Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Little Bit of Paint

Before I took ownership of the Cottage there were a few things I knew were going to have to be taken care of immediately and most of those  items were documented by my home inspector (nothing too serious except for a little mold growing in my crawl space--no biggie). Since I am a planner, I had compiled a very detailed to-do list with estimated costs, time-frames for getting tasks done, etc. I told myself I was going to be as organized as possible as I entered this new unknown because I had to be--I was doing this by myself.

So, I had my inspector's report and now all I had to do was wait for the FHA appraisal to be completed and wait patiently for my closing date to arrive. The finish line for this process was so close.

When I first saw the FHA report I was relieved to see that nothing major was uncovered except the inspector had noted some peeling and chipping paint on the exterior of the house as well as a few rotted pieces of wood siding. He even appraised my home for $5,000 more than what I was paying for it! I was relieved and didn't really think much of the comments about the exterior paint. I knew the house needed to be painted per my inspector's report and was planning on taking care of it in the months after the move-in. What I didn't realize (FIRST TIME HOME-BUYER ALERT) was that the FHA inspector's comments are not just comments they are must-have-done-before-closing action items. So needless to say all of my relief disappeared when I received a phone call from my realtor in a panic saying that we had to paint the entire exterior of the house as well as repair all the rotted siding before my closing date which was a WEEK AND A HALF from that day.

You might think "Oh, that's PLENTY of time," but we had a few obstacles to jump before the actual painting began. A rainy forecast, money, and finding a contractor were all very real concerns.

In an ordinary situation the seller would be the one responsible for paying for the repairs recommended by the FHA. Remember, I purchased my house as a short sale which meant that the seller could no longer afford her house payments. I knew there was no way she was going to be able to cover the costs of painting the entire house. Luckily I had a little extra money to offer towards the house painting (after 3 months of waiting I was NOT going to give up my closing day so easily). In addition both the seller's agent and my agent also kicked in $250 each. With everyone's money pooled together we had $1500 to get the house painted. Now, even though this was my first time dealing with matters of home ownership I knew $1500 was cheap to get an entire house painted, especially on a tight schedule. After precious days were wasted collecting estimates from general contractors we finally found a guy who was willing to do the work for our price and, most importantly to me, get it done before closing day.

The painters started on Monday and were finished by Thursday, the eve before closing day. The inspector came back out Thursday night and we got his final approval the next day as I was sitting down to sign the final closing papers. It was definitely cutting it a bit too close for my comfort but what would my life be without a little added drama? Just goes to show you can't plan for everything--a very valuable lesson for any new homeowner.

But in the end I now owned a freshly painted house with colors that I chose so it wasn't all bad.  Plus I was also able to get a few additional things checked off my to-do list that were necessary to have done before painting including some re-pointing work on the bricks in the chimney and front stoop, replacing the rotted siding around the house, and laying some new concrete to make my front stoop level where it met the front door (more on this job later). So although there were a few moments of panic everything worked out in the end as it always seems to do. I was able to get in the house a week before the official move-in and begin the next task of painting the interior--a challenge in itself because I had stubbornly decided that every room needed to be painted before I moved the furniture in. Ambitious you say? Yes, I know. But did I get it done? This is where I leave you today my readers...

No comments:

Post a Comment