5.17.2008

What I wish we'd known before buying a home

Everybody says you need to have your home inspected by an independent inspector.

And we did. Oh yes, we were very conscientious, looked into everything a responsible home-buyer is supposed to look into. We researched the neighborhood, the crime rates, talked with the constable, thoroughly analyzed the flood risks, and hired a reputable, unbiased professional to go over the home with a fine-tooth comb.

And he was very thorough. He checked everything, and gave the house a clean bill of health, with the exception of a few minor-but-urgent repairs to the exterior.

He checked the plumbing, said everything was in working order. The hot water heater had been recently replaced... at least that's what he said.

I have no doubt that the guy was very professional, and did quite as good a job as any other home inspector would have.

But he wasn't a plumber, and as we are learning the hard way, when it comes to plumbing, the opinion of a non-plumber just isn't worth a whole lot.

We've just replaced one toilet, and the other two are on their way out. The seals were shot on all three of them... fortunately only one of them leaked through the living room ceiling.

And that hot water heater? Rusted on the interior, and on the verge of disintegration.

Thank God for the leaky toilet that got us to call a plumber before we were surprised by a river of hot water pouring down from the attic. I suspect that might have been a rather more disastrous repair.

As these things go, it could have been much, much worse. We still like the house, we're still glad we bought it. But it would have been nice to know about these things before while we could have negotiated with the seller to help out with some of the repairs.

We'd never heard anyone recommend a specific plumbing inspection, but if and when we ever find ourselves buying another older home, we're definitely getting Mr. Rooter to check things out before we sign on the dotted line.

Meanwhile, if you could spare us a bit of prayer, we could use it. This comes just as I'm recovering from heat exhaustion, which sent me into preterm labor. I'm okay now, and more importantly so is "Baby Jack," still snuggled safe inside for another 10 weeks at least, God willing. But I'm still trying to take it easy until I'm fully recovered.

And there's a mild fever running through the family.

When it rains, it pours.

Straight down through the living room ceiling, to be precise.

5.04.2008

Tantrum

His sobs come crashing in on one other, wave upon wave, each subsiding only to collide with the next in a foaming froth of spray.

Beyond his briny tears, I can almost taste the sweet, sweet sleep to come, when all strivings have been spent.

There is no lullaby like the rhythm of the surf.