Category Archives: Homeownership

Damn air conditioner!

Standard

My dad once had to deal with an A/C issue and apparently had some words for it as he attempted to fix it. As a result my older brother’s first words were “damn air conditioner.” True story.

This morning we had to get a new A/C and I find myself saying those same words.

While it’s true that we knew we needed to plan for a replacement unit soon, we did not expect it to happen now. My crystal ball fails me.

The sickly ironic part was that we were having a conversation about our debt snowball last night. Shortly after that hubby went to lock up the house for the night and, from the hallway, I heard him say “oh, we have a problem.”

Immediately images of awful problems flooded my mind, such as well…a flood. Or a cat with a broken leg. Or another leaky light switch.

Crazy to think I was a little relieved to hear the A/C wasn’t cooling, huh? It wasn’t another flood and the cats were both fine. We are fine. Yes, we are. So it was set to the low 70’s and it was stuck running at 80. Not uncommon in Florida…our A/C units freeze up and need fluid often. But the line wasn’t cold like it should be, so there was some concern that it was bigger than a frozen unit that needed to thaw. The line wasn’t clogged so we had to wait to get the prognosis from the repair guy.

Of course, this was at 10:30 at night. And of course this was the night before hubby was going to be on shift for 24 hours beginning at 8am. And he is at the top of the order-in list, so chances were good that he would be ordered in for Friday making it a 48-hour shift. Of course. Of course I would have to deal with this on a day that he is on shift because nothing ever happens on the days that he is home and able to take care of it. *shaking fist*

He went into problem-solving mode and called our go-to A/C guy. He left a voicemail. Of course he wasn’t going to answer at 10:30 at night. Why would he?

So we turned off the unit and slept in an 80-degree house. It was lovely. *sarcasm dripping – or is it sweat?* Oh, sure, we opened windows…to let in some of the “cool” 78 degree September Florida air. We also brought box fans into the bedroom…to push the hot air around.

This morning at 6:30, hubby’s phone rang. It was the A/C guy. Thank god. He would stop by the office to get his tools and his truck and then he would be on his way. Now the dilemma for us was deciding who would stay home to let him in. Hubby decided he wanted to be present to hear what the guy said and decide what to do. Because chances are good that if he went to work there would be many things keeping from being able to talk to me about what was going on. It’s likely there would be a violent car crash, structure fire, and three codes in a row while I needed him on the phone…because Murphy loves that shit.

So hubby took care of it. Compressor failed…it’s 12 years old. He was good cop and I was bad cop as we discussed price. Tomorrow afternoon we will have a brand new unit installed. And, as a perk, we will get all new copper! Because the expense of the unit should be sweetened with this perk. Ah, the things we get excited about as homeowners. Now I only wonder if they will let us keep the old copper so we can sell it to help pay for the DAMN AIR CONDITIONER. 🙂

My promise to other homeowners

Standard

I just need to vent for a moment.

What has been going on with water intrusion in our house is frustrating, angering, maddening, and seemingly never ending.  When I tell others about what is going on with our recent War with Water, most people are blowing it off as “part of homeownership.” Frankly, I’m tired of hearing that.

They have said it for everything that we have experienced as far as the downside of homeownership goes.  “Yep, that’s the joy of owning a home.”  It comes across as unsympathetic and inconsiderate of the fact that we are frustrated beyond reason.  To me, it’s equivalent to seeing someone fall down and then waking by shrugging and walking away, then turning around and making a comment about why that person fell “well if you weren’t skipping along enjoying life…”

I can’t decide if people who say this are just oblivious to the fact that I am about to lose my mind over a constant stream (no pun intended) of household issues or if they are trying to make me regret the decision to buy a home.  I would by lying if I said I have not had thoughts of regretting buying a home these days.  Sometimes I wonder if new home construction would have been better…because it’s likely I would have been onsite everyday micromanaging the construction to make sure it was done right.

