The Ups and Downs of Homeownership: 6 Wild Stories From Matic Employees

mother and father painting living room wall together

“I spent my days moving boxes, hanging pictures, installing shelves, and learning how to clean a pool. All the while, I was figuring out how to be a dad for the first time.”

Over the last two years, the housing landscape has been difficult to navigate for homebuyers and sellers alike. With skyrocketing home prices, limited inventory, expensive building materials, and not to mention a global pandemic — it’s no surprise that homeowners have experienced many ups and downs. Since June is National Homeownership Month, we asked Matic employees to share their craziest homeownership experiences.

1. Bird mansion in the attic

“I sold my home last year. And it was a relief that the buyer was buying it “as-is” because the inspection report indicated that there was a bird’s nest (mansion) about 3.5×2.5 feet wide in my attic. For years, I had heard birds in the attic. Didn’t think too much about it and just let it go. The home inspector said that it was going to take a few wheelbarrow trips to get the nest out. Wow! Must have been a few generations in there.

Moral of the story: If you hear birds in your attic, do everything you can to mitigate it as soon as possible. Or collect rent if you can!” – Tanya

2. Ghosted by the contractor

“Early into the pandemic, both of my sump pumps failed in my finished basement causing it to flood. While we only got about an inch of standing water, we had to take out all of the carpeting and remove the wood paneling. It took us three days to even get a water remediation company out to start the work, and by then, everything was ruined. Once we got back down to the studs, we discovered that finding a contractor to refinish the basement was nearly impossible. We settled on using one of our neighbors down the street who did contracting on the side. It took him a month to finally get a quote, and then he ghosted me. He moved a few weeks later. Out of frustration I ended up doing all of the work myself.” – Phil

3. Mold, hidden walls and windows

“My fiancé and I purchased our first home last October. It was a grueling process looking for a home because we’d have to go look at a house in a moment’s notice, and then make a decision that day on whether or not to put an offer in. We kept barely falling short offer after offer, but we wanted to give it one last shot and our last offer finally got accepted! The home is a Tudor Style that was built in 1929. We knew that we wanted to paint and there were a lot of cosmetic things to fix up, but when we started looking over some of the original plaster walls to start painting, we noticed it looked a little strange. We decided to pull some of the plaster off and found mold under the paint/plaster on several walls. We had to push on with the renovation, so we learned how to mitigate this type of mold and then how to repair plaster walls. We also found a concrete wall in the middle of the house when trying to install a pantry and a hidden window behind a wall in the pantry, too.” – Jay

4. An offer accepted ($20,000 under asking!)

“I recently purchased my first home with my husband, and in this market, it was definitely a roller coaster of emotions. We originally had our offer accepted by the seller and were overjoyed… then, the inspection took place. We pulled our offer because the inspection showed a ton of crazy repairs like a bowing wall, mold, etc. We continued our home search and were honestly losing hope when the seller of the original house reached out and offered to pay for repairs AND our closing costs. We ended up settling on an offer $20,000 under the asking price, and in this market… you can’t beat that!” – Rebekah

5. Lesson learned: don’t waive the inspection

“Late last year I had a very unexpected family emergency that led to the eventual need for me to buy a home for my mother. Most homes we looked at were contingent within one or two days of being listed. By pure luck we found a condo near where I live that had a “best and final” offer. It was in need of a lot of work, but it was one of the rare few homes that were still within our price range. Our Realtor told us that we were competing against seven offers, and we ended up having to put in a cash, no contingency offer that waived an inspection in order to be competitive. And of course after that, I ended up spending about six weeks remodeling the condo. The previous owner had used plywood to back the bathroom tile which caused the tiles to pop and water to leak down into the ceiling below. We had to retile the whole tub, and surround and patch the ceiling below. All in all, we had to demo the entire first floor, paint every surface of the home, lay new flooring, retile the bath, and put new cabinetry in. All with a strict deadline.” – Phil

6. A new house, a baby, and a pandemic

“My wife told me she was going out with her mom to look at houses. She told me it was just for fun, which I quickly learned was not the case.

Fast forward one week: I am in Las Vegas attending a major boxing match when our offer is officially accepted and I need to sign paperwork. So I am now signing on my new house while sitting in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. We set our move-in day for April 1 and were prepared for that exciting journey. Did I mention my wife and I were expecting our first child in mid-April?

On March 30, my daughter was born. In order to move on April 1, we had to originally set a meeting with a notary to sign the final paperwork for the house on March 30. We tried to convince the hospital staff to let us bring the notary public to the hospital and sign paperwork from the hospital bed. Due to COVID restrictions, that was shot down.

Instead, we convinced them to allow us to leave a day early on March 31. So, the first person my daughter met, aside from her parents and hospital staff, was this notary.

The next day, movers came bright and early, packed up, and moved all of our stuff to our new home. Because everything with COVID was so new and unknown, we decided that it would be best to limit direct interaction with the movers. As a result, we had the movers put all of our boxes in the garage. What ensued was the most sleep-deprived, exhausting week of my life. I spent my days moving boxes, hanging pictures, installing shelves, and learning how to clean a pool. All the while, I was figuring out how to be a dad for the first time.” – Pat

*This Blog is made available by Matic for informational purposes only. It contains general information regarding insurance and is not intended to solicit or sell specific insurance or provide financial advice. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained herein. For insurance related needs, you should consult a licensed insurance agent. Matic disclaims all liability for actions taken or not taken by you based on the contents herein. This article is provided “as is” and Matic makes no representation that the content contained herein is error free.