Paco’s house, which he owned and was (mostly) living in when we got married in June of 2007, is still on the market. Well, actually, it isn’t currently for sale because the renter who was supposed to be taking care of it and “staging” it for potential buyers pretty much wrecked it, so it is now being “remodeled”. I use the term loosely because what we are really doing at the moment is trying to find a mystery leak that exists somewhere between the slab and the Arctic permafrost. As soon as said leak is located and repaired we can finish the new floors, have the new carpet installed, pull out all the dead plants, re-landscape and then put it back on the market. Just in time for the next wave of bad Housing Market news. You know, the stories that don’t want to go away about how no one has seen this much real estate carnage since the Tower of Babel collapsed due to poor communication amongst the residents? Yes, that one.
So here’s is the story so far:
1) Harold, the house sitter, moved in last spring and promptly drove his car through the back wall of the garage because apparently he does not know how to operate the foot brake.
2) Harold did not water the back yard, causing the ground to shrivel up like the Mojave Desert in August. This, in turn, made the back of the house drop below street level, creating huge cracks in the interior walls that you could drive a semi- through. The foundation was destroyed and had to be completely re-done with new piers, necessitating jack hammering all of the floor tile and leaving a 3-inch layer of fine dust on every surface in the house, including the inside of every cupboard, drawer and closet in the house. The house sinking like the Titantic was also the cause of the illusive leak since it apparently tore lose a few pesky pipes as it settled to the bottom of the ocean.
3) Harold did not own decent furniture, or much furniture at all for that matter, even though he was supposed to be “staging” the house (see (1) above). Potential buyers were greeted at the front door by a basketball hoop in the living room, a mattress and box springs in the master bedroom and Hello Kitty slippers in the bathroom. This was not the kind of “staging” we had in mind.
4) We finally kicked Harold out last November. I wanted to go over there and literally KICK him out but Paco forbade me. So I wrote him a nasty note and told him if I ever see him again I will shoot him with the World War II bazooka I recently purchased at our local Army Navy store for that sole purpose. Then I will drag what is left of him behind my Sherman tank until his head falls off and then ship his remains to Somalia. I know this may sound harsh but you might not think so if you saw Paco's house.
So now we are in Plumbing Hell, having decided to find the leak ourselves after getting Billy Ray the Millionaire Plumber’s quote to find and repair the leak. I told Paco I could quit my job if he would only change careers and go to plumber’s school. They obviously earn in the high six-figures and all drive solid gold Cadillacs and I added that I would be happy with just a newish Buick wagon. He said no, it isn’t worth it. I said it is. We tabled the discussion until he comes to his senses.
Next week, or whenever I can stand the thought of writing about this nightmare again, I will discuss all of the brand-new plumbing equipment (that keeps breaking) Paco has recently purchased via mail order to fix the leak. Also the equipment we have rented, which has also systematically broken because the equipment rental people are obviously IN CAHOOTS with Billy Ray the Millionaire Plumber. I will also discuss all the money we are spending in order not to have to pay Billy Ray, who we understand is just back from his vacation house in the Bahamas.