Negative Luck


Just need to write this down…

After 12 months searching for a house to buy, in December we put in an offer on a 4 bedroom + study + 2 living rooms (big enough for the pool table that’s been pushed against a wall for 10 years) house here in Geelong, and the offer was accepted. Yay!

Today, with 13 days left until settlement, the real estate kindly opened the house for me to bring in a guy from Carpet Court, to get a quote on new flooring. What we found however was an inch of water in about 80% of the lower level of the house. :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

A pile under the kitchen sink had burst some time between probably Christmas and at least a week ago based on the mould / wetness evident even outside the house…

Now we have to wait for the vendor’s insurance co to assess the damage and perform repairs, to see if we’re happy to continue.




At least it happened, and it was found, prior to settlement. Maybe in hindsight, you will consider it positive luck. I hope the vendor’s insurance company act quickly.

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Yeah - it could have happened a week after we took ownership and paid $12k for new flooring…!

Just hoping there’s no major damage and indeed - that the insurance co will get it fixed up.

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I’m buying a house too, and it’s gonna be a long process, and I hired a full-service buyers agent, which includes of course the real estate agents, but also on staff architects, inspectors, and lawyers. They won’t even pass on possible properties to me without a deep dive. Higher fees vs the typical approach, but when you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars… Peace of mind and all that.

Especially as in Japan, houses do not appreciate. Land might, but the houses do not.

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While annoying, it is much better that it happened before settlement.
It may result in house hunting again, but you have dodged a bullet. If this happened after you moved in it could have been a lot more than the floors that got damaged with all your possessions in the house.
I would request another building inspection after the repairs are done to make sure no damage is missed. Especially potential damage to the stumps/foundation.

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Did you have the house inspected?

Ouch… I feel your pain. We bought a house about 20 years ago, waited for vacant possession (and went on holidays while we waited). Came back to an empty house with water flowing slowly down the front steps.

Opened the front door to see a small waterfall from the roof at the end of the hallway and an inch of water through most of the house.

The hot water service had been replaced a few years before but the plumber did a cheap job and left the old hot water tank and pipes in the roof (routing the new out side hot water service via the old one) and the old tank and pipes had corroded away when the house was empty.

Luckily we had insurance but it costs almost $40,000 (that’d be $80,000 in todays money or more) but more of a problem was the fact that the house had to be left for months to dry out before repairs could start (most of the house needed new plaster up to the picture line join).

Be very very careful that you get a quote for any possible repairs needed, this sort of damage can cause ongoing problems.


I did a drive-by after work today, and there was a van in the driveway, guy in hi-viz sitting on the porch looking at his phone, and a big pile of wet looking carpets next to him.

So - they have at least got right onto it - but there is no way of knowing if the water was there 1 day or potentially since mid December when we had a guy go and do a building inspection. (There was obvious mould on some of the carpet, but not on the walls/etc etc, so I’m guessing it probably wasn’t a very long time…)

Yes - I’ll definitely be wanting a second building inspection now before we agree on moving forward. We’ll get the same guy to go in… at least he saw the property pre-flood.

It will be a shame if it doesn’t go ahead, as out of all the properties we’ve looked at over the past 12 months, it’s one of the few that has pretty much ticked every box.


Good luck.

I can tell you, the opposite side of this sucks too. As I reported, my father passed about a year ago. This summer (Northern Hemisphere Version), we sold the house, but it took several months and several buyers backing out. We were forthcoming about everything, we did put in some repairs as conditions of purchase and multiple times we were left holding the bag, without even the contractually agreed to fee for exiting out. The buyers basically told us: fine, sue us for it, knowing that my bereaved mother, and me on the other side of the world, were not going to do anything of the sort.

It finally got sold, but we felt all the potential buyers and the eventual real buyers (who made us replace things we didn’t feel needed replacing after an agreement was in principle made) were dishonest and took advantage of us. We’d have gladly taken a lower offer to begin with, had folks just been honest.

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Hi Cosmic, how did it work out? Are you now in your new, problem-free house?

Hi @Buttercup

Yes, in the house since May, mostly unpacked except my office which was a second laundry, and needs some adjustments to be better suited to its new purpose.

The repair bill (to the old owner’s insurance) came to around $120k…. So very glad we didn’t take a “cash” offer of $80k when it was offered at one point.

There was asbestos-backed linoleum in the kitchen/dining/laundry (very common in the 70’s, and a major issue now if you upset it!!), which added $17k to the bill…

Overall, whilst it took several more months to move in, we’ve ended up with a semi-renovated house. Now we’re just sitting tight cos of the higher interest rates before undertaking any major repairs/works, cos whilst we have some cash in reserve, our excess income is largely depleted now with our monthly repayments going up $1k.

Wow Cosmic. That was a good call! Bonus getting rid of the asbestos. Glad it’s working out now, except the interest bit. I hope there’s some relief soon for everyone who’s been hit with those awful rates.

Hey @Buttercup

Yep, VERY glad that we decided against taking on the repairs ourselves… even if it’s meant there’s some annoying things like the kitchen rebuild not being how we would have done it, and something we hadn’t thought about - squeaky floorboards upstairs. (The owner was fine for us to get the carpets upstairs replaced - at our cost of course - when they did the downstairs flooring… But the floorboards up there are all sooo noisy, I’m thinking we’re going to have to pull it all up, fix the floorboards, and then relay the carpet/hybrid wood floor…)

Anyways… as for interest rates - our mortgage broker had said he should be able to reduce our rate after 6 months - but yesterday advised they wont budge. So we’re instead he’s said we could change to a fixed rate which would be lower, so we’re doing that for 12 months. Save 0.5%. Still going to be higher than the current variable rates… but better than paying 7%!

Cosmic, Sorry to hear you ended up with a squeaky floor. I take it the upstairs floor boards were not glued to the joists during construction? If you are going to have carpet over those floors and won’t want to unveil them in the future you could probably do a pretty good job of stopping the squeaks by screwing the boards down to the joists or nailing them liberally with glue-coated nails from a nail gun. The friction from the process melts the glue.

Have you actually seen the floor before carpet was laid? If it was originally intended to be carpeted it is probably some sort of sheet material, such as OSB, not individual boards. In that case it would be a matter of peeling up the carpet and screwing, nailing and gluing, it to the joists and having the carpet relaid.
(I see your last comment was 25 days ago so it’s probably already done!)
A fear of squeaky floors is why we glued our floor boards and secret-nailed them with coated nails. No Squeaks. Fortunately before I sub-contracted the construction of my previous house someone suggested that to me so no squeaky floors there either.
Good luck with it.