So, the home inspector came for a visit on Saturday. He really took his time with the place, clearing snow off the roof to see the shingles, climbing around in the attic, digging in the chimney, and generally poking around.
My realtor and I arrived at the end of the process, and the inspector gave us a tour with a summary of his results. Mostly, he was quite upbeat about the place – he raved about how straight and true the house was, a shock, given its age. He was impressed with the floor joists (2×10! On 16 inch centers!) , the beams (two! only one was necessary!), and the rafters (2×6 on 16 inch centers), and tossed around words like “overbuilt”. He then reassured me that this was a good thing. He was even impressed with the foundation and footings.
He specifically noted that the chimney is in perfect condition, and that if we wanted a wood stove in the kitchen, it would be a plug-and-play sort of deal. Sweet.
There were really only three little(!) issues. First, it is only 70 amp electrical service, and they doubled up on some of the breakers, which is illegal and not overly safe. When I asked exactly how ‘not overly safe’ it was, the inspector gave me a wry grin and pointed out that the house hasn’t burned down…yet. Secondly, the bathroom had suffered a moisture problem, which was going to mean replacing all of the gyprock, and repainting. We had already guessed that one, so no worries there.
The really bad news was in the cistern. Our only actual water supply at the moment. It is watertight, and huge, so no issues there. I had taken a quick peek on a prior tour of the house, and had not seen any mouse carcasses or anything – it was dry at the time. However, the sellers had partially filled it, so that the inspector could check the water systems. When we looked in this time, there was a nasty surprise…fluffy whitish mold balls, floating on the surface. There must have been mold on the walls, though I had not noticed it previously.
My first instinct is – no problem. Drain the cistern, hop down there with a stiff brush and a bucket of bleach, and issue solved. This is a great plan…except that the access is about 14 x 16 inches, and under a counter, to boot. The only way to get an actual person down there will be to cut a hole in the kitchen floor. Oh, and those 16″ on center floor joists? Those mean that whoever we send down there will have to be pretty skinny…