I worry day and night that the water intrusion will cause mildew and mold in our house, which will render it unsellable in the future, should we decide to resell.  This has caused me a loss of sleep that is only making it more maddening.

Here is my promise to all other homeowners – even those who have “shrugged and walked away” in response to our recent issues:

I promise to always be empathetic to all things that are “just part of homeownership” because it doesn’t make it any easier to be told that it “just comes with the territory.”  I will assume you knew what you were getting into when you made the decision to buy.  I will do my best to help you brainstorm what the problem might be, if it is of unknown origin.  I promise to never make snide or sarcastic remarks in regard to the “joy of homeownership.”

The War with Water

Gallery

Update: Violets

Standard

Two days after receiving the violets I noticed two of the three blooms are wilted.  I suppose that was supposed to happen…right??

I mean, flowers wilt.  I didn’t think it was noteworthy so I didnt get a picture.   Also, I figured it was the beginning of their demise in my care.

This morning I woke up to find one of the cats playing with something.  Upon inspection I discovered it was a leaf from the violets.  *sigh*  As if I needed help killing them.

I figured they ate the violet and wondered if they’re poisonous.

But, when I checked, they hadn’t eaten it.  Secretly, I wish they had destroyed it.  Then the death of the violets would not be my fault…not directly anyway.

Here are the violets now:

image

It felt surprisingly weird

Standard

Last week, a girlfriend and her husband closed on their first house.  Their home-buying experience was not unlike most these days.  It was arduous from start to finish, there were delays, there was emotion, frustration, and disappointment.  And then, as closing day approached, my girlfriend expressed to me that she felt like she couldn’t allow herself to be excited because she was waiting for yet another postponement and further disappointment.  This would be the third closing date they had set, so what else were they to expect?

It’s tough to be excited about something when it feels like it’s being dangled over your head.  These days, home-buying requires more patience than ever.  And it almost requires a heart of steel.

I write about their experience because I have reflected on it a year after we closed on our home.  I have especially reflected on one of her status updates to Facebook:

“We started moving into the house yesterday, which felt surprisingly weird.”

This was validation for me, because I felt the same way after we (finally) closed on our home.

Our Realtor walked us out after we were given the keys, and I asked “So now what?  What ball drops now?”

After a repeated performance of disappointment, I wasn’t believing it was over…and just like that…quickly…after months and months of waiting and high-strung emotions.  We were always getting excited over what always wound up being short-lived good news, and I had been conditioned [thanks, Pavlov] to expect it to be that way…possibly for eternity.  So, even though we had signed closing papers and had keys in hand I completely expected there to be bad news headed my way.  I was sure of it.

Our Realtor laughed, and then reassured me that the house was ours.

And that was it.  Eight months of emotional highs and lows and it was just…over.  Quickly.  It was…weird.

I felt a little guilty that I wasn’t truly excited.  I was afraid to be.  We moved in, and well…that felt surprisingly weird, too.

It wasn’t until months later after living in the home and making it ours that it sunk in.  We weren’t renters anymore.  This place is ours.  Wow.  And THAT’S weird, too!!

One year later…

Standard

We closed on our house a year ago yesterday on Feb 25, 2011…after submitting the offer in June of 2011.  We learned a lot about ourselves in that eight months.  We prayed for patience, and also learned that praying for patience often leads to tests of patience. We got eight months of tests of patience! Lots of ups and downs, and lots of emotions and frustration, etc. (if you care to read my rants on my place to vent or maybe learn a few things about short sales in general, you can see my blog posts about the experience here: http://dontbuyashortsale.blogspot.com/ Reminder: this was my place to vent.  You’ve been warned.)

We looked at several other houses over the course of those eight months, and submitted offers on four other homes. Nothing worked out and our realtor was convinced this house was meant to be ours.

We can say now that it was worth it and that we are glad we waited for this house. It was meant to be ours. I dislike saying that i “love” materialistic things…but I love our house. I love that it is our home.

After buying the house, we found a piece of art that says “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”  We bought it because we believe that’s what we learned throughout our first home buying experience.

image