Friday, April 5, 2013

The house saga continues

We love our house and ultimately it is the right house for us. It's the perfect size for us - not too big, not too small. It's been updated in a style that suits us. Both the front and back entrances have two sets of doors (with a small room in between) so our cats can't get out, which is a huge paranoia of mine. It's the right house for us.

BUT - holy crap it has been a PITA sometimes.

I'll recap what we've gone through so far:
  • We moved in to our first house and two weeks later it rains for the first time. I discover during this rainfall that we have a leak in the roof. The leak is in the sun room which is in the addition portion of the house.
  • To deal with the leak, we bring in a roofer.
  • Also, we're curious if there is anything else wrong with the addition so we ask a contractor to take a look. He finds that the foundation under the house has been recently worked out and it is not done to code.
  • So our real estate lawyer starts working to get us money from the title insurance company. Essentially the title insurance company pays for any outstanding orders on the house or any work that wasn't done to code.
  • We pay out of pocket to have the roof of the house done, but the roofer cannot work on the roof over the addition as the foundation has to be replaced first. (Cost - $5,900)
  • We pay out of pocket for an engineer to draw up plans to fix the foundation of the addition. (Cost - $750)
  • We find out that the insurance company won't pay for the foundation claim because we don't have an order from the city. That's all that's keeping them from paying the bill even though we have sent documentation showing that the work wasn't done to code.
  • The lawyer tries to fight them, but just last month we found out they won't budge.
  • I talk to the Chief Housing Inspector from the City and he says if we can get our engineer to send him a letter simply stating that the foundation isn't to code and needs to be updated, he will issue an Order for us.
And now here's the latest - I emailed my engineer to ask him to send this letter to the City. It's a very simple letter that could basically write itself. But he has just today informed me that he will charge us again for a site visit and to send this letter/email. 

I am livid. I mean, we have already paid money for the plans to be drawn up and all I'm asking for is a simple letter saying it isn't to code and it needs to be replaced. Why not do something nice for someone and just write the letter? Heck, not even a letter. It could be an email to the guy.

So now I've left a message with the engineer to discuss things with him (versus his staff) and perhaps he will have a heart and change his mind. But assuming he doesn't, do we pay him more money for this letter? This is our last hope of getting money from the insurance company, but it's not a guarantee. We could get this order from the city and still get denied. I don't honestly see that happening, but it could. So we'd be out more money for nothing. It's not a ton ($350) but after spending so much and having a huge bill looming, I can feel my heels starting to dig in.

Oh, and on the roof issue - once the foundation is fixed (this June), the roof over the addition will need to be done. Worst case scenario - it will cost $10,000 because the roof in this section is very badly damaged and the entire thing needs to be replaced, so it's not just a simple shingle replacement. 

Once the claim is settled with the insurance company, one way or another, we can then go after the previous owner for the roof and possibly the foundation depending on what happens. But the chances of getting money from them is (as our lawyer said) slim to none.

Not a good way to start the weekend. I'm hoping by Monday I will have calmed down enough to talk to the engineer rationally.

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