… is one of the most fun and yet most stressful things I’ve ever done. And that includes the 3 years of studying and 2-day long exam to be an attorney! The seller accepted our offer on the house we had in mind, and we went “under contract” on Monday. Yesterday (which was also my birthday 🙂 ) our realtor and I went out to the house for a home inspection, radon test, and tree removal estimate.
The home inspection guy was fabulous. He went through everything he could (in the rain and mud, I might add) and was great about explaining everything and answering all my questions. I know quite a bit of basic home improvement stuff from my family, who are all pretty handy, but being in Virginia rather than Iowa means that there are some differences in how things are done. One of the big ones is that the home’s heating system is a heat pump, which is super efficient down to 40* but after that requires an additional electric heat coil (electric heat = $$$) to adequately heat the house. Those systems don’t exist in Iowa because it’s below 40* for far too much of the year! Our realtor forgot to let our home inspector know that we wanted a radon test, and he didn’t have any test kits on hand, so we called another company and they came and set a test kit up in the basement. It was super quick, they were in and out in about 5 minutes.
The tree removal company was a referral from another realtor, and I don’t know why, meeting with them was a fiasco. They didn’t show up on time and when my realtor called them to get an ETA, they said that they assumed that we didn’t want the estimate that day because it was (lightly) raining. When we said we were waiting for them, they agreed to come over. 2 hours later, they still weren’t there and had to call to ask us for directions to the house. When they got there, we knew immediately that there was no way we’d be using their services, no matter how well-priced they were. To make a long story short, one of the individuals asked me how to spell “trim” for their estimate sheet (which was really just a blank, lined piece of carbon-copy paper – no company logo, no contact information, no license or bonding information, nothing) and the other asked my realtor to go out on a date with him and go bowling, and told us how happy we’d be with his work, all while talking around the cigarette dangling from his mouth… We were very polite and let them know that we’d call if we decided to go with them, but when they left we both went inside the house, locked the doors, and collapsed on the floor laughing. (Our realtor is young like us, so we’re pretty informal about things.) I’m trying to get another company or two out for an estimate tomorrow, so we’ll see if those go any better!
Once we get the tree removal estimate, we’ll go back to the sellers and give them a copy of the home inspection report and a list of the things (if any) we would like them to fix prior to closing. Based on our offer-counteroffer experience, if we ask for any repairs, I’m sure there will be some negotiations because the sellers don’t seem to want to budge on anything, but we’ll see.
Since we’re so far along in this process, I’m really starting to picture us living in the house and decorating it, so I may make some mood boards to help visualize everything. I started out with Olioboard, but I’m not thrilled with it. Anyone have any recommendations?