Did you hear that? It’s a huge sigh of relief from us. It seems the worst case scenario–for once–did not happen! You may have noticed that posts on the blog have been light and a bit unfocused lately. Basically, it was because I didn’t want to discuss or even face what was really happening with our construction.
A few weeks ago, when my husband was out of the country (of course), I received a letter from the city that said in order to connect to the city sewer lines, I would have to pay to extend the line to our property. There is an old line, but we aren’t allowed to connect to it. There is a new line, but it doesn’t travel all the way down our street. The first estimate we got to do this procedure was $20,000 to $50,000! Yes, really. You can imagine my state of emotions. I started with our realtor, asking how we were able to buy a property that said “water and sewer available” if it actually was not. She was helpful and said we should contact the title company, but didn’t have any answers. I called others who were building or had built and asked them, and they said it was unfortunate, but sometime this happens. I turned to my well-connected future neighbors, and they gave me names of people in the city government who could possibly help and numbers for plumbers that might be more reasonable for an estimate.
There were many tears and many thoughts of walking away from this idea yet again while I devised a plan of attack. We are trying to build this house for $150,000, and the quoted amounts for the sewer line would have derailed all plans.
But then, for some reason, I looked more closely at the letter from the city and found a mistake. Our lot is a double one, combined years ago, but the city only assessed the further lot from the sewer pipe, not the closer one. The mistake was made because the city still hasn’t updated our lot as one instead of two (yep, I alerted them of this issue over a year ago and assumed they had corrected it). I had to argue about this via many, many emails because the city person would not pick up her phone, but I finally convinced her that I was correct and that I was not going to pay the another $55 fee to have the property reassessed, as it was her mistake. I waited for the corrected letter to arrive for 10 days.
And it came yesterday, and everything is fine. The closer lot is within regular distance to the sewer, and it won’t cost any more than any other hookup anywhere else. I can’t believe I had to go through all that for nothing. But, that’s how things go in this city; no one seems to know anything beyond the very small scope of their jobs. It is unfathomable to me that I was the one to find such a huge mistake. I mean, consider what would have happened if I didn’t find it! We may have paid $50,000 for nothing, or we may have sold the lot instead of paying to connect a sewer line. Ridiculous, right?
Does this make sense to you? Me either, but it’s that red line that will save us tens of thousands of dollars.
Here’s hoping building (which, fingers crossed, will begin sooner than later as it seems we may have found our contractor) goes easier than these pre-construction issues…but it’s hard to be optimistic these days.