Weak in the Beams

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The foundation inspection was today.  It did not go well.  I'm so bummed.

Basically, 2/3 of the sill beams on the right side and 1/3 of the sill beams on the left side are severely damaged and in need of immediate repair.  $7,000 worth.

The center beam was also shored up at some point with some additional piers and 2x4s.  This is not the proper way to do this and it also needs to be fixed, though my understanding is that this can wait a little longer.  That'll be another $7,000.

In all, that's $14,000 just in foundation repairs.  That doesn't include the wood rot previously mentioned or any difference between the appraisal and the contract price.  The appraisal was conducted today, but apparently, the house is difficult to appraise due to the lack of good comps.  The appraiser knows we absolutely have to have the appraisal by Friday morning.  I'm hoping to have it before then, though, so we have time to go back and forth with the seller.  I'm not ready to walk away yet, but I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for that possibility.

Stay tuned.

Inspection Day

Friday, January 22, 2016

Today was my inspection day.  I went to work for the morning and then took the afternoon off to spend some time in the house with my mom, my realtor, and the inspector.  I was determined to let him do his thing and then let him walk me through everything at the end.  Over all, no major issues, though there was something I would call a question mark.

Surprise - there's a sprinkler system!  It's not working right now, but the pipes are there.  It will probably take some work and some expense, but at least there's a foundation.

Which brings me to my next point...The foundation.

The house has a beam and pier foundation.  Evidently, over the years, some the piers have been shimmed up with various and sundry materials.  There's also part of the house that's, well, unsupported all together, which is obviously an issue.

That said, the inspector didn't seem overly worried, given that there weren't any bouncy spots in the floor, and the original piers looked to be in good condition.  Plus, given the age of the house, it's unlikely to settle any more.  There were some newer piers that had been added, though, that were a little more questionable.  My realtor suggested that we get a structural engineer out to give us an idea of if a repair was necessary and what that might cost so we can go back to the seller for a price concession if necessary.

There was also wood rot on various parts of the house, including some rafter tails and one set of the French doors.  I'm the most worried about how to repair the rafter tails without sistering them and making them look obviously repaired.

The appraisal is scheduled for Tuesday.  Apparently neither my mom nor my realtor think the house is likely to appraise for the contract price, which is also nerve-wracking.  It's difficult because my house is the smallest in the neighborhood and it has a pool, so there aren't really any great comps.  The appraiser, though, is supposed to specialize in hard-to-appraise properties, so that's a plus.

Keep your fingers crossed that my little bungalow doesn't have anything so wrong with it that I have to walk away.

Craigslist Score - Dining Room Lighting

Thursday, January 21, 2016

I've done some thinking about how to lay out my furniture in the new place.  If you'll recall, there's this weird bump out that juts out between the living room and the kitchen.

I seriously have no idea when or why this was done.  However, if you know me at all, you'll know I'm a big fan of built-ins, so that was my initial thought for what to do with the bump out.  Then I reconsidered.  What if I swapped the modern ceiling fan (so not my style) for a cool rustic chandelier and used that space as my dining room?  It has a little more room than the space at the back of the house, and it would give purpose to that space.

[source: HGTV]

[source: Dear Lillie]

I thought I could make it work, plus the rustic lantern-as-a-chandelier looked really cool when other people do it.  So I happened to be cruising Craigslist last night (as I do from time to time) when I saw this:

And I made the same sound as the seagulls in Finding Nemo: MINE.  I e-mailed immediately and agreed to meet the seller at lunch today.

Now, I'm no idiot.  When 1) meeting a stranger 2) at a warehouse to buy something that seems 3) too good to be true, my Stranger Danger alarm started blaring.  Fortunately I was able to wrangle my Work Friend Ben (that is his full name) into coming with me for the low price of lunch.

No death and dismemberment today, Craigslist Killer.  (Whose name was actually Marty and who was very nice.)

The lantern really is gorgeous, and I'm very excited about it.  It's not exactly the same style as some of my inspiration photos, but the price was right and I like it a heck of a lot better than the ceiling fan.  If you like it, too, it's by Chelsea House and currently available on Wayfair, albeit for $759.

[source: Wayfair]

What's your best Craiglist score?  Share with me in the comments!

I'm Back, Baby!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Wow.  Four years.  I don't even know where to begin.  Since this post, so much has happened in my life.

Started a new blog.  Abandoned that blog.  Graduated from law school.  Got my first job.  Got another puppy.  Got a new job.  Moved to Florida.  Bought a house.

Wait.  What was that last one?

This little beauty.  I am officially under contract for this darling 1925 bungalow.  Barring any nasty surprises, I close February 25.  (The above photo and all the ones below are from the MLS listing.)  I don't have to be out of my apartment until March 31, so I'll have time to make some changes before all my stuff gets moved in and in the way.

It's sort of a shotgun style, because although you can't fire a shotgun from the front door out to the back, you could definitely aim it through the window and have it blast the glass in the back French doors.  The entire house is only 16ft wide and 770 square feet.

These pictures are a little sneaky.  They're bedrooms, right?  Except they don't have any closets, so you can't exactly call them bedrooms.  In fact, there isn't a single closet in the entire house.  That's right.  I bought a house without any closets.

These bedrooms are also small.  11 x 7 feet.  Remember, the house is only 16ft wide in all, so there's basically a wall running right down the middle that divide the place in half.

The bathroom doesn't have a bathtub, which is a bummer and it's not my taste aesthetically, but it's functional.  I'm sure you're wondering why on earth I bought this tiny house without closets.  Well...

Do you see it?  No, not the adorable, bright and airy porch-turned-dining room.  The cool blue pool behind the French doors.

I know.  I moved to Florida and bought a house with a pool.  Such a cliché.  I didn't even know I wanted a pool until I had the opportunity to get one.  I compromised on the size of the house (and, um, closets) to get a house in a great neighborhood with a pool.  The outdoor space of this house more than made up for the quirks inside.  That's the beauty of Florida - you really can use the outdoors 9-10 months out of the year.

"But Elizabeth!" I can hear you say.  "Where will your guests stay?"

Why, in the pool house, of course!  That's the other thing that made me decide this house could work.  There's a full 350 square feet in the garage-turned-pool house.  As one of my friends put it, my pool house has a pool house.

Of course, there's no closet in here, either.  There's definitely room for one, though, and I'd like to add a closet and a full bathroom.  The washer and dryer are out here, behind a curtain which is apparently being held out of the way for this photo - see the little bit in the corner of the photo?

And here's the kitchen.  Nothing to write home about, but it's functional.  Painting those cabinets is going to be one of the first things I do.  I wish they were a little taller because hey, those ceilings could support them, but oh well!

So really, that's it.  There are only so many photos you need for a 770 square foot vacant house.  I'm so excited to move in and make it my own!

I have so many exciting ideas, not just for updating the house but also for updating this blog.  Stay tuned!  Biz and the Bungalow is back!