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4/27/2004

update As you probably know, my wife and I are in the middle of trying to buy a house. It's a decent little house, by some standards. Next door to good friends, within walking distance of some others, and it's an actual house. Around here they'd call it a "single", as opposed to a "twin", but where I come from we would call it a "house" as opposed to a "duplex" or a "complex" or an "apartment." It's amazing how hard it is to find a single in this area, for a price we can afford. As a result, we are doing a lot of work towards securing this purchase. The alternative will probably mean living in an area more removed from any of our professional or personal interests. Our inspection was not pretty. The kitchen is an addition, built over the dirt with no moisture barrier. I am really getting an education in this excercise, I might add. As everyone (including me, as of 4 days ago) knows, structures built without protection from ground moisture will suffer the wrath of WOOD DESTROYING INSECTS. There are not many times in life you get to use the word DESTROYING as part of an official description. It is reserved for the most serious of cases, such as the kitchen in this house. The inspector removed a small rectangle of sheet metal in the basement, revealing the crawlspace underneath said structural afterthought. It was filled with spiderwebs (and presumably spiders), which would be enough to disqualify me from any sort of inspection type employment. Using the official inspector-guy flashlight, he was quick to determine that the termites have more or less established squatters rights beneath our kitchen. There was not a 6-inch square piece of wood that wasn't bisected by multiple dirt highways, made from said WOOD DESTROYING INSECTS. I believe I heard him say that it was worse then any other bug problem he had seen. Beyond the minor issue of the kitchen being poised to fall into the proverbial ocean, however, the house looks ok, with the few exceptions of electrical work patched with electrical tape, plumbing patched by spray on adhesive, chimney patched with roofing tar, the 50 year old oil burner patched by rust, and some other things. So are we still going to buy this house? Yes. We're going to try. We dont really have the money to invest into all the repairs ourselves, as we are planning on paying the sellers asking price, so the decision will be made through the negotiations. If we can secure enough return cash (ie borrow the original amount, but have the seller give us dollars back for the more serious of the needed repairs, rather than asking him to do the work) then we will hopefully move in on schedule. Why? Because we have made up our minds to live near friends, and to find a community to invest in and build relationships. Because there are not a lot of places we can do that and still be a part of our church community. Because I'm not afraid of challenging my total lack of mechanical and handy-type skills, and learning new things.

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