Things are finally falling into place. We made an offer on a house two weeks ago, and only now are we done with inspections. Things were touch-and-go for a while because inspection did turn up a zombie infestation.
Well, not zombies, but still something creepy. In the crawlspace under the house, our inspector noted an unusually thick layer of efflorescence (salt deposit). That's a sign of moisture leaching out of concrete (or in our case soil), evaporating, and leaving mineral deposits behind. A little efflorescence is common in basements the world over, but this is a thick layer. Two inches deep in some places. We were concerned that it represented a serious drainage problem under the house, or an adverse condition of the soil.
Some other issues came up as well, and we ended up extending the inspection period so we could bring out some specialists. Things were stressful for a while, but as of last night all of the issues have been resolved. The house, its foundation, and the supporting soil appear to be in great shape, so we're going through with it. We'll close escrow on October 30th, and move in soon thereafter. We're psyched.
The pictures at the right are of the front, back, and two shots of the backyard. These were taken during the general inspection (hence the ladders), and so the cars and paraphernelia are not ours. The house is 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2-car garage, 1867 sq. ft.
(For the curious: the soil expert says the house was built in the wettest year ever, and the moisture probably worked its way out over the next season or two. Though he's "never seen anything like it", he claims it's of academic interest and little else. Whew.)