If you thought you were going to get the inside scoop on purchasing a home you haven’t built from the ground up yourself, you thought wrong. But you will get the dirt. The real dirt. And you won’t even have to dig.
If you’ve read any other posts, you know how terrifyingly exhilarating this purchase was for me and Chris. Okay, for me. The financial scrutiny alone put me on prescription meds. Add the negotiations, the inspections and the closing to the mix, and I’m on the couch. But even after all that, the thrill of home ownership — and yes, that $8,000 tax credit — was enough to dim the emotional trauma. That walk-through the day before closing was a beautiful thing… until I looked closer. Then the beauty began to fade… into filth.
Here’s what I learned… Don’t trust the inspectors. Don’t trust the realtor. Don’t trust the lighting– artificial or natural. All are capable of masking how well the previous owners cared for your future home. Trust the dirt. Yep. The plain, simple, grimy truth: trust the dirt. If you check the cabinet tops and find grease, grime and dust? If you check the bathroom grout and find it is actually grey and not black? If you check the exposed beams and sprinkler tops and have to wear a painters mask? And, most of all, if you check the under side of your disposal lip — that little scalloped piece that requires actual removal — and it squirms and burps? Or, if you encounter all of the above? You can pretty much guarantee that there will be issues that the inspector (on the realtor payroll, mind you) cheerily failed to point out. And that may well be the truest test of the condition of your new home.
Where there is dirt, there is trouble. A conscientious home-owner is a spotless home-owner. That attention to cleanliness — or lack thereof — is a direct correlation to home maintenance. H-Vac filter issues? Check. H-Vac regulating issues? Check. Oven cleaning issues? Check. Bathroom fan malfunctions? Check. Ah… I could go on and on. Lessons learned. It’s all good. Yes, this first-time home-owner is on a constant learning curve — okay a roller coaster. But my love of our new home is not diminished, by any means. But my love of Chris’ cleanliness-is-godliness attention to detail? It has increased an hundred-fold. Here’s to Chris, to dirt, and to the life of a home-owner.