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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Looks Like I Got Some 'Splainin' To Do

It became an issue of principle.  I had to play hardball and be willing to walk away from the house sale.

Between March and June when we listed the house, we spent over $30K on upgrades (not counting my painting skills) to make the house as perfect and turnkey as possible for a purchaser.

When the buyers finally came along, they were pretty maxed out with what they could afford.  Because we wanted to get the house sold, get Marti out of her job and get on the road, we went way below what we wanted to sell the house for to get it done.  The young buyer couple, expecting twins in a couple of months were very nice and we felt they would be a good fit for our house.  So we kind of "paid it forward" and helped them on the price.

When the home inspector report came along, they took his (mistaken) advice and wanted the GFI wall sockets installed by the kitchen sink.  If he had been correct in his advice, I would have bit the bullet and gotten it done.  It wasn't a simple job.

 The wall sockets were already wired into a whole house GFI circuit which encompassed all the electrical wall sockets by all the sinks in the house.  To install the GFI sockets in the kitchen would require a major rewiring job.  The existing wiring would have to be removed all the way to the breaker panel and separated from the existing circuit it was on.  Then new wiring would have to be run back to the kitchen, where the two wall sockets would have to be ripped out and new ones put in, with modifications to the wall to fit the new GFI wall sockets.  Then the existing circuit that the kitchen sockets were on would have to be modified to work independently of the new kitchen GFI sockets.

As you can see, it wasn't a simple job to just wire in a couple of new GFI sockets, it would run several thousand dollars. We felt that we had spent enough and if was that important to the buyers, they could do it after they bought the house.  According to the sale contract, all electrical appliances and circuits are to be in proper working order and the kitchen wall sockets worked just fine.

Goggle is our friend.  I stayed up to the wee hours last night researching the National Electric Code (NEC) that sets the standards for wiring in homes.  I found that GFI sockets in kitchens are required in all homes built after 1996.  Our house was built in 1987 and the wiring met all the NEC requirements at the time of construction.  So our wiring was perfectly fine, correct to the day it was built and still works properly.

I sent an email to my realtor this morning outlining all the information.  I told him that our bottom line was we were not going to upgrade the sockets and the buyers could accept that or they could walk.

He forwarded the email to a certified electrician who backed me up.  Then it was forwarded to the buyer's realtor who then sent it to the buyers.  The buyers walked.

They walked right back to us and said forget about upgrading the sockets, they'll accept the house as is.  I played hardball and won.  Now maybe I should take up poker...

The very last piece of the puzzle is the appraisal on the house price.  We hope that will be finished tomorrow.  When we get that and it's good (it should be) then Marti can give her notice.  That'll start her 30 day notice clock ticking.

We also had the lady from the estate sale company swing by today and get set up for that to take place on the weekend of 19-20 November.  We plan to move in to the Journey on about 15 November while Marti works out her notice.  Now it's on to the myriad of little details to get this all behind us.

Thanks to all of you for your support, prayers, suggestions and words of encouragement.  If not for that we might have been more discouraged and second guessing ourselves while we kept the house in show ready condition.  Tomorrow, I'm not going to make the bed, just because... ;c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Wow! So glad that it worked out for you! I had no idea that it would involve so much work and $$$. Let's get that last hurdle jumped!

  2. This has been so exciting, following your story. I'm glad it's not us, though! No wait -- that would mean our house was sold . . . hmmmmm! Way to stick to your guns!!! :)

  3. Good for you! We will be spending a lot more than that. We put 30K into the roof last spring and now are looking at 3 bathrooms.

  4. Yahoo for you all! However, I wouldn't recommend jumping into poker. You've got a 'full house' right now, don't try to go for a 'royal flush'! The plumbing may break down. :)

  5. Congrats! Now for the bad news, we find that we have to make the bed in the motorhome every day:(

  6. I was so afraid you were going to have bad news for us. I'm so glad it didn't turn out that way. Congrats. So excited for you to get on the road and get all this house stuff behind you. Any ideas where you'll be heading when you head out?

  7. Reminds me of an old Kenny Rodgers song. You did good!!!!


  8. Congratulations ... yet, again! You definitely deserve it. The research you did probably paid off big time! It's not going to be long until you'll be on the road and you'll have other kinds of problems. The easy ones will be behind you and the hard ones will start. You know the ones ... I wrote all about them. Remembering names, being in time for the potlucks, time for the tennis lessons, pool parties and so on. Things are definitely going to start getting tough for you.

  9. Congratulations, it won't be long now before you're joining us out here in full time land.

  10. I will admit that I thought the ending would not be good!..I was speed reading to find out what happened..then I read that 'they walked'..I thought..Oh no!!..but then went back to re-read.. so happy for the two of you!!!..nice to hear some good news!!..hope the appraisal goes well!!

  11. You go, guy! Playing hardball and hitting a home run. Good Job!

  12. Congratulations!!!!!
    We're soooo happy for you two. If this whole process was easy, everybody would be doing it. We all have stories of the stuff we had to go through, and it's all worth it! Enjoy and sleep good tonight.

  13. Good for you! As far as poker, I think Kenny Rogers said it best!

    As long as you're not making the bed, you might also want to consider leaving the coffee cup in the sink...just for today!

  14. Let the countdown begin, well soon anyway. I know where you are at. We actually moved into our RV in August 2010, but stayed in the local area. My wife needed to put in her retirement papers, but lots of bills to pay off, the expected 3 months turned into 6, then 9, now15. But the paperwork has been filed, the end of November is her date. 1st of December we plan on heading south to California. (below freezing again tonight, really time to go!)

  15. Oh my!! I'm grinning from ear to ear for you guys. The rest will be easy and fall into place. Before you know'll be fulltimers!!

  16. At least your buyers had enough sense to get past the poor information provided by their "inspector". (I still think I gotta get me one of them jobs)
    It's just slightly unfortunate that you had to spend all that time researching something you already knew to be correct.
    Worth it in the end though.
    Nice going.

  17. I'm so glad to hear you got past that hurdle. Have the buyers been fully approved for their loan? That was the big hold up on our house...they were financing ours with very little down and had to jump through a lot of hoops. In the end, they did get their financing and we got on the road.

  18. Yay.!!!! Now I want to see your butts in some of my new chairs on our new patio here at Dog Pound South lol.

    Take Care

  19. WHOOO HOOOO!!!! Way to go Paul!
    I want you in my corner next time I have to "negotiate" with anyone for anything!

    When's the appraisal come in? I'm so EXCITED for you two! But how will I possibly meet up with you even for one night on this whirl wind tour you have planned for your first year?????

  20. We have been following your Blog for the past year, and enjoy all your posts. Glad you got the GFI thing resolved with the buyers. It will be nice to see you guy's start your travels without the stress of work for Marti. We are about a 1 1/2 years behind you. Thanks for visiting our Blog also. Have a Great Weekend!

  21. Way to go!!! Nothing like winning a game of hardball! Keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the appraisal will come with less drama!

  22. Congratulations guys! So happy for you!

    Bruce and Luara