/fasteners on roof to proper installation
replace step flashing termination on roof
Is it bad when we don't know what half these things mean?? I was actually surprised not to see that the hot water heater needed to be secured to the garage wall in case of an earthquake because that was something that came up on our inspection when we bought the house. We let it slide and then never had it taken care of ourselves. Oops.
Our philosophy on the corrective action: If it ain't broke, we're not fixing it. First of all, we had the ducts cleaned two years ago. We weren't doing it again. I even had the receipt to prove it. But, we agreed to have the dryer vent cleaned. We said no to the chimney repairs. The fireplace works just fine. We would have someone install carbon monoxide detectors, readjust the fan vent in the attic and replace vent screens. We were not going to put a back-flow valve in the crawl space (whatever that is), we'd attach the downspout to the house, but we just had the drainage redone on both sides of the house by our landscapers that previous fall and would produce a receipt to prove that as well. We are not replacing the overhangs or eaves. They were just barely showing signs of wear. We'd have our home warranty peeps come fix the bathtub faucet and have someone look at the laundry room thing even though we had no idea what it meant. As far as the roof goes...it's brand new and still under warranty. Anything that is wrong would be handled by that company.
And then we got to work. It REALLY helps to have a general contractor as a friend. Wid Payne SAVED us! He installed the CO2 detectors we purchased, he adjusted the fan vent in the attic by 2 mm that took all of two seconds, he adjusted the downspout for us, and when he looked at our screen vents (which were sitting in the original concrete of the foundation) he said they were all fine. He couldn't figure out what they were talking about. When the A/C was installed, they did cut a little hole in that screen to get the pipe under there and a hole about 1/8 inch remained. Technically, small animals could potentially squeeze through there, so we got some spray insulation that he added to close the gap. This was actually a relief because if the screens were really damaged, it would have been a big job to fix. He also checked the laundry room stub-out which has to do with where your water lines come in, but he said that was fine too. So great!
As for the roof, I called and told them that our home inspection stated there were some problems. We were curious what they might be considering how new it was. Our warranty has a section that covers us for 10 years regarding installation errors, which is what we figured it had to be. The warranty company, however, had to send a third party out to get a sample to make sure it wasn't defective materials. And that would be at least a week before he came out and another week or so before the results came back. We only had 2 weeks to get this taken care of. As time wore on I basically told Cari that the buyers needed to know the roof issue wouldn't be resolved until long after our repair deadline had passed and chances are...even after they take possession of the house. But the warranty on the roof transfers to them so they can just pick up where I left off. It took a little convincing but they finally agreed to those terms.
Our sewer scope came back in our favor. It was good to go. Phew! All these potential problems were a little worrisome.
But then there was the chimney. Cari had called and asked if the buyers could have someone look at the chimney to estimate the cost to fix it (after we said no). Yes, they could. But that got me thinking. What if they demanded we pay for that repair and if so, who's to say they got the best quote on the repair. Ohhh no you don't. I was going to be pro-active, baby. So I got on the phone and immediately started calling every masonry person I could, to get as many bids as possible that SAME day for the job so we could be adequately armed with accurate information. I actually got 3 companies to come by with a bid. And I got one online. They were all fairly close in price and one was super inexpensive.
Cari called later in the day and let us know the buyers weren't concerned about the chimney. It wasn't as expensive as they thought to repair (not a deal breaker apparently!). To which I replied, "So I guess they don't need the 4 different bids I got today to counter any outrageously high bid they might have gotten?" Cari was impressed with my initiative and congratulated me. She actually called me later to ask if I would share those bids with the buyers--I did so happily.
And then it was time for the appraisal.
Ironically enough, the appraisal could not be completed until the hot water heater was secured properly. So...we had Wid come to our rescue again! He worked hard and got that thing strapped down in beautiful shape. We are SO grateful for his help and we highly recommend him for any general contracting work that you may need. If he can't do it, he'll know someone who can.
Clearly we don't know what the house appraised at...at least the price we were selling it for and that's all we cared about. Phew...now we just had to pray that the buyer's loan would fund. Cari had told me that their loan guy had contacted her a while ago to say they shouldn't have any problems getting the funding. But I was not about celebrating until this thing was a done deal. Too many question-marks still.
Jared and I drove to the title company on Wednesday, June 18th, to make the sale of our first house official. It was a lot quicker than when we went to sign for the purchase of it, that's for sure! We're so grateful to Cari Crossley who has such a calming influence on you when there are big decisions to make and consider. She rocked it for us just like she did when we bought our house. We're so appreciative of her support and interest in our family's well being. We have never felt, as buyers or sellers, that we were just another gig. We highly recommend her for anyone's realtor needs in the Beaverton area! firstname.lastname@example.org
The first thing Friday morning, June 20th, and for the first time ever in our lives, we had a HUGE gob of money deposited into our checking account from the title company. Yay for equity and the American dream of home-ownership!
and now (6 1/2 years later).
Good-bye, Rosa Drive.