We’ve lived in Franklin now for just over 11 months and I can’t help but reflect on the surprises we’ve met since our arrival.
Leaving our home and friends and family and the sadness that accompanies that kind of a decision should be enough of a surprise, but NO…we’ve had a whole lot of other really BIG SURPRISES since we’ve been here and they have not necessarily been good or pretty!
I’ve decided to get raw and very real with you because if you read this blog and you might be thinking about moving, I want to save you some pain.
To date we’ve experienced: the surprise that the washer & dryer were not here even though the contract said they would be… plumbing problems…broken pipes and a flood… and we needed to replace the heating and air conditioning unit in the first Polar Vortex…I’m still trying to figure out what in the world the Polar Vortex was doing this far South!
One of my poor HVAC installers. It was about 5 degrees on this particular day! He had on 4 layers of clothes.
Then we had water leaking through the walls into the bedroom caused by no drainage and the sprinkler system, and if that wasn’t enough…there was MOLD in my bedroom!
The mold was everywhere.
De-molding the bedroom. Three days of both machines blasting. It was 109 in the bedroom.
So again…the angst of moving and figuring it all out wasn’t enough, but we’ve had to endure a lot when it comes to the house. Each and every one of these issues (except the flood) could have been avoided if the negotiations of buying a house long distance had been above board. They weren’t and there were a lot of things that should have been disclosed, but weren’t.
Part of this is our fault. We should have had numerous inspections in addition to the ones we did have, but we trusted and maybe…too much. It is what it is and there are lessons to be learned here…lots of them.
I don’t want this for you. So here’s what you need to do if you’re moving across the country or anywhere for that matter. (Except maybe in California because there are very strict laws about inspections in CA.)
No matter what you’re told…have an extensive Heating and Air-Conditioning inspection. Who cares what it costs? It could save you thousands!
If you’re moving to a place where there is weather and especially water…have a water specialist come out and do a separate inspection. He’ll test for drainage and existing water damage and if you’re moving to Franklin, TN, I’ve got the guy for you.
At the very least…make sure the inspector checks the walls for moisture. Water in the walls doesn’t happen overnight…it’s a long process. If your house has sprinklers…have a separate inspection. Did you know that sprinklers need to be 18-24 inches below the freeze line? I didn’t and ours aren’t!
Also…never…ever…ever…have sprinklers spraying on the house…especially if your house is brick!
Lots of friends have told us to sue! And we’ve thought about it…but the truth is that I really don’t want a long drawn out legal battle and the reality is that even if we win…we have to collect! It’s the system and I think sometimes you have to just buck up and deal, but dealing isn’t always easy.
The mold is gone and our bedroom is slowly being rebuilt. (Dominic and I are sleeping in the dining room! We’re getting good at feeling displaced. Can’t wait for some kind of normal to kick in. )
We now have drainage in the front yard and we’re fixing the problems – the right way! I’m so grateful to Grant Dorris for his brilliance. Everyone needs a Grant Dorris to be on their side. (If you live in Franklin and need a water expert…he’s the guru and I’m happy to share his number. Actually he works anywhere in the USA!) In addition he works with the very best people. He’s a straight shooter and for us…a real blessing.
This is Grant and he didn’t want his picture taken, but I forced the issue.
Here’s the thing…even though we’ve had all these house issues…we’ve been surrounded by great people who have taken care of us. Like angels who were there to swoop in and help us out.
We’ve learned lessons we never really wanted to learn…but we’re still standing and we’ve all discovered that we’re far more resilient than we ever thought. Have there been tears? YES…lots of them. Has there been disappointment…YES…lots of it. And betrayal…we all feel betrayed.
But we’re still here and this house is NOT going to get the best of us. I promise you this…if you’re moving and you have questions, I’m going to share everything I NOW know with you.
Want to hear the irony of all of this? We just won Yard of the Month and the day after they put the sign in our yard…this is what happened.
We were pretty proud of this especially since we’re relatively new to the neighborhood.
Leighton did the grueling yard work and he was absolutely fantastic.
It’s been a tough 11 months…but we’re still here. We’ve learned to rely on each other for strength a lot. We’ve let down our guard and we share our story. We hope that ultimately we can help others avoid this mess. And mostly…we believe that we’re coming to the end of the tunnel and looking forward to walking in the light.
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