Sunday, 5 August 2018

It's a waiting game

I'm one of those people....I hate having to wait for someone else to get back to me. I want to know now! Or better yet, 10 minutes ago.  However, with the long weekend, we're in a bit of a holding pattern with the house in Melville.

The broker found two different mortgage companies willing to finance the property. That was a positive as it more difficult to mortgage a second property, and especially one that is in a small town coupled with a low mortgage amount.  The interest rate is slightly higher, but just a 10th of a percentage point.  I've conservatively calculated the mortgage payments to be $120 bi-weekly.  It seems such a crazy small amount, but of course there are other costs associated with owning a property.

Oh, is that last statement true!  We had our inspections (mostly) completed on Friday.  D, Eli, and I drove up on Friday morning, arriving just after 9 a.m.  The selling real estate agent and the inspector were there.  She was busy putting pads on the bottom of the chairs and the table legs, while he was checking out the laundry.  Later, she left and he headed back down to the basement.  

I'm sharing a few of the cellphone photos D took - they are dark as her flash doesn't work since Eli threw it in the tub.  The kitchen is quite large but long and narrow.  The refridgerator is to the right of the sink, and the washer/dryer combo are directly across from the cabinets to the left of the stove.  That is a small deep freeze on the far left hand side.  

The flooring has been redone on the main floor with the exception of the bathroom and small porch.  The door you can see on the far left opens to the small porch with the bathroom to the left of that.

The wall between the kitchen and dining room/living room combo has been opened up (though the door to the original living room is still there as well).  

This photo is taken from the dining room into the small living room.  There would be more  room to get past the couch but the owner has an old grandfather's clock against the wall.  

D plans to turn the dining area in to a play area for Eli.  The current tenants are also using it for storage, so I suspect it won't look much different...though a little messier when Eli is through with it.  At the bottom right of the photo, they have a blender set up.  The little stinker figured out how to turn it on!  
He loved the space and ran back and forth between the rooms and then discovered the stairs to the second level.  

This is the view looking into the house from the front porch door.  The living room is on the left, the stairs on the right.  Being an older house, they are fairly steep and on his first foray, Eli was pretty cautious as he climbed (crawled).  But after he went up and down a couple of times he wasn't the least bit afraid.

I have no photos of the upstairs as the photos D took were just too dark.  It was clear the tenants have just moved in, and we were told they are there for two months for a firefighting course.  It was good to see their items in the room as it gave us a better idea of the size.  All rooms look big when empty, I think.

While the inspector completed his work, we took some measurements of windows, doors, the bathroom vanity and other spaces.  D's friend A arrived, and they took Eli outside where he ran back and forth in the front and side yards.  There was a pregnant kitty who came to check him out and the poor thing was chased about until she decided enough was enough.  

Meanwhile a locksmith came by to try to open the garage as it was locked and the realtor didn't know where to find a key.  However, he needed a drill that he didn't have with him, and the inspector had to leave so rather than go through the report, the inspector left it incomplete and headed out.  He was to meet with the locksmith today (though I've let him know Tuesday is soon enough) so I expect I'll hear more at some point.  

So the inspection report....I'm not entirely certain how much I can rely on it as he missed some things we noted - the flashing above the front windows and the broken window in the front porch for example, and put a lot of emphasis on the fact the house has sloping floors. He did, however, note there is some rotting at the bottom of the posts in the basement though assured me the house won't fall in on itself.  The plumber's report was separate and while I anticipated the recommendation to have a sump pump installed, there was one surprise.  Apparently when the water heater was put in, the chimney insert wasn't changed out to a smaller width as required.  The plumber doing the inspection was the one who installed it and he indicated the owner didn't want to spend the money.  I thought he would fail it, but he didn't....I guess he didn't want to be negative about his own work.  

