House “of Horrors” (no, not mine)

It seems fitting that with Halloween approaching and t-minus four days until The Man closes on the house I should tell a “scary” house story. Not a haunted house full of unsatisfied spirits or creepy men in face masks with chainsaws, but a scary story for a couple who is days away from committing to a property.

This story is from a college friend, Rachael. She started to tell me her story with “Let me begin with the fact that I LOVE my home.” You know we’re off to a great start. Here she is:

We knew going into buying the place I ended up with that we had to repair the bathroom, renovate the kitchen, and do cosmetic work on basically the rest of the house. What I never planned for was all of our unexpected adventures.

With family help I bought my home in March of 2014. My parents flip homes so I had them help me decide what was too much for us to handle and what they could help us with. After buying my home, the trap began within twenty-four hours.

itsatrapWe knew the bathroom needed work, but did not know that the bathtub was sinking into the floor joists, and was actually cast iron and a pain to remove when the floor was failing. I also had to have a plumber out to repair my water shutoffs before and after the water meter, hire someone to maintain the blower motor on my furnace (which we thought caused a gas leak around Christmastime), buy a new fridge four months in, plaster and paint every room, and buy floor jacks to support the first level from the basement. We renovated the kitchen which was not truly functional when we moved in. The stove should be part of the kitchen “triangle” work space and not in the dining room.

As if buying a house isn’t enough work, Rachael’s car was stolen. She had to attend two family weddings and is in the middle of planning her own. She was also hospitalized for back pain and ended up needing surgery shortly after. Their vehicles were broken into, a water main broke, and the plumbing freezes in cold Michigan winters. Oh, yeah. And her fiancé was struck by lightning in their bedroom. No joke. She continues:

On most occasions I am fortunate that my family is supportive and able to help. My advice for anyone who is looking at buying a home is to plan for double of everything. You expect costs of replacing your fridge to be $1,000? Plan for $2,000 because hells bells knows when you take out the old fridge you might break the outlet and have to have an electrician fix it.

I will never regret buying a home, but I am ready for a period of time where nothing goes wrong. I do not ever want to discourage someone from buying a home, but you should always be ready for something to make your exciting experience a living nightmare. I try to keep in mind that everything will pass and I treat each adventure as a learning experience.

It’s reassuring to know that if neither The Man nor I get struck by lightning, we’re doing just fine! Rachael and I talked for a while longer about home ownership, and I can assure you she is taking all of this in stride. She’s a tough broad made all the tougher by powering through the things life throws at her. Thanks for sharing, Rachael!

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