Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Money Pit

Yes, I confess: we bought a money pit.

It's not that we weren't warned. The pictures were gawd-awful ugly, from dirt to decorating. The landscaping wanted regular drowning. The inspector had a two-page list for us, the kind you can only call a honey-do list if you're getting a little something-something on the side. And for the record, NO!

A full dumpster of crap left the driveway roughly the same time the moving van emptied out and left too. Paint and cleaners came in by the gallons, holes got spackled, shelves were built and painted, plants  got replaced (mostly either with rocks or as bunny delights). There were plumbing emergencies, with a long list of replacements following. Electrical wiring and fixtures got replaced, again with a to-do list to follow up on. Some new things keep getting added to the list, some get noted and ignored. An example of the last is the roof leak over the patio. As long as we remember to move chair cushions before a rain, the only thing that gets wet is concrete. It's way down on the give-a-shit list.

Last year Home Depot introduced us to their list of reputable handymen. This simplifies things greatly for us. We can put more money into buying their stuff and having somebody who knows how and doesn't charge three arms and a leg do the work for us. Last year we got the showers fixed. This year a ceiling hole with wires just got converted to a light/fan fixture, a malfunctioning motion sensor light got replaced with an attractive switch light, and that's just today, the start of the current list. Both bathroom vanities and sinks are getting replaced along with bad plumbing, making both sinks usable again, bathroom walls will be spackled and painted and the laminate floors will join the new additions where they need to, and once we see where that comes in on the budget, we're working on the next part of the list.

More insulation? Another repair? Debt reduction? Vacation? We'll see.

Two years ago the extent of the to-do list scared us. We'd gotten a quote from the plumbing company that our HOA recommended. They wanted $18 grand. And no, that was not going to include any repairs to walls or floors after they were done. We were also told that the pine tree out front not only had to go, but that we'd need them to treat its roots every year or two to prevent it from regrowing.

Really? A pine tree? Not a weeping willow, not an aspen,  but a pine tree? The same kind of tree that gets killed when you top it, that kind of pine tree? I have since noticed that this same plumbing company has lots of funding to support regular TV commercials. Coincidence, ya think?

So, we're getting stuff done in bits, and for bits. And despite the extra needed for tires, laser vs. scalpel eye surgery, a tooth extraction that's looking like it's gonna become two real soon, paying off the AC/furnace loan...

You know: life.

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