Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Inspection Day

First -- if you haven't read Monday's post and taken the survey, I hope you'll take a few minutes to scroll down and help.

Thanks to Amber for being my guest and making everyone feel welcome yesterday while we were up at our potential new home. Looking at only the superficial aspects of a home wouldn't be wise, so we met with the inspector yesterday. After all, even established authors who sell on synopsis don't have their books published without someone going over them with an eye for all the details.

As the author, we make the manuscript shine as best as possible before sending out to an agent or editor. This is the 'selling' phase, and I went over this in my blog post comparing staging a house to preparing a manuscript for submission.

Now, we're in the next phase. We've chosen a 'manuscript' we like and are moving forward. We hired an inspector to ferret out the flaws. And of course, I found story fodder (more about that at the end of the post).

It was the first time we've seen the property not covered in snow, although the weather was cold enough for some flurries. First stop, though, was at the Irish Deli in Divide for lunch. We've been there once before, and had chatted with the owner (who is also the cook, cashier and wait staff). When we went to place our orders, she asked if we had found a house yet. Given that our other visit was about a month ago, I was impressed. Small town living at its finest.

I know I've spoken of doing numerous edits and still missing details that should have been obvious—such as using the wrong name for a character. We'd seen the house 3 times prior to making the offer, yet there are so many things I didn't really notice. For some reason, I'd "seen" a microwave in the kitchen, although there isn't one.

The inspector was waiting for us, and I let the hubster be the one to follow him around. It was COLD outside. We cranked up the heat a bit inside (had to test it, after all) so I didn't need my gloves. After a while, I even shed my parka and started looking around.

I told myself I wasn't going to pay attention to "Buyer's Remorse." Although we can back out of the deal at almost any time prior to our closing date, there's that tax credit incentive that can make some of the house's minor flaws easier to overlook. It seems to shrink every time we look at it, but it's just the two of us, and after living in hotel rooms, guest rooms, and our two-room quarters for nearly 2 months, it seems even bigger than it is. The biggest perk. There's more than 1 bathroom. I know both of us are looking forward to that.

The inspector goes over every inch of the house from roof to garage. He's tested every outlet, ran the dishwasher, checked the garage door opener. Wiring, plumbing, evidence of leaks—everything. If we continue the manuscript analogy, he's the agent, pointing out the flaws, and we have to decide if we can deal with fixing them.

Some aren't flaws, but personal preference. We want a gas stove. The house already has gas heat, so there is gas coming into the structure. But how much work is needed to get it to the kitchen's central island?

Our contract already included stipulations that the "big stuff" has to be taken care of by the sellers. Everything needs to be in working order, so they'll have to deal with the gas fireplace that isn't working properly. Anything not up to code will have to be fixed. But some of the smaller details are things that we'll have to deal with. The sellers aren't responsible for cosmetic details. If the fridge and freezer work, that's all that's required. The fact that there's mold in the freezer isn't their responsibility. Ideally, instead of fixing some of the flaws, I'd prefer a cash settlement so they don't have something fixed that we wanted to re-do to suit our own tastes.

The inspector will submit his report and we'll take it from there.

About that fodder. I was checking out the fireplace (see picture above). I noticed a reddish-brown stain on the mantel.

Hubster pointed out it was the same color as the decking and was probably paint. But me—nope. Much more fun to think of someone falling (or being pushed) into the mantel. Was it fatal? Did he/she cover it up? Is that why the sellers vacated the house? Isn't that much more fun than thinking it's a paint smear!


Debra St. John said...

Can't wait to see what happens with the fireplace story! I'd say it was fatal, but she got away with it because it was what he deserved!

Carol Kilgore said...

LOL - you and your Hubster sound like me and mine.

Mason Canyon said...

Might check to see if there's a crawl space under the house. Could be whoever left the stain, could still be around. (Just a thought). :)

Vicky Burkholder said...

Had to laugh at the idea for the stain - that was the first thing that came to my mind too! Oh, what lovely imaginations we have! :) Good luck with the inspection, and the move. Having been there multiple times, I can sympathsize.

Vicky B.

Terry Odell said...

Debra - funny thing is, I've already written a short story with a similar scenario.

Carol - I'd have thought no way that could be!

Mason - no crawl space. Finished basement. :-)

Vicky - thanks. We got the 52 page report this morning.

Wynter said...

Reminds me of one of your short mystery stories. Hmm...

Terry Odell said...

Yep, Wynter. Now if the publisher would only set a release date. Haven't even seen edits yet. Such is the business.

Terry Stonecrop said...

Pretty fireplace, blood stains and all:)

Good idea about the cash settlement. Why have them fix something that you might want to change.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love your version - more fun! Glad you got an inspector - always a good idea :)

Terry Odell said...

Thanks, Jemi. It's definitely important to know where you need an expert.