Well, the offer was accepted! Our emotions were: YAY! But wait. Did we do the right thing? Let’s go look in Sequim. It’s always sunny there. OR There’s something for sale for less in Mt. Vernon, and a famous architect designed it. What about that one we saw in Anacortes?? So we drove around to look at all the Plan B stuff we could fall back on in case something goes wrong with this property. We didn’t find anything better. Then we finally calmed down. When I say “we” in this instance, I mean me. I chilled out. For a minute.
Next step: Home inspection. We are trying to rush this whole process since we are living in our 4×8 teardrop camper at a very nice campground, ahem, RV RESORT — shout out, Pioneer Trails! There’s wi-fi and nice restrooms and great showers, but having to go for a walk to go to the bathroom does get old. We want in that house ASAP.
So the inspector comes. He’s great. He shows us pictures and gives us a little talk after each area he inspects. Everything is going great. Last thing he does is puts on one of those Breaking Bad suits and a pair of goggles and slithers into the crawlspace to check the foundation and see if there are any wood-destroying insects.
Inspector guy comes out with a look on his face. An “oh no” sort of look. I’m thinking he’s going to tell us the house is going to immediately fall down. The look was THAT bad. Inspector guy breaks the news: There are beetles, anobiidae to be exact, under there. Actively destroying wood. And they’ve been there for a while. The numbers he threw out weren’t complete deal breakers, so we decided to find out how much it would likely cost.
To make a very long story short, the bid came back within an acceptable limit, we researched anobiid beetles extensively, we had the realtor relay a new offer to the seller for consideration of these repairs, seller accepted, and we were able to close the sale. We had the option to make seller complete the repairs, which would have benefitted us by having any surprise costs be her thang, but we wanted IN. Did I mention we were living in our tiny camper? Yeah. So we took the risk.
Repairs will entail yanking all insulation, replacing all compromised wood (estimated to be one beam and six joists), spraying all exposed wood for when the eggs hatch and try to chew in, and reinsulating and laying a new vapor barrier to control moisture. It’ll be a big job, but we want it done right, so we’re not cutting any corners.
After a couple of false starts — one involving us breaking camp to head to the house, only to have to set up camp again — we finally got the word from the title company that we could set foot inside the house. They’re weird about that here in Washington state. Closings are not done by attorneys, so you have to wait until the courthouse records the deed or something. Anyway, I yelled at someone at the title company (I’m very patient, but it was getting stupid) and made a couple of calls and WE GOT IN.
First order of business was getting set up to camp in the house. We moved everything in. That took us about 20 minutes. Then we had a cold beer and discussed how monumental of a mistake we might have just made. Then we told ourselves it’ll all be fine.
Here is a closer look at some of what we’re dealing with, aka sometimes “improvements” are “unimprovements someone is going to have to rip out later.”
We dropped a moderately large amount of cash on paint and supplies and got busy. When all your worldly possessions are in storage in Louisiana and you’re temporarily “between jobs,” painting so you can go get your stuff and become gainfully employed again becomes your full-time obsession. Trust me on this.
Ceiling to baseboards got a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore Moonlight White. It reads as a white white but it’s actually just slightly off white so it’s not screaming I’M PRIMER at you, knowwhatimean? Design folks say YEAH.
We used this color in every room except the bathroom. Simplicity. No surface left unpainted.
Karl’s Paints in Mt. Vernon is super awesome. We got all of our paint there. I have learned over time, after painting many a room, that paint quality is something that makes a huge difference. I’m not a shill for any brand of paint, but I’ve had great experiences with Benjamin Moore and Pratt & Lambert, both of which Karl’s carries.
Also, Karl’s has a shop dog, Snoop. Anyplace with a shop dog ranks high on my personal list, but they’ve got pretty cool humans there too.
And I will leave you with this gorgeous photo I am using for inspiration:
Next installment: See Wayne rip out flooring materials with his bare hands!