To be fair, I was at work and he was in the middle of a bunch of errands so we didn't have time for a lengthy chat. I was still left reeling from news of a chimney that needs help and rotting cast iron pipes and live knob and tube wiring in the attic that we eventually want to reclaim and use as a third floor. That's not to mention the carpenter ants that were thankfully remediated a year ago.
I think it's funny that in the world of pest control they use terms like "remediated" for carpenter ants and "excluded" for bats. Even someone who loves finding the perfect word for each situation wouldn't mind more plain language here: how about "we killed the snot out of those ants" and "the bats now know they are not welcome in this place."
When we spoke again later in the day, Derek shared the positive parts of the inspection, because it turns out there are positive parts! The floors are in great shape, it's a great lot, and something else good that I can't think of because I keep dwelling on all the work we might have in front of us.
The good part about taking care of all these problems ourselves is that we'll get to live with nice, new pieces of the house as soon as we move in. If you've ever sold a house before then you know what I'm talking about: when you put your house on the market you're forced to finish all those little projects you've been putting off or have been allowing to hang there, unfinished and dangling in your peripheral vision. This means you look around at all your finally-completed rooms and say, "Man, this place is nice!" and then you move. So if we replace the five windows whose seals are broken, replace the pipes, tear out the shrubbery that's way too close to the foundation, etc, etc, then we'll get to enjoy knowing those things are new and sturdy and we're building something that will last.
There will still be surprises, of course. In this house it was bats, burst pipes, clogged pipes, a cranky old air conditioner, a cranky old hot water heater, downed trees, and many, many other things. But we improved it and we made it ours, and now we get to do the same to a comparatively newer house in Connecticut. Our Iowa house was built in 1900, while the one we're working on buying is from 1920. I don't feel safe stating outright that we're definitely buying it, because it's currently owned by a bank because it was a flip/foreclosure. Let me tell you: buying a house from a bank vs human beings is very different, and by "different" I mean "completely horrible," and by "completely horrible" I mean "googles Elizabethan torture methods for the heads of impersonal national banks but deems branding and pressing too compassionate."
So there's that.
On the Iowa house front, it's officially Sold and not just Pending. I know this because I walked outside the other morning and the topper on the realtor's sign in front of our house had been switched from "Pending" to "Sold." I do well with this kind of obvious messaging, and frequently ask God to make His directions as unequivocal as this one. I mean, I don't ask for a realtor's sign staked in front of our place of residence, but I do frequently say, "Please don't be subtle about this, God; you know I don't do well with that." He never seems to listen, though. OR... maybe I'm the bad listener?