Here’s What Makes Me Angry

I’m kind of stuck in the “anger” stage of not getting that house.  Please forgive me while I vent.  What makes me angry is that the people who own the house I’d hoped to be moving into next month bought that house a short time ago.  Every thing that is wrong with that house was wrong or going to go wrong with that house when they bought it.

They could not have purchased that house on the up and up and not known that the roof, plumbing, and air conditioning were all about to go.

And yet, they’re trying to move out of that house without having addressed those things, as if some other chump is going to come along and buy the house and turn around and put $15,000 (my rough guess) into the house.

I mean, people, if you were going to buy a house that costs x+$15,000 in the next three years, you could buy a house that costs that right now and it would have all those things already addressed.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think there are reasons why they’re doing what they’re doing.  It’s not my place to speculate.

It’s just that I loved that fireplace and had already been dreaming about my dog in the back yard.

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32 thoughts on “Here’s What Makes Me Angry

  1. I’m assuming that they turned down the counter offer to have that stuff fixed… of course, if they wanted to fix it, they’d probably stay in the house….

    I know you’ll find someplace that is better and solid… so you can drive by the other house and taunt it before you go to the new place….

  2. Real-estate hunting is possibly even more up-and-down heartbreaking than dating, because you’re that much more powerless.

    One option is to keep looking, but keep an eye on that house to see if the price goes down enough to make the investment worth it … good luck and eat lots of chocolate.

  3. You just learned a valuable lesson in house hunting: never fall in love with a house until you have signed on the line that is dotted.

    We looked at literally more than a hundred houses over a period of three years. We had two bad inspections, and numerous other failed negotiations before we gave up and built.

    I’m not sure which is more painful and frustrating, though.

    Anyway, you did the smart thing getting an inspection. I’m amazed by how many people don’t. A few hundred dollars up front can save you tens of thousands and untold headaches. Realtors probably hate those guys.

  4. Yeah, Kathy T. was joking with the guy that, when her client is the buyer, she doesn’t want anyone but him inspecting the house. But when her client is the seller, she cringes when she sees that he’s the inspector.

    My bank wouldn’t give me a loan without the inspection, though, so I’m not sure what other folks are doing to get around that. But these guys better hope they find those folks.

  5. You will find your house. It’s coming. I feel it. (Of course I also hunt swamp monsters in my spare time and beg Memphis ghost hunters to come investigate my house.)
    BUT …
    You will find the house that is supposed to be yours.

  6. We *will* be heading to ‘Comas to investigate for ghosts.

    The only time I don’t outright cringe when someone passes on an inspection is when it’s a new construction. BUT I still recommend inspections for those, too. And now we know why.

  7. I have to say, though, Kathy, that with the five of you who were with me yesterday on my side, as much as this sucks, I feel like it’s going to be okay. I’ve got the right people watching my back. I feel damn sure of that.

  8. “My bank wouldn’t give me a loan without the inspection, though”

    Guess that has changed since we were looking (it’s been a while). Or maybe I just didn’t notice because we wouldn’t even think about buying without an inspection. It’s definitely a good idea, for the bank and the borrower.

  9. You’re lucky to have Kathy and her home inspector. My home inspector missed what is now obvious to me about roof problems and some other issues that are very costly. Sure, the previous owners updated the plumbing and the HVAC, but I’ve put $800 in the HVAC, $3200 into a new roof (and other roof repairs), $1200 into (some) new storm windows and doors and I’ve still got another $3000 worth of repairs to do to the outside. I only pray that there’s something I’m not missing! And that when I try to sell this place, Kathy’s inspector will not be on the side of the sellers!

    Incidentally, those guys might sell that house, but it will probably be to someone who doesn’t have a good real estate agent–an agent who’s desperate to sell a house and is in cahoots with the inspector to push it through.

  10. Talk to the Recalcitrant Brother…

    I think we could do our own tear-off, and I can put new decking on the roof. I don’t do shingles, but we could fix that valley with a diffrent type of roof, then get someone to put down shingles.

    The HVAC is something that you know will have to be replaced at some point, though, and that alone may be a deal-breaker.

  11. I just want to mention that in some states/municipalities, the seller is required to have the inspection done, and the house can’t be put on the market unless it passes. The caveat emptor approach in TN really bothers me.

  12. NM, at first glance, I’d agree that some safeguards should be in place. OTOH, someone with cash should be able to buy that house as-is. Some sellers, caught in a bind, might be unable to make the required repairs, and be doomed to foreclosure.

  13. I’m sorry, B. That sucks. But Tennessee is full to bursting of back yards. I’m still holding out for the creepy one with the magnolia tree and a creeky front porch swing next to a cemetary…

  14. Mack, an agreement of that type can be worked out if both parties explicitly agree to it and stipulate what the items are that didn’t pass inspection. But the seller has to start out by telling prospective buyers what the as-is condition of the house is.

