May 31, 2009

Happy Homeowner?

I've been MIA for a while and what you'll read below is one reason why.

Most of you know that I purchased a home recently and was ecstatic to be a homeowner once again.

Well, that was short lived, and I feel like I'm in the middle of a nightmare.

I tore the wallpaper out of the bathroom so I could prep to paint and put in new sink/vanity and such, but all that came to a screeching halt with a discovery I made when I pulled off the baseboard.

From that point it went on to a 3.5'x 7.5' hole in my laundry area, which is open to the bare earth in the crawl space below. It's been open like that for three weeks while I've been trying to get someone to help me out of this mess. Several floor joists are wet and rotted through, and the moisture had seeped up through the bathroom floor on the other side of that wall as well. The odor was horrendous, and there is black mold on that wall.

I had to repair and install a new kitchen floor before I could even purchase the house due to issues that we DID know about, and that floor is already far from level, and it's been only three months. It seems I've been finding some new issue just about every day, and I'm ready for the nightmare to end. There was even a dead cat decomposing under the laundry area - how nice.

I can't go any further with painting or other projects or even move the rest of my things in from storage until these issues with the floors are fixed. There are definite structural issues with the home and I believe several people had their hand in sweeping those issues under the proverbial rug in order to get me into the home.

I opted for a VA guaranteed loan and the appraiser did his job, but he ok'd the sale based on reports from other professionals that the house was structurally sound, when in fact it was never inspected properly. I was getting very little help from my realtor and at a loss as to where else to turn, so contacted the regional office of the Veteran's Administration to see what assistance they might be in a position to provide.

The gentleman I spoke with on Friday had never handled a case like this, but seemed to think that the VA would want to be involved, and had already requested the complete file on the sale from my lender. I wrote a detailed report of everything that transpired from the day I first looked at the property, through the closing process, to where we are today and emailed that last night. He'll have some good reading to start off his work week - it's 10 pages worth, but I didn't want to leave out a single detail.

So now I wait some more. I pray that someone can start the ball rolling and get this fixed quickly, but I'm not holding my breath (actually, I should be - it stinks in here). I haven't been able to use my laundry for three weeks (so far) , I'm trying to keep the hole covered so my cat can't get down there, and it's just downright nasty around here and I want it to end.

Here are a couple of photos showing the mess around me. All are clickable to enlarge.

This is what I found when I peeled back a small area of the linoleum in the bathroom.

Beneath the linoleum was all wet, but the dark portion on the right is wood that is rotted almost all the way through.

This pic is the wet subfloor and joists that were underneath the platform for washer/dryer. All that was left to rot, and it slowly creeped through to the bathroom flooring on the other side of that wall.

The lighter wood is the frame that was built to put over the rotted areas, that the platform set on.

This picture is after we picked up the frame on the left side. You can see where one joist was, but as soon as we touched it, it basically disintegrated.

You can see just how wet and rotted this joist is.

I'll spare you the photo of the dead cat.

Anyway, it's in the hands of the Veteran's Administration now, or at least I hope it is. Somehow I have the feeling this is just the beginning of a long battle.


Heidi Pocketbook said...

How horrible, sad, aggravating, stinky, gross, inconvenient, etc... It's all terrible, but when I read about the cat I nearly lost my breakfast.

It does sound like there was some sort of cover-up job, and I would think that unless you purchased the house as-is, you would be able to go back to the seller for some sort of settlement.

Be careful with the mold issue--it has the potential to really make you sick.

I'm so sorry this is why you haven't been blogging. I hope you can update how this proceeds.

Samantha said...

I had wondered why you had been missing, I am so sorry to hear of this news, I know you were so excited about your new home, decorating
and getting settled in.
I will keep you in my prayers that the VA will help you very soon. Take care dear friend.

Diane said...

Marie Anne, I just noticed your update and wanted to check it out. Gosh, this has been going on for a LONG time! I am so sorry you are having so many problems with the house. I know how excited you were and it breaks my heart that you've now run into all this mess. I'm praying the VA can and will assist you in getting all this mess resolved. It definitely seems to me that someone should be held responsible for this mess! I'll be watching for updates. I'm praying!!!

Many hugs.........


Martie said...

How horrible of the seller to obviously know and work so hard to cover up the bad just to make a sale! Praying for you that this gets resolved quickly and before you get sick from the mold issue.

alvey said...

That's pretty low, when people do cover up jobs like that; you think you're getting pie and then find out you got a lemon.