Our real estate agent is going to "make some calls" tomorrow (Monday), though I'm not sure who she's calling or what her intent is (she talked to Tony, and I'm getting my information from him second hand). She said in all her years as a real estate agent (and she is a highly awarded agent) she has never seen a bank spring something like this after a contract was signed. Disclosures are always made before the contract is signed.
So now our plans are on hiatus. Maybe there is pipe and water damage, maybe there isn't, maybe we can re-negotiate the offer, maybe our only recourse is to back out of the contract and lose the house. It seems a waste of money to pay a contractor and a plumber to go out and inspect the house if we know up front that there's no way we can afford to fix burst pipes. It was one of the three things we initially decided were an automatic "no" while we were searching. We can't afford a home with flood damage, frozen/burst pipes, or non-compliant septic.
At this point I don't have all of the information to make a solid decision. I'm bouncing between being angry for not being told up front, to being confused about the whole process (is it legal to disclose after the contract is signed? Even so, wouldn't our inspection have found it out anyway and we have five days after that to back out of the contract - so maybe they were doing us a favor by offering the information prior to us paying a contractor to go look?). Through it all I feel disappointed, let down, heartbroken, frustrated, and hopeless. This was going to be our homestead, the place we raise our kids, our new fresh start with open country air away from town life, our home. I have shared every step of this journey with our kids, and they have already picked out who will be in each room, even going so far as to pick out paint swatches to pick out new room colors. I was allowing myself to dream, plan for the future, and get excited about the move. Remember, myself and at least three of the kids have Asperger's, so change is difficult - but I was really happy about this move. This property checked off almost all of my (sometimes trivial) "wish list" points. It has access to fresh water, forest and field, garden space, is away from commercial farming operations, far from any town, on a dirt road, with few neighbors, a weeping willow tree, mature fruit trees, enough space for the whole family, at least 10 acres, and a porch. If it had more acres, a barn, and lilac trees it would be pretty close to ideal.
So here I sit, a mess of emotions. Wondering what to do from here. Just wait and see for now I guess. I know people talk about buying a home as being a roller-coaster of emotions, but is this what they mean? I figured more along the lines of excitement, trepidation, worry about moving and expenses, sadness about leaving behind the old home and neighborhood, and stress of switching everything over (from bills and medical and vet contact info to school registration and setting up new utilities in a new town, updating microchip info for the pets, getting mail forwarded, and so on). Who knew the contract portion could be so rough and confusing. And of course, leave it to us to have one of those "never had that come up before" situations. Seems to be a running theme throughout my life. (haha)
We will get through this. I don't know if we will come out with a house, or with some faltering confidence, but we will get through it. This will be another life experience under our belts and hopefully if nothing else, we will have some lesson we can learn from this experience. Stay tuned for updates.