Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Home Inspection

So it was today. And there were a few things that came up (all minor - like smoke detectors and a crack in the sidewalk and such) and one slightly less minor thing:

That's right. The carpenter bee. Pesky little buggers that don't really hurt the structural integrity of one's house, but which do drill little holes into your charming shingles, and then attract the woodpeckers to your house (for the carpenter bee is the prey of the woodpecker, and so while the structure of your house can be just fine, the house may also end up looking like Swiss cheese (and you will have swarms of bees hanging out at your house, although they don't typically sting anybody).

Anyway. Now, if this were a regular sale of a house, this would be the time for negotiation. However. Since this is a short-sale, and the bank is already taking a loss, I'm in the position of having to decide whether I can suck up the carpenter bee removal. (I mean, I could try to negotiate to lower the price of the house (banks don't fix things that come up in inspections), but the result would either be a) that the bank said no dice and I lost the 8K tax credit, or b) that the bank would take forever and a day to decide, and for something that will be like a 2500 dollar fix I would still lose the 8K tax credit, thus putting me out 5500 dollars. No, it's not ideal for me to suck it up, but in these circumstances, I actually get money for not trying to get money off the price of the house.) I've thought long and hard about it (and did much research about them) and if this is the only major-ish issue, I can hang. (The actual pest inspection will happen tomorrow, and if there were termites or something I would be out, but this is unlikely. And we'll get the results about radon back on Friday.) In other words, I think I might actually be buying a house.

However, can I just note that I'm wigging a little bit about what a money-pit any house is to maintain? I mean, I have the money to do it, it's not that - it's just after so many years renting I've become accustomed to not having to worry about that crap. That said, this little house is really in great shape, and really my only concern is maintenance - not actual "fixer-upper" type things. Indeed, I am capitalizing on the misfortune of the short-seller, as probably the whole reason that she's in the mess she's in is because she did so much to make the little house great (all windows replaced, new hardwood floors on the first floor, new shingles on the roof, AC installed, rehabbed bathroom, all within the last five years) so my only problem is, if all things are as I think they are, those pesky carpenter bees, which are really nothing much to worry about - although one does need to deal with them - according to my home inspector, my realtor, and the internet.

So, should all things be as I think that they are by the end of the week, I will need to a) deal with the shingles/carpenter bee issue, b) replace the door from the basement, c) deal with the smoke detector issue, as immediate things I want to fix. And given the fact that I get my summer fellowship money June 1, and the fact that I'll get the 8K tax credit, I can do all that and still have some money left over (though still, the money, I see it flowing out of my bank account and I sort of want to die).

Anyway, that's the latest on Crazy's House of Awesomeness. We shall see if it actually becomes Crazy's House of Awesomeness, for I'm superstitious enough to believe that something may still go awry.

P.S. I think one of the things that I love about CHA is that all of the door knobs appear to be original. I heart the door knobs of that house.


Nicole said...

I understand wanting to hire out getting rid of carpenter bees, but with one weekend you could take care of it yourself.

For an organic options, buy Drione dust and a squeeze bottle with a pointy tip (kinda like a ketchup/mustard bottle.) Wear a good face mask. Squeeze the dust into every carpenter bee hole. Either fill the holes with wood putty, or if you can do it and it not be ugly, some caulk or silicone that is close to the color of the wood you're filling.

Also, painting wood will prevent them from coming back.

The Drione dust dries out the exoskeleton and kills without pesticides. And carpenter bees don't sting except under VERY extreme circumstances.

For less than 100 bucks and little time, you can solve your own bee problem.

Dr. Crazy said...

Nicole, I hear you. The main reason that I would hire it out is that I'd have a person deal with the bee problem and restain my shingles all in one - if I fix the bee thing, I'll also deal with the maintenance of the exterior of the house (which would absolutely need to be done in a year or two anyway, given weathering). That said, I think I can probably get it done for a good price (likely better than the one that Stan the Home Inspector suggested), and then I just wouldn't have to worry about any of it. That would be worth paying somebody - and also, as a single lady (and saying that just put the Beyonce song into my head), I'm not willing to take on projects that will require ladders. I've got my limits :)

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, but so anyway, I was unclear in my post: the 2500 would be dealing with restaining and replacing some shingles plus dealing with the bees. It wouldn't just be bee-related fixes.

Anonymous said...

in some ways renting is easier, but I do miss owning a house. It just feels different. and now I'm pining for my days of not living in a crap ass duplex.

The Sassy Orange said...

So happy for you :D And yay that there wasn't much that came up on the inspection. I think you're going to be just fine.

Historiann said...


Are the doorknobs made of cut glass? Or are they metal, with a substantial plate behind them? It's so funny you mentioned the doorknobs--I think they're interesting and important details. Although I'm not wild about our hollow-core doors (all with the original brass-colored hollow doorknobs) in our 1950s house, they are accurate period details. In the end, I'm glad I listened to my friend who's an architectural historian, and didn't replace them with more substantial 4-panel doors.

Belle said...

Well, it doesn't matter whether you buy new or old; houses take maintenance, which drains bank accounts. C'est tout. But! It is a totally different feeling from renting. I've bought new and old, prefer the old, totally share the doorknobs thing (feel the same way with mine), love my little house despite the antiquated and tiny bathroom, have learned all kinds of new skills... the last time I rented, it was okay. Good landlord, nice little house... just not the same thing.

Fingers and toes crossed; when it's really CHA please post pictures!

daniel john said...

this is the nice blog.

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