The last time I blogged about our house hunting – see Cherries Popped – I told you that my husband and I had finally LOST our property virginity. We had found a great house in Ann Arbor, close to Michigan Stadium, accepted the seller’s offer and were preparing for inspections.
The home/pest inspection went well – we didn’t find out anything we didn’t already know about the house. Before removing all of the contractor contingencies and beginning the loan process, our agent recommended that we check to make sure the home didn’t have Orangeburg sewer piping. None of the other homes on the street have had to replace this piping so odds are this particular house didn’t have it and we’d be OK.
What is Orangeburg?
According to information from the City of Ann Arbor and Wikipedia…. The generic name for this type of pipe is “bituminous fiber pipe.” Technically, the term “Orangeburg” is the brand name of a sewer pipe made by the Orangeburg Manufacturing Co., Inc. of Orangeburg, New York. The useful life for an Orangeburg pipe is about 50 years under ideal conditions, but has been known to fail in as little as 10 years. It has been taken off the list of acceptable materials by most building codes.
Taking Sara’s advice, we decided to have Roto Rooter stick a camera into our poop pipe to be sure we weren’t the lucky recipients of Orangeburg….. Did I mention the city of Ann Arbor has NO record of homes that have this piping and the only way to find out if you do is pay someone to check out your poop pipe? That’s helpful, isn’t it?
If you haven’t already guessed, we won the prize and Roto Rooter confirmed the home has Orangeburg which would have to be replaced right away for $5000+. Paying $5000+ for something that wouldn’t improve the value of our home wasn’t in our plans. We were already budgeting to fix the kitchen and the bathroom, paint, put up a fence, put in a sump-pump, buy a new furnace and install A/C. Adding Orangeburg replacement into the mix was making this great deal not that great anymore.
Based on the new findings, we countered with an offer of $166 000. Unforutnately the seller did not want to budge on price – countering back at the original offer we had accepted of $173 000. After much deliberation, we have decided to withdraw our offer on this home and will continue our home search in Ann Arbor. It’s disappointing that we had to pay for inspections, Roto Rooter’s poop cam and to de-winterize a home we won’t be buying but I’m glad we’re walking away and will hopefully find the perfect starter home for us in the near future…