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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My Neighbor is a Moron Part 2.

The rest of the story.....
Do you remember me telling you about the house next door to my residence? How the owner paid some morons to put vinyl siding on it? Well, about three weeks after that was done, the tenants moved out. The house has been empty since and has a "For Sale" and a "For Rent" sign in the front yard.
Tonight I noticed something strange as I was cleaning out the litter boxes at 10:00PM. There was water in my basement filling up the north west corner. I filled two buckets with water and was looking for a source of the leak when it became apparent that the water was seeping in on the entire north side. This is unusual. There is snow on the ground and it hasn't rained in a while. I thought for a moment and then went outside and looked between the property line to see if the snow had melted away. Then I heard the waterfall. The house next door had obvious problems with their plumbing. Having had similar problems at the "Old Crackhouse" I knew the sound of burst pipes!
I left a message on the owners answering machine, then, realizing that my basement was still oozing water I called the water department. They came out and tried to shut off the water. This isn't easy with 3 inches of snow on the ground. The first time they tried, it was my water that got shut off. The second attempt was a gas line. At this point we thought that if we could get permission to go in the house via a lock box key then the water could be turned off inside. I called the owner again. No answer. I decided to take a bold step. Noticing a 4 inch gap at the top of the plexiglass sash window on the porch, I stuck my hand in, unlocked the sash lock, lifted the window and went in. The water department employee could not follow me since this could be construed as "property damaging" but he was willing to lend me his flash light. The lights would not come on in the house so, using the flash light I found the door to the basement avoiding the torrent of water pouring from the kitchen ceiling. I went down two steps and then stopped. The water level was up to the 4th step. That means it was almost 3 feet deep! By my estimation, that is 1875 cubic feet of water and that equates to about 1200 gallons! In order to shut the water off I would have to go into this cesspool and look under water for the shut off valve. Screw that! I don't even know if the electric is shut off! Can you say frazzle dazzle?

See, there is never a dull moment around here. Plumbing continues to be the bane of my existence. If not mine, then the nearest immediate neighbors! I think when I see the owner later today, I will offer him $6000 for the place which is the lot value. He wants something like $48,000. It used to have nice oak floors, not any more. The panelling in the kitchen is now warped and the ceiling is gone. I could demolish the place and have a double lot or sell the two properties as a package deal and let the new buyer demo it or rehab it. Unless of course, any of you want to be my neighbor! For a short while at least, until we move three blocks away into the "Old Crackhouse".
Look at it this way. The house has an indoor swimming pool.........


At 12/14/2005 7:49 AM, Blogger Ben Biddle said...

The previous owner of our house used it as a "summer home" since she taught in New York City. There is a story about the upstairs bathroom pipes bursting one winter, pouring into the kitchen and freezing into a Niagra Falls on the outside of the kitchen window! They had the cops and fire dept trying to legally "break in". Of course we're left with the sagging plaster ceiling and hodgepodge replacement plumbing. Sounds like $6000 would be a bargain!

At 12/14/2005 10:55 AM, Blogger Kim @ Twice Remembered said...

OH MY! What an adventure, to say the least, lol! Standing water where it's not suppose to be has always given me the creeps and I don't blame you for not wading through it..especial if the electric was on. What a mess! Wouldn't it be great if you were able to buy the place? Let us know how it goes!


At 12/14/2005 11:36 AM, Blogger Nola said...

Oh lord. Indoor cesspool = no good, I've been there. I wonder if the owners have decent insurance to cover repairs. They might just decide to take what they can get and walk. We made a similar offer on the property behind ours for lot value, and they also want to get four times what the lot was worth BEFORE Katrina. Good luck, guys.


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