Hoo boy. You’re not gonna believe this.
We went for the house inspection this afternoon. Right away, this inspector (Bill) was walking around saying things like “Something’s not right.” He pointed a bunch of stuff out to us, but he still seemed puzzled by some missing explanation, and he called John, our realtor, to see if we could try to get the contractor to come out.
Just then, like magic, the contractor pulled up. And boy, did he enlighten us.
This woman, the seller, had a son who was a drug dealer and he was shot down in the neighborhood over a year ago. Then some rival drug dealers fire-bombed the house.
According to the contractor, the fire did about $25K worth of damage, but in the end it was worth $40K in renovations that were necessary anyway. Unfortunately, the seller made bad (i.e. cheap) decisions all along the way and the house, in order to be what it has the potential to be, would basically need to be gutted again and done right. Bill, the inspector, was nodding vigorously through this whole explanation and saying “I knew it! That explains so much.”
It explains a lot to us, too: why she was so reluctant to move forward with everything, why she has been so hard to reach — I’d guess she’s hurting a lot from having to rebuild and having to sell this house, and I don’t envy her situation. However, she broke the law by not disclosing everything she needed to disclose, and I’m not going anywhere near this deal.
I’m glad to know what we now know, and even though I’m sad to miss out on what this house could have become, I’m glad to be able to walk away with a clear sense of closure.
What a freakin’ trip.