|The Great House Adventure
Like most, I had a dream of home ownership and one day, that dream came true. However, it was not the normal happy land path most walk.
My journey starts with the death of my abusive father and his paid for house that comes into my possession. I lived in a 700 sq ft apt, and the rent was going up again. After some searching I managed to find a nice house in a quiet neighborhood. I put his up for sale, and put a call into the real estate agent listed for the property. Days slip by and then weeks with no response. I put another call in, and then another, and then another. By the time a month has gone buy, I am calling twice a day to try and view the inside. Eventually, I go whining to the agent selling my dad's old house. She tracks down the court record and finds out the property is headed for foreclosure. She gets the bank information and calls them. The bank comments that NOBODY has been interested in the property. It seems the selling agent hasn't been returning anybody's call. The current owner financed the entire amount and now can't pay, so the bank owns the house. They attempt to make arrangements for an interior viewing the following weekend. The current "resident" won't be home, so it spills over to the beginning of the week. Come the day of the viewing, he calls up and says he just got out of the hospital. The bank reschedules for a few days later. Come the day of the viewing, he calls up and says he just got out of the hospital. The bank reschedules a few days later. Come the day of the viewing, he calls up and says he just got out of the hospital. The bank reschedules a few days later. A month, and some 12 "Got out of the hospitals yesterday", later, I've yet to see the inside. Based on photos and my inability to find something so close to my needs, I put a bid on the house with the option of withdrawing pending a professional home inspection. Now the bank hops to, they allow us to barge in over the current residents complaints. I discover this joker turned off the pool pump in the middle of summer. The water after 4 months summer sun is now black. Before I can comment about my ability to fix the pool (inheritance money and all), he comments under his breath "guess you won't want it the house with the pool like that" - He did it to prevent the house from being sold. He apparently was in denial and didn't believe the house would be sold.
Undeterred, I buy the house after all being a gamer how could I resist a house on Rivendell Dr.! I beat the bank into reducing the price. The lender will not agree to fund the load without the pool being repaired and I don't want to pay for a house unless it is mine. The current owner doesn't have the money or the desire to fix it. After a good deal of wrangling, I cut a deal to place the repair money in escrow which satistifed the lender.
Now the guy won't leave. He ponies up excuse after excuse. When the bank lays down a 20 day escrow he begs for an additional 5 for additional time to find a new place. Then he claims he has nobody to help him pack and move, so I get the selling and buying agents pay for movers and help him pack themselves. On the last day, he tried to stall for extra time by leaving his cats in the house on the day it was to be tented for termites. I threatened to ship the cats to the SPCA and have the house tented regardless. He made it with only 10 minutes to spare, then he even tried to talk the selling agent into allowing him to come back one more time. He was unable to get in until the tent came off, but somehow managed to convince the selling agent to let him get his previously abandoned stuff. WE changed the locks! This was a necessity as he also had conveniently lost the garage door remotes and refused to turn over the manual override key, with the keys we were given having fresh grind marks, we knew we had to get everything re-keyed. Being the week of Thanksgiving this adventure was even more exciting and excruiating as no one was available to do anything until after the holiday!
Now, after he finally left,we discover he struck out with vengeance. Aside from having to deal with the aforementioned pool (drained and resurfaced), and his leaving the place filled with trash, he also left me the following adventures.
- Took all the window treatments (blinds & rods).
- Cut all the cable connections in numerous locations.
- Disconnected, and/or misgrounded all electrical switches.
- Plugged the exterior yard drainage system.
- Plugged the roof scuppers above the garage with leaves.
- Removed the downspouts of the rain gutters.
- Removed the main support brackets for the closet treatments (but left the cosmetic ones - crash).
- Knocked out the back of all the kitchen drawers.
- Plugged both shower drains with newspaper and wax.
- Undid the compression fittings on the refrig water line so a slow hidden drip occurred.
- Bolted and then striped bold head to the water heater thermostat access.
- Shorted out the phone jacks
- Left cat hair and dung in the fireplace
- Used the master bath as a litter box for his maine coon cats.
- Turned the water heater control to off.
- Let his cat urinate on the bedroom carpet (may not have intentional).
With all the repairs he left us, it took us a month to unpack. We still can't use the fireplace, haven't been able to water the lawn (he somehow disconnected or shut down the automatic sprinklers) and discovered that the bathroom drain clogs easily.