Yes, crooked…

Of course, the first thing I did was do a web search of crooked houses. And I found some information from people who mainly just learned to live with (or in) them.

On April 23, I wrote:

There’s this little nagging worry, concern, PANIC in the back of my mind that something will go wrong. The inspections will uncover MAJOR damages to the structural integrity or something.

The inspection report is dated April 24 and notes:

• Major Concern, Evaluate: The structure of the home exhibited deficiencies. Further evaluation by a structural engineer who is familiar with foundation and masonry wall repair or a company specializing in foundation and masonry wall repairs should be consulted to evaluate the condition and suggest corrective measures is advised along with associated repair costs. The concerns/defects noted include, not limited to:
• A significant slope at the rear second floor room was noted.
• Displacement and movement was noted at the front porch area.
• Step cracking and some displacement was noted at the top right of the front door.
Movement at the ceiling (porch) of the front basement room was noted. Cracking was noted at these walls.
Cracking was noted at the rear left side of the home at and around the electric meter.
• Movement of the front porch overhang was noted.
• The perimeter grouting at the second floor bathroom showed damage and cracking. This may be a sign of movement.
Deterioration of the stone structure by the garage was noted.

The underlining is mine.

Eric guided me to a structural engineer who could do an assessment. Worst case, we wouldn’t buy the house. Best case, we could negotiate the price down. The structural assessment is dated April 27 and it was so bad, I was … upset. The journal entry is along the lines of, “Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.”

Here are some of the pictures the engineer’s report contained for your viewing pleasure:

He wrote: “When joints that have been recently re-pointed crack open again, it means that the wall is still moving.”
Kitchen windows and ceiling.
Rear bedroom: the slope is at least 3 inches.
“Damaged pier at the end of the steel beam that holds up the front wall of the house.”
“Patched crack that is still moving. The angle of the crack is typical with settlement.”
The kitchen floor.

Was this house falling apart?

By May 1, there was another turn-around. We negotiated them down, saying it would cost at least $20,000 to “repair” the house. I was no longer excited about it, though. I was convinced I couldn’t move in until it WAS repaired and didn’t have those $20,000 even with the lower price. We had moved the price already to 93K and then to 87K, which was probably still a tad too much. You tell me.

Long story short, I bought house on May 26 and the first thing I did was call in a bunch of contractors to see what they would charge me for the repairs laid out in the assessment. The engineer’s guy (naturally) wanted 20K, another guy said, “This house has been here for more than 90 years and will be here another 90 years. It’s fine.” He never did send me an estimate.

Here are the very first pictures I saw of the house:

2017-04-22 23.38.42
The rear
2017-04-22 23.39.03
The middle bedroom, which would become my office
2017-04-22 23.39.48
The front bedroom, only slightly crooked
2017-04-22 23.40.04
The rear, very crooked bedroom
2017-04-22 23.40.19
A bit of the dining room

The little crooked house was mine.

2017-05-20 18.29.08
The living and dining rooms
2017-05-26 18.14.21
I’m in!
2017-05-27 07.06.16
My bed for a few months. An air mattress.
2017-05-27 07.09.20
View from the bedroom window.
2017-05-27 07.09.39
Clean, clean, clean.
2017-05-27 07.11.09
Fancy, schmancy.
2017-05-27 11.36.50
Preliminary office because someone has to pay the bills.
2017-05-27 11.36.58
The fake fireplace.
2017-05-27 14.28.57
A little nicer.
2017-05-27 17.05.37
My first meal (yeah, it’s KFC)


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