8.19.2007

the money pit


i'm not going to pretend we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. we bought a house built in 1921, and let's be real, no one tells the truth on their "seller's disclosures", right? and inspectors don't really know anything, right? well, that's what i'm starting to think anyway. we knew we'd have to remodel the bathroom for aesthetic purposes (it's all pink-ALL pink). we knew we'd have to get new carpet upstairs. and we knew we'd have to do a little "touching up" of the trim. turns out, by the time we're through with this place, it's basically going to be a new house.

last sunday, stevie bevie took a poop and the toilet overflowed. (just so bevie is not embarrassed, it was a totally average poop, both in size and consistency.) it began to leak through the pipes at the bottom of the basement stairs, soaking the carpet. it took 4 friggin days (don't ask us how we managed this, the only bathroom in the house being out of commission) for the home warranty company's contracted plumbers to get their arses to our house, only to tell us that it wasn't the pipes that were leaking-it was the floor! go figure-the former owners (who we have since realized are unfit to care for ANYTHING) never caulked, recaulked, or even thought about caulking in their 5 years of occupancy. so....what happens when you combine a 50 year old pink toilet and plumbing with an uncaulked bathroom? a rotted out subfloor. sweet. we were planning to replace fixtures and tile in the bathroom, but now we have to completely gut it and lay a new subfloor. the good thing about this is that there is a small chance we can get financial assistance from either the home warranty or the previous owners (because there is no way in HELL they didn't know about this). we're just hoping we don't fall through the floor while showering before then!

we found mouse traps in the basement, but the sellers, when asked in the seller disclosure if they were aware of any past or present problems with rodents, insects, or other pests checked the "no" box. really? are you serious? i mean, i'm not saying this house shouldn't have mice and roaches and whatever else, but the fact that these people blatantly lied about it?!?!?! what the crap? at least clean up your mouse traps so you can pretend you didn't know.

when we moved in the house was in...well, it wasn't clean. at all. after days of cleaning (and i'm still not done), i have come to realize that this is also a task that never crossed the minds of our beloved former owners. why clean windows when you can cover them with crappy curtains? having to clean every square inch of a home leads you to become quite familiar with every detail. and in this case, every decrepid detail. all the windows-painted shut. all the door hinges-painted over, doorknobs too. the hardwood? oh my hell....got down on my hands and knees with a bucket of murphy's oil soap and scrubbed the crap out of it only to discover that the floor probably isn't in shape to make it through the winter. so we're refinishing the hardwood this week (hopefully the contractor shows up).

i'm pretty sure my prior infections of home-improvement-disorder were preparing me for what i am now up to my eyeballs in. anxiety, sleepless nights trying to prioritize projects, and a recent development of allergies triggered by new carpet are all teaching me one thing: humility. seriously, nothing is more humbling than an old house with a pink bathroom and a crooked floor. but the up-side to this is that this time i actually get to follow through on the projects (because they are so neccessary that even stevie bevie agrees!) and by the time they're all completed there won't be a trace of the former owners. which is a good thing.

and to think, all we wanted was a place that we wouldn't have to work on while bevie went through the already stressful law program. this better pay off!

5 comments:

Alifinale said...

Oh man that sucks! I feel for you guys, seriously. But at least, like you said, you will be forced to fix the stuff (we just lived with the crap in our house mostly) and fortunately you found out about this sooner rather than later. Good luck with the renovations - can't wait to see it!

Jewels said...

Oh Liz!! Son of a...what a lame thing to have to deal with. When I first saw your 'Money Pit' pic I nearly died - my family loves that movie and we just watched it last week! Oh the pains of working on a house. I think you should tell me where these past owners are and I'll drive by and throw rocks at them, infest their basement with mice and cover their new bathroom in pink paint. Speaking of, why do people have pink bathrooms? When Cody and I were house hunting we saw at least 2 or 3 pink bathrooms. Man, hang in there. If anyone can turn that house around, it's you! I know it will look great.

buddens said...

UGH! That is almost exactly what happened to us in our first house (built in 1890, apparently by dimwits)! The pipes under the bathroom basically spontaneously separated a week after we moved in. After further digging and fixing, we discovered a rotted subfloor and carpenter ants, so we just had to re-joist and re-subfloor the whole bathroom. We showered at the gym for about 2 months! I absolutely feel your pain! Hang in there, and good luck! If you have any old house questions, just ask me!

Beeta and Peeps said...

Our toilet flooded this week too! We couldn't live without a toilet even for a night so we called Roto Rooters 24/7 service. It was $160, so good thing we could deduct it from rent! I'm sorry about the money pit. I would still love to come see your house this week, and maybe gimpy and I could help out!

GinaRD said...

If it's any consolation at all, it really is a cute house! And despite the bumps and bruises of moving in and making nice with an old house, I have no doubt that you will have it in great shape in no time. Good luck!