We bought a house.
Not the beautiful old 1926 one.
I got in touch with the city engineer and confirmed the lead service line to the home was most likely intact. While it’s worth noting that lead service lines are typically covered in scale that helps protect the water, there’s still a risk, especially if something changes with the water. Arthur and I still, at that point were holding on to the idea of the house, but I went ahead and called the health department to find out what information they had on lead in the area and how to proceed. The case worker on the other end paused. Then she said: “Well, we haven’t been to that house. But we’ve been on that street and there’s definitely lead.”
I listened as she carefully chose her next words. “Sometimes historic houses aren’t the best for children that are as young as yours.”
The message came through loud and clear. Don’t do this.
I talked to Arthur. We emailed the realtor and decided to drop the house from our list. It’s an amazing house, but there were so many major issues with it (furnace, AC needed replaced, we knew the electricity was probably outdated, and there were several other issues we knew about – all this prior to an inspection) and the lead was the final straw. It was too much for us to take on at this point.
We started scouring the real estate listings again. Two houses popped up on our radar in fairly short order. Both were newer, one a 1986, the other a 1995. They were in our desired location and we arranged to see both of them in one day.
We liked both houses and spent the rest of the day debating which one to offer on. One had a daylight basement and the other had a basement but no windows, so we finally decided to offer on the daylight basement house. Our realtor put in the offer and we waited.
Finally, our realtor called the listing realtor just before the offer was due to expire. The other realtor was incredibly rude and said that we had offered far too low (reality check: we had offered around 3% under asking price) and they weren’t even going to counter.
“Forget it,” I told our realtor. “We liked the other house just as much. We spent the entire evening debating which one to make the offer on.” No point in trying to work with a seller and listing agent who had no intention of taking us seriously and who, I suspected, could be trouble if the inspection turned up anything of note.
We immediately put in an offer on the other house. The next morning, our realtor called us. “Congratulations!” she told us.
The inspection turned up a few minor issues, but overall, it’s a good, solid house according to the inspector. We’ve got the mortgage arranged. It’s been a whirlwind few weeks, but we’re cleared to close, and looking forward to doing so just after the new year. With a few minutes to breathe, now I’m hoping to catch up on my blog reading!
Now we’re onto the fun of picking paint colors and preparing to replace carpets with laminate floors…