First, let me explain the circumstances that set this story up. This particular property was never occupied by the seller. A renter lived here, and we have no information on how long she’d lived here, or how many other renters there had been, etc. Normally we wouldn’t look too hard at a rental, but this one seemed to have a responsible tenant who took care of the house, and it meant that we were able to purchase the house for much less than it would have gone for had it been seller-occupied. When the seller proposed we close on the 4th of the month, we surmised this was because the renter would be out by the end of November and this would give the seller a few days to do a post-tenant walk-through, cleaning, etc. I still wanted to give the place a thorough cleaning before we moved in, but expected all would be well.
Only…no. The renter didn’t actually move out until the 3rd, and the seller never did any kind of check on the house. She never went there at all. If she had, she would have seen what we saw when we walked in: a dead mouse in the living room, some kind of hardened liquid in the bathroom the color of blood, and painters tape across all the kitchen water fixtures saying not to turn on the main water to the house until we fixed a broken piece of plumbing. Um…
Okay. The dead mouse? Well, we were told there’d been pest control service, and you can expect to see this sort of thing post pest-control. That didn’t bother me much, to be honest. The blood-liquid? Turned out to be a shattered bottle of nail polish that the tenant either didn’t or couldn’t clean up. The broken pipe – apparently when the fridge was moved out, the head of the ice maker line was broken off, making it shoot water out uncontrollably so the main water valve had to be turned off until this was fixed. These were all issues that the seller should have taken care of and simply taken out of the tenant’s security deposit. But as I said, the seller never even checked the property.
Our realtor was livid. She was on the phone to various agents, brokers, title company people, etc even before we left the walk-through. The seller was in the process of signing paperwork at that moment, and we were set to sign afterwards. We all traveled over to the title company, where we spent a couple hours figuring out what to do. The seller’s agent – who basically botched the whole thing from the beginning – didn’t even show up to her client’s closing. She refused to get on the phone with our realtor, and when we said we couldn’t sign the paperwork or get funding with the house in that condition, she said she’d call her attorney. The whole situation escalated, with the clueless seller left in the middle with no idea what to do. (Clearly the lady needed a new agent and to NOT own rental property!!)
Long story short: paperwork mostly signed, seller agreed to send in someone to fix the issues that day, seller actually followed through, and we finally got the keys to the house that evening. It set us a bit behind schedule, but in the end, we made it. We got the house scrubbed up and called it a night.
Thursday: Moved 95% of our household to the new house. Up til 11pm doing this. Cats moved last, and they were all pretty okay about it except Jojo, who in true PTSD form was freaked out by the entire experience. (He’s mostly chill by now –> though still getting used to new noises.) Friday: Lots of unpacking and organization, making the house actually livable. Discovery! I was wrong not to worry about the dead mouse, because apparently there wasn’t any kind of pest control, and mice are getting into the house somehow. (The cats are very interested in this development.) Pest control called and scheduled. Wifi turned on. The house got to be about 25% livable. Saturday: A bit more unpacking and organization, then most of the day spent cleaning the previous house and getting that last 5% of stuff to the new house. House got to be about 50% livable, but my bedroom is more like 80% livable, which helps.
I’m exhausted. There is still so much to be done, so much to unpack and organize. Downsizing is very different from moving into bigger house or one the same size. There are lots of things to finagle and we’re still not sure how everything is going to fit together (this after donating TONS of furniture and such to charities that could use them). There’s also a lot of little work to be done on the house – replacing faucets, getting adapters where our appliances aren’t the same as the fixtures in the house, etc. We also still have work to do on the previous house, mostly outdoors, before we can put it on the market. All the stuff that comes with moving, right? Not to mention we still need to get all the Christmas stuff up…
Today, however, is my break day. Jason and the boys will be playing D&D, and it’s football day, and I’m going out for iced coffee with a friend later this morning. I might get the rest of my room put together – or at least as put together as I can make it until I can buy a few things – and tuck in with a book for a bit, too. I have four books out from the library right now and it’s been too long since I’ve had time to read!!