Buy a House or Lease/Purchase part 2

Summer was coming and it soon got hot.  One Sunday morning looked like it was starting out to be a scorcher.  We went to church, and when we got back shortly after noon, the house didn’t smell right.  We couldn’t imagine what it was.  We checked all the bathrooms and in fact, checked every nook and cranny, but couldn’t find the source of the odor.  By late afternoon, we could hardly stand the smell.  We called the estate agent/property manager to complain.  Of course, she wasn’t going to come out on Sunday and acted like we were being ridiculous.  We slept with all the windows open, and in the morning we turned the air conditioning back on.  It was a holiday Monday so my husband was home.  He again called the property manager and insisted she do something.  She drove out arriving about 2 p.m.  She nearly got ill when she entered the house.  She promised immediate help.  An hour later a teenage boy with arrived with some lawn and leaf bags, a flashlight and a face mask of the sort you would use if doing some sanding.  He wanted to look in the attic.  My husband put on a mask and went up with him.  What they found were a couple dozen dead pigeons with all their nest material, dead baby birds and rotten eggs.  They removed  14 bags of nest material and dead birds.  They put them in the back of the pickup to take to the dump.  However, more birds had fallen into the wall between the house and the garage and would have to be retrieved the next day.  We again slept with all the windows open, and the next day the painter had to cut holes in the garage side of the wall.  Several more bags of dead birds and nest material were removed and the wall repaired.  The odor, however, lasted quite a few more weeks.  I used every deodorant known to man, but it took awhile for it to finally go away.

Meanwhile, as the summer wore on, the house had several more air conditioner leaks, the leak in the upstairs bathroom over the kitchen sink returned, and the laundry room floor developed a bounce, not quite as bouncy as a trampoline–but way too bouncy to be normal for a wood floor.  It was determined the floor joists were rotten and the whole laundry room floor was in need of repair, and we determined this was not the house we were going to purchase.

A hurricane came up the coast the following month.  We were all advised we’d only catch the remnants of it in our location.  We were told it was necessary to put away the light patio furniture and trash cans, but no further precautions were needed.  We were to expect some high winds.  About 3 a.m. we were awakened by the scariest groaning sounds we’d ever heard.  It sounded like somebody had a horror movie on full blast.  The tv was off.  We looked outside, and saw that the vinyl siding was coming off one whole side of the house.  Indeed half of it was already off and hanging over fences and shrubs through several neighbors gardens.  We threw on our sweats and began dragging the siding into the garage to try to protect it from further twisting.  Of course, now the cars had to be outside and exposed to winds themselves.  In the morning we surveyed the damage, and we had virtually a “naked” house on the one side.  We called the property manager, who was understandably swamped with other calls and said she’d get back to us. 

The next months were very rainy.  Since the homeowners insurance was still being held by the owner and not ourselves, there was nothing we could do to hurry the process of repairing the siding on the house.  So, the “naked” wall remained exposed to all that rain for those months.  It got quite thoroughly soaked.  In fact, the plaster on the inside of the house got very thoroughly soaked, and began chipping off and falling on the carpet.  Whenever a door slammed somewhere in the house, plaster fell on the carpet on that side of the house.  Also, the thermal windows fogged up between the panes so we could no longer see through any of the windows to the outside.  We had someone look at them, and he said it was due to all the humidity in the house, and it would possibly get better in the winter.  It would cost thousands of dollars to fix the problem, so how badly did we want to see out of the windows anyway?

Eventually, the winter rains came.  The roof leaked then.  We had two leaks in the hallway upstairs and the fireplace leaked.  In fact when it rained hard, you could hear the rain coming down on the fireplace shelf inside the wall.  It was so wet inside the fireplace, you couldn’t build a fire.  After weeks and weeks of rain, the back fence fell over in a couple of places, and when I stepped outside onto the back deck, I fell through.

By now we were all counting the days till the lease would be up and we could move somewhere–anywhere else.  The last week in the house, I was trying to get the garage open from the inside and it was stuck shut.  Going around to the front, I could see the rain gutter had fallen down diagonally across the garage door.  I couldn’t move the gutter, either to get it back up or all the way down, or in fact do anything to move it at all.  I was late to an appointment and had to once again call the property manager to have someone move the rain gutter and let me get the garage door up.

Six months later, we were in another rented house.  I happened to see an old neighbor.  Guess what happened to “your house?”, she asked.  “The owners ex-wife got it in a divorce settlement, and moved back in it.  She fell through the laundry room floor.  They said it was termites.”

So, I would say, its a good idea to do a lease/purchase before buying a house whose warranty has expired.  I have been forever grateful we didn’t buy that one.

Wait till you hear what happened to the house we moved to next!  Next post

Nonni

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One Response to “Buy a House or Lease/Purchase part 2”

  1. neel Says:

    helloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! i am speechless!:( thanks! Neel.

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