Before we agreed to buy this house, we had a full-fledged inspection done. The house is in spectacular condition except for one thing: most of the wires in the house are ungrounded. This was somewhat to be expected since people didn't start grounding their electrical lines until the 1960's. The current owner didn't even realize this because the house is full of new, three-pronged plugs. But we must have the outlets grounded because of all the computers and home theatre equipment we rely on daily.
The owner told us that an electrician had eye-balled the house and told him that he could probably rewire the whole thing for around $3000. We renegotiated and agreed that the owner will give us $5000 back at closing to help cover closing costs and to pay for the house to be rewired.
I shouldn't have trusted him. It's not that I think he intentionally mislead me, but the estimate could have been old. Or it could have been a "friendly price" that you give to people you wouldn't want to charge full price. I should have called contractors before we signed the contract to make sure that $3000 was normal figure.
Well, no electrical contractor will touch it. The price of copper wire has gone up: like doubled in the past year. Apparently remodeling (unless you're completely gutting the walls and putting up new sheet rock) is one of the most time-consuming and frustrating tasks that an electrician would have to do. It requires fishing wires and cords from the attic down to the outlets. They don't want it. There is so much new construction in the area that they've got all the business they could want, plus some, and much much easier jobs than this small remodeling job. I actually had a couple of guys laugh at me*.
We could pull out of the contract. We'd lose $1000 in earnest money, $500 to Quicken Loans, and $425 that we spent on the inspection.
I still haven't heard back from all of the electricians I called yesterday, so hopefully I can get in touch with someone who is a moonlighter and is happy to have the work. I think if we can get it under $7000, we may be okay. And there are a few other avenues we can consider, but those would require favors from friends/family.
But this slap in the face is making all of the other flaws in the house seem bigger, too. It doesn't have central air (which we'd hoped to fix in about two-to-three years), and it's in Water-freakin'-Valley (it's kinda stuck there).
And in the just-as-bad department, I cried when Jimmy shaved his beard off yesterday. I always try my damnedest not to let it bother me or to show him that I'm bothered. But he looks like a completely different person. It takes me several days to warm back up to him (often after his beard starts to grow back). And I feel so guilty for it; he feels unloved when I shy away from him (who could blame him??). What is wrong with me?
*[Addendum: I only spoke with about six people of the thirty I called yesterday. One guy refused to even bid the project and gave me a $40 hourly rate that would last til the job was finished. While a couple did laugh at me, two others politely declined and were very sweet. They told me I could call them back if I needed advice or had questions, but that the project overall was just not worth their time.]