Frustration, Elation, Stress and More Stress

Photo of an RV at a truck stop

Warning: long post ahead. And it’s unlikely to be helpful, unless you want to know what dealing with nit-picky, neurotic home inspectors and unreasonable home buyers is like. Or if you know us personally and are interested in how this shitshow has gone down and why we’re not likely to buy a house again.

In the last few weeks, we’ve been through the highest of happy highs and the lowest of shit pit lows. It’s been a time of frustration, elation, and stress.

After a two week wait that seemed more like two months, we drove to Ohio and purchased our future home. Then we drove it back to Indiana and parked it in our driveway. We finally found a dealership that didn’t treat us like crap, took us seriously, and could answer our questions. A story for another time.

The motorhome we picked out meets all of our needs, but purchasing it now is a bit of a risk. We’ve run into issues with the people who put an offer in on our house. They might back out on the deal, and we could end up paying for a motorhome and our mortgage.

We spent a lot of time, effort, and money getting our house ready to sell. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. It was built in 1940 and still has some of the original systems. Metal pipes, minimal cloth wiring, wooden windows, etc. We never advertised it as being perfect, nor did we try to hide any of the work that still needs to be done.

The reason the house still has some of the original systems is because they work. No one who has lived here has ever had a problem. The lights don’t flicker. We don’t trip breakers. Fuses don’t blow. We’ve never smelled smoke. Outlets and switches work. The pipes don’t leak and drains drain. The house stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The HVAC system is two years old. There’s a brand new electrical panel. We’ve never once felt unsafe in this house.

We had our neighbor, a carpenter with 30+ years of experience who does a lot of home inspection remediation work locally, do a walk through and tell us what should be corrected prior to the inspection. He grew up next door and knows just about everything that has ever happened to this house. We corrected every issue he pointed out.

We read over a home inspection report from a friend of ours who just purchased an older home, and while the inspector didn’t hesitate to point things out, they also took the age of the home into consideration. “I observed this, but it’s typical of homes of this age. You may consider upgrading/replacing/etc., but it’s not an immediate safety threat.”

We thought we’d get the same honest, but reasonable and respectful treatment.

Our house was priced appropriately given the work we knew needed to be done, we accepted less than it was listed for, we agreed to pay our buyers’ closing costs, and we included a home warranty. We’ve been flexible with their several requests to view the house, and we’ve allowed them to parade a number of contractors, inspectors, friends, and relatives through the place.

You’d think that those looking to buy (and those inspecting) 75+ year old homes would understand that homes of that age won’t be built the same way as houses built yesterday. And that in most cases, replacing old systems that function properly just so you can say that they meet modern building codes is a waste of money and an exercise in futility.

And if you thought that, you’d be wrong. At least with the home inspector we had and the buyer we’re entertaining.

The 90-page report we received after the home inspection was the opposite of the one our friend received for his home. We understand and appreciate most of the things that were pointed out. We want to be honest, transparent, and let our buyers know what to expect with this house. What we don’t appreciate is the tone of the home inspection report and the ridiculous list of things that “need to be replaced ASAP.”

The inspector took no consideration of the age of this house and acted like a home built in 1940 should be as if it were built yesterday. Nothing in the report was a suggestion, and after reading it you’d think we were lucky to be alive after living in this “dangerous” house for 13 years.

Even the things we recently replaced (using licensed contractors) weren’t good enough. The inspector also took it upon themselves to give appraisal advice and claimed that it’s a one bedroom home because two of the bedrooms have a closet directly outside the room and not inside it.

We’ve moved forward with preparing our motorhome despite the troubles with our house. One thing we won’t compromise on is quality audio. Levi promptly unhooked the stock speakers and added his own.

We were hoping that our buyers were wise enough to understand that there will always be work involved with a 77-year-old house, but the signals we’ve received from them make us think that they believe that everything should be updated to 2017 code. We expect them to back out, low ball us with a new offer, or ask for a ridiculous amount of buyers credit.

The buyers have until October 8th to respond. At this point, I don’t know whether to continue entertaining them or to tell them to buzz off, re-list the house, and wait for someone reasonable to put in an offer.

It’s a seller’s market, and I’m not obligated to move immediately. I’ve been reasonable and accommodating. I’ve honored their requests and I’ve given them more than everything they’ve asked for. I’m over it, but I don’t know if I’m “look for a new buyer” over it or “take their offer, barely break even, and move on” over it.

I don’t know why we continue to get bit in the ass by a mistake we made 13 years ago, despite our best attempts to do the right thing.

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