Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oh yeah, the condo?

Let's just say it's priced to sell now. I'm dumping it. Fast as I can. The price hit rock bottom and it's got every incentive on it known to man. So it turned out to not really be an "investment" when I bought it. Oh well. At least it was shelter and warmth for several years.

Now I will proceed to rant just a little bit about the rental house. First and foremost, it stunk and was filthy when we moved in. There was this strange phenomenon going on with the walls, mostly in the kitchen and bathrooms, where there was sticky dark carmelly colored shit on the walls. It looked as though someone shook the hell out of a can of coke and then opened it a little bit while shaking it furiously and letting the pop just land all over everything. But it wasn't Coke. After cleaning this up several times, and seeing it reappear, I discovered it was the nasty tar and garbage hiding in the vents from years of people smoking here in this house. The rooms that produce moisture are the ones that get the gook on the walls.

The carpeting upstairs literally changed color as it was being shampooed the first and second times. No lie. It was so coated in a layer of dirt that it looked like a dull pale yellow. After two passes with a professional carpet cleaner, it looked bright orangey yellow. Somewhere I have pictures of it after it dried and showed the before and after in two places because I was so honestly amazed.

This house is not built to house furniture. Ridiculous, I know, but still the truth. It is a bungalow built in the thirties or forties, and not only can you not get a full sized couch in the house through either door, but you cannot get a queen sized box spring up the stairs either. Or even a love seat. We took our queen size mattress up there and then our plans were twarted when we couldn't get the box spring up. So we have been sleeping ghetto-style on a mattress lying on the floor because you can't get furniture up to the bedrooms. The front door leads into a super tiny square foyer. If you turn right you are in the living room. If you step into the living room to close the front door so you can go left, you will be in the kitchen. And if you walk in and look straight in front of you, there is a little coat closet.

The mortician people couldn't even use a gurney to take Grandma away. I won't discuss how they did it. But there was no way to get a gurney into the house. They had to approach the family and explain the problem to get permission for what they felt was their only option.

The stairs leading to the basement will soon fall apart. They have shifted and warped so badly that the cheif reason I wanted to bother fixing the archaic washing machine was so we didn't risk killing the delivery man if he fell through them on the way down with the new appliance. I don't know how much new stairs cost, but I'd rather never have to know.

The basement leaks. So badly, that on occasion, you can see the water running in a small winding stream from two corners to a center drain. Thankfully, we've never seen fish. But this is significant because we didn't know the basement leaked until we put many of our most prized possessions down there, and began using the laundry room as a laundry room. But not only does the basement leak, the house is laden with mold. Put the two together. The first horrible spring thaw that occurred simultaneous with a four day rain period left us to find moldy, rotten, ruined clothing that had to be discarded, as well as many cardboard boxes that had sucked up the water and made everything inside them wet. And the clothing was down there for about 8 days. That's all it took.

The windows leak. Both air and water. The worst of them has a gap about an eighth of an inch, and you can see clear outside through it. Three other windows don't have the huge gaps, but if you stand in front of them, inside the house, your hair will blow from the wind. So, of course, the gas bill is outrageous. We just had one of the warmest Novembers in history. Our gas bill was still off the charts. Because whether it's 50 degrees outside or 10 below zero, the furnace works overtime and hardly ever shuts off. The bill due January 18th? $355. Just for gas. And, the upstairs windows are the worst, so we use electric powered ceramic heaters up there. So the electric bill is also ridiculous.

The water bill? Just as bad. Every single toilet and faucet is wacky here. Especially the tub faucet on the main floor. The last water bill I paid on January 4th was $273. And only one person has been living here, really, and with no working washing machine for just over three months. (Aaron has tried to fix it. We've ordered parts for it twice and replaced them, but have concluded it needs a whole new motor. Given that he's only in Michigan on weekends, that's hard to deal with properly right now.)

The carpeting in the living room and hallway was disintegrating. Literally. It was flat as a pancake. The padding was nothing but dust, and it had a nice farm of mold underneath it. Vacuuming brought bits of nylon carpet backing up on occasion. It was so gross that we eventually ripped it up and got rid of it. The dust in the house improved slightly afterwards.

However, this was another point of contention with the master executor. Despite asking her permission to fix the place up a bit before we changed anything, she's decided that the carpet removal is now suddenly a pain in her keister because she claims that at least she could have shampooed the old stuff and made it look clean. She fails to remember past conversations. I did shampoo that carpeting. And it continued to fall apart. Carpeting is just not meant to last forty years.

But the real reason that this aunt is so crazy lately is, on top of her private issues with her boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, depending on the moment's status, and her financial concerns, she's been browbeat lately by some of her other siblings to get going on this house matter. I can't necessarily blame them either. Their mother died more than two years ago, and they haven't even been allowed to get their childhood boxes of crap from the attic until recently. So everyone has a valid point of view, and I am not criticizing anyone. This whole situation is difficult for everyone involved.

So overall, I feel really bad for her. She's in a rough spot in life, and I hate to see anyone in one of those. I've had my share. I'm having somewhat of one now, but nothing I can't handle smoothly. (The thing I've learned is, once you have dealt with some really bad stuff? The typical stuff becomes easier.)

I do hope and pray that the uncle comes through and buys the place. We've said all along that we'll stay here and keep the house maintained and financed until either three months after the condo sells at a decent price, when we build a new house, or, when his aunt decides to fix it up and get it on the market. We have discussed this often over the past year and honestly had hoped the two would happen simultaneously so we knew that we weren't sticking her in the eye when we left.

But we never thought we'd be invaded the way we were! And I can't let that happen again. That would have been cause to at least consider helping a bit more with the fix up effort to get it on the market. But the concerns raised about our potential child staying here? That's what sent us over the edge, and we'll truly be completely vacated from the house with it fully cleaned and ready in less than six weeks from the moment the appraiser walked in the door.

Overall, living here was not smart financially. Our original plan was smart. The plan to grab a tiny apartment with our one dog and live there for $700 per month until the condo sold. That was a good plan. When we agreed to live here instead, to help the aunt out instead of giving that money to an apartment complex, it ended up costing us roughly $1000/mo minimum to live here once we realized how high the utilities were and were asked to take on property taxes and different things not included in the original plan. Nevermind the cost of landscaping, new bushes, and other things we did to help out the effort.... That stuff, including paint and sweat equity, isn't even included in the rough estimate of what bills cost.

And speaking of the situation.... I just got a call from the aunt right now informing me that she'll be over this evening. Great! There go my plans. I can't wait until this is overwith.


Blogger Quality Weenie said...

Your housing situation so sucks, just keep thinking about your new house!

Oh and how did the job interview go?

Any more prospects?

Wed Jan 10, 05:49:00 PM GMT-5  

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