Sunday, June 23, 2013


So, it isn't over yet.

Turns out, she isn't 113 years old, she's more like 133.

When the seller bought her, she was inhabited by raccoons.  Lots of them, evidently. 

Cosmetically and structurally, she is doing OK, but the sad news is that she needs a couple of transplants.

The 5-hour-long home inspection didn't turn up anything really terrible -- venting screens that are damaged or missing, caulking that's missing, a deadbolt that needs fixed.  And, then there's that moving floor in one of the bedrooms.  All things the older male in our foursome feels confident he can fix with some help and no huge outlay of cash.

However! Her well is not functioning well (ahem.) It needs $2,000 worth of repairs just to keep it going for the short term, but what it really needs is to be replaced. And, that isn't the worst of it! The bacteria test came back positive for fecal and coliform bacteria. Eeewww! (Our realtor notified the seller immediately.)

Then there's her septic system. It failed its inspection, too. On more than one level. Not only is it not up to code for a three bedroom house, it also isn't functioning well and was repaired at some point recently with a too-small distribution pipe (which flows into its too-small drain field.)
The owners stipulated in the contract that they will not fix anything. The loan broker stipulated, well not really, he just said that no lender would finance the property until those two things are fixed.

So, what do we do now?

How badly does the seller want to sell so she can "move on with HER life" as we've been told she wants to do?  Enough to replace the septic system and the well at no additional cost to us?  How badly do we want the property?  Enough to meet her half-way and pay for a part of the work?  Will her ex-husband who is still on the deed and probably entitled to some of the proceeds sign off on either option?

Or the most intriguing option of all, how much is the seller willing to come down on her price if we offer her cash and she can simple walk away?  Can we stomach using a HUGE portion of our savings to pay cash for the property and make the repairs?  The younger couple would then make their mortgage payment to us, we'd all save the interest costs, but the younger couple would lose their mortgage interest deduction.  Is it worth it?  Is the-most-scared-of-the-idea older female too scared to agree to the deal? 

We knew this wouldn't be easy, but I don't think any of us expected it to be quite so hard. 

Stay tuned!

P.S.  No photos in this post.  I thought I'd spare you the photo of the inside of the nearly-full septic tank.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Contract is ratified, we think.  (Ex-husband in England is not playing ball.)

10 day inspection period begins.  Inspections set for tomorrow morning with Erika in attendance.  Well to be inspected by our new friend, Bob Leazer -- a fun story I'll tell once the keys to the house are in Erika's and Christian's hands and my fear of jinxing things by posting here will be put to rest. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013


She's 113 years old.  She's had some surgeries to repair her aging organs, a replacement here and there, and a good bit of "work" -- some more successful than others.  (WTF! Vinyl "wood" floor in some rooms? Makes me think of Meg Ryan's lips.)

Even with her new, green standing-seam metal roof (my favorite kind of roof, as a matter of fact!) she is 113 years old and is going to need a lot of love and attention (note the porch ceiling) to last the next 60 years Erika envisions living with her. 

And of course, there's still the contract to be ratified and inspections to be done...will we or won't we fall through that shaky bedroom floor?  Are the septic system and well sound?

Then, once she passes her physical, fingers crossed, there's all the work to clear trees, dig a well, install a septic system and build another house for the older couple.  Lots of work all around. 

Once the contract is ratified, we have ten days for second thoughts -- is it too much work? Can a 60-almost-three year old, third-generation Californian really move to semi-rural Virginia and live happily the rest of his days?  Does the young couple really want to live next door to their parents/in-laws -- even though "next door" can be relatively far away on 27 acres, it is still next door!

And, then there's the ticks!  

Friday, June 7, 2013

In 45 days

In 45 days this may be ours:

With fingers crossed and prayers said...