Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Baptism by Fire

I have always had the worst luck, so I don’t know why I thought my venture into home ownership would go smoothly. I know everyone keeps telling me how much I’m going to love it, but right now, it’s just draining my wallet. Don’t get me wrong, I like my new place and I’m looking forward to being all settled in and having everything fixed up the way I want it, but it hasn’t even been two weeks and I’m starting to wonder what the heck I was thinking! Let me give you the run down:

Thursday, Nov. 17 – Closing Day
The closing went pretty smoothly and quickly. I was excited to find out the day before that I had gotten a new dishwasher out of the whole deal. Things were looking good to go. I leave the closing and run by the new place to drop off a few things and make sure nothing needed to be done before we started moving in. When I went to leave, my garage door wouldn’t close. I finally got it down manually and had to make my first homeownership repair call. Luckily the repair guy was able to fix the problem pretty easily, but I will eventually have to have some work done on the garage door. Yeah me!

Sunday, Nov. 20
Sunday morning I’m getting ready for church when I start to hear a strange noise. I knew that mostly likely it’s nothing and that I was just being paranoid because I’m in a new place, but I decided to check it out to be on the safe side. I turn off the T.V. and I definitely was hearing a noise – and not just any noise, it sounds like there is someone in my kitchen. Okay, now I’m really freaked out. So I dial 911 on my cell phone and have my finger over the call button and head to the top of the stairs. I don’t know what I thought I was going to do next because I had nothing to protect myself with – it was all downstairs. So I stand at the top of the stairs a few moments longer and definitely – there is a noise coming from my kitchen. Then I hear a noise on the front porch, so I gain the courage to peek out the window. It’s the painters!!! The seller didn’t tell me they were coming and the noise I heard was them setting up their ladders – which sounds like they’re in the kitchen.

So I get finish getting ready for church. When I go to leave, they’ve taped a drop cloth to my garage, so they had to lift it up. Great – now they know that for the time being, I live alone. Very comforting – NOT! So, I decide to take my time coming home from church hoping that MAYBE they’ll be gone when I get home. No such luck.

As I’m pulling onto my street, I notice 3 police cars parked in front of my house. My first thought, “Lovely, they tried breaking into my house and he neighbors called the police.” As I get closer, I notice that they have arrested a woman in my front yard. I have no idea why, but I’m glad it’s not because she was breaking into my house. I think she’s the daughter of one of my neighbors – sure hope she doesn’t live there!

Then Monday morning, I wake to hear a noise above me. My first thought that it was just Jeana, until I woke up enough to realize that Jeana doesn’t live with me anymore and there is no one above me… I’m on the top floor! It was probably just the house settling, but it was 5:33 a.m. and I was WIDE awake. Needless to say, I’m now overly paranoid about EVERY noise I hear and I’ve had to start turning on the sleep timer on my T.V. so that I can fall asleep. I keep thinking I need to get a security system, but if it accidentally gets set off (which I hear they do) that will only freak me out even more.

Tuesday, Nov. 22
I’m working on trying to get things unpacked when my doorbell rings. It’s my neighbor and he came over to ask me if I knew that water was coming out the side my house through the foundation. Went outside and sure enough…there is water coming out the side of my house. So I go inside to investigate and low and behold, there is half an inch of water standing from behind my fridge to about halfway into the dining room. I pulled the fridge and everything else away from the wall and start finding towels. As I found out this morning, there seems to be a leak in the pipe that attaches to the fridge – if you have an ice maker, which I don’t. So the plumber disconnected the pipe and if I ever get a fridge with an icemaker, we’ll just run a new pipe. Much cheaper than tearing out the old one and finding the leak.

That same night, I started hearing this loud humming noise every so often. Come to find out, my heater wasn’t blowing hot air. Thank heavens for the home warranty because the motor was out on my heater. I would have much preferred for the heater to be out completely so that I could get a new one, but as long as I don’t have to pay for the repairs, I’m good.

