February 18, 2013

Inspections, Negotiations and Contractors (Oh My!)

This is sort of like lions, tigers and bears... right? :-)

You can read the first part of this adventure here.

We have now completed the process of home inspections on both houses (in Merrimack and on our new house).  The inspection in Merrimack took about 2 hours on a Tuesday morning.  The kids and I managed to run a few errands and kill some time all the while I was trying not to think about someone going through our house looking for problems.
The inspection of our new house was a lengthy and expensive endeavor but absolutely necessary and we were glad to have found a marvelous home inspector who turned out to be a brother in Christ.  Fred of Harvest Inspection Services was very thorough and detailed.  He and Steve spent about 4 hours going over every inch of the house and by that evening we'd received a detailed 36 page report about the property.  We also had to have a septic inspection and testing for the well water in addition to a radon air test. 
After receiving the inspection reports and test results, the next step in this whole process is to negotiate any needed repairs or issues that the buyers want the sellers to address prior to moving forward with the sale.  For us this included a few issues, cleaning the chimney, some for electrical things that needed to be addressed and one potentially serious issue relating to the well water.  The water testing showed that the well contains arsenic above safe levels and we requested that the sellers install a point of use filtration system in the kitchen so all of our water for drinking and cooking would be safe.  After some back and forth, the sellers agreed to our requests and we felt we were making progress.
For our house in Merrimack, being that we are dealing with first-time home buyers, they had what we felt was a pretty lengthy list of things they wanted us to address. 

Some were reasonable and some we felt were just silly.  We agreed to address the things that were reasonable, such as having a radon system installed in the basement since the radon air test came back above safe levels.  This was the biggest expense and required a contractor to come in and drill holes in the foundation slab to draw the radon gas from underneath the cement floor by an exhaust fan mounted on the outside of the house.

We were uncertain when we wrote up our response to their requests how the negotiation process would go with the buyers.  It is very tough to know if someone is really serious about an issue on a list when you don't have any face-to-face discussion and everything is filtered through two other parties (realtors).  It becomes sort of like a grown-up version of the kids game of telephone and you are never quite certain how things are being relayed or translated.

In the end everything turned out fine.  God again did all that He does to handle things for us and there was not any hurdles that grew out of proportion.  We had a chimney inspection (Veteran Chimney) and our awesome roofer Darrin (Merrimack Roofing) came and checked out a potential problem that turned out to be very minor and he took care of it on the spot.  The last issue is for me to do a bit of touch up painting in my bedroom closet and we'll be on to the next adventure... bank appraisals for the mortgages.