Monday, January 21, 2008

We Are So Screwed

Well, fate has pointed its fickle finger to us, apparently, and I say "PSHAW" to your broken windshields, crummy phone/cable service, and bad column on the front porch. When we get screwed, we go all the way.

Let me explain.

No, it's too much. Let me sum up.

Termite inspector came two weeks ago for annual inspection. Found high moisture levels and standing water, but no termites, in our crawl space.

Chris poked around down there and couldn't find the problem.

Chris went down two days later and after crawling around a bit more, found the problem. Rotted floor joist, ruined insulation, and two pipes terminating just above that. He contacted the builder.

Builder emailed him back to say they would be in touch.

Termite people called to schedule another inspection since they have a $25,000 guarantee that we won't have termites, and wet wood is really not on their side when it comes to keeping their money in the bank.

Builder has not been in touch.

We did laundry this weekend. Lots of laundry.

Termite guy comes today and confirms that the exposed pipes are the problem, the damage extends into our garage and could cause our staircase to collapse, and the culprit is most likely our washing machine (even though we haven't noticed a leak at all). He also confirms that the idea of terminating pipes into our crawl space is negligent and stupid AND even if they were only for emergencies, they terminate too high, therefore splashing water on our dry wall and other important bits that keep the house standing upright. We prefer that our house stand upright. Call us sentimental, if you will, but we do.

He also pointed out some problems with our water heater "leak prevention" pan provided by our builder. Basically, if the water heater has to "blow off," the water would spray everywhere before it even thought about going down the "emergency drain" which also terminates in the crawl space. This would ruin walls and carpet upstairs. Not all of them, mind you, but some. I was thrilled.

Called Sears to have someone repair the washer. They can't come until Monday (one week from today) between 8 and 12. (They apparently learned scheduling from Time Warner Cable and glass repair dudes).

Called Nationwide to file a claim. If it's covered, we're looking at a $500 deductible and I am hoping THEY will wrestle with the builders to get the money back. If it's NOT covered, we will have to pay for repairs out of pocket while we wrestle with the builder. (I'm assuming that the builder isn't going to just fork over the dough). We're talking substantial money. I'm guessing in the 10K range. Yes, that's 10 G's. 10 grand. TEN FREAKING THOUSAND dollars.

We looked at our budget last night and realized that we have zero money on hand regularly. Negative really. Not that we needed a budget to tell us this... it just confirmed what we already suspected. I will have to sell stock that my grandfather gave me to pay for this. And pay Capital Gains taxes on it. And I will then have nothing in savings save my random 401K accounts that are dotted all over the US of A.

We are so screwed.


Cathy (from Maryland) said...

I'm so sorry to hear the new diagnosis. Hopefully the builder won't be a d**k, but that's kind of a given, isn't it? Hang in there.

A Girl From Texas said...

I'm really sorry to hear that you're going through this. It's a lot of work in Texas to get restitution. Our Governor passed a law several years ago that really protected home builders from law suits.

I'm discovering buyers now are becoming more and more skeptical of new homes. I have a buyer that has asked me to do preliminary interviews of homebuilders before she'll even meet with them. And my new agent has someone who wants to buy a new home but wants to research the builder first.

A Girl From Texas said...

We have one of these in Texas, you may want to do some research and see if you have one locally.

eaf said...

I'll be calling a lawyer first thing in the morning. There's no way we're going to be able to battle this thing ourselves.

Jessica said...

Oh. My. God.

Just when one suck winds down, you get another one...

I'm so sorry.
It really does make our dumb cable people and cracked windshield look like child's play.
Good luck with the lawyer and I hope the builder isn't a total d*ck.

Anonymous said...

Blech, here's hoping the insurance will cover it all.

Brant said...

Hey - when you guys do something, you don't go halfway, do you?

Have you checked into a home equity loan to help cover the cost? Cash out some of the equity you have to help pay for it?

eaf said...

Our equity line is maxed out. We're REALLY in debt. I wasn't kidding.