  15. B, I am so very sorry that things don’t seem to be working out for this. I am glad, though, that you didn’t get into something that would have royally screwed you over, thanks to your and Kathy T’s good common sense (and Spidey senses!). I0 too am always amazed how people will invest in a home without full, reliable inspections. We have two houses on our street that flood when we get more than a couple of inches of rain (one has been on the news several times) and they CONTINUE to sell them to people. While I hold the real-estate agents responsible for skating over the flooding issues, I also have to hold the buyers responsible for not using what few brains God gives us all. If a house sits five feet *below* the road and has two sinkholes in its yard, you need to assume that it’s going to have a problem with water runoff. If you don’t know that much, you don’t need to be buying a house. (And in both cases, these houses are not so astoundingly cute that house lust would blind one into buying them. They’re just pleasant little houses. That you can’t get out of or into when it rains.)

    And by the way, when we were talking to an agent this spring about putting our house on the market, instead of talking about the foundation repairs we need to make (thank you 840) and suggesting some useful cosmetic work, the idiot started telling us we needed to “completely update the whole house” to the tune of nearly $35,000 before we could even put it on the market. As in tearing out all the perfectly good kitchen and bath cabinetry (instead of cleaning and replacing the hardware), replacing the main bathtub with a whirlpool and turning the secondary bath into a suite, strip and paint every wall in the house, etc. (I also knew we couldn’t do all that for that figure.)

    I looked at the agent and said, “If we were going to do all that, we’d STAY here, you twit. If someone wants red walls, he or she can paint red walls when they buy it. If they want two master-bath suites, they can put them in. We have a good sound functional house with a great fenced shady yard, new roof and patio cover, and the best great room in the county, and that’s what we need to sell, not spend money on turning it into a McMansion.”

    P.S. — B, we’d gladly sell our house to you — lots of room for Mrs. W and the kittehs as well as all sorts of lovely events — but the commute up 24 would drive you mad.

  16. So, if I’m reading that right, there’s a law similar to what I was discussing here in TN; it just isn’t enforced. Like so many laws here that would make life a little better.* Sigh.

    *Even just enforcing the use of turn signals would make life a little less stressful, yaknowadimean?

  17. NM, awful hard to prove someone “knew about defects.” Absent some written notification from somewhere, how do you prosecute this?

  18. Check whether they’ve called a plumber or the HVAC people in the past? I dunno, Sar is assuring me that actually requiring sellers to have an inspection and notify prospective buyers of the results is a duplication of effort, and I’m trying to see it his way.

  19. No, the link he provides says “The Seller is not required to undertake independent inspections or investigations of the property in order to complete the Disclosure. The Buyer may wish to obtain an Inspection.” I’m sure Kathy T could explain it better, though.

  20. There is no burden of proof for the seller. Just like when you buy a car. Get a mechanic to check it out. If you don’t, that couple of hundred you tried to save by not having an inspection will cost you thousands.

    As far as property disclosure forms, I filled one out for my house today. (Check that RealTracs for your buyer, Kathy!) I have no specific info on how old the roof is or when the HVAC system was installed. I have a general idea. Not the same thing.

    In B’s case, if the seller’s now know about the defects as discovered in the home inspection, they would be obliged to provide a new property disclosure form that reflects their “new found” knowledge about that house.

  21. NM, No one would likely push the issue with a busted pipe or an HVAC unit that suddenly went on the fritz. I’m talking about major structural problems, i.e. foundation, roof, etc.

    You asked why it wasn’t enforced. I simply stated why I though it would be exceptionally hard to prosecute.

  22. You can’t prove in court that you suspect a homeowner knew something when he claims he didn’t.

    If the internet has taught us anything, it is that you can claim to know the innermost thoughts of others, but often have no clue.

  23. The thing is… these things are not actual *defects* at this time … well except for the plumbing. The A/C works, but it is past it’s life expectency. The roof isn’t leaking now, but it too is past its life expectency.

    Yes, they do now need to disclose this on the property condition disclosure form, but if they don’t agree to Aunt B’s repairs, I think they’ll be taking it off the market to wait awhile for the next hungry agent and buyer.

    I really really like the idea of having a home inspected prior to putting it on the market, but not every seller is willing.

    If they don’t agree to repairs, then we’ll find another BETTER house for our dear Aunt B.

  24. Well, I’ll just go back to where I started from in this conversation, which is to point out that there are places where all sellers are required to have the inspection done. And in today’s market, buyers can be a lot more demanding about things like that.

    But as for a better house, I agree completely. Phhhhhft! there are plenty of lovely fireplaces out there, most of them in houses that don’t have problems like these.

  25. Aw, I’m so sorry about the house. When you find the RIGHT one, may it have an even bigger and better yard for Mrs. Wigglebottom.

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