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Our (Demonized) House, in the Middle of Our Street

Update: Thanks to Sarah for the most recent Photoshop, that I shall call Neighbors From Hell. You need to click for the big size to get the full effect. All the things that were "no big deal" or "easily fixed" when we first looked at the house loomed like distorted nightmares after we had the keys in hand. I don't recall the shower leaking, but there it was yesterday, leaking away, every drip-drip-drip sounding more like fix-fix-fix. I remember thinking it was quaint how they kept the original 1950's bathroom decor. I could live with a fifties look for a bit, I thought. Kind of nice to have one room that maintains the history of the home. But upon closer inspection last night, my allegiance to the house's history waivered. Suddenly the blue tiles and archaic bathtub lost their charm; they were scowling at me, daring me to talk bad about them. The small hole on the side of the bathtub now seemed the size of infinity. Oh, god. My bathtub is the portal to hell! Don't go near that hole, kids! Look for the light, Carol! I ran screaming from the room, stopping briefly to slam the cover of the bowl down, because I swear that yawning toilet was mocking me. Ok, calm. Made a little note on the notepad I was carrying around: gut bathroom, start over. Exorcise as well. The transition of the house from charming abode to live, gargantuan, soul-eating monster continued as walked through the house, seeing it for the first time as owners. The three walls worth of floor to ceiling windows in the sun room (aka office) that we once thought would allow us to view both sunset and sunrise as we sipped coffee and dreamily stared at nature? They have become looming panes of sudden death. Every time someone takes a step anywhere in the house, these flimsy windows rattle something fierce. And now, standing there wondering what the hell I saw in this room in the first place, the rattling windows stared back, like opaque ghosts shaking their chains at me. Notepad: new windows in sun room. Call priest for holy water. The kitchen is no better. While the appliances are all brand new (take one moment of pure glee for the crushed ice dispenser on the fridge), the fridge itself is off balance. I imagine my ice cubes will all turn out like uneven glaciers. I'm not fond of the light fixture. Ok, not bad, not bad. No monsters in this room. Ah, but then I see it. Winking up at me from the floor, one lone tile that is surrounded by pink grout. Pink. Grout. The rest of the tiles are safely enconsed in normal, grayish white grout. But this one, evil tile ended not like the others. I think it's not happy about that. The floor is now a cyclops with pink eye. Notepad: Gray grout. Crossbow. In Nat's bedroom, the walls are wrapped in a hideous wallpaper that shows old fashioned maps of North and South America and some other places, all in gold and blue and surrounded by dotted lines marking navigation routes and it's tiled in the same way that the hamsters doing that hamster dance are tiled. Yes, like a 1990's web page. Continents and divides dance before my eyes and suddenly a pirate appears, emerging from one of those dotted lines, shivering me timbers for sure. Notepad: Wallpaper stripper. Hire a pirate killer. And so it goes. In every room, another monster or spirit or gnome lurks and every time I see something I actually like - for instance, the light fixture in our bedroom - I half expect Gollum to cry out preciousssssss and fight me for it. The biggest monster of all is the giant ceramic pig that sits by the front door. Sort of like the pig in Amityville Horror which, given the locale, could have just walked over to my place from Amityville, so it's really not far fetched to think that it was Jody, red eyes and all. Except my pig has a huge slit in his back and wants me to deposit money every ten minutes. And when I do drop a hundred dollar bill or a Visa or Mastercard into that slot, Jody makes a loud flushing sound. Ok, so it is my house, haunted, possessed or not. Mine. I can slay these monsters, I know it. I can exorcise the spirts and demons and caulk right over that black hole to hell. I may have to sell a kidney or offer my kids up as house slaves to the locals each weekend, but I am going to do this. This house is not match for me. Right now, with it's evil piggy bank and winking kitchen tile, it thinks it can outdo me. But I am well experienced in the ways of these kinds of goblins. A few magic spells, a dozen or so margaritas and an offer of my soul to the loan officer at the bank ought to work.


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"No creature can exist sanely for long under conditions of absolute reality. (Michelle's House), not sane, stood quietly in it's fold of hills. Inside, floors were firm, bricks met neatly, doors were sensibly shut and whatever blogged there, blogged alone."

This is probably not a good time to bring up the memory of one of Tom Hank's early flick The Money Pit with Shelley Long...

Ah, the joys of home ownership. When you realize you can no longer call the landlord!

And it's too bad about the neighbors. And the polar bears.

Well, the good news is you're not alone. My family and I did a walk through and things seemed ok. Then you move in, and really look, and then you realize, "hey, that's not right".

We feel your pain.

Yessssss.....the precious house...yeeeessss

If I knew John Kerry would be riding by, I would have unpacked my bb gun...

If I knew John Kerry would be riding by, I would have unpacked my bb gun...

Got crabgrass?

"I remember thinking it was quaint how they kept the original 1950's bathroom decor. I could live with a fifties look for a bit, I thought. Kind of nice to have one room that maintains the history of the home. "

That sounds eerily familiar. Hopefully, at least your fixtures (toilet, sink, AND tub) aren't a nasty teal-y color like ours.

Not to sound defeatist, but it's been almost a year and we still haven't touched the bathroom yet...

