Copyright © Ruby's Musings
Design by Dzignine

Friday, August 31, 2012

Cleaning Lady

So, finally getting around to writing a post to update you all on how it is going with the house. It has been a busy week, well almost two since I last gave you an update; I wanted to wait till I did indeed have one, and I had time to spend telling you all about it.  Last I wrote I let you all know that we were waiting for the appraisal to happen, as well as the fact that I was having some doubts since homes were popping up that would be less work initially, and at a lower price. Well the appraisal finally happened, it took basically a week from the time the appraisal was ordered for it to actually happen. When it was finally scheduled our agent was kindly was let known it was going to take place the very next day, late the night before.. thank goodness she was able to make it to part of it! Do you recall I was worried over the windows being flagged to be replaced before we moved in? Well God must be shining down on my and taking pitty on my nerves because they were not flagged! That is right, NOT! There was things flagged, some a surprise and at first a jolt of worry rocked us , and then there were a few things that were not a surprise. What was a huge surprise, besides the windows not being flagged was what the house was valued at! It was valued for the amount of our loan, and not the adjusted amount (after our down), we actually had expected it value at less and expected to have to go back to the table and start all over. In one way we hoped to have this happen, as it would make our payments lower. However, I am relieved to not have to start from scratch.

Anyway, when we got the list , which by the way took nearly 5 days as it was turned in for review to the appraisal company, then the weekend happened and then it took 3 working days to get to us, we instantly made arrangements to meet our agent at the house yesterday morning... the day after getting the list. Hubby and I got up bright and early, hit both Lowes and Home Depot to get supplies and then popped in to Krispy Kreme for a doughnut ( or two) and then made the drive to the house. It did not take us long to get there, so we sat there and had our breakfast and chatted about what needed to be done while we waited for our agent to come let us in. Low and behold it was not her who showed up , the owner arrived and said a warm hello. We had met before, the first day I was shown the house and I knew he was a very nice man. We shook hands and he basically said he was there to get started on the list.... SHOCK! He was prepared to do all the things that needed fixing, even though he was selling us the house as is! We told him we were there to do the same thing! We then compared notes as well as found out we had both bought the same supplies to do the jobs! We told him he could take his stuff back and return it ( hey never hurts to make nice!) and we showed him the official list and said "let's get started" and that is what we did.  I think our agent was shocked when she arrived and we were already inside and getting on the tasks.

So you ask, what did flag if the windows did not!?! Well , let me share it with you. Keep in mind this house had already been given new carpet, a fresh coat of paint, new wood like flooring in the kitchen, new tile in the baths and new lighting and ceiling fans through out.. even with all that things can flag.... lucky for us nothing big did. 

Repairs needed:
1. Hot water heater to be double strapped to wall
2. Open junction box on right exterior garage wall to be capped as to avoid water penetration
3. Master bathroom window to close tightly as to avoid water penetration; appraiser advises replacement of current window
4. Drywall on left side of garage to be installed
5. Hall bathroom toilet to be repaired so it does not leak when flushed
6. Hall bathroom tub to drain
7. Master bathroom cracked toilet lid to be replaced
8. Master bathroom shower to have hot water
9. Hall closet to be drywalled
10. Thermostat to function heat
11. CO detector to be installed

