Our Home Saga:
The Tree

By the first week of August, everything was coming together, and we were finally getting ready for closing. On August 8, I met with the real estate agent for a pre-walkthrough, and we discovered, to our mutual dismay, that one of the two large trees in the front yard (pictured above) had blown over in a storm, crashing through the wooden fence and out into the road. The city had apparently been called in to remove the tree, since all that remained was six feet of the trunk. I was utterly distraught. The trees were one of the biggest attractions of the property, so it was almost like losing a pet.

I told the real estate agent that I wanted the tree replaced with something reasonable, though it was clearly impossible to replace the tree with one as large. Over the next week, I researched tree prices, stump removal prices, installation procedures, watering regimens, etc. Then I sent a fax to the real estate agent with a proposed settlement. The seller just disregarded it all, offering only to repair the fence, remove the trunk, and plant a sapling. I argued that the loss of a 30-foot tree was by no means inconsequential, but neither the seller nor the real estate agent seemed to be taking the matter seriously. (Look at the picture! It was a BIG TREE!!)

The scheduled closing day came, and the tree issue still wasn't resolved, so Theresa and I just didn't show up. That finally got their attention, and the seller relented, though the final settlement was way below the value of the tree. Nevertheless, we had saved a decent chunk of cash by delaying the closing, so we went ahead and bought the house (on August 18).

2003 Robert M. Freeland II. All rights reserved.
Changes last made on: Wed, Oct 8, 2003