It was a cold and dreary Friday afternoon in December. All the work to make the house look just perfect was done.
The only thing left was to have the house inspected. That seemed like a non-issue since the seller had never had any significant problems with it.
The home inspector had gone all through the home and up on the rooftop like Santa’s Reindeer. “All good so far,” he said. “I only need to put on my coveralls, crawl under the house and I’ll be done.”
He quickly came scurrying out from under the house and said, “You’ve got a problem. You’ve got two inches of standing water under the house and I’m not crawling through it to do my inspection.” I asked him what I should do? He said, “It looks like sewage to me, so I think you should call a hazmat company to pump it out. Once the water is gone and it’s not muddy under the house anymore, I’ll come back.”
Let me think, it couldn’t be sewage. All the bathrooms were on the complete opposite side of the house, so it had to be something simple like a leak from the kitchen sink.
I had committed to the seller that we would have the home on the market by Tuesday, so I didn’t have time to wait for a hazmat crew to pump out the water.
Since it was late on a Friday afternoon, I called my contractor to ask if he could help. He said, “Do you know what time it is? All of my guys are gone for the weekend.”
After a little begging on my part, my contractor offered, “I’ve got one guy who is always looking for more work and isn’t afraid to crawl through some water. Let me call him.”
“You’re in luck” my contractor said, “My guy will come back tonight after dinner and see what he can do.”
When the guy arrived ~7:30pm and looked under the house at the water, he said “This is a two-man job. I’ll come back on Monday with a helper.”
NOoooo, I couldn’t wait until Monday, I need the inspector to come back on Monday morning so that I could get the house on the market on Tuesday.
Since I gave my word to the seller that we would be on the market on Tuesday, I offered to help the guy. I had already changed out of my business suit and into my old clothes for the night, so I crawled under the house with him. It took about 90 minutes, but we were able to place a portable sump pump in the middle of the water and run a hose from it to the street.
“This should take care of it,” the guy said, “All of the water should be gone by tomorrow.” (Saturday)
Whew!…problem almost solved.
On Saturday afternoon, by myself, I scurried back under the house, this time dressed a bit more appropriately; coveralls, work boots, thick rubber gloves and a headlamp that would make a spelunker envious. Sure enough, all the water was gone.
The only problem I had left was the mud. The inspector’s words dancing through my head made for a sleepless night “Once the water is gone and it’s not muddy under the house anymore, I’ll come back.”
How was I going to dry out the mud in just one day? Yes, the contractor had fixed the leak, but mud under a house doesn’t dry in one day.
I thought, perhaps the mud doesn’t have to be dry. What if I were to go to Home Depot and buy some of that heavy 4 mil plastic sheeting, like the mafia guys use when they don’t want blood splatter to get everywhere? I could spread that out on top of the mud so the inspector could crawl under the house without getting muddy.
Well, it worked! The inspector crawled on the plastic, didn’t get muddy and gave the house a clean bill of health.
I had kept my word; the house went on the market on Tuesday as I promised the seller.
It seems almost anti-climactic after all that to say the house sold for a price well above what the seller expected, and everyone lived happily ever after. The End!
Call Me when you need a realtor who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty!