Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pins and Needles

The whole house-buying thing has seemed so far away and hypothetical until yesterday, and now the anxiety is setting in. The option period expires tonight at midnight, so we have to resolve all outstanding issues or cancel the contract and start over from scratch, possibly losing the house if the sellers have a back-up offer.

On Thursday evening we had the home inspection, and considering that this house is almost 50 years old it's in remarkable condition. However, there are a couple of things that need to addressed. The second bathroom, which hadn't been updated like the master bath, is full of leaky pipes and loose fixtures. This isn't a huge deal, and we're fortunate that the whole house isn't full of plumbing like this. Also, the air conditioner isn't cooling as well as it should. It probably just needs some more freon or whatever environmentally correct coolant is being used these days.

The other thing, however, is potentially a big deal. They installed the water heater too close to the floor, which could be a serious fire hazard. Evidently, flammable fumes tend to accumulate not more than 12 inches off the floor, so a gas water heater has to be installed with the flame at least 18 inches high. The home inspector claimed that he knew of a child who was killed in a flash fire because of this exact problem. I feel very strongly that any house I live in should not have a high likelihood of burning me alive.

There is a sticker on the water heater that specifically states that it must be installed 18 inches off the floor. Another one of the minor issues that the inspector found is that the garage door opener switch is also too close to the ground. It also features a sticker explaining that it has to be at least 5 feet high. I'm wondering if the homeowner had a midget contractor make the updates.

We submitted a request to the sellers that they get the AC checked and fix the bad pipes and the lethal water heater, so now we are just waiting for their response. If they tell us they won't make the repairs, we'll have to decide if we're willing to take the house at the current price anyway. At this point I'm almost ready to put up with anything so we can just get this wrapped up. Anything but a fiery death, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

1 comment:

SerenitySprings said...

Ugh, those are hard decisions to make. Good luck!