A man was in to clean the HVAC this week. He said he doubted the duct work or the condenser had ever been cleaned (the house is plus40 years old) and because he was contracted by the landlord for a "light" cleaning and it was ... more ... he left without doing any cleaning. He offered a new quote for the work to the landlord, who in his usual style has decided to "get a few more estimates". Normally, as least as I make sense of what I observe, he brings in three or four different tradesmen/vendors to provide estimates for the cost of repair. In the past none of them actually is hired to do the work. Landlord has a long term arrangement with an after hours "handyman" who will "do" a barely passable, half cooked, version of what was initially needed. Here is an example: There is mold coming out of the vents and completely coating the air-conditioning unit, coils, wires, housing, etc. in this house. The evidence points to some cosmetic clean up prior to our moving in two years ago ... by that I intuit, a person with a bleach rag wiped the vents and probably the outlets right next to the vent coverings. The ceiling near those vents shows signs wear and tear (maybe scrubbing) on the popcorn ceiling treatment, some Keltz paint (maybe, one can hope) and some probably white spray paint to finish the cure. It did render the mold problem undetectable to the uninitiated (me). The "HVAC - pro" who came in said it was the worst he had ever seen, definitely not the light cleaning that he was sent out to complete, and that he suspects the house needs complete "mold remediation" which will cost thousands of bucks due to the removal of affected sheetrock and studs. If we buy the house it is our intention to basically gut it so that's not a huge deal ... the problem is in paying premium dollar for an uninhabitable home. Because maintenance has been deferred for(ever) so long on this house, it is hard to assess the extent/cost of a remodel project.
Here's my quandary - the lot is perfect. It is a perfect place. I feel very blessed to be where I can see what I see from the back porch. It's great. The house is - a mess. It's a mess that is going to take a lot of money to clean up and I don't have a way of truly knowing how much money and time it's going to take. It may be too costly on all levels of consideration. But, the lot is great. My husband is able to make extra money which would go to remodeling the house. It seems to be enough money to make a remodel ... easy. What if the availability of those funds "disappears" before we finish the work? The remodel would be largely dependent on his extra (post retirement) income. Did I mention the lot is truly amazing. This morning I saw deer wading in the river, frisking around on the lower lawn, and standing on their hind legs while stretching up to eat low hanging foliage from a tree. It's time for baby deer. Last year we saw one, as small as a cat, still wet and able to take only a few steps before settling back in to the grass. Remembering makes me smile. The forty year old single pane aluminum windows don't make me smile ... neither does the dry rot ... L, though he has replaced most of the back porch decking constantly reminds me to watch my step when I go out there lest I fall through as he did.
If we don't buy the house we will be in a different situation by the end of July. We are developing "Plan B and C". I can't really call buying this place "Plan A" because we are still working through the possibilities. I am very mindful that when we decide what we will choose we are also deciding what we will do without (like spending extra money on travel ... like the luxury of not needing extra money ... like not having an amazing walking trail right out the front door, ... like these trees and the variety of birds they give perch to, etc.).
|This filter "highlights" that hard earned grey hair!|