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