I'm going to give him a call Tuesday morning and request an estimate of the costs to install both the sump pump and the chimney insert.  Maybe, just maybe he'll give me a bit of a deal?  At that point, I have a decision to make as depending on the cost I anticipate we'll be going back to the current owner for a price reduction.  I'm quite willing to share the cost, but I really think he should be on the hook for the chimney insert because he should have had the work done already.  If Google is right, the cost will be between $65 and $100 a foot - with a two story house it is going to cost a pretty penny.  I've been in touch with my realtor's co-worker (he's on vacation this week) and she is prepared to go back with a revised offer.  

There was also another surprise, this one a good one.  The inspector discovered that the entire house has been re-wired.  Between the new windows, the newer room (5-10 years), the furnace and water heater (10 years), and the wiring, I'm confident that much of the expensive repairs have been done.  Yes, there will need to be more money spent - I'd be foolish not to think so but I'm happy to know so much has been done to bring the house up to current standards.  

D is getting quite excited and packing is well underway.  The garage is starting to empty out of all of the extra items; although that is happening less quickly than I would like, she assures me it will be done in the 60 days or so before the move.  She's got a quote from a local moving company as well - we've used them before in the move to this house, the cost was reasonable and they were very efficient.  

So the finish line is in sight...


I've spent the rest of the weekend, thus far, doing regular weekend things - grocery shopping, laundry, washing floors (gosh this kid drops things and mashes them into the floors), and cleaning my bedroom and bathroom.  This morning I relaxed in bed and read with a cup of coffee.  My brother lent me a book he'd recently read, "The secret diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 years old".  The book was written by an "inmate" of a nursing home in Denmark - his word, not mine - about a year in his life. It starts off with the caution "Another year, and I still don't like old people." The almost daily diary entries are amusing, hilarious, sad, poignant, and sweet as he shares tales of bad food, the many complaints of the inmates, the escapades of the "Old but not dead" club, and the inevitable health issues that arise with age.  R brought it over on Friday and I finished it this morning - it's the first book in a long time that I've had difficulty putting down.    

We've been having lots of rain, but hopefully tomorrow will be clear and I can get out into the yard.  The lawn is in desperate in need of a mow and good weeding, and the containers need to be dead-headed.  I'm looking forward to the time when I don't have to squeeze chores into a certain day but can do a little every day (as long as the weather cooperates).

My wait won't be much longer though - just four months until the end of November!  The marble jar is looking very low.  

On that note, I'm off to make pasta salad for dinner this evening.  Have a great rest of the weekend everyone!


  1. I hope for a speedy and satisfactory end to the house purchase! (Mostly that any repairs needed won't be unreasonable or unmanageable!) Gee, think of all the extra time you'll have when you're not having to clean up after Eli--lol. (I know you'll miss him!)

    As for your retirement, is it that soon? I had next winter stuck in my mind for some reason, but I could be confusing your impending retirement with someone else's. :-)

    In an ideal world, I'd retire at 60--i.e. do something else (paid) for 2 or 3 days per week--but I won't even have the house paid off till I'm 66, and that's only if I don't refinance again. I don't think "retirement" is in my future at all. LOL. Anyway, I'm excited for you and hope that after the "honeymoon" phase of retirement is over you'll settle into a new and happy life. :-)

  2. You've probably already done this but have you looked into a secured line of credit against the house instead of a conventional mortgage? That way if you choose to pay more per month your interest is reduced - we did that with our last mortgage when we lived in Alberta and paid it off way way earlier. You do have to be diligent about making payments and all that though. Looks like a cute house!

  3. The house looks very nice inside - though I am not a fan of open floor-plans. I like walls. If you are wary of the inspector leaving things out, it may pay to have someone else take a look, as well, just in case. I dislike being more observant than the experts. And you are quite right about room-size: everything looks larger when it is empty. Put a bed in a bedroom and you may not have enough space for sleeping! But you are an experienced home-owner and just plain smart; your daughter is lucky to have you on her side. (I've written that before, but it still holds true.)


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