The Friday gathering – Followup on house problems

By glblguy

septic-service

Last Friday, I wrote about the joys of home ownership where I mentioned some problems we were having with our new home: the refrigerator not cooling, a terrible sewer smell in the house, and the clothes dryer not fully drying our clothes. I need to add one more.

My wife and I started repainting last weekend. She just couldn’t deal with the green color that was throughout the main living level. As we applied the fresh yellow color, it became quickly apparent that our white ceilings had some type of sot on them. I did a little googling, and found that this is a by product of an inefficiently burning gas fireplace. Sure enough, inspecting the gas logs, they have black soot all over them too. So now I have to add a call to the gas logs company to my list plus repaint the ceiling!

This week, I called a local refrigerator repair company to fix the fridge. I thought about doing the repair myself, but to be honest I don’t know much about refrigerators and didn’t want to make a bad situation worse, so I let a professional do it. What I did do though was watch him, very closely. I feel very confident that if the situation occurred again, I could do the repair myself. It was really pretty easy. Total cost: $130.00 !

The plumber also arrived this week and checked out the plumbing system. He said that sewer smells in mountain homes are a fairly common problem and they are due to a number of factors including strong winds, clogged vent pipes due to tree debris and the main reason being the slope of the septic drain system. Long story short, he dug up the septic tank and was going to extend the main sewer line inside so that it would be under water and not allow the sewer gas to come up into the piping. Upon opening the tank, we found it was full…and I mean full. Seems the previous owners had never treated it or had it emptied. While maybe not the full cause of the odor, it certainly was a large portion of it.

He recommended a local pumping company, who came out the next day and pumped it. Cost: $175.00. The plumber will be out early next week to add the piping as an extra measure to avoid any odor issues in the future. Guessing that is going to run around $100-$200.

All in all, in the past two weeks, we’ll have spent more than $500 for unexpected (and not budgeted) house repairs. Ever wonder why you need an emergency fund? Well, I just gave you three different reasons.  Had it not been for our emergency fund, we would have been in a jam.

Don’t have an emergency fund? Start one…now.

Important Stuff

Just a few things I’d like to make particular mention of:

The Gathering

Here are my favorite personal finance articles this week from the M-Network and other blogs on my blogroll:

Have a great weekend! The weather here in the NC Mountains is supposed to be in the 70s and we are really looking foward to getting outside, working in the yard and doing to hiking!

Photo by: peretzpup


10 Responses (including trackbacks) to “The Friday gathering – Followup on house problems”

  1. Green Panda Says:

    I’m sorry you had so many things come up, but I’m happy you guys were prepared with your emergency fund. You don’t really appreciate until you use it.

    Thanks for mention my post! DIY car repair is my new thing I’m tackling. My brother in law is going to help me with a few things when he comes down. It’s always helpful to learn a new skill.

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Neal Frankle Says:

    I like this because it gives me an example of:
    a. maybe I can do things myself – or learn how
    b. the importance of the emergency fund

    Every time I see an example of how the emergency comes in handy it reminds me how important it is – the next rainy day could be in my neighborhood.

    Thanks and enjoy the weekend!

  3. A Reader Says:

    Your post is the perfect case for 1. Using a GOOD agent who knows that when representing a buyer you include a professional home inspection and subsequently negotiate the work to be done (gas and plumbing) and 2. You write in the purchase and sale agreement that the sellers are to pump the septic before closing.

    These are just a few, among many, issues that come up with people who buy “FSBO”, or use an agent that is inexperienced and/or do not have a professional home inspection.

    I don’t remember if you used an agent or not – I’m just verbally noting to myself (a REALTOR(R)) precisely the reason’s why going FSBO or not having inspections is not a guaranteed “cheaper” option.

  4. Charles Says:

    Spot on about the emergency fund. I always say that it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” in dealing with the unexpected. I’m actually surprised that you got off with as low of bills as you did for those services.
    I found a neat calculator that helps you gauge the amount of emergency fund you “should” have. It’s on the blog of Money Under 30 at http://www.moneyunder30.com/emergency-fund-calculator-how-much-cash-do-you-need , and it actually made a decent amount of sense. Anyway, thanks for the post!

  5. glblguy Says:

    @A Reader – Here’s why it’s NOT a perfect case:

    1. I used a very reputable agent that did include a home inspection (from the top rated inspector in the area) and included making sure all identified items were included in our contract before we closed. Every identified issue was resolved. None of the items I mentioned above were identified in the inspection.

    2. Our Realtor was a Realtor (R) and with the most reputable agency in the area (Caldwell Banker)

    It is however a case for regardless of how good the house looks and regardless of how meticulously you work the contract and do your due diligence, things go wrong. It’s a great case for why people need an emergency fund and SHOULD expect problems.

    I wrote articles about my home inspection and about how I found our Realtor (R) in the past.

  6. Bible Money Matters Says:

    Thanks for the links! Glad you figured out the sewer problem. Could have been a lot worse!

  7. Pogo Says:

    Wow, you got the fridge repaired for $130! We had the same problem TWICE in one year (never buy a Maytag, folks. Bad parts). First time was repaired under warranty. this time: out of warranty and they wanted $800 to repair!!! I said no thanks, and will be looking to buy a new fridge soon. I plan on getting a non-defroster one, since apparently that’s what malfunctions and stops the cooling action.

    I dunno if the price jump in repairs is because we live in So. California. That’s a good solid $670 difference in your neck of the woods. Labor costs over $300 alone!

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