There have been some new developments so if you'd like to hear the rest of the story, please read on. I'm warning you in advance, this is going to be long.
The house that we wanted to purchase is a 1200 square foot, three bedroom bungalow with a finished room in the basement. It is about fifty years old and although there have been many updates made over the years, there were some big ticket projects that still had to be done.
We knew after we had initially viewed the house that the indoor oil tank was out of date and had to be replaced and we were also aware that the existing 100 amp electrical panel used fuses. We were willing to go ahead with the deal and absorb the costs of replacing the out-dated oil tank and to replace and update the electrical panel to one with breakers.
What we did not expect was that there was vermiculite insulation in the attic which judging by the age, more than likely contained asbestos. We asked the inspector...who is also a building contractor...what his best guess would be to remove the existing vermiculite and replace it with blown-in R-40 insulation to bring it up to code. The price he quoted was between $2500-$3000.
What we were prepared to do was to either split the difference with the sellers or to lower the purchase price by $1000. Pretty fair, don't you think?
Bear in mind that the closing date of our house is the 14th of December which is also the date that we have to vacate, so time was of the essence. It is our belief that the sellers were very aware of the fact that we needed someplace to move to and that they had us over a barrel so they greedily refused the $1000 reduction.
Their reply to their realtor was that the insulation would be okay as long as it wasn't disturbed.
Let me back up a step. When a house is listed for sale in Canada, the sellers are required by law to fill out a disclosure statement or questionnaire revealing all that they know about the house. One of the questions relates specifically to insulation and in this case, the sellers answer to that question was "unknown".
If the vermiculite insulation situation was unknown as declared then why was their response something to the effect that if the current insulation remain undisturbed then it was okay? They obviously knew about it but chose not to disclose what they knew.
You probably know the rest of the story without me having to go into more detail but here's where we now stand.
Yesterday we signed a document which effectively terminates our offer based on the findings of the inspection which was one of the conditions that was laid out in our original offer to purchase the property. We did not feel comfortable with what other hidden things conveniently or inadvertently may not have been disclosed.
This might be the most expensive $1000 that the sellers decided NOT to spend.
They could have sold their house for $1000 less than our agreed upon selling price which they turned down. Now they have to disclose that there is vermiculite insulation in the attic which will scare away most potential buyers thereby making it more difficult to sell their house. Ultimately, they will probably have to accept a much lower selling price than we were prepared to pay. We dealt in good faith and feel that we were way more than fair.
Well, if you've read this far, I applaud you. Here's the rest of the story.
Because of the time constraints, we were very lucky to find a two bedroom bungalow with garage to rent about 50 miles up the valley from where we currently live. Yes, it ultimately means that we will have to move twice but at least now we won't be under the gun to find our LAST house. We'll be able to take our time to look around and won't have to worry about closing dates or having to sell before finding for a new home.
Renting will certainly be a new experience for us because we haven't rented since we were married many, many moons ago. Thankfully the house is clean, in great shape and it'll be painted and cleaned throughout by the 1st of December which means that we can start to move the smaller stuff in before we have to vacate here on the 14th.
I can't begin to tell you about the stressful roller coaster ride we've been on over the last two and a half weeks. If the truth be known, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Both Mr. Painted Quilt and myself are emotionally spent and there's still so much that still has to be done!
Thanks for listening!