After looking at the house again and listening to Ian's parent's expert opinions - they own a house and know about maintenance and stuff, which we know nothing about - we decided not to put an offer in for the house.
We'd thought that the house was move-in ready; that it could use some cosmetic changes but that it was basically right for us. It turns out that the roof needs to be repaired because between the cathedral ceiling and a silly architectural detail is a valley that is pretty well designed to form an ice dam. There's quite a bit of damage to the shingles from ice buildup so clearly it's been a problem in the past. The shingles aren't the same type as have been used on the houses that were built at the same time, so it looks like the roof had already been re-shingled once. Even if we replaced the roof, the ice dam would still form and wreck it again.
Because the house has a cathedral ceiling, there isn't a traditional attic - and the ceiling is hard to get to. We couldn't easily tell whether there's been water damage anywhere, although we did see some water discolouration around the skylight in the kitchen.
Now, a roof is important but I don't really think about it all that much in my day-to-day life. A major drawback that we found that directly impacts me is that the wall oven is of the teeny-tiny variety. It is very cute at maybe 22" wide on the outside and maybe 16" wide on the inside, but cute isn't right for cooking or baking. This baby-sized oven won't fit a cookie sheet or the baking stone we have in our current oven. As well, replacing that oven would be tricky as miniature ovens are hard to find and a bigger oven won't fit in the built-in cabinet holding the oven.
And the musty smell wasn't just an anomaly - there's mold around the basement windows. That's a pretty big problem that we don't really want to deal with. We know that the air conditioner probably needs to be replaced as the neighbours have replaced theirs, and that might help, but clearly there's a moisture problem there.
We also already knew that the driveway needed to be re-surfaced because it had sunk about three or four inches. That's normal here; this was a swamp and the ground is soft, but it's an extra expense. The garage door needs to be replaced, too.
Anyways, as nice as the place was, it just needs too much work to make it right for us. The price is right for the area but some of the problems are just too big and too expensive for us to ignore.
So the search continues. We're getting tired of looking for a house, that's for sure.
Oh, and I forgot to tell you that my thoracic surgeon's appointment has been moved to Thursday afternoon. They called me yesterday afternoon because he was running late in surgery. I don't think this three day delay will make a huge difference when it comes to getting the biopsy done.
That must have been quite a letdown, finding the house had too many problems you didn't want to shoulder :( But on the brighter side, it sounds like Ian's parents gave you a pretty good checklist to work from on the next one.
I'm wondering if you might be better off building than buying used, if you could swing it at all.
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