The Wrong Place at the Right Time

So I almost bought a house this week. I was really excited about this house, and trusted that through my own due diligence, combined with the skilled diligence of a certified home inspector, I would be able to steer clear of any hazards. To the inspector’s credit, he never got an opportunity to test the waters; he was saved by Lonnie the Nosy Neighbor. (If this was a theater reading there would be a dramatic sound after her name). (Every time).

We were taking another preview tour of the home, and as we were leaving, Lonnie the Nosy Neighbor appeared in the front yard. She asked if we were the ones selling the property, and when we told her we were not, she asked what we knew about the irrigation system.

Well, I know about as much about irrigation systems as I do Russian literature, which was revealed with my quizzical silence. Lonnie led us to the front of the house where she began explaining and pointing out the flaws in the system. Long story short, and from my limited understanding, the center for the entire neighborhood’s system is located on this property, and severe cracks underground have resulted in periodic and systematic flooding of the entire front yard of the home. We’re talking total submersion.

Not only that, but as a result, the other houses on the block never get enough water and are dying. It all gets flooded out at this house! This is not sounding pleasant. Picture dozens of local seniors on the rampage when their citrus trees are repeatedly under-watered. Seniors and citrus are like peas and carrots. They just belong together.

This news was enough to send any sane buyer sprinting away, but Lonnie kept the bad news rolling. Turns out the roof has been replaced twice in the past year, both times improperly by people flipping the property, and now when it rains it essentially falls apart and ends up in the driveway.

Lonnie had to be about 65, and was decked out in an Obama t-shirt and white denim jacket. Her raspy voice was likely a result of years of smoking, considering she had a pack and a lighter in one hand. I have to think that she was acting in the spirit of Obama himself that fateful Tuesday. YES WE CAN Lonnie. We can save an innocent party from embarking on a horrendous rollercoaster with this money pit of a residence.

That said, we withdrew our offer that evening, and learned a valuable lesson about interviewing the locals before making any offers.

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