Monday, July 18, 2011


Today, for the first time since we viewed the house several weekends ago, I got to re-see it, and I'm still pleased and excited. I was a little scared that I'd go back in and everything would now appear dingy and broken, or just a little less nice than my first impression allowed me to apprehend. Happily, I was wrong - I'm still taken with the place.

I was there for the home inspection. It's an entirely voluntary step, but everyone I've spoken to has stressed the importance of having it done, as any physical defects that might be there, hidden to a layman, will become our problem entirely once the closing takes place; the house is being sold in "as-is" condition. And so I wrote a check for $375 and had a licensed inspector go over the whole house, from top to bottom. He also called in a termite inspector and, thank God, that's an insect menace we are free of.

The inspection took well over an hour. The guy was on the roof, in the attic, flicking switches, flushing toilets, rooting around in the bushes, taking photos ... more like a neighborhood pervert's gig, but this guy has a business card, so I guess it's all right. Long story short, the house is in good shape! There are some cracks in a few of the tiles on the roof, the seams by the gutters need attention, and there are some very minor cracks in the walls and in a few windowsills. The most major repair is where the water comes into the house; the handle (knob? furl? I don't know this stuff, that's why I hired someone) need to be replaced, as there's signs of leakage, and it needs to be addressed. And that's it. The wiring looks old but good. The windows, the foundation, the roof generally -- it's in good shape. So that's a major relief. The stuff on the roof won't even need a roofer, the inspector said. Any competent handyman will be able to do the job. So it's really just the water spigot (spout? faucet?) that's an issue.

Earlier today, I had to head over to our credit union and withdraw many thousands of dollars and have them encapsulated in a cashier's check; this was turned over to Lorri, who, in turn, gave it to the Title agency who have set it up in an escrow account. So that's our down payment taken care of, as well as our savings account. Who needs a nest egg, amiright?

Today isn't over, friends. I'm actually typing this at my wife's dentist's office; one of her wisdom teeth is giving her a hard time. Once we're done here, I have to drop her home, I'll go to work for a couple of hours, then I have to pick the missus up and bring her to a chiropractor's appointment, and then - then! - we can get some real work done: we're going to the Wishing Well for a beer, and to sign, date, and initial 45 pages of fun: the formal loan application. Actually, I lied, it's 46 pages; the last page is an authorization form so that our mortgage guy can tap one of our credit cards for the cost of the House Appraisal, the next step in the process.

This appraisal will be looking at the cost of the house, the amount of the loan, the value of the house, the value of similar houses and what they recently sold for, the physical condition of the house, etc ... and then the lender will determine whether or not the house is worth what they're going to be lending us to buy it. I was going to start getting quotes for house insurance today, but apparently you need the appraisal first, so the insurance company knows how much it's insuring for.

Also, if the appraisal comes in too far below the cost of the house, the lender simply will not loan us the money. We either will have to make up the shortfall in cash, or the seller will have to lower the price.

And so, this brings us to the end of another entry in everyone's favorite blog. Tune in next time, when I'll have something important to say about the need to check the ink level in one's pen before one begins signing 45 pages.


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