Thursday, September 11, 2008

Real Estate Lesson Number One:

Every house is a money pit, not just the cheap ones. So if you thought you could afford a more expensive house because you wouldn't have to fund costly renovations and repairs, think again.

* * *

The young guy who cleaned my ducts last week came back today with experts, to see if there was anything more they could do to eliminate the no-good, horrible, very bad mouldy smell. I was suddenly struck by how very good-looking the Duct Guy was. Sure, I'd noticed last week that I was cracking nervous jokes and he was laughing heartily at them, but he's really good-looking, complete with five o'clock shadow, not-too-coifed fauxhawk, and bright blue eyes. I couldn't look at him today. And all I could think about was how I couldn't look at him -- of course that's a much easier topic to contemplate than the FUCKING HUGE STINKY LEMON of a house we've just saddled ourselves with.

* * *

When we first looked at this house, its lack of a basement was a serious hurdle for me. But then I went back to our (old) basement -- nearly dirt floored, damp and smelly itself -- and realized that having no basement could actually be a selling point. As we sorted through all our stuff in the basement, all the stuff we'd forgotten we had, stuff that got damaged by the damp, completely obsolete stuff, as we swept the gobs of cobwebs down and I nearly died sneezing, the one thing that kept us going was the fact that we would never again have to deal with such unpleasantness.

WRONG. Now we just have to deal with it in our living space. And we have to figure out something soon, because it's getting colder and the stench is fucking awful when the furnace is on.


Mad said...

Do you have a couple of dehumidifiers running. Won't solve serious problems but will cut down on the moisture which would cut down on the smell. Especially after the wet summer we just had.

cinnamon gurl said...

The problem is the moisture is in the six-inch rat run (I was NOT impressed when my friend gave it that name) under the floor, which we only have access to through the little vents in the floor.

Bea said...

Do you know what the legal issues are here? The previous owners are, I think, obliged to disclose any problems with mould, and they may be liable for any major repairs - though of course it would be a HUGE headache to try to pursue that.

We've got a dehumidifier running around the clock in our basement too, and a sump pump and regurgitates water into our back yard every five minutes. I'm hoping that the situation will improve when we have grass.

cinnamon gurl said...

Yeah, the duct guy yesterday said that it's probably been a problem since the house was built. So I just called my real estate agent and she's going to think about it. She did ask the name of our lawyer.

nomotherearth said...

Oh geez man, I'm sorry. I wish I had some words of advice. Hang in there. (And I do think it's worth pursuing with a lawyer. These things can be costly, and I think the previous owners should bear some of the load.)

mamatulip said...

Bea's right - I do believe the previous owners are required to disclose things of this nature. I'm so, so sorry - this is NOT what you need.

Anonymous said...

In the US the buyers have a full year to challenge any problems that arise with the new purchase.

We bought and sold last year and my husband breathed a sigh of relief when the one year mark passed; the house we sold was not a lemon, but had issues all old houses have and he had worried one would crop up and fall back on us.

Did you have an inspection before the purchase? Would there be recourse there?

Whole thing sux, so sorry.

(Your) Anon

Magpie said...

argh. i hope you find some relief -

Beck said...

We have a dehumidifier running CONSTANTLY in our basement. It makes a big difference. Of course, we also have a greywater holding system, which smells sometimes. And that's just GREAT, as you may well imagine.
Wait, what? "RAT RUN?" AAAH!

Janet said...

What a freaking nightmare! The previous owners must have known. That is so not cool.

Christine said...

no help with the basement as we have the EXACT same problem and have had no luck with it for 5 years.

my house always smells musty in the winter and i hate it.

and I LOVE BUFFY!!!!! I have seen every episode twice--first as it was originally aired and then again alter. man i miss that show.

angel is hot but i have a thing for xander.

(ps i am sort of blog hiding--sorry for the comment absenses of late)

Lisa b said...

awesome. yes all homes are money pits
that is why I will not buy a more expensive one.
I am thinking of telling you how much my lemon cost if it would make you feel better
we've had to replace the roof, the furnace, the basement flooded twice, the bathroom leaked into the kitchen and last year we had mice
I know I am forgetting something else.
dying to hear if you have recourse on this.