Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Contractor Hijinks

My contractor is allergic to giving estimates. I resorted to begging his voicemail for the estimate, which seemed to work as he called me and discussed the estimate he was about to send with me... and then the estimate never appeared in my inbox.

Having given up on this particular contractor, I have recruited three more to come - tomorrow morning, tomorrow night, and Thursday evening. Hopefully between the four of them (Contractor #1 with the allergy, Contractor #2 who was previously a no-show, Contractor #3 who was hard to understand on the phone but seemed nice, and Contractor #4 who called... and then emailed to confirm his appointment!) we can get an estimate THIS week.

And our no-daycare-imposed deadline of August 1st creeps closer, and closer, and closer...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Freak time!

I left Contractor #1 a voicemail and an email, requesting the estimate... and nothing. So now it's freaking out time. We've just spent a whole week waiting, and are absolutely nowhere closer to selling the condo.

I wrote a letter to Chaos during my lunch break:

Dear Chaos,

Seriously, leave me alone. It's hard enough to try to move, coordinating a sale and a purchase for the same time, with two kids in two different daycares, lining everything up just right... and you keep throwing more crap my way.


Just leave me alone until we are moved in, and then you can resume your torment.



Apparently Chaos hasn't gotten my message yet. He thought it would be funny to make life harder by having the contractor fall off the face of the earth. How the hell are we supposed to get a condo association decision about what to do with the basement, which we then have to let the buyer know about, if we can't get any freakin' estimates??

I bet Saturday's contractor will have some crisis and not come by, thus leaving us with absolutely NO estimates, and ONE verbal opinion, and NOTHING to give the buyer by our new Thursday deadline.

...I guess this is why my coworker called me Somber Sally.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

0 for 2 - Going nowhere

Today's contractor (Contractor #2) did not show. They are now trying to reschedule. We do have #3 lined up for Saturday, however. I think we'll wait to see where we are after that visit.

I'm also still waiting for the first contractor's estimate... he did say by the end of the week, so I can until tomorrow afternoon on that one before I start freaking out.

I ran out of packing tape today. I am now banned from further packing by the husband, who thinks it is a bad idea to have boxes around the house if we go back on the market next week. I think we should just stick them all in the basement in front of the infamous Wall. Then all our problems will be solved. Maybe we can even make a wall out of the boxes - I am sure this would be an acceptable solution for our prospective buyer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Forward and Backward


Our first contractor came today to give an estimate for repair/rebuilding of the now-infamous Wall. Contractor 1 feels that the wall does not need to be rebuilt. He thinks some mortar and loving labor will be enough to keep the wall standing. After some thorough inspection, he thinks the wall has been bowed for some time, and is not posing any structural risks.

Mr. Structural Engineer, by the way, refused to provide a written assessment. He insisted he was called in to "appraise" the wall, which he did, and that if we want him to do a report it will cost $800-$1k and will include all his fabulous engineering expertise. I said I'd let him know if I was interested ... later.

Tonight's freak-out is based on the concern that repair will not be good enough for the prospective buyer and she will walk away.

Backward: We have a buyer!

After what felt like our millionth open house (I think it was somewhere between the 5th and the 10th), we finally had an interested buyer!! I waited anxiously to see what her offer would be... it was not good. We did some negotiating over the span of 24 hours until we found our floor and her ceiling, and then we took it... because we want to move to our friggin house already!! I was ecstatic. I was high on life. I began obsessively sticking things in boxes. I made a spreadsheet and updated it hourly with all the things I could think of we'd need to do before closing. We had a date! We were finally moving!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Home inspection from hell

Interestingly, the way blogs read, if I update this blog going progressively backwards in time and someone reads it once I'm done, it will tell our story in chronological order...

Tuesday we had our home inspection. Or, more accurately, our potential buyer had her inspection of our home. I spent hours cleaning the house, scrubbing walls, putting away clothes and dishes, running Roomba, emptying the rabbits' litter box, making the beds neatly, and so on. I was late to work because I was doing last-minute cleaning by myself while my husband walked out the door proclaiming, "She's already buying it; it's not a big deal."

A few hours later, I get a text from my realtor, "Did the previous inspector mention anything about work in the basement?" ... um, no. I called him to see what on earth was going on. Apparently they were in the basement, and the inspector did not like what he was seeing. Now, mind you, another unit in our building sold two weeks ago... and we had heard nothing about the basement. Well, maybe this guy was just a little more cautious.

A short time later, my realtor calls me to inform me that my condo smells like cat piss, and express disappointment that I did not empty the litter box. Now, we have a cat... but the litter box was fairly clean and I certainly didn't think it smelled when I left this morning. Apparently, I have lost the ability to distinguish the smell of cat urine. This means that people probably frequently walk into my house and think to themselves, "Oh, gross" ... and have not been telling me. I am now one of Those Pet People, whose homes have adopted the smell of their beloved Fido or Fifi, and who are none the wiser of it.

Anyhow, more important is the fact that the inspector recommended having a structural engineer look at a wall in our basement. Cat pee is small beans compared to a wall in your basement whose structural integrity is now in question.

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's only a wall

The structural engineer came by yesterday.

The good news? He was able to quickly assess the problem and his visit cost a mere $50 (1/2 hour).

The bad news? There is a structural issue with one of the foundation walls of our condo building.

The good news? Our buyer has not run away, and hopefully once we get this fixed, she'll still buy our condo.

I spent hours cleaning my condo obsessively and worrying about dust and making sure the dishwasher was empty so they could test it and about this little paint chip in the corner... and a wall is falling down in my basement.

Life just likes to find new ways to blindside you, doesn't it?