The next step in the escrow process is getting an inspection of the house. Even though an official home inspection isn’t required by our mortgage company AND even though Rick could do much of the inspection himself (as a Structural Engineer and Architect), we wanted fresh, unbiased eyes on the house to see what we otherwise might miss.
Our real estate agent recommended Elite Home Inspection. Jeff’s son, Brett, is in the biz, too, and guess who gets to climb under houses and into attics? Yep, the young’un.
The purpose of a home inspection is to look into all the nooks and crannies of a home and test all the systems. Does the A/C actually cool the air? Does the dishwasher come on? Does the gas stove light up? How are the seals on the dual-pane windows? Evidence of a roof leak? Are there smoke detectors where there should be smoke detectors? And so on and so forth.
It’s a great way to find out what you’ll be in for when you get the keys to the house – or to renegotiate the purchase agreement – or to find out if you should to back out of the deal. For this house, the only way we’d back out is if we found out the house is sliding into a sinkhole…something big that would keep the mortgage company from funding. Most little things we can deal with ourselves, such as a sprinkler control leaking or getting rid of ivy – such an invasive little cuss! Once Rick went to visit a potential client and they had ivy coming into their family room – INTO the house through a hole in the wall…they thought that was the cutest thing! Ivy is destructive, people, burn it, burn it all!
In this pic the ivy has been pulled off and this remains. It will take a knife and sandpaper to get it all off!
But I digress…
In some areas, and for some types of loans, things like broken windows, evidence of termites or a missing toilet would have to be fixed/mitigated/replaced prior to the loan funding. Anything that might make a house unlivable – like a nonfunctioning bathroom, duh.
We do have to provide a pest report to the loan company, which has been scheduled for the next couple days, if I remember correctly. At that point, we’ll find out if we have to have someone come and treat the house for termites and whether it’s a simple deal or we have to tent the house. I say ‘we’ because we are going into this ‘As Is’ sale with a full understanding that it is ‘As Is’, not like SOME people who don’t understand what ‘As Is’ actually means! And, yes, I’m talking to you, previous-buyer-who-acted-like-termites-never-happened-in-your-world-ever.
Those tunnels are left by the termites eating their way through the wood.
Those little brownish pellets look like grains of sand. You might a little pile of them on the floor, by a tiny hole…we did (not this house, tho)
Oh, before I forget, when/if you ever have termites mitigated at your home, make sure that the evidence of droppings or mud casings or whatever are swept away. I have had 2 instances where the termites were dealt with via tenting and/or spraying and the detritus wasn’t removed. Meaning, of course, that the next inspector sees it and notes ‘evidence of termites’ on his report and the cycle repeats.
Anyway, we have a ton of ivy to get rid of, tons of it all around the deck and starting up the side of the house. It’s beautiful, isn’t it, on a college clocktower but not on a house with wood siding! It’ll tear it up, tiny bit by tiny bit…
The Tower at San Jose Statue University. Lovely
Based on the report – which was provided a speedy 2 hours later! – we have a leaky sprinkler control and the A/C doesn’t cool down as far as it should – and the day wasn’t even very hot. So, we know that we’ll be repairing or replacing the HVAC system in the next year or 2 or 5. Plus some other little things we’ll be dealing with that cause us no grief at all, like cleaning out the gutters.
I asked the people who live there now – very nice granddad, dad (and his girlfriend) and son – what items might belong to them so we’d know what we’d have to replace; i.e. the fridge might be theirs since sometimes tenants have to provide their own. They said only the fish in the pond and the potted plants! Whoo-hoo! That means the ceiling fans, the clothes washer and dryer, the refrigerator AND the hot-tub stay?!? Awesome!
Of course, one never knows for sure until one gets the keys – maybe the actual owners will haul something away (even though all that info is supposed to be included in the purchase agreement – what is excluded from the sale, that is to say).
While the inspection is going on I go into each room and take notes about lighting, paint, carpet, linoleum, etc. Pretty much everything needs paint, but there aren’t big holes in the walls that I can see. The tile work in the master bath shower is lovely! The tile in the kitchen? Not so much. Its beige with dark brown grout. On white cabinets. >sigh< I can never get away from dark brown grout, can I. Well, the counters aren’t not too bad as far as chips go; there are only a couple small ones that I could see. It could be worse – this I can live with. And the carpet merely needs cleaning, at least for now we can live with it, as well – its beige, it’ll go with whatever furniture we scrounge up.
This is NOT the carpet…but we expected to have to buy a place like this.
As Rick and I wander around the house taking measurements and notes, we are surprised to find things in even better condition than we remembered. The tile in the entry is great!
This is NOT the bathroom! We feel so lucky to have found a house in such good condition!
I’m afraid to get excited. And Rick? Well, of course, he has already designed a new kitchen with more windows! It’s what he does, poor guy, he simply can’t help redesigning things.
We won’t be redoing the kitchen anytime soon, though. Based on the estimate our bank has given us for the cost of the sale, most all that we’ve saved will go to the down payment, so it’s a good thing we don’t have to buy a washer/dryer! Remember when I said we’d be scrounging up furniture? We have no furniture for this house except for a dining room table! My mom did offer us her family room loveseat, with its green and pink plaid cushions… Which we are happy to take, yes, we are! ;-)