The fog of chaos is still hanging very thickly around our heads here. I’m seeing progress, but it’s not coming fast enough for anyone in this family. We learned a long time ago that we don’t function very well with this kind of chaos and it’s playing havoc with our moods, by which I mean we take turns swinging in and out of a moody funk.
My parents are here right now and they are serving us in amazing ways, namely by my dad doing a bunch of stuff that needs to be done (hanging window stuff, installing things, etc.) and my mom by going grocery shopping, taking the girls to the movies, and all that sort of stuff. They will be leaving soon, so tonight was the mad dash to go to Home Depot where I opened my checkbook and asked them to please, help yourself to whatever I have left. And don’t stop there, please, have some more!
Okay, so it wasn’t *that* bad. But I’ll tell you, three years of renting totally put me in homeowner denial. I forgot pretty much everything. The township we moved into did a city inspection on our house before we moved in and we discovered, to our major surprise, a list of 22 items that had to be done before occupancy. We found this out 6 days before we closed on the house, which made for a very interesting week as Craig was dealing with the city (he visited City Hall three times, moving up the chain of command for an appeal) to allow us to move into the house before the repairs were made and giving us 30 days in which to make them.
This wasn’t enough, though, he also wrote a compelling letter to the sellers of our house, who did not disclose this information to us when we made the offer, telling them that if they didn’t offer to pay for the repairs, we would be forced to walk out of the deal because we simply didn’t have that kind of cash lying around for 22 city-mandated updates to the house.
Very long story short, the sellers gave us what we asked for and the city approved our (third) appeal. We’ve been here one week now and have three to go in which to get these things done, most of which require the hiring of a contracted plumber and electrician. The other things my dad is trying to tackle.
Enter my trip to “The ‘Po” (as we like to call it) tonight. One of the things we’re going to work on tomorrow is hanging a handrail for the basement stairs (nevermind the fact that the people before us lived here 33 years and never needed a handrail). The city says we need one now and we have to put one up.
The first place we looked had something in the neighborhood of $35 and I thought that was crazy, so we went somewhere else. I found something perfect for $3.58 – ahh, that’s more like it. I had it cut to 10 feet, got the other things we needed to get, and went to check out (lest I make this trip sound blissful, let me assure you we were there about an hour and I had to physically chase down no less than 3 men in orange aprons to get the help I needed).
Anyway, when we went to check out, I discovered the awful truth: the pole I bought wasn’t $3.58 for the pole; it was $3.58 per foot. That’s right, $35.80 for the pole.
Welcome back to home ownership. We might be in for a bumpy ride.
9 thoughts on “Re-entry”
Wow. The city has a say in things like handrails for basement stairs? And I thought I was a micromanager.
You should see the other 21 things… To gain sympathy from the Men in Orange tonight, I’d simply say, “We have to do this to meet the ______ city inspection.” Without fail they would nod and grunt in affirmation of our pain.
I’m sorry friend. We have moved so many times, and it is just hard. I wish I were there to bring you cookies and dinner. Your girls could come to my house for a girls night and Jason could work on the house with your dad and Craig could sing to them.
You sound very stressed. I don’t want to give any trite platitudes of this soon passing…. Hang in there friend.
Egads, things add up don’t they? Good luck with your projects–it’s always nice to have some extra hands.
Did I ever tell you the story about how I broke my shoulder falling down the stairs because I held onto the handrail? If there hadn’t been a handrail, my shoulder wouldn’t have snapped. But it sounds like STL doesn’t really care about that story.
Oh man, no, I hadn’t heard that. So sorry!
We had to put three up here. Stink. In Colorado we had to put one up in a house before we sold it. I grumbled all the way then too, and then two days before we installed it, I actually fell going up the stairs because I wasn’t using one.
You just never know, I guess.
I hate to be a naggy nag of a friend when I know you are totally stressed – but might I inquire when we will all see the inside of the house??? 🙂
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