Escape From New Jersey

In New Jersey,  you have to provide the buyers of a home with a new house, no matter how old it is.   Case in point, our house is 25 years old.  It is in remarkable condition, thanks to our obsessive home maintenance schedule.  From the first year we moved into this place, we have spent every single spare dime we had on updating, renewing, restoring and reconditioning.   Our buyers are very exacting people.  They have had everything inspected, from the four hour home inspection, in which the inspector did ‘something’ to our heating system that is making it leak, to having the pool inspected this morning, to the tune of $300.

The house inspector came back with an impressive list of either 17 or 71 items.  We are afraid to look just yet.  We do know that one of the items on  the list was that the hose on the dishwasher needs to be draped in a different direction…

In New Jersey, you need certification for everything.  Your heater, fireplace, chimney, septic.  Everything passed here but the septic, to the tune of over $10,000.

Then you have the testing.  The water test is $500.  The guy takes it to the same place our pool guy takes the pool samples.  We are still waiting to hear.  Then, of course, is the radon guy.  He showed up with an innocuous looking can, placed in our basement for the weekend, and then came back and told us we have radon gas.  The radon remediation guy is here right now, installing an elaborate system of pipes and fans to suck the radon out.  He tells us our levels aren’t that high, but in NJ, you must have this done because that just is the way it is.  It cost $1300.

We had the bug guy here today, as well, because the house inspector found mouse poo on top of our hot water heater.  We forgot to clean that up!  For a mere $100, the bug guy placed some traps from Home Depot around and gave us a signed affidavit that we will be mouse free.

Next week, our township inspector is coming!  Oh I can hardly wait!  I’m sure that more of our little nest egg will be sucked off for the good of the township.

In Michigan, you just need your suitcase to move in.  Evidently the township we are moving to is one of the more stringent with codes and that sort of thing, but they don’t require a certificate of occupancy.  They also will inspect your septic, but they rate it from 1-4….one is the worst.  And then it is up to the party’s involved whether or not anything gets done about it.

It looks to us so far like in Michigan you get to be treated like an adult.  You don’t have a bunch of bureaucrats, telling you what you have to do in order to sell your house.  I wonder what would have happened if we were one of those unfortunate people who bought a house that cost too much, were upside down in the loan, and still had to come up with tens of thousands of dollars to satisfy the township.  Maybe that is why people walk away from their houses.  They can’t afford to sell 002Good bye, house!

3 thoughts on “Escape From New Jersey

  1. Uh Oh, I wonder how you make a house built in 1789 “NEW”?????
    Let’s hope the bulldozer isn’t the only way out of NJ.

    I’m getting really nervous.

    Of course, we could sell it to the lawyers who own next door and then there wouldn’t be any inspections and the township would look the other way like they have been doing on that property for over three years.

  2. Oh Suzy – I’m laughing at the ridiculousness but my heart goes out to you! It’s *such* a pile of bahooey! Try to laugh – it’s much better than any alternative and it will help you survive this! It *is* possible to get out of NJ, but it isn’t for the faint of heart! Selling and subdividing the property in NJ was, without a doubt, the most stressful, disheartening and expensive thing I’ve ever done. But the reward was that we got the hell out of Dodge, never to return again, with any luck. The flip side was that buying our place in WA was one of the easiest things we ever did – didn’t even need to gather a posse of lawyers to do it! (Escrow companies rock!) Sounds like MI may be the same. Big hugs!

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