Thursday, September 19, 2013

In the Meantime, We're Still Sinking

House had contemplated running down those stairs so many times, but there was always someone watching.

Afternoon Readers,

"Ranch flavored rice cakes. Like paper, only ranchier."

Instead of telling you what I'm eating, from now on I'll just be shooting really questionable taglines your way.

Things have been a little busy around the Split-level lately, primarily due to the fact our home is slowly but surely sinking into the ground, with possible plans to implode. We first discovered this problem last November, and, being the prompt people with absolutely no self-preservation instinct that we are, have decided to fix it a year later.

The first day of this month was spent Googling, "How to lift a house off the ground using only leg muscles, will power, and a spatula." They say you can find anything on the internet, but I'm here to tell you Yahoo Answers came up a little short, so I began scheduling foundation specialists instead. They were all quick to comply, and soon I had four of them lined up and ready to see our little spectacle.

So far, we've entertained three guests, and, in a nutshell (or nuthouse ...however you want to look at it), this is where we stand so far:

Specialist #1

"From what I can tell, the front of the house seems to be running away from the back of the house."

"I see. So, putting it in layman's terms, the front of the house is really the Tina in an unfortunate Ike and Tina situation."

"Exactly. It really is terrible what's happened here. Bad things happening to good people and all that."

"What you're saying is this will be a cheap repair?"

"It really is too bad."

"I'll wait for your estimate. I'm sorry my child yelled at you for scaring the cat with your tape measure."

Specialist #2

"Good afternoon, I'm Dave."

"Is that Dave spelled with two "a"s?"


"Sorry, I was just trying to lighten the mood before you gave me horrible news."

"Mrs. Kellerman, is there somewhere we could sit down?"

"Yes, just push a child out of the way and make some space. Pay no heed to the one trying to pick your pocket."

"It's ok, I have a five month old. But, here's the thing. This job is going to cost somewhere around twenty thousand."



"Are you sure you don't mean twenty thousand dragaloons?"

"What's a dragaloon?"

"An imaginary system of currency I made up, which translates, roughly, into five American dollars."

"I'm sorry."

"And, Dave, I'm sorry to tell you that five-month-old will soon be sticking her hand in an outlet, like my kid over there."

Specialist #3

"Did the other two guys tell you about ripping out the front porch?"

"Read my face. What is my face telling you?"

"I'll draw up some plans and get back to you."

"I'm sorry my kids sat on top of you while you took measurements. You may also want to subtract ten thousand dollars so you know everything's accurate."

We have one more person arriving on Monday to give us bad news, so the weekend will virtually be saturated with anticipation. On the bright side, please look forward to a series of posts on the most efficient way to sell a kidney and peddle imitation purses out of the back of your vehicle.

Oh, and if we have to go with plan b, sell the house to a flipper, and join the first traveling circus passing through, that should make fairly interesting reading as well.

Until Next Time, Readers!


  1. Replies
    1. (Assuming "Sit! Stay!" doesn't work!!)

    2. Do you think that would work? Because I'm willing to try anything at this point.

  2. Ouch. Isn't being a homeowner just barrels of fun? Maybe try holding the final specialist hostage and bribe him with either beer and baked goods or torture him with an endless loop of "Barney" episodes. No human could sit through all that.

    1. Caillou. A Caillou marathon is my vote. Along with the rest of what Abby said.

    2. I feel like Barney would get the job done for free, I'm just not sure of the quality of work. I'll give it a shot. And then maybe take some shots.

  3. Dang, I hate unexpected house expenses. Good luck!

    1. When we moved it, they said there might be a little bot of movement ...just didn't mention 20,000$ worth of movement.

  4. Replies
    1. I've toyed with the idea of a "Save the Split-level" campaign, but that's asking a whole lot of you guys. If you just keep reading while the house gets sucked into the ground, I'll be grateful.

  5. As a Real Estate Agent, I see it's almost always cheaper to fix a problem then turn it over to a flipper. In Virginia you'd be required to disclose all you know about structural problems, otherwise you'd be liable to the new home owners. A flipper is ALL about making money, they're not volunteers or candy stripers. They usually want to turn a minimum profit (depending on the market - $20, $50, 100K) per project. Of course prior to offering you a contract, he's going to estimate it'll cost a bazillion dollars more than it actually will to fix the problem with his low-ball offer.

    Living with the burden of going through the turmoil may be hard - but view it as a $20/50/100K payday instead.

    I'd ask some of the top Real Estate agents which structural engineer they'd recommend and poll those folks as well. A Real Estate agent only recommends tradespeople who haven't screwed things up - and that's supper important when you're talking about your house falling down a hill.

    Best of luck to you - I'm rooting for ya, all the way from Northern Virginia.


    1. That's actually some pretty great advice! And thank you for speaking up, because I'm a little clueless about what to do. At the end of the day, we may just do it ourselves, finish the renovations, and sell. I may lose my mind, but I guess that'll make fairly good blog posts as well. Unless I lose my mind and forget how to type.

  6. Love the fact that you can turn a bad situation into something fun to read. I hope things turn out in a not so horrible financial outcome. Yikes!

    1. Thank you, Debbie! Like I always say, if you can't laugh at it, you'll bee crying while your house sinks out of existence.

  7. Oh, man! That so sucks! The fact that you could make all of that bad news humorous is proof of your talent. I'm LOVING your book, BTW! You are brilliant.

    1. I'm so glad you love the book! I'm reading a book by someone I know as well right now...;)

  8. I have spittle on my computer now, thanks to that post. I gleaked, which I only do on rare occasions when I open my mouth so wide that the spit is forced to fly forward. Hence my moist screen. This may be one of my favs of yours. Now I must find a clean rag to dry my surfaces. Sadly hilarious. OBTW...Dave with 2 "a's" is what did it.

    1. Hahaha ...I apologize to your computer screen. It's just that I run into so many Dave's with two a's in their name.

  9. Oh, Paige. That is painful. Homeownership isn't all it's cracked up to be. Geez. Good luck!

  10. Overall our experience with our real estate manager for the past year has been quite pleasant. We have clean facilities with a washer/dryer and we love our apartment.

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