How the Inspection went…

Oh, can you see all our beautiful glass jars and home-canned goodies in this little hutch/shelf unit in the kitchen??? Yes, I can.

Well, we got there yesterday afternoon, just ahead of a nasty storm that dumped like 6 more inches of snow on us last night… shesh.

Our inspector, Dave, was there and ready to get started. Maggie, Jessy and I were there and of course, our realtor buddy, Jeff, was there to ask lots of questions. We started on the outside and made a very through walk around, poking and proding and taking pictures and talking. I’m really glad we were there to talk with him and see the points he was making. It was cold, but worth it.

On the outside, it was mostly just things like downspouts that didn’t go out far enough from the foundation (easy to fix), some grade issues, again, to protect the foundation (not too hard to fix) and a few little roof issues. Nothing too scary for sure. There was one section of gutter that looks like a tree might have crushed it, so that either has to be un-crushed or replaced. There was a bit of soffit that was exposed wood where the back of the house meets the screen porch. Again, it needs to be either sealed, or sided or covered with some flashing, not a huge thing. There were a few bushes and trees that he felt were too close to the house, and most of the access covers to the crawl under most of the house were not really tight and secure. A few are loose plywood, etc., and he thought we would benefit from more secure access covers to keep critters out, and to help keep the heat inside, etc. Again, stuff that isn’t too hard to take care of.

The things he liked? The roof is very new. And nicely done. Less than 5 years, he suspects. Whoever did the work, did a nice job considering that there are many variations on the roof line, where the additions and such were added. There is a shingled main roof with a pitch, and then a flat membrane sealed roof over one area and they did a nice job of making it all work together. So that is a nice deal. He discovered the chimney, which from the inside you can’t find because it’s sealed up. But it was cool, because he showed us were there was probably a big old wood stove, right in the middle of the house, and he thought with a good chimney sweep inspection and a little piping we could easily put in a nice stove and supplement the heating in the main house with wood if we wanted, and we want! (g)

Once inside, sure, it’s obvious that some odd decorating had gone astray, and there are a lot of windows and such missing trim. However, he noted that the reason they are missing is that someone was in the process of sealing them all in with expanding foam and it “looks” like they were heading towards re-trimming them after the insulation help. So that’s fine. Trim is easy enough to do. Might have to trim the room with the “Trim of the Month” Club, to spread out the expense, but hey, that’s fun. And it really looks nice when you’re done.

The good things? Furnace is probably less than 10 years old. All the electrical in the house has been redone, no old fashioned wiring and it’s got a nice upgrade 200 amp service. For a 106 year old house, the foundation is very decent. There is only one block in the whole thing thats a little wonky and has been shored up on the inside. The wood structure is all solid old wood, some beams are hand hewn and very stable and strong. No insect damage, no yucky mold or anything like that. The main parlor area has some really nice solid wood paneling, most likely the original stuff. The second living room area, that has just plain old 70’s paper fake wood paneling in there.

The kitchen and bath are in great shape, just needs a little decorating help for the most part. They were obviously working on upgrading the important places of the house first. These are all good deals if you ask me… the cabinets are nice and clean, fairly new, counters, etc. Newer sink, nice laminate floor. Not super fond of the color of the walls, but that is EASY to fix. Our plan would be to start probably in the kitchen, and move one room at a time through the place and make it super nice.

The down sides… the water heater is old and is past it’s prime. Showed a lot of signs of being just, well, old. At least 20 years or more. I really liked when he took off the access panel and there were flame scorch marks up the tank and he says, in a sort of dry inspector tone. “Well, that’s not good.” Haha… yeah… well, you know, we’ve been researching the heat on demand units and they are super cool. And we priced them last night and they are coming down in price, very reasonable. We just might consider that. And worse, comes to worse, a new tank is a couple hundred dollars and we found a nice selection of 3 to 5 year old ones on Craigs List for $150 and less.

There is some water in the basement. Just a bit, and it’s because the sump pump is not running. Not sure if the pump is bad, or just not plugged in, hard to tell. Now the basement in this old gal is not anything you’d want to fix up for a rec room. Not at all. It’s probably only about 20 foot square, low, and really seems more like a crawl space than anything else. It’s super empty and clean, which is nice, but we do that one issue of the water and the sump. Now, mind you, we just got slammed with a ice storm and rain, and stuff is melting like crazy, and the basement was dry the first time we visited. There’s no evidence on the walls etc., that this is a normal occurance, or that its been happening a lot. Seems like it’s just overflowing the sump pit because of the pump issue.

