Hello! Welcome to my blog & my first post! You can read a little about us here!
Last October (just over 3 months ago) we bought our first house. It has been such an exciting and terrifying experience. We missed the first few houses that we were really interested in to other buyers, you know, because we were trying to take our time and make a good decision about the whole thing. Our realtor, while very patient with us, was obviously a little amused at our intensity about the details and the wanting to see a house a few times before making a decision, etc. I guess what we did not realize is that this biggest purchase we had ever made was supposed to be made with so little information up front. And then, after you’ve made a bit of a financial commitment, you’re allowed to spend more money to get the house inspected and try to find out what you can before the closing date! I suppose there are good reasons why, which some realtor person out there can explain to me. But after missing out on two (*possible*) gems, everything else on the market looked awful.
I wanted to give up, since I was certain that we’d only be able to buy a crappy house for way more than we could afford and then never have any money for fixing it up. Michael had spent three of our six weeks looking beating himself up over the fact that we missed out on that first house with the amazing three-car garage and double lot (which we both agreed would probably be big enough for goats – another point of amusement for our realtor).
Then we sorta gave up for two weeks right around when I was due with our 4th child. (Yes, we looked at a whole bunch of houses, up & down stairs while I was in my ninth month of pregnancy & I still went a week past due!) While we were in the hospital cuddling our ginormous newborn baby boy, and over-dosed on House Hunters International (which experience also convinced us to cancel the cable service we signed up for before heading to the hospital), we decided to get back on-line to see if there were any new houses on the market. There was one in a neighborhood we liked, but only listed three bedrooms. We were already renting a three bedroom house and felt like we were outgrowing it. Our requirements were for a four bedroom house and two bathrooms. This was a three bedroom house with one bathroom. But we decided it couldn’t hurt to look. We liked the price and we liked the square footage & we LOVED the neighborhood. And you know what they say…”Location, location, location!”
Turns out we kinda liked it. It’s totally charming (at least on the inside, and I’m still deciding what to do to make the outside look better….), and we could see a lot of potential with it. It was in a lot better condition than some of the things we had seen. The third bedroom turned out to be the entire upstairs finished out attic. It currently has several partition walls, so there are three distinct spaces (a kids room, a play room, and a school room/office). Our short term plans involve adding a bathroom upstairs, rearranging the partition so that there are still three rooms, but have a more private bedroom and office (which may later be more of a bedroom), eventually making this house a four bedroom, two bathroom house.
Well…those WERE our short term plans. That is until the night of our Christmas party, when all the snow melted and our basement flooded and through a series of four visits from a plumber, several sleepless nights, and a bad sewage smell, we discovered that there is a blockage in the main line. We paid $150 to have the plumber run a camera down (“so you’ll know for sure what the problem is” the plumber says.), only to be told he couldn’t see the problem (don’t suppose there’s a refund, then?). He did however believe there was a break in the main sewer line. You know, the $5K kind where they need to get a big back-hoe (??) out here and dig 6-8 feet down and maybe even cut down our trees…
Needless to say, we ate almost nothing for a week. Appetite lost. Between the smell in the house and the $5K estimate hanging over us…but now, a few weeks later, we’ve managed to get the smell under control. The trick…don’t let a lot of water go down the drain. So we’re all taking really short showers, and instead of letting dish water go down the sink, it all goes into a bucket & dumped in the back yard. It feels a bit like camping. But we have to save up until at least our tax refund comes. Then maybe we can get something done.
But I think I want to try having another plumber send a camera down. I mean, $5K based on a guy’s guess? And a guy that will profit from it? Sure, we obviously have a plumbing problem, but I’ll be getting some other opinions first!
Anyone know a good plumber? haha
And now, those plans for another bathroom upstairs are pushed back until who-knows-when. “Welcome to home ownership,” they tell me.