I hesitate to even call it a real estate disaster because this is such a first world problem but a few of you keep asking me about when I am going to start blogging about our new-to-us-home and I can’t do that without getting a few things off my chest.
So here we go…
When we moved back home from Alberta we moved in with my in laws until we could find a home. It took longer than expected because we couldn’t find anything that was really suitable for our family in any of the neighbourhoods we wanted (again – first world problems I know).
Then we found a house. It met all of our requirements, was in one of our top choice neighbouhoods and was in our price range. It needed some love. It needed some updating and for the love of every decorating magazine out there it needed some paint that wasn’t in some shade of brown.
We decided to put in an offer that night and so did 3 other people. We weren’t surprised and we weren’t emotionally attached so we offered $5,000 more than asking and any closing date they wanted. Then my husband and I promised each other we wouldn’t be sad if we lost the house, that we had made our best offer and what will be will be.
We knew it could go either way (or any of the 4 ways) and I don’t know what the deciding factor was but we won the bidding war and set upon the required home inspection, bank visits and dreamy Home Depot and Lowes trips.
Fast forward a few months…
The morning of closing, we received a phone call from the agent. It seemed something was wrong with the fridge and water had leaked over parts of the kitchen floor, down the wall and into the basement. She was headed over there and wanted to know if we would like to go and inspect.
Of course, the answer to that question was yes. So away we went and sure enough there was water. At the time it was kind of funny. I mean something is bound to happen in any real estate deal. But quite honestly, it was fixable and we were fine to close on the house but to protect ourselves and allow us to fix the damage we requested a $10,000 hold-back.
Their agent was surprised at how reasonable and easy going we were being. The sellers said we were being unreasonable and out right refused to hold back any money. In turn, we refused to close on a house that had water damage without them committing the funds to fix it.
It was unfortunate that it happened when it did. But we technically didn’t own the house when it happened and it was going to be thousands of dollars to fix the damage ($4,000 to $10,000 depending on which quote you refer to) and we couldn’t file an insurance claim because we didn’t own the house when it happened.
Turns out, the reason the fridge leaked water is because they installed the water line to the fridge themselves. Without the proper plumbing line. Unfortunately, that is not the only do-it-yourself job in this house… we of course are fixing them one by one.
I have a lot of questions about why they dealt with the situation the way they did and honestly I am sure they think we are awful people trying to take advantage but 4 days later we closed on the house with a $10,000 hold back (like we had suggested at the onset) and a bad taste in everyone’s mouths.
Theirs was bad enough that they took every single shelf from every single closet – except for the bedroom basement because it was falling apart anyway (maybe another do-it-yourself).
Yes – the shelves from every single closet. I couldn’t unpack any of our clothing boxes.
No – they can’t really do that.
Or emptying out any of the other closets for that matter.
Anyway… the lawyers are dealing with everything now and I am left with a basement that is FINALLY fixed three months later and three more closets that still need new shelves/organizing systems put in (my husband has already fixed three of them and I can’t WAIT to show you what he did to our foyer closet!)
And then there’s this house that meets all of our requirements, is in one of our top choice neighbouhoods and still in our price range. It needs some major updating (especially in the bathrooms) and trust me when I tell you it is my personal mission to rid this house of brown forever.
Most of all this house needs love and it needs warmth and it got us so we’re going to love it room by room until it’s home.