Walking Away is Hard

So, I had been working on an interior post of the new house when I left for a visit in my home state.  I figured when I got back, we’d have all the exact ideas nailed down, and the post could really give you a window into the house soon to be a home for the Lemieuxs.

Well, after an amazing week allowing me to visit with 4 of my best friends, my aunt and one snuggly newborn, I flew home to my husband and we made one of the hardest decisions yet in the house hunting process.  We were going to walk away from House Perfect.

I can just imagine your jaw dropping now – ok, probably not, seeing as the post title led you to this conclusion, and honestly, Dave and I are probably the only ones with dropped jaws.  But man, this was a hard decision to come to.  So how did we get there you ask?  Well, in short – inspections.

I mentioned earlier in my “Some Things are Meant to Be” post that we were given the opportunity to have an offer accepted on this house because the other accepted buyers had backed out.  We knew that these buyers had backed out because their dad did not recommend living in a house with a flat roof.  Um…duh, you can tell it has a flat roof BEFORE you put in the offer!  Because the roof line is such an obvious quality to the house, we didn’t understand the pull out, but celebrated it as an act of God.  Thus allowing us to get the house of our dreams, so we moved forward with the purchase.

We filled out all the loan application work, got locked into an amazing interest rate, and proceeded forward with the inspections.  Because we wanted to do the addition, and had the opportunity to work in a 203K loan for said renovations, we had not only a regular house inspector come out, but also a loan inspector.  That’s two inspectors, with two different fees.  Also, because we knew the roof had been a point of contingency for the other buyers, we decided to play it safe and have a roof expert come out and inspect as well.  So, if you’re keeping count, that’s three inspectors and three fees.

Money grows on trees, right? / Source

Well, after all was said and done, it turns out there was cause for concern.  The loan inspector told us that in order to do the 203K loan, we needed to know that the roof would last for at least 5 years.  Our home inspector told us it probably only had 3 and we definitely needed to fix the leak, and the roof expert told us that we didn’t even have a year.  The roof needed to be fixed immediately and quoted a price of about 10K.  Insert stress and confusion here.

Added to the toughness of the decision, Dave and I were having all of these conversations over the phone, cause I wasn’t even in the state.  I admire my husband for staying so calm and collected while going through all of this bad news by himself.  At the same time, I wished I had been there, because I felt I would have heard things a little differently than what was being translated to me through Dave.  Blame it on the control freak in me, but I truly believe that girls and guys hear things differently – guys want to get to the meat, and just hear the final decision, whereas a girl will tend to listen to the details that lead up to the meat, and final decision.  I NEEDED to know every detail, and Dave just didn’t hear them all the way I would of.  This need was exacerbated by the fact that I could slowly feel the house slipping from our grasps.

Much like this trapeze artist slipped from the other guys grasp. / Source

As if the roof wasn’t enough of a hurdle, we had also been informed that the oil tank was not in code, and the hot water heater had a leak and needed to be replaced.  It was also brought to our attention that there was a small leak causing corrosion on the electric panel which could lead to a circuit breaker failure and therefore causing a fire hazard.  no. bueno.

Armed with our three inspection reports, and the knowledge that we absolutely needed these few items to be repaired, we went back to the sellers and asked them to come down on their asking price by 15K.  Yes, that’s a lot of money.  Yes, we understand that.  No, we are unwilling to take any less.  We needed that money to allow us to still feel comfortable to move forward.  It would ensure that we could fix the necessary items, and allow us to take out the 203K loan we so desperately needed to allow for the renovations.

We waited for three days to hear back from the sellers.  The longer the wait, the more sure we were that they were not going to give us what we needed.  In the mean time, I flew back from TN and after an immediate outing to see “The Hunger Games” (read the book first, it will reallllllly help you with your character admiration in the movie) Dave and I had another talk, this time face to face, in regards to House Perfect.  We had both determined on our own, and then together, it was all or nothing.  If they were unwilling to give us what we needed, we would have to walk away.

So, on Monday morning, John sent the email response from the sellers realtor informing us that while they would replace the hot water heater, and would address the issue with the oil tank, they were unwilling to go down on the asking price of the house.  In regards to the roof and electrical issues, their response made me feel as if they didn’t even believe they were issues.  Even with the three written reports in front of them.  It was time for Dave and I to do one of the hardest things in this process:  Walk away.

We said good bye to House Perfect, and good bye to the money we spent on all of the inspections and deposit.  As one friend of mine told me – the investment money on inspections was well spent, if it saved us from spending so much after.  And she is right.  And as at peace as Dave and I feel about this decision, it doesn’t make it any easier.

Now, with saddened hearts, but renewed interest, we are back on the hunt, for the house of our dreams.  Heck, if Katniss can go into the Games with such courage, surely I can face the hunt for a house….right?

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2 thoughts on “Walking Away is Hard

  1. Mortgages are 30 years for a reason – they are used for long term investments in real property. Any house you buy/build will have enough issues over 30 years, no need to start out with a MAJOR one like a roof right off the bat!! Good job and blessings to the both of you on this decision. As tough as it is now, you will be so glad 2 years from now you don’t have these issues to deal with just yet. Renovations are one thing, major repairs are a whole different bag of tricks.

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