Believe me astro, I’m just as incredulous as you are. When we closed on our old house, there must have been 20 documents we had to sign. The only thing I can figure is that A) something VERY rotten is going on in the state of Denmark, or B) a “statement of settlement” is not the same thing as a close. Neither party has signed it. It’s a two-page document from the title agency, listing the house price, taxes, the hazard insurance, commission, what the sellers net is, etc. When I first saw it, I turned to Hubby and said, “My god, you don’t think they gave them a check, do you?” He said that no, he couldn’t immagine that they could do that. My response was that considering all of the other things that are happening that we never could have immagined, you never know.
The first lawyer (the one we’re going back to) seemed to think we had nothing to worry about. He took our side on the matter, and said that Mike had royally screwed up. The addendum that we signed outlining all of the things we wanted to fix referred to the wrong item in the purchase contract. The homeowners sent back another addendum, which they signed (we did not) stating that they would have certified checks for the contractors, and they agreed to have these things fixed as per OUR addendum (which, I guess, implies that they accepted the approval clause). Hubby wonders if the second addendum could be considered a counter-offer.
We haven’t spoken to Mike since the last meeting that we tape recorded. Our attorney advised us to write a brief letter stating that the deal was off, why, and that Mike, nor any other member of the agency, was to represent us in this matter, and to refer any further inquiries to our attorney. The attorney advised us to hand deliver it to the agency, and to give it to the owner. The owner wasn’t there, but we did give it to his secretary. We gave a copy to our attorney, and kept one for our records. He advised us not to speak to Mike.
When we went to see the house for the first time we could tell from the outside that the roof needed replacing. It was pretty old. We accepted that, and were prepared to put a new roof on at a later time. Mike told us that if we had it sealed, it would last another two or three years. When we went into the basement, we couldn’t see the entire thing, because the door that led to the space that has the problems with the foundation was blocked off. The door had plastic sheeting that had been tucked around it, and no matter how hard we pulled, we couldn’t get it to open. Mike said not to worry, that the inspector would be able to get back there. The inspector, when we spoke with him personally, said that once he got the door open, he wasn’t able to inspect the room thououghly because there was a lot of debris in there. Old plumbing parts, pipes and stuff. But he said that it looked like the foundation was pretty bad back there, and to insist on an estimate for repair. Mike got the estimate, said it would be relatively easy to fix . . . all it needed was a beam, and a poured wall, and well, you know the rest. We still, to this day, haven’t seen a written estimate for the foundation.
We had an estimate done for a B-Dry system to be put in the basement. The inspection report said that the walls were pitted and chipped from exsesive moisture. Mike said that the walls were fine. It was just the sealant paint that was chipping off. When we talked to the B-Dry people, they said that once the basement was dry, the walls would most likely begin to crumble. Mike insisted that they meant that the sealant paint would crumble, not the actual walls.
The inspection report came back that there was knob and tube wiring in the attic. We asked Mike if that meant there was knob-and-tube in the walls. He said that no, there wasn’t any. We called the inspector, who said that if it was still in the attic, there was a good chance it was in the walls as well. We asked that it all be replaced in our addendum. Mike called and said that the homeowners said OK, they’d remove it all. We got back the estimate (36 hours before closing was supposed to happen), and it said that all knob-and-tube would be replaced, except that which required that plaster be removed. That’s when we told Mike what the insurance company had told us, and he suggested that we act like it wasn’t there, because, after all, they wouldn’t CHECK, now would they?
Doean’t that void our contract as well? If we can’t get insurance to cover our house because of code violations? One would think that the mortgage company would refuse to loan to us if we couldn’t get insurance for the home.
After a LOT of looking, this was the only house that I liked. The housing market around here is crazy. My old house that I just sold in anotther town would sell for fifty to seventy five thousand more if it were here, in this town. I kid you not. People want exhorbitant prices for ugly little houses with tiny rooms, and no yard. That’s why we were so thrilled when we found this one.
Mike told us that he had sold it to another couple only a week or so before we saw it, but their “financing fell through.” He implied that we’d better hurry up and make an offer before they scraped the money together.
Mike was supposed to be the best agent at the agency. Our relator in our old town works for the same agency chain, and called down here to find an agent for us, and told us she had asked for the best. Mike called a few days later, and faxed us up sheets on a bunch of different houses. I thought he was great. He seemed so nice and helpful. We never saw it coming, but trust me, the next time we even THINK about making an offer on a house, we’re going to have a lawyer in tow, looking over our shoulder every minute.