Wonder life, that of the home owner! The next few years' vacations to be spent painting/papering/fixing/etc/etc/etc But it's also nice to be able to kick back in the hammock on a cool summers eve and realize 'this is MY kingdom'

that should have been "wonderful life,"

In no time at all, you will owe your soul to Home Depot and Lowe's...and Dave Barry was right, when he defined a house as a square hole in the ground, into which you throw money.
On the other hand, since it is yours, you can do to it whatever damn thing you want and that neighborhood covenants and local code compliance do not forbid outright!

That picture is pure evil, Sarah.

The transition of the house from charming abode to live, gargantuan, soul-eating monster continued as walked through the house, seeing it for the first time as owners.

Welcome to the Club, sweetie! And think of all them taxes you just acquired!

This might have been one of the funniest posts I have read.

Our going to have to create a side link to archive all the "money pit" posts that are soon to be here.

My Four year old custom built home on the lake is colapsing faster than I can earn. Oh well.

I agree with Tyler. There's just something about the wide-eyed, giddy walk-through / inspection of your house TO-BE that allows you to overlook all kinds of blemishes.

We had the same kind of thing in our full bathroom (heinous teal color scheme), the grout in the shower stall in our other bathroom was put on by a blind person (and is falling out), the wood stove had a crack in the top of it, the kitchen (oh the horror) was a DISASTER waiting to happen, the entire living space was covered in icky paneling, the electrical panel(s) was a shoddy, ever-expanding, under-sized nightmare - including two circuits that cross-connect somewhere (a code no-no) - the backyard is sinking, the back deck is rising, the basement walls leak like crazy, and the carpeting in the living / dining room was a gross burnt orange color with GLUED DOWN commercial carpeting underneath serving as a carpet pad (including overtop of a now ruined hardwood floor).

Oh and one of our neighbors is a cat shooting, psychotic, anti-social, PRICK.

And 3 years ago when we bought it we were ecstatic. Thought we'd died and gone to heaven.

Nothing quite like it, even still.

Oh, how well I remember. To make matters worse, I was a lone female. With tools and how-to books.

It does get better. The local priest will be happy to bless the house, which will at least convince the various monsters to lay low while you work to eradicate their lairs.

Though the closet under the stairs still has a polterghiest.

I'll swap you, even up, for my original 1970s bathroom. Harvest gold! Avocado!

The Money Pit reference is good but I'm reminded more of the old SNL takeoff on "This Old House", where the couple's house turned out to be built over an Indian burial mound. "That's a hellmouth you've got there, Bill."

Two Words: "Chain Saw."
fixes all rehabbing BS.

I know all about holes...COVER IT. "Don't be afraid of the dark"

Now my bathroom retains its late-Forties retro flavor. All the porcelain is white, but the tile (three-fifths of the way up the wall) is what Steve Gigl would call a nasty teal-y color.

Finally!!!!!! Congrats! When am I coming over?

I had even worse blinders on when we bought this house; it happens to be the same house my family lived in while I was in junior high/high school. My dad died during my senior year and the house was sold, and my ex & I moved to Colorado after I graduated. After nine years and one child (and getting married), we moved back to the hometown and through some very strange events, found that this house was for sale. So of course we bought it. Now, I'm a single homeowner in a house that is adorned with cracks in the ceilings and walls (foundation needs attention), one leaky toilet, and a myriad of other woes. But I still love it.

And nothing will ever come close to the horror of the wallpaper we had on one wall of a house we owned in Colorado. This was your basic variegated green shag carpet, gold Formica/avocado green appliance-era house...and the dining room sported shiny silver wallpaper with pink (think Pepto-Bismal) splotches randomly splattered over the entire expanse.

It was enough to take your breath away. All I could think of was that somebody saw that sample in a wallpaper book and loved it enough to actually order it AND pay for it. Amazing, what some people consider 'tasteful decorating'.

Check the fridge. There's a good chance it has adjustable screw-feet on the bottom so you can level it.

That's me, always eager to... help.

Dammit, I thought I had the lock on the fridge-fix idea, and I did until the last comment.

Leaky showerhead is probably an easy fix too.

Congrats!. It's even worse when you buy a new tract house. You get to watch the knuckle-dragging morons build it. All three of the toilet drains off by 6-12". No problem. Jackhammer floor, put in 320 degrees of bends to get drain in right position. That'll NEVER back up, will it?. See same Morons pour all the concrete wrong. Watch same morons with jackhammers again. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

And thats before you meet the neighbor with the Roundup fetish. He hates weeds. Wants to kill yours too, even tho you havent had time to spend the 15K it takes to irrigate/landscape the martian looking back yard that the construction company left you. You gracefully decline. Two days later you find dead grass suprisingly shaped like footprints where he walked across your lawn to get back to his house. And he wants to babble at you for 15 minutes every time he see's you. Joy! Yay suburbs!

Be happy you have a lawn and trees. And beware neighbors with sprayers in tow.

You might want to consider the advantages of living in a haunted/cursed house.

"Hello, this is Homer Simpson. When you sold us this house, you didn't tell us it was on an Indian burial ground!... No...you...didn't!... Well, that's not my recollection!... Well, okay, goodbye." (Hangs up the phone). "He says he mentioned it five or six times."

America! Get yourself thousands of dollars in debt. Call yourself a homeowner.

I love this country.

We currently own the garage and 2 of the 3 bathrooms. Equity baby!

Noiw, If I had that pig, I'd install red electric eyes and keep it on the fromt porch, just to freak out the neighbors.

Then again I own a black velvet bullfighter painting and have a concrete lawn gargoyle on top of the big screen tv, so my tastes are... unusual.