We are in the process of selling a house. I knew that this would be painful and I am not at all disappointed. We have an interested buyer and we are now in the middle of the “inspection” phase. In our state there is a required Seller’s Disclosure Form where we as the seller have to answer a ton of questions about the condition of the house. Our old house was built in 1960, so there are things to disclose – I mean, no rational person should expect a 55-year-old house to be perfect in every way and it would be very suspicious if there wasn’t something to disclose. The thing that the “expert inspector” has latched onto however seems to me (after living there for 24-years) to be one of the least important issues that he could possibly find.
We have a septic system (and well water). Part of what I put in the disclosure form was that the sewer line to the septic occasionally (about once-a-year on average) gets clogged and that we clear this ourselves with a line plunger that we are leaving with the house. We also mentioned that we pump-out the holding tank about once-a-year.
Apparently the inspector is freaking because these two things are not “normal”. The thing is – neither of them are “problems” either. I understand that most people with septic systems only pump them once every 3-to-5 years. So what? Pumping a septic system is like changing the oil in your car – it is preventative maintenance. You don’t wait to change your oil when your car is a smoking wreck on the side of the road – and you don’t wait to pump your septic until it is backed up in the basement. You do these things ahead of time so that there won’t be a problem – hence the word “preventative”. Pumping the tank every year may be more than “normal”, but this would be like me saying that I change the oil in my car every 1,000-miles. It may indicate that I have an obsessive personality, but it certainly does not imply any kind of problem. This is a good-thing, not a bad-thing.
It seems to me that the “expert” who thinks that annual septic pumping indicates a problem is declaring that we must be liars when we say that there is not one. It is as if he assumes that no human on the planet would ever pump a septic tank unless absolutely forced to by dire circumstances. That’s insane. The process takes about 20-minutes and costs $200-something, and that is probably less than most people with public water/sewer pay per-year. It is fast and cheap and easy – I mean, why on earth would we not do this other than the lame and irrelevant fact that our neighbors don’t? We plan to continue to pump the septic tank in our brand-new house every year, or at least every-other year too just because we feel that it is cheap insurance and a very wise thing to do on general principles – regardless of what other “normal people” do. Screw them.
The other “issue” in the inspection is my statement that maybe about once-a-year I have to plunge the sewer line and open it up from a minor clog (like you might have with a toilet inside the house too). This apparently also freaks-out the “expert” who declares this to be a “problem”. The thing is however – what exactly is the definition of the word “problem”? Regardless of what other people do or do not do, a maintenance task that takes literally 10-minutes and is only required maybe once every 12-months on average is ipso facto not a “problem” and anyone who says that it is, is simply picking nits.
I freely admit that I don’t get “normal”. To me the vast majority of the human race is simply stupid and what we call “normal” is an irrational monkey-see-monkey-do reflex of those too lazy to think for themselves. But I know that I am a weird-o and I know that what makes sense to me is often considered aberrant by others. This is why, when “being normal” (or at least appearing so) is important, I defer to someone else’s judgment. I’m just no fucking good at “average” or “typical” or “common” or “usual”. For exactly this reason I composed my response to the disclosure form well ahead of time, printed it and gave it to my wife for her review. It sat on the coffee table for a week while she was always too busy to bother looking at it (I think that I even reminded her of it once). Then when it was time to fill out the actual form for-real we were all (including our real estate agent) sitting in the old house and I was reciting my answers to the disclosure questions before I wrote them down to give the others a chance to comment. Both of these women were so busy with their personal chit-chat however, that neither one was paying any attention to me. Oh well – I gave them their chance to correct my unintended but quirky inimitability and they weren’t interested. Not my fault.
So anyway, now we have this problem with the house inspection that really could torpedo the entire sale – and all because I’m not “normal” and I simply don’t understand the illogical stupidity of those who are. Still –
If I had a mind to
I wouldn’t want to think like you
And if I had time to
I wouldn’t want to talk to you
I don’t care
What you do
I wouldn’t want to be like you
…and if you don’t remember the song;