A new homeowner’s nightmare

Published 4:32 pm Friday, April 13, 2018

We are all told almost from the very moment we start driving how important it is to carry insurance. I remember as a fresh 16-year-old, my parents not only stressed the importance but made me responsible for footing the bill for auto insurance if I wanted to drive. Although $50 seemed steep at the time, if I was ever to get into any trouble, the piece of mind that $50 could or would give me, I was told, was well worth it.

However, from personal experience over the last 20 years since then, I can honestly say I have never met an individual who had the insurance they paid for actually come in handy when they needed it most.

Take for example our new house, an unhelpful $500 prior home inspection and a home warranty company that can’t help us, “because we just closed last Friday.”

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Somehow, we managed dual closings and moving last weekend. How we pulled it off I might never understand. Not only did we have to be moved out of our old home by noon, which didn’t happen until 12:30 p.m., but it had to be clean and spotless for the new owners to do a final walk-through before we raced to closing at 1 p.m. Not even managing to feed ourselves or three children breakfast or lunch, we somehow pulled it off.

Racing to the new home we let movers in while we raced back to our second closing at 3 p.m. Finally home and closing the door after the last moving van pulled out of the driveway, we wanted to take a minute and enjoy what we somehow managed to pull off that day, and the place we couldn’t wait to settle into and make our forever home.

Walking upstairs, we found ourselves in the master bathroom. For an odd reason before heading out to dinner my husband decided to turn on the shower. The house had been vacant for a year and to quote him, “let’s get some water running through these pipes.”

To my surprise, the tub started filling up with water. And then the toilet. And then the toilet in the bathroom down the hall. As I ran downstairs to call our agent I heard my son screaming, “Mommy there is water coming through the ceiling.”

With eyes entirely bigger than saucers, I stood with my mouth wide open and witnessed a sight you can only imagine in your worst adult nightmares. The house that we had signed papers on not even two hours prior, the one that we paid to have a home inspector thoroughly explore for issues, had a plumbing disaster that was now draining through the ceiling from the upstairs bathrooms.

In a moment that was supposed to be so sweet, my husband and I found ourselves in the middle of our worst fear as we wondered where do we go and what do we do now.

How did an inspector not find this? Why was it not disclosed? What are our options? And why is the home warranty company, which is supposed to be purchased to help in a time like this, not helping at all?

This isn’t the first time I have come against issues like this. Much like insurance, my husband and I have a running joke that these kind of warranties are something we are all told we should have and/or pay for, although when they come time to be used you better be ready for a fight.

Hopefully we will have a working house sometime this week, and hopefully, the battle won’t be too bad. We might not be able to use the upstairs plumbing, but looking at the glass half-full, it’s a good thing we have a full bath downstairs.

Brittany Fuller is the community editor of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine. She can be reached at brittany.fuller@jessaminejournal.com.