So, we’re proceeding. Going to try and get an opening offer on the table next week. We’d like to avoid the property going to auction. But we can only do so much at this point. If they flat out refuse our opening offer, well, we’ll just keep at it and every week make another offer with more cash we can round up. And if we just can’t agree, then we’ll keep saving and hopefully buy it at auction. Still in the game! Crazy stressful, though I think I really had a sence of peace about the whole thing, there yesterday. We walked around and around and Jessy took over 200 photos of the place. Lots of very detailed pictures of damage and areas that need help, photos that will give us the ability to make very complete to do lists for each room. Being there and really having it looked at, really took a little of the rose-colored glasses effect off and I can see, yeah, it’s going to be a lot of work. But we have the time. We don’t have to move immediately. Sure having the two places will be a little crunch on the budget and we might have to stall a bit on some expensive stuff, and focus on the elbow grease work (which there is plenty of) for awhile as we build up more cash for repairs. We might not live there for a year! But that’s fine, because we have the lovely moby to rest and shower in. And we can easily commute and work in both places and take our time and do it right.

We feel good about it and so now, we’re proceeding. We’re probably going to have a big sale, through our websites and I’ll post that information if you’re interested in rocks or homeschool stuff, or hey, some Hot Licks for the guitar or banjo! (g) I think we’re going to make a few runs throughs the house and Craigslist a few things to help the cause. We’re really close. Really. Just need a couple grand. And as the weeks go on, we’ll raise more cash. It’s going to take them at least a month to get it ready to go to auction, and that’s AFTER they pick a date and they haven’t done that yet. We’re hoping that if they see we are really trying, they will hold out a while and give us a chance. Who knows! All I know is that we’re giving it a super good try and that it feels like home already.

Every night, in my dreams, I see the homestead as it could be. And it’s so vivid and real. And we just keep having all these little things that happen that just say, it’s ours. At lunch, the day before, I was telling the girls that I would love to find one of the trees and adorn it with some of those little chandelier crystals that you can find at garage sales and flea markets all the time. I just thought it would be so cool, to see little sparkles of light as the sunlight hits my little whimsey bits…

Well, we got done with the inspection and we’re getting in the car and Jessy slips me a chandelier crystal! All crusty in dirt and such that she found laying in the dirt by the little apple tree! Her smile was just so worth it, and it was just another little sign that the farm wants to be ours. It’s just so cool.

Maggie and Dave discussing the Maggie Cave. She is so excited about having her workshop area. She discussed the whole structure with him and he was giving her many ideas and suggestions on what to do. She’s ready. We all are!!!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


How the Inspection went… — 5 Comments

  1. How wonderful! I’m really excited for you guys and I hope it all works out! How about adding a donate button through paypal on your blog? That way all your readers who feel moved to be a real part of all of this have a way to participate.


    • Oh, thank you for asking and I have had several people ask about that, but I just don’t feel comfy with that. I’d rather have everyone’s awesome positive energy and good wishes and comments to keep our spirits high and working towards making this happen!!! It’s so close… I can feel it in my bones!!!!


  2. Is “your” homestead on the village water and sewer? I assume so, since you never have mentioned that being inspected. Here in Wisconsin, if a rural septic “fails”, and most old ones do, it can cost $15000.00 for a new one. If all your house needs are the things you mentioned (granted, the buildings need work) it should be no problem for your handy family and friends to manage!

    Come on woman! You won’t wait a year to get there! :-) 😉 :-)

    • Hi! Village water doesn’t exist and the closest line is quite a bit off still, though the inspector said there was a lot of talk about it coming into the village. We didn’t/couldn’t have the septic system tested and that is one concern of ours. However, the cool thing is that there is a actual working outhouse on the property. I know that’s not the best thing in the world, but here in Ohio, as I understand, you can’t dig new ones, but old ones are grandfathered in. And we’ve been very interested in some of the waterless options such as incinerator toilets, sawdust, and other options. And I know a lot of people with backhoes, believe it or not! haha… So we could possibly save some by doing a lot of the digging ourselves. One thing I will want to do is find out if we have a leech field or a tank.

      I’m hopeful that it’s still intact and working, and I suspect it’s at least that because the home was rented less than 6 months ago and usually renters are not too thrilled to have non-working toilets!

      I guess that is the one thing that gives me a little peace is that we have the Moby and we can always live in her for awhile, so nothing that we “find” right away has to be a SUPER panic emergency. We can budget, ask for help, get several consultations, etc., before we act. I’m hoping that we can shake it all out in 6 months or so and maybe be in there sooner than later, but hey, it will be a FUN ride!!!


  3. Wonderful news! You blog was the first thing I looked up this morning as I was sipping coffee. I’m so glad to hear it went well Sherri, Jesse and Maggie! One more step forward for you girls…so happy for you! :)