Friday, March 16, 2012

Still Waiting on Inspection Reports

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The home inspection yesterday was exhausting, but went well.

At one point in the morning, myself, my brother, my mom, and my real estate agent were trying to attend to/help the listing agent, home inspector, two septic inspectors, two well pup specialists, the radon inspector, a heating specialist, and a flooring and counter specialist.  That's a lot of people, and there were moments of chaos, but for the first time I was really happy to see a community of people gather together to help me get my farm up and running.

Even if we did spend almost two hours looking for the septic tank and never quite figured out the well situation.

Overall, the only unanticipated challenges were with the electrical work, which the homeowners hired an electrician to repair, but who didn't do a good job.  They didn't even do a satisfactory job.  Next week I will most likely bring in another company to give a second opinion, and depending on how high the cost is, I may ask the current owners to renegotiate.

The septic tank for the apartment was simple to find, but the tank for the house was a whole different issue.  It wasn't where the map from the septic company thought it was, and it wasn't where the map from the town said it was either.  They poked around the whole yard looking for the cover and using a wand to track an indicator that they flushed down the toilet.  Finally they found it - right underneath the house where they had added on.  I panicked for a minute, but after flushing two buckets of water down the toilet, we realized that the indicator just got stuck and that the tank is actually right at the front door.  Thank goodness.

The tanks ended up looking fine and passing inspection, and the good news is that because the leach field is in the front yard (where we just intended to let the dog hang out), instead of in the back yard (as the maps indicated), I now have at least another quarter acre field opened up for growing.  Hooray!

The well for the barn, chicken coop, and main field is total crap.  The cover had slid off the already-fairly-crappy-well a while back (really the only reason I had found it to begin with) and it was just filled with dead animals and debris.  Too much disrepair to make it worth fixing - the well company advised I filled it in.

Thankfully, the main well (which supplies the house, garage, and apartment) is pretty deep and had a very steady supply of 10 gallons per minute for over an hour.  They believe this is more than enough water for my needs, and if not, they can hydrofrack to extend the supply down the road.  For this upcoming season (and probably next) hoses will have to supply water to the barn and garden (at least there is an outlet near the garage hose, so I can use a frost-free hose in the winter!).  Down the road we can reconnect the faucets to the working well.  The unanswered question involves a second well pump in the house, with pipes leading out to the yard.  It's not currently supplying water, but it could indicate a third well on the property that we were unable to find.

The written inspection report didn't say much - actually a lot less than the last house.  I won't have the radon test back until next week, and I wasn't expecting the water test back either.  Unfortunately the water testing company emailed over a letter this morning saying that they could not perform the water tests because there was too much chlorine in the water.  I'm still trying to get a better understanding of how much is too much, and what that means in terms of use and cost of repair.  I know that sometimes chlorine is added to city/well water if the bacterial counts are too high, but the current owners are perplexed as they've never added anything to the well water.  Still waiting back on a few phone calls before I can figure out what to do next.

The estimates on home repairs have also started rolling in.  I was pretty spot-on with most of them, except for the flooring estimate and the countertops.  We'll have to think more creatively about how to get a quality product closer to our price range.  I'll figure something out.  Then hopefully I can present the package to the lending agency and take out additional money on my mortgage to do the essential repairs.

This afternoon I'm off to a meeting with a business advisor, hoping to get some questions answered and progress made on that end of things.  Buying a farm really is a full-time job!

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