Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The thing no one tells you about home ownership

Everything breaks. If it has ever had a moving part, it will break. If it has been in the house since 1974, it is absolutely going to break, no matter how much you beg and plead for it to hold out just a little bit longer.

Upon further reflection, there are two things no one tells you. The second is that everything that breaks will be really expensive to fix. And the things that do break will be the things that you can’t NOT fix. Like the shower fixture that broke off in my hand yesterday. I got the replacement parts today at Lowes for the insanely expensive price of $68, and it costs $150 (I think) to have the water in our complex turned off so that we can actually do the repair. And that is if we do it ourself! Or the electrical wiring problem that left us with half the outlets not working. (That one resulted in a $175 electrician fee, and part of it stopped working again the next day – the part that includes the garbage disposal.) Oh, and my washing machine is making a really awful noise that I’m sure means it is in the process of breaking. I’ve been importuning God about that one quite a lot lately. :)

Of course, if you’re a homeowner, this will all happen in the same few months that you need new brakes for the car and have to pay the midwife’s fee and decided to spend all your “house money” on not-quite-necessary (but oh so beautiful!) projects.

Some days I miss just filling out the form that says “X broke on Y day” and handing it to the manager.


Daniel Peckham said...


I remember thinking the same thing, "Oh how I used to hate that handyman coming into my home and messing up my kitchen floor" ... but at least he did it for FREE!

The great comfort is, that it seems to be seasonal. We had a season of lots of things breaking, and now have had a season of nothing breaking (which I guess means we're coming due, once again). But that is probably little comfort when the "expensive season" is so badly timed with other big expