Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Rotten To The Core *edited*

Well, maybe not to the core, but there is most definitely some signficant rot being discovered at the new house. We knew there was some - our inspection revealed that. But there wasn't time to have it repaired before the close - before our interest rate lock expired - so we accepted a credit for the amount of the bid. The bid that clearly states it's only good for the damage they can see, not necessarily for what they find underneath. And hooo-boy, did they uncover some major rot when they took off the sections of affected siding.

It seems as if the dumb-fucks who did the addition of the master suite and rec room cut a few corners. Normally you have the studs/framing and insulation, then the plywood, then a weather-wrap (Tyvex, usually - the white sheeting material you see in new construction), and then the siding. Well, the weather-wrap stuff wasn't ever put on. The siding is sitting directly over the plywood. So when water got in, there was nothing preventing it from rotting the plywood. And so you can begin to see the disaster unfurling.... Thankfully it seems to be pretty contained to the areas we knew about, but still... it's affected a window in the rec room AND the door leading out to the deck. Those will have to be replaced, plus the plywood, maybe a few studs, and the siding. And oh yeah, the time it takes for the crew to do the work. The bid we were credited for was $1362.00, plus the $500 our realtor is kicking in, but the contractor is informing us that it's going to be in excess of $3000 for the repair, and only goes up from there.

FUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKKKK!

We took a gamble on this and we lost. There's nothing we can do other than cough up the money and have it fixed. They *think* they can have it done by the end of the week. I hope so, because I want to just move into the house problem-free. Well, let me rephrase that: I want to move into the house major problem-free. Minor stuff I can handle. I know there are a whole bunch of minor stuff we need to do to the house (like fix the hot/cold in the kitchen sink, which have been reversed for some unknown reason, and the previous owners must have just gotten used to it - ?) That would drive me batty.

Off to pack more boxes. I was side-lined from that this morning by a frantic call from Mr. Chick, informing me that the water at the house had been shut-off. I totally forgot to sign up for water at the house! Where we live now, water and electric service are handled by the same utility, so I'm not used to them being separate. Oops - my bad. The contractors need to use the loo, so it was critical I get the water turned on. That and I needed to fill out our change-of-address cards for the mail. Oh the never-ending details involved in moving - ! Can we just be DONE already??!

*** EDITED TO ADD***
And the hits just keep on comin'. I'm being to think there should be a Lemon Law for real estate. The dry rot around the door to the deck I mentioned? Yeah, well, the rot extends into the house itself via sub-floor for at least a foot. There are hardwood floors in the hallway where this door is located. The contractor is having to pull up the hardwoods to get to the rotted sub-floor. We'll lose some of the floorboards because they, too, are showing some signs of rot. So we'll have to kick in even MORE money to either a) replace the hardwoods or b) figure out different flooring, like linoleum (which I don't like the thought of because I LOVE the hardwoods! Wah!). But wait! There's more! When they started taking up the hardwoods they found a bunch of live termites! Just crawling around under the hardwood. Beautiful. I guess they're attracted to the rotted wood. So I get to have the Orkin Man pay a visit to my house, on top of everything else, and give me a bid on how much MORE money it's going to cost us to deal with the pest problem caused by the ever-growing rot problem. Wanna come visit and have a sleep-over?? You provide the sleeping bag, I'll provide the creepy-crawlies and a can of Raid.

Comments:
OMG that sucks! BIG time! I swear it seems like there should be something you can do to go back on the sellers. Why weren't the termites discovered at inspection? Who hired the inspector? No offense, but it sure seems like he was on the side of the sellers here. I can't believe how much more is wrong and how easy the sellers got off. They are probably laughing all the way to the bank. Does Mr. Chick know anything about real estate law?

I'm so sorry you have to deal with all this. At least the good still outweighs the bad, right?.....right?!
 
um, yeah, *I* hired the inspector. A whole-house w/ pest & dry rot. Trouble with inspections? They're limited to what they can see. The guy was actually pretty thorough and uncovered pretty much everthing. What he couldn't determine was the extent of damage, because there is no way to truly know until you dig in and see what lies beneath the surface. The pest problem - I actually called the inspector today, slightly pissed off that we weren't told about the termites, but those suckers hide and aren't usually in plain view. In other words, the inspector didn't see them because they are living BETWEEN the floors (floor coverings and sub-floor).

Mr. Chick and I knew there could easily be more to the rot problem once we scratched the surface, and the sellers were actually willing to fix the problem. BUT, we we were between a rock and a hard place in terms of the closing because our interest rate lock expired before the work could be completed, and the house wouldn't close with pending work. So we had to accept the credit for the bid the contractor provided, based on his initial assessment of the rot repair. $1362. Not a small amount. The sellers paid that. It's the extent of damage done that we couldn't have known about before hand that's surprising, and disappointing. And we can't really go back on the sellers, because they already paid what we asked them to, and because the damage was created by some questionable building practices done when the addition was built, which was before they even bought the house by 6 years. They probably had no idea, either. No one did - there was no way to tell just by a visual inspection. Only after taking the siding off and following the trail of rot was the true extent known. Total and utter bummer. But had we had more time before closing, they would have fixed the problem and all of this would have fallen on THEM, not us. But because we HAD to close when we did (or pay a point to extend our rate, about $2600), we took the amount for the initial bid and crossed our fingers. Turns out it would have been a wash - what we would have paid to extend our lock is probably close to what we'll have to pay to fix the problems. It just sucks all around.

and yes, the good still outweighs the bad, but just barely! :)
 
OK but once it is all down -- it will be stunning. What about tile instead of lino? You know what -- I like lino. It is totally not cool to line lino but it is so easy to take care of and so sturdy. I probably should have kept that to myself eh?

Jenn
 
MP,

Thanks for answering my comments. I feel so bad for you, but you are right. It's a wash. I guess all my moves have made me very skeptical about sellers motivations lol. On the upside, at least now you'll know that the work was done right. Which is especially important since you are looking forward to living there for many years. Keep good records of everything, though, in case you do have to flip the house in a couple of months. Gawd, I really hope you don't lol!

My only horror story of discoveries when buying a house isn't really all that bad. We bought an 1890's Victorian in 1998. We hired the inspector who didn't find anything major wrong with the house. In fact he said the house was so strong he aged it at only 50 years instead of over 100. 1999 we started to remodel the upstairs bathroom. Took all the plaster and lathe off down to the studs. We extended the ceiling too for more head room. As we were uncovering the rafters, we noticed they were awfully dark. They were burned! It turns out the whole roof had burned off back in the '50's and no one told us! No harm done though, thankfully. That house was so solid it will stand at least another 100 years. Unfortunately we sold it when we moved back "home" last year. I miss it terribly. Now we live in an 8 yr. old house that sounds like a breeze will blow it down.

I agree with Jenn that you could look at doing tile instead of the wood. Or slate would look very sharp and natural. Slate is fabulous around an entry door because you don't have to worry about wet feet ruining the wood. But you don't really have to worry about that. You don't get much rain, do you? lmbo....

Sorry. I get so sarcastic when my insomnia strikes. It's currently 4am and I've been awake since 2:30. Oy.
 
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