Wednesday, Nov. 23
I finally get around to changing the locks on my house. I was so proud of myself because I managed to take the locks off myself and take them to the locksmith to get them changed out. Only cost me $22.50 instead of paying $65.50 to have them come out. Problem was, my mom was “helping” me and she popped the whole thing out instead of just letting me take the core out and when I went to put the deadbolt back on…it wouldn’t go back on. I tried everything I could think of for 3 days. Finally I called our maintenance guy here at work and he came over and whittled out enough to get it back on. I hope this is the last time I have to change the locks!

Thursday, Nov. 24 – Thanksgiving Day
The traditional “turkey day” was spent painting the insides of my kitchen cabinets. We decided by doing it that way, if we didn’t get it all done, we’d at least be able to put my kitchen stuff away. Lesson I learned from painting the kitchen cabinets: Make sure the house is open when you use Kilz, be sure to wear some sort of head covering when using Kilz (doesn’t come out of the hair easily) AND when painting over dark wood, use more than one coat of Kilz to avoid doing 4 coats of white! I think the cabinets will look good when I get done, but “done” is the operative word here. I was going to Kilz the outsides yesterday since I had the day off, but it was way too cold and windy here to do that. Hopefully there will be another nice day sometime soon.

Monday, Nov. 28
After spending a long afternoon and evening unpacking the kitchen, I went upstairs to get ready for bed when I noticed an orange stain on my bathroom rug. Seems my toilet is leaking at the base. As we speak, I’m waiting for someone with the warranty company to call me back and let me know when the plumber is coming.

I have to say, it kind of makes me laugh. Things like this always happen to me. Whether it is cars, homes or relationships, anything I touch inevitably fall apart. I could whine about it, but it won’t change things, so I’ve just learned to expect it and laugh -- and realize I will be in debt the rest of my life because of it. Which, if anyone out there would like to donate money towards the “Stacey’s Debt Reduction Fund”, let me know. I take cash or checks (and would take credit cards if I had a way to scan them.)


Suzy said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of owning your own home. At least mine was new and I didn't have that many problems but now I have something living in my attic. The hot water tank needed a new thermo thingy and something keeps digging up my yard. On the other hand, I have never had anyone arrested in my front yard so you win the white trash neighborhood award.

Stacey said...

Yeah, I want to shoot all of you people who said "owning your own home is great! You'll love it!" And when things start breaking (in the first two weeks) snicker and say "welcome to home ownership!" I think I'm going to have to take on a second job to build up my "incase of emergancy" fund because that fund is getting dipped into much faster than I had planned.

Karen said...

Good honk! I can't believe all that happened in two weeks. That is enough to knock a person down. I'm so glad you can laugh about it.

Suzy said...

I agree with Karen....sometime all you can do is laugh. It's not funny when the money is pouring out, but at least it gave you a great post!

lindsy said...

I agree with Suzy...welcome to the wonder world of owning your own home. I don't really know what that's like but..I have squirrels living in my attic, my hot water heater leaked a month ago, there's ghost that visit our house, and sometimes our TV gets loud for no reason...that really doesn't have much to do with the house, just the TV. ANYWAY...welcome!
PS- I HIGHLY recommend a security system!!!! I love mine.

Suzy said...

Security systems are great except when you have something living in your attic. So you need to be aware of this situation Lindsy. Whatever is living in mine chewed through a wire because the #4 zone on my alarm has been blinking for no reason other than they chewed through it. So that's $75 to live trap the little critter and then $70 an hour to find and fix the chewed wire.

Krista said...

I'm sorry to hear about this unfortunate series of events. If it's any consolation I've enjoyed hearing the stories! If there's one thing I've learned in the past few years it's that the bad stuff that happens to me ALWAYS makes for a good story later on. haha.

Stacey said...

Turns out, the $25 I paid to have the pipe disconnected that was leaking out the side of my house might actually have been my Brita water dispenser. The pipe did have a small leak, but most likly I didn't push the dispenser back far enough in the fridge and it emptied it on my floor and I didn't notice till the neighbor said something. The reason I think this is because I've done it 3 other times since Thanksgiving!

tams said...

sheesh on a stick. that is a LOT of stuff to go wrong. that's why i'm afraid to buy a place, too. i rather enjoy being able to call maintenance without it costing me a dime!