Big Decisions

Generally speaking, I’ve got it pretty good. When life flings annoying little scraps of crap at me, I can always say: well, at least I have a roof over my head.

Oddly, in a few weeks, we won’t.

A little back story. When we first started looking for a place to live here in Atlanta, we saw this house. Its list price was out of our range, but it had been on the market for eons, so we went to look anyway.

“Holy crap,” I remember saying upon taking in the gorgeous kitchen, gorgeous sunny living room, gorgeous…well, everything. “I can’t even imagine living in a place like this.”

A couple of months and one lowball offer later, we were under contract. It seemed too good to be true.

Holy crap indeed.

Last Friday, we met the home inspectors at the house. THE house. It wasn’t OUR house yet; there was still a lot that could go wrong. But in spite of my best efforts to remain unattached, I found myself envisioning furniture placement and such. The couch here, facing the window! Bar stools there, over by the built-in wine fridge! That painting we love up there, on that wall!

But as we tagged along after the inspector, those visions of buttery leather sofas and funky bar stools gave way to thoughts of buckets and towels.

“Systematic water issues,” the inspector said in to his voice recorder.

“Holy crap,” my husband and I said to one another.

Actually, it wasn’t totally surprising. On previous visits to the house, we’d seen some evidence of drainage issues, and going in to the inspection we knew there was a possibility that the structure needed an entirely new roof – which given the home’s unique style/shape, would be a little more complicated and expensive than just slapping on some new shingles.

But the inspector’s report basically confirmed our worst-case scenario.

So we spent the entire weekend going back and forth. Should we walk away, or move forward? We discussed and discussed…over glasses of wine, while buttering waffles, from either side of the sink while brushing our teeth. The entire weekend was basically one big circle of discussion, leading up to Sunday night, which was the deadline for backing out of our contract.

Our contract, on OUR house.

We are moving forward.

We, who are the type of people who will deal with a dark hallway for weeks because neither one of us is motivated enough to change a lightbulb. We are going to put a new roof on a house.

(Well, we aren’t going to actually do it, of course, but we’re going to oversee its construction. Still a stretch for us.)

Of course, the deal could still sink at this point. The bank’s appraisers still have to go in and do their thing. But we’re one step closer to having a permanent roof over our heads.

And then immediately ripping it off.

Exciting and scary.

17 responses to “Big Decisions

  1. If it’s your dreamhouse, go for it! Are they going to come down on the price at all since you have to replace the roof?

    • Unfortunately not, as they say they have other offers lined up. But at the price we’re getting for the house, we have some room to pay for improvements, so it still makes sense to go forward.

      It is definitely dreamy! You guys should come visit! :) Well, once we get it all fixed up…

  2. Home buying is so stressful, I remember the first house we fell in love with and then finding out there were “structural issues”. We had to walk away, but I’m glad we did and found the house we ended up buying and loving even more! But if THIS house would have had roof issues, we probably would have made the same decision as you guys did. You just know when you find your place, and especially since you have the room to do improvements, you should definitely go for it! That’s the great thing about being married to a contractor- he does all the labor while we’re living in it :) (At his own sweet time, I might add…ahem.)

  3. Good luck and congrats!

  4. Home buying can be such a roller coaster. I really hope everything works out well. With the market the way it is, at least it’s a great time to be a buyer. Good luck! :-)

  5. Oooh…exciting! And terrifying, but really cool. The house sounds awesome and, well, gorgeous! Have fun with it all and good luck!

  6. we went through something similar (not water issues though) and walked away. BUT, looking back, it wasn’t our dream house. we found that 2 weeks later. what a stressful process though. i hope moving forward it’s much easier for you!

  7. I hope it works out for you. I tried to buy a house on my own a few years ago and I am so thankful that it fell through. Now, living with my boyfriend in his house and seeing just how much work goes into a house, I’m glad I didn’t do it. But at the same time, having a place this OURS is a very cool feeling.

  8. Very exciting! Crossing my fingers that it all falls into place just like it should.

  9. I will not regale you with horror stories of moving into a house that needed the roof replaced but I WILL say to make sure you find good licensed contractors who will warranty their work.



  10. Exciting! I wish you the best of luck. And every house will always need a *wee bit* of updating, right? Think of it that way… sorta…

  11. Exciting and stressful sounding! Hope all goes well going forward! good luck!

  12. Wow, that IS scary and exciting! At least you can pay someone to do the roof replacement. It’s harder to hire someone to change your lightbulb.

  13. ohhh the agony of home buying – we just bought our 3rd and FINAL house in December. It’s a fixer with lots of TLC needed, but we knew that going in.

    In our house prior, it was brand new & we had “drainage issues” – over $10k spent on repairs & a law suit later, the problem was fixed & we sold it. If you want to discuss specific drainage problems, feel free to email me….I’ll be happy to share our 2+ year agony of working on it.

    Congrats on the purchasing process – it certainly is nerve-wracking AND exciting :)

  14. Hey, if the roof is your only problem I think you’re gold. Oh yeah: if you have to throw in a beej to close the deal, I’m behind you on that too.

    As soon as you close, please post a photo of you holding a key and looking smug, mkay?

  15. Congratulations on moving forward and I hope everything goes smoothly.

    After you are done with the roof, could you come change the lightbulbs in my house with all that motivation and industriousness you seem to have found?