Lead Balloon

May 5, 2006, 12:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Todd took the day off yesterday and spent it at the house finishing up our wallpaper stripping project. I'm glad that he's very happy with his progress in understanding the fine art of wallpaper stripping, he's actually enjoying it a little bit, I think. And that's a good thing. Because I prefer putting things on the house, not ripping them off. Putting things on just feels a little easier and less frustrating. I don't know.

I called him a few times during the day to check on his progress, and every time he was ten times further along than I had imagined. By lunch time, he'd finished the second bathroom and was heading to the master bath to start on those walls. The excitement was overwhelming me – after our first weekend of stripping the first bathroom, I thought it would surely take us a year to finish all three.

Then he sent me a photo from his cell phone that said, "Look what I found behind the wallpaper in our bathroom." When I looked at it, my heart sank. Yours would, too, if you'd seen this:


Black mold.

This story goes back a little bit…The first house we made an offer on had some shady tile repair in the shower that concerned us so much we withdrew the offer. (That, and the house was out of our price range and still needed about $10,000 worth of work done to it.) When we found our house, we saw, again, some tile repair in the shower. It didn't look as bad as what we'd seen before, and we decided we'd take the chance on it.

During our negotiations with the owner, we asked if there had been a repair in the shower, and could he tell us what kind of damage was there before the repair. This seemed like a logical question, given that there was a box of tile in the attic that matched the shower exactly – he'd obviously made a repair. He said he wasn't sure, that he'd check on it. We never heard back on it.

On closing day, our realtor asked that the seller provide receipts for any and all repairs made to the house while he was living in it. They gave us these receipts, and there wasn't one for the shower tile, but there was a $2,200 receipt for a pipe leak in the living room that necessitated "jacking up" the foundation in order to repair it.

None of this was on the seller's disclosure. If we were litigious people, we'd take him to court for fraud. This is the normal and customary process, a very expensive process. But it's what you do when people don't disclose major repairs and faults in the home as they're trying to convince you to sign your life away for the most expensive purchase you'll make in your life.

The picture above is the wall above the bath tub, next to the shower. We ripped some of the shower tile out to see what kind of damage was in the shower itself – and the sheetrock and wood beneath it was rotted, some of it wet. There is definitely a leak. The entire shower has to be gutted, maybe even the tub.

I think I'm most upset because I spent most of my morning yesterday picking out tile and countertops for the kitchen…probably not going to happen now. The good news is, I'd put on The List (way down on the list) re-tiling the shower to look like this great picture I found in a decorating magazine. Maybe that wish will come true. Maybe I'll have the best shower on the block. Maybe you'll want to come by and use it. Maybe HGTV will show up tomorrow and offer to make everything alright. Maybe we'll just win the lottery.

As frustrated as I am, I'm still full of hopes and maybes.


9 Comments so far
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i don’t think i’ll ever buy a house…that way “the landlord” can get rid of the black mold.

hope Todd is wearing a Michael Jackson face-mask while working around that stuff.

Comment by Sam

welcome to being a homeowner…BUT…it seems quite unfair that they were not honest with you. i would certainly check w/ your realtor about options. that is fraud as far as i am concerned. but…keep positive feelings about this…a new shower like you want it will be nice, and you won’t have to worry about anymore problems once this is fixed correctly! damn those sellers!

Comment by Mutha Deah

Sam, I am asking myself every day, “Why, again, is it not smart to rent forever?”

I can’t believe I forgot to mention in the post how NASTY that mold smells. You know how I am with smells..

And no, while I did give Todd a mask to wear, he did not wear it.

Comment by leadballoon

>>>the seller was leaving the lawn mower, leaf blower, electric hedge trimmer, and weed eater as his “gift” to us.

that doesn’t balance out to a little white lie on the black mold? ; )

Comment by Sam

No. But the “gift” makes all kinds of sense now.

Comment by leadballoon

yikes. good luck with that. it will work out.

Comment by amber

i love teak furniture!

Comment by shelly

YUCK. Mold = YUCK.

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