This buying a house thing is really starting to get stressful


9 Years
Apr 28, 2010
So we found someone who will give us the loan, had the home inspection done, few electrical issues and chipping paint being the major issues. Had the cistern tank tested however, which came back positive for bacteria, the radon test was negitive though. Anyone have experiance with cisterns? Also our realtor cashed our $500 earnest fees without telling us and of course we get a bounced check from that. Getting kind of frustrating...
Friends have a cistern. They only shower about every 3 days because it is a pain hauling water.

Take a deep breath and relax. You will find the perfect place for you. lots of places are for sale right now. If you decide against this one there are more out there.

Have you checked on Craigs List? I sold my in laws trailer house on there.
Buying our first house was one of the hardest things we have ever done. It took 3 banks before the 4th one said yes.
If we had took no for an answer their is no telling where we would be today. Don't get discouraged and work through every problem like it's no big deal.
You will find the perfect house for you and your family.
I don't know anything about cisterns.

I am a realtor in my real life. State laws vary, but I believe that in most states, by law, the earnest money check has to be deposited into the brokerage's account within a couple days of offer acceptance. Your realtor should've let you know that.
I've been in real estate a long time. Realtors - Please don't flame me for the following admission, but I've never used a realtor
I find what I'm interested in and approach the seller directly. Alot of people retain the option to sell without the realtor. That's 6% (in my area) back in my pocket. I also sell without a realtor. Any lawyer can handle the paper work. I know houses and buy as investments so we do our own inspections and don't bother with that either. I realize most people aren't able to do that and in that case definetly pay for an inspection. If you have a decent down payment (20%+) you can really get a great deal right now in this market.

Good luck to you and don't give up - owning your own house is a great first step!
In Illinois, where I am a realtor, the earnest money is deposited AFTER both parties have signed the contract. Things can happen afterwards, and then the seller is usually agreeable to give the buyer the money back. Only time a seller usually won't give it back is when we have been under contract for several weeks and close to closing and something goes awry that is no fault of the seller. Doesn't happen alot, but it has happened. I always always always tell the buyer when they give me the check, it won't be deposited UNTIL the seller signs, so be sure you have the money in the account. Sorry that happened to you, what a bummer. Cisterns are rare . . .we used one when we bought our first house, had to have water every week no matter how careful we were . . .when we test a well here, we put in a gallon of bleach (more or less, depending upon the depth of the well) and recycle it until it runs clear/smells clean and then get a water sample. Cistern water is rain water . . .period. So, I am not surprised it came back with bacteria. . .what did your realtor or loan officer suggest you do? If you have a cistern, surely other buyers have run into this issue also?

Don't get discouraged. . .it can get really frustrating, and if you have a good agent, he/she will see you through it to the end. Good luck!!!
If your really stuck on having THIS house, retain 5-7k for drilling a well after you make the purchase. Dont even play around with a cistern. - it is surface water. You wouldnt drink the water from a garden hose that has been sitting out in the sun for a few days, why drink from a shallow well?

Also dont justify it by saying, "oh, well lets just get in the house then we;ll come up with the money for a well.The money never comes. Get the money for the well from the mortgage if you have to, it will only add a few dollars ea month.
Who told you buying a house is not stressful?

Major investment, should be treated as such, and not gone into without due consideration.

Can I ask how did the realtor cashing your $500 check cause you to bounce a check. You had the money to cover the $500 when you wrote the check, right? You deducted the $500 from the balance in your check book when you wrote the check, right? The remaining balance in your check book is what you had left to spend, right?

Tell me you ain't called the bank or looked on line, with the bank saying you had $XXXX + $500 in the acount because the check from the realtor hadn't cleared yet, and you thought you had that much.

Bouncing a check because a check you wrote previously was cashed is not the realtor's fault. That $500 was spoken for, can't be spent twice.

Last time I purchased a piece of property the earnest money check was deposited into an escrow account by the realtor. Only given to the seller at time of sale. But the check was paid/deposited the day after I wrote it.

Cistern, I have no experience with one. I second the reccommendation of a deep well.
Is the cistern above or below ground? I don't have personal experience with one (well, my great grandparents had one but I was little and didn't learn anything about but I did attend a great seminar about collecting rain water for home use last year. The guy has a home out in the middle of West Texas and gets all of his water for his home and animal use from rain (and makes good money flying all over telling people about He had cisterns for the animals and cisterns in a building for his house. He said he had to drain and clean the cisterns every couple of years. He had hatches in the top and would drain them and then literally climb down in there with bleach and a stiff broom and scrub them. Rinse the sides and bottom with water from a second cistern, drain, repeat. Would only do one at a time, obviously. He said he did it twice every time to make sure he got everything. So maybe it can be cleaned? If there's only one cistern you'd probably have to have water trucked in to rinse it with and then refill it, but when we lived in NM it was common to truck water in and it wasn't expensive.

For the tanks that served his home he had ultra violet (I'm pretty sure that's what it was, don't have my notes in front of me) filters put in. They go in the line and *zapped* anything that got through his sand/gravel filters. So maybe one of those could be installed?

Probably not much help, but maybe something to bring up to help the sale proceed. Good luck!
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I have two cisterns, what do you want to know? That's independent of a deep well by the way, I have 2 of those too.

Explain the system and then your questions. For example I live rural and in drilling wells we only got 1.5 gallons a minute at 270 feet. Tried again in a few locations and no better luck. So we got two cisterns and the well pump fills them slowly, we draw from the cisterns on demand.

Some folks have no water source at all and have water trucked in for storage in cisterns, some have groundwater trickling in, again the cistern is storage for demand use in both cases.

That the cisterns tested positive for bacteria is simple to fix, and is normal maintenance for above ground cisterns especially. We got the more expensive ones that are in ground so they stay cool and not such an eyesore.

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