Buy a House, or Lease/Purchase?

An article with this title appeared in the real estate section of our paper, and I was reminded of the one time we decided to lease/purchase a house.  After that experience, we decided lease/purchase was the only way to go.  Let me tell you the story.

We arrived in our new city and did the usual traveling around looking at homes to purchase.  We weren’t sure we wanted to buy a house due to some uncertainty regarding the length of our stay in this new location, but not seeing anything suitable to rent in the area of town we liked, we were now looking at houses to purchase.  The realtor showed us a house available for lease/purchase.  It was a very pretty house–a two story colonial, on a very pretty lot.  We signed the agreement and moved in.  The first evening we turned on the air conditioner as the house felt stuffy, then went out for a quick pizza since we were all tired.  We got ready for bed and noticed the carpet in the master bedroom closet was soaking.  We quickly removed the cardboard boxes we’d put in there awaiting unpacking, and as we hauled them out into the bedroom, we noticed the bedroom carpet was soaked half way across the room.  We deposited the boxes on the dry side of the room, and figuring it was too late to investigate the leak, we went to bed.  The next morning, my husband called into his workplace saying he would be late, and began to trace the source of the leak.  The closet ceiling was dripping, quite heavily.  He went up into the attic and noticed the air conditioner condensation pan was rusted clear through and the water was condensing and dripping through the ceiling.  By afternoon, the air conditioning company had come, replaced the pan, and the wall to wall carpet was pulled up half way across the bedroom and all our portable fans were blowing on it in an attempt to dry it out.  Figuring this was a day wasted, I decided to pop a frozen lasagne in the oven and cook some vegetables on top of the stove.  We heard a huge WHOOM, blue light arced and the stove and half the kitchen lights quit working.  We noticed the circuit breaker had popped.  We turned it back on, turned the oven back on, turned the stovetop burner back on, and it happened again.  Well, we finished cooking the dinner in the microwave, left the circuit breaker off and ate dinner by candlelight.  I washed the dishes in the sink since there was no power in the kitchen and we couldn’t use the dishwasher.  The next day my husband went into work–couldn’t take two days off in a row, and I stayed home to wait for the electrician.  After checking multiple circuits, the electrician finally determined that it was impossible, in this house, to cook on top of the stove while the oven was on.  After paying an exorbitant fee for this information, we again had power to the kitchen, and I cooked dinner solely on top of the stove.  Following a nice, relaxing, uneventful dinner, I loaded the dishwasher and turned it on.  It went through the wash cycle fine, then PHOOM!   SSSHHHHH!  The dishwasher sprayed water all over the kitchen.  Seems the hose that drained the dishwasher was broken.  We used up all the towels in the house wiping up the kitchen, and drying the dishes, which although thankfully clean, were still wet.  I decided to go ahead and try out the washer (which was ours), and washed and dried the towels.

The third day in the house, as I worked at the sink paring apples for a pie (I would have to finish baking it before cooking anything on top of the stove), I noticed water dripping into the sink from the kitchen ceiling.  It turned out the upstairs hall bathroom commode had a leak from the tank.  The plumber replaced everything in the tank to stop the leak, and told me this sometimes happens when a house has sat vacant for a length of time.  This house had apparently been empty for a year.  I said good by to the plumber and went back to the apples in the sink.  I put the peels in the trash, but turned on the garbage disposal anyway, just in case some apple had gone down the drain.  Whoom!  Whoosh!  The garbage disposal let a flood of water loose under the sink.  Fortunately it wasn’t busy season for plumbers, as he came right back and fixed the garbage disposal.  Our evening was uneventful, and we were delighted.  In the morning I went out to the garage to begin work on unpacking boxes.  In the garage was part of the air conditioning system–a huge hulking box-like structure.  It was leaking–a lot!  Of course, this meant all the cardboard boxes were wet.  I brought in all the contents of the wet boxes.  The wet things from the bottoms of the boxes were put out on the back porch to dry, the dry things were spread out on the living room floor, and the wet boxes were put out for the trash collectors.  Now, we hadn’t had the air conditioner on since the first night, so I figured the leak must have happened then.  I called the air conditioning man back out and for an exhorbitant fee, he fixed that leak.

Life began to take on a more normal course, except that the other two commodes in the house sprung leaks and had to have the contents of their tanks replaced.  A month later, a relative visited.  We were telling her the story of our move and she laughed politely.  You could tell she thought we were exaggerating.  Early the next morning she went into the kitchen and when she opened the cupboard door to get a water glass, she got a face full of water from the cupboard.  All the dishes in all the shelves were wet, and it looked like the water was coming from somewhere upstairs.  We had a different plumber come out, and he determined we had a bad pipe upstairs, in the wall behind the shower.  He had to cut out the wall in the hallway to fix the pipe, and then we had to have a painter come out to replace the wallboard, re-plaster, and repaint.  As you can imagine, the story isn’t over.  To be continued.




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