Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Can I get a Little Inspect?

Just a little bit? Come on now..

I-N-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me! Or at least to our new home.

Last week we traveled down to Pennsylvania to meet with our realtor and the home inspector to do a walk through of the house we are in the process of buying. And WOAH is a home inspection a long process! Typically, an inspection takes about four hours to complete, but we ended up talking for a while and was there from 10 am till almost 4 pm. That's six hours! I have to say, though, that our inspector was great. He answered any questions we had, and he was very informative of not only the condition of our home, but some of the general maintenance things we should keep in mind. He knew that we were first-time home owners, and there would be a learning curve-- especially in an older home.

We also were able to take a ton of pictures of our home-to-be, and I am happy to give you a sneak peek of the inside as I know you have been anxious to see. Get ready for photo overload! :)

The first room the inspector started in was the kitchen. Typically an inspector will spend most of his time in three places: the basement, bathrooms, and the kitchen. These places are typically the place that has the most potential for issues since they hold some of the highest function of the house. Our kitchen is very outdated, but is in good, working condition. No major problems were found, and we were even able to get some remodel advice.

Holy outdated kitchen, Batman!

The kitchen's layout makes the space seem incredibly small. Combine that with the cabinetry, the dated tile and linoleum, and you get a big ball of ugly. I don't even think June Cleaver herself would be rocking this kitchen. We have plans for her, though, and we intend for this space to be the first major renovation that we do in the house. This momma loves to cook and spend time in the kitchen, so I can't wait to turn this into culinary haven. I'll go into more details in a future post, but know this: nothing in this kitchen is safe from my demolition desires!

View from the back porch door. 

Next, we moved into the dining room. Nothing special about this room except that the walls and trim match the floors. It's rather closed in feeling, much like the kitchen, and I am sure it will be part of our overhaul once we are able to save enough for our kitchen remodel budget. I love the little built-in china cabinet, and I am envisioning some board and batten treatment on the lower third of the wall.

Beautiful built-in china cabinet

We then moseyed into the living room. This space is large and airy feeling in comparison to the other half of the house despite being swallowed in wood paneling just like the dining room. The living room features a beautiful gas fireplace which it's stone facade matches that of the houses exterior. We found the first sign of trouble, however, in the floor of this room. Back in 2010, the home was treated for termites, and while the pests were fully exterminated and are no longer present on the property, they had been there for a long time and had caused a good amount of damage. You could see where several planks of flooring had been replaced at some time, and there were a couple left that still showed traces of where these nasty bugs had eaten their way through the floors. We hadn't noticed this problem when we first saw the house, but we had known there was some termite damage that was repaired as revealed in the seller's disclosure part of our contract.

Four windows in this room makes it bright and airy. 

Bonus: It looks like "Granny Clause" might come with the house. 

After we discovered the termite damage in the flooring of the living room, we decided to head down to the basement to take a look at the damage from below. We made a pit stop at the half-bath located in what used to be the former stairwell to the basement.

Not sure why they chose this space to remodel as a half-bath, as it is kind of awkward and small. I'll admit that it is nice to have a second bath in the home, though.

As we made our way down the steps, one big drawback of having that half-bath is that the placement of the steps had to be altered. It has created some clearance issues on one of the joists which support the landing of the stairwell to the second story. We'll have to be extra careful when coming to the basement at this point.

Once in the basement, we were able to get a look at the termite damages and repairs that were made to one of the joists that was badly eaten by the pests. Our home inspector was also a licensed pest inspector, and was able to give us some good insight as to the condition and outlook of the damages caused by the termites. The repairs that were made were sufficient to help support any weakness issues, and the termites were definitely long gone. We fully intend to transfer any current pest control contract with the seller so that we can prevent any chance of future infestations.

Our home inspector also gave the green light on the houses current furnace, Old Faithful. This furnace is HUGE, and it's also been retrofitted several times. Originally, this giant iron beast started it's life as a coal furnace. It was converted to operate on fuel oil at one time, and as of now currently functions on natural gas.

The other half of the basement consists of a one car garage and holds the electrical panel and main shut off to the house.

Next, we ventured upstairs to inspect the bedrooms, bathroom, and attic. As you come up the stairs, you find this charming little nook that features a cedar-lined window seat. The master bedroom and bathroom are to the left, and the first and second bedrooms are down the hallway to the right.

Master Bedroom
Bedroom #1 (spare room)
Bedroom #2 (Claire's Room)
The bedrooms are of good size, and each has a closet. The second bedroom also includes entry into the attic. It's such an awesome space, and maybe some day we can refinish it to be a nice little sitting area for Claire to hang out and read a book.

Yes, that is a window in the closet.
Potential to be an awesome playroom?

The full bathroom sits just in front of the master bedroom. It, too, is rather outdated, and is rather small. We'll likely renovate this room once the kitchen is complete, and possibly extend it some into the master bedroom walk-in closet that sits directly behind that tub wall. 

These fixtures have seen better days. Or have they?
Once we finished walking through the house, we ventured outside to inspect the exterior. The house only includes .41 of an acre, and is marked where you see that orange cone in the yard on the left corner of the picture below. The seller, however, does own the rest of the property, and has said he would consider selling to us at a special deal. We are definitely interested in expanding the property lines, so hopefully we'll find more information about that after we get settled in. 

View of the property from the attic window
Kennel located behind the garage. Some day this will be my chicken coop!
3 Car Garage
The detached garage looks a lot nicer in photograph than it is in person. I'll go more into detail about this in a future post, but it needs a lot of caulking and painting. Hopefully I can get more information from the seller on this building. It appears to be very old, and quite possibly may be one of the original stable/outbuildings to the house in the 1930's and was later converted into a garage.

We're envisioning some chunky porch posts, navy shutters, and a brightly painted front door for the front. 

Someone let the Rhododendron get out of control!

Rear view of the house

See the heart?

Overall, we are extremely happy with our new house, and are really motivated to get settled in and start making it our home. Our close date has been changed to April 5th, so in two weeks we'll be packing up the Uhaul, and heading down to sign our paperwork and move in! I'm so excited!!

Anyone else completely shocked by how long a home inspection takes!? At least we had the pleasure of working with a very knowledgeable man, and he was able to answer all of our questions and give us lots of good advice. I don't think we could have asked for a better experience! What do you think of our home? We'll go into more detail room by room once we get settled in, so don't worry. There is much more to see!

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