Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Grim Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a young couple. They were newly married and eager to start their life together. They wanted to buy a house so that they would have room for the family they wanted to start.

They searched high and low throughout the villages of Milwaukee and Wauwatosa. They looked at many houses but they could not find the right one. This one was too small. That one was too big. This one was in bad shape. That one was too expensive.

No house was just right.

They were very discouraged but they kept looking, knowing that they would find the house that was just right for them.

Finally they found it. It had the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms. It had a finished basement. It was the perfect house and there was much rejoicing.

However, the house was not perfect. It was an old house. It was a cranky house. The house was under a spell that masked its imperfections.

Once the couple moved into their dream house, the spell was broken and the imperfections were revealed. First the furnace broke in the middle of winter. Then the water heater died. The roof leaked. The electrical system needed updating.

The couple was discouraged but they persisted. This was their house and they would fix the problems. And they did. All was right with the house and there was much rejoicing.

Then the upstairs shower started leaking and could not be used. The couple had expanded their family to include a little girl. They needed to have two working bathrooms so they made plans to re-do the bathroom. And it was good.

The house, on the other hand, did not care much for the couple's plans. In fact, the house had nefarious plans of its own. It allowed water to leak into the basement, right into the area where the little girl liked to play.

The couple was sad, they could no longer use their finished basement. The house laughed at their sadness. Chaos ruled their lives for a while. The repairs took forever. First, leak was repaired. Then the walls were fixed. But it was still not done.

The couple was worried. Their family was expanding. A little boy would be joining the family very soon. They knew they had much work to do to make the house ready for him.

The basement problems were tackled once again. The ceiling tiles were replaced. The floor was torn up and redone. The couple could see the light at the end of the tunnel. They could envision their children playing in the newly remodeled basement. They were happy. There would be much rejoicing . . .

Then the furnace broke again and the couple was sad.

The house laughed at their sadness. The house mocked their hope. It shook its fist at their plans and cackled "I will never be done. I will never be fixed. You will spend your entire lives trying but just when the end is near, I will break something else. I am the CrapShack and those that live within my walls are destined to be sad."

To be continued . . .

11 comments:

Jennifer M. said...

It's all too real, Renee. Many of us feel your pain. Your entertaining writing helps us all cope with the never ending excitement of home ownership.

Michelle said...

I totally understand what you're going through. The never ending joys of homeownership....Always eating up your hard earned cash....hang in there...

Janet @ I Drink at Restaurants said...

I share your pain every time I have to shovel, mow, fix something, discover something really expensive needs to be repaired or replaced...

I really think I could have done better financially had I continued to rent and invested all the money I've spent in interest, repairs and therapy, even with the market downturn.

anymommy said...

We own your house's twin brother.

Kirsten said...

Oh no. I've been there. I hope the story has a happy ending.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

This story sounds very familiar... How do they get away with it? There must be a union.

Jennifer said...

Oh no...you have a real-life money pit (loved that movie - in its day). Sorry to hear you can't catch a break with your house!

Christy said...

Oh no - I hope it's a happy ending we're going to hear soon! ARGH!

Issas Crazy World said...

Old houses man. Sigh. I feel you on this my friend. Sorry it seems to happen at the worst times.

Anonymous said...

The wonderful world of home ownership. I had a brand new house years ago and we still had problems with it. Houses enjoy laughing at our sadness, as you put it. But through it all, the owners will prevail. I have no doubt.

~Laura said...

Oh that stinks! I hope this has a good ending. All houses are money pits. We curse ourselves for not continuing to just rent and let the problems be someone else's.