So now let me go over each of these things with you. We fully expected the first 1,4,5,7,9 and 11. California state law dictates 1 and 11.... easy and not too pricey to fix and only took a few minutes each to check off. We bought a new back tank for the one toilet, to solve the broken lid and a new ballcock for the inside of the other toilet to stop the leak. Check and check. Some of the other unexpected things like the junction box was a simple fix as well, at least with the right tools... a metal box with a weather tight flip lid, a drill and some screws and that was taken care of.  We were pleased to find out that the lack of hot water to the master shower was simply that the appraiser did not let it run long enough to get hot ( YES! I am serious!) and so that was a relief.  The drain on the tub, well I knew about it, and had worries it would be serious, but to our delight and horror it was just a HUGE clog and hubby took care of that.. of course not before waving the dripping "small animal" in front of myself and our agent! Now the drain does it's job and actually drains. Check, and again check. The list was going down quickly. The only unexpected thing left was the thermostat. It was thought that it had at one time worked just fine and the owner was baffled. He did say it would not turn on unless the house was much cooler than the 82 degree limit of the heat level (energy saving I guess??), so we cranked the air up (brrrr) as we knew that worked well, and then we tried the heat, nothing. This was a problem. So after thinking, and chatting we all decided the pilot light must be out. AHHH! Perhaps it was the pilot light?! It was decided it was safer to have a professional decide for sure ....later on the owner called us and said he now also remembered that the gas had been turned off as there was no one living at the house and he had just recently turned the power and water back on to work on the place. *DUH* of course that would be the answer. The unfortunate thing is of course now it was later in the day, so could not get the gas company out. Apparently not today either and well as luck would have it, it is a holiday weekend, so no service until Tuesday. ***SIGH*** More delays.  We can still of course work on the rest of the list.. tomorrow morning we are going over VERY early *yawn* , and hubby and the owner are hanging dry wall (which the owner is buying!!) and I and our agent will be there to mud and tape , and that will be a check and check. Once the gas /heat issue is solved we can work on getting the appraiser back out to check out work. The window ! What about the bathroom window !?! Ok ,well the owner did say he was going to either fix it or replace it. After checking at a window repair/supply place, he was told it would take 2 weeks to get this darn window in, that the only thing wrong with it at the moment was that it needed a latch. So keep your fingers crossed he bought parts yesterday and went back over to fix the window and we are praying it will satisfy the appraiser. If not, there will be more delays and more cost for the appraiser to come out a third time... so fingers crossed!!!!  One bit of news about the other windows... the owner has a friend who does windows and quoted him a great price, and so he is going to get us the same price and soon after moving in and before the cold winds of Winter hit we should have new beautiful windows replacing all the old , single pane, casement crank windows that are circa 1958! Isn't that great??? Such a relief. YES, we still have to pay for them, but not before we move in and that works for us! 

So now you are probably wondering why I titled the blog post "Cleaning Lady" ?? Well, I did not just stand around while the guys did their thing. I WAS the cleaning lady. You may be asking "Didn't you do that the last time you went to the house?" , well yes, I did. See the water there is awful ( yes a home filtration system is now on the growing list of $$$ to be spent to be a homeowner again) and the rust and lime stains in the toilets as well as the shower in the master ( who invented that dang nubby plastic that holds onto every speck of dirt etc .. well I do not have nice things to say about him/her) are awful! So yes, I had cleaned them before and they were sanitary, but did not look clean, so I went in armed with more powerful cleaners, more powerful scrubbers and after a lot of scrubbing and elbow grease I got the stains really lightened up! I think it will take one or two more times, and I bought pumice stones for the next go round, but when I get to them I think I can make them look pretty close to sparkly clean and not have to buy two new toilets till we spruce up the bathrooms. Afterward, I also mopped all the floors, wiped the dust from the counters and shook out the small rug in the kitchen. 

Things are looking pretty sparkly now and in the process I think I have finally bonded with the house. Early on the owner and our agent departed and actually left us at the house by ourselves to work on things and so we had a chance to finally be alone in the house without our daughters, the agents, the owner, other lookie loos... and just sit and plan and dream and though we have a very long road of hard work and dollars needing to be spent to make it truly ours, we finally felt as if it really WAS going to be ours. Now just to wait for the last piece to fall into place.... the day when we finally get the keys and can say officially it is ours. 


  1. Hi Ruby, I'm so so so happy for you!! I've been waiting for this post. I had a feeling there would be good news. I just had that feeling. That was so nice of the previous owner to help you out. Looks like the list of repairs wasn't so bad after all. I'm sure there are other things you want to do, but all in time. Can't wait for you to get your keys and here all about how homey you will make it with that "Ruby" touch. LOL Again, I'm so happy for you guys! Still praying that you have a smooth transition. Good luck and God Bless!! Keep us posted.
    Dee xoxo

  2. I'm delighted that things are going so quickly for you now and hope it will just be another few weeks before you tell us you are preparing for the holidays. I know exactly what your "duh" moment was because I've had one just like that. We were doing the walk-through and couldn't get things to come on and it turned out that nobody had turned on the electricity! We had to reschedule. It's also very exciting, now, isn't it? I'm so happy for you. Come visit when you can.


Simply adore all your comments! Thank you so kindly for leaving one! They mean the world to me...more than you know! I love hearing from my readers. XOXO Comments will not appear until I approve them, due to spam bots.