Archive for the ‘leaks’ Category

Rains and Leaks

Monday, September 1st, 2008


Investment House Search Update

Despite the debacle last month, my wife and I are back to beating the bushes looking for our next “dream” fixer-upper house. Our plan is to find another one that we can live in while we repair it. That has worked out pretty well on the one we are living in now.

Of course, if a great deal for a regular rental pops up, we’d probably grab that too.

Rains = Leaks

We got some heavy rain Saturday. I received a call from a tenant Saturday night. She reported three leaks in her house. I knew it was time to re-coat the roof last spring, but I thought it would hold out throught one more rainy season. I was wrong.

So, flat roofs being what they are, the roof has to be dry before it can be patched. And, there has to be no threat of rain, or the coating will just wash off again. Been there, done that.

There is a 30% chance of rain today, but for the rest of the week the forecast is 0%. Tomorrow ought to be a good day to take care of it.

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all of it’s pupils

Monday, July 21st, 2008

There are always great lessons to be learned in the fixer upper house business.

In this case I learned another lesson when the recent townhouse purchase fell through.

Everything started off pretty well. The closing for the townhouse purchase was Friday afternoon. I signed for both my wife and I since she was out of town. It was the fastest closing I had ever done. We were finished in 20 minutes.

The real estate agent gave me the keys and my boys and I went over to see the townhouse and plan out exactly we would start fixing it up the next day. This is when things took a turn for the worse.

When I opened the door I was hit in the face with a suffocating musty smell. As we walked in we heard a splashing sound and could feel our feet getting wet. We looked down to see that there was a lake inside the townhouse and the air was as humid as a greenhouse. I looked in the washroom and saw that the flood was caused by water spraying out of the hot water heater. I tried to turn off the valve but it was broken, so I went outside and turned off the water at the main valve.

After opening all doors and windows, we walked through both rooms and both bathrooms. They were all flooded, and, they all had mold on the walls and ceilings.

My first reaction was “we can still make this work!”. I thought we could mop up the water and wipe the mold off the walls without too much trouble. So we drove over to¬†ACE Hardware and bought a wet shop vacuum, buckets, mops and paper towels.

When we got back to the townhouse and started cleaning up it soon dawned on us that we were not making a dent in the standing water and the mold wouldn’t come off as easily as we thought.

So, I called the realtor and told her the situation. She immediately came over to see the house and and agreed with me that we should cancel the contract. She contacted the title company and the loan company. Today, Monday, I got my money back from the title company, all but $350 that went towards the appraisal.

It was a good thing I checked the place out right after the signing, and that it was late in the afternoon. If they had recorded the title before I saw the flooded property, it would have been a different story.

I could have waited for the owner to remedy the problem, but with that much flooding there might be hidden damage that isn’t easily detected, and I didn’t want to wind up waiting and re-negotiating the terms.

What lesson did I learn? In the future, I will always walk through the property one last time before signing the closing papers.

It was a good lesson to learn, and I was reminded of Hector Berlioz’s humorous quote that I put in the title to this article.

It would have been a nice rental property, but my philosophy is that rental properties are like taxi cabs. If you miss one, there’s another one coming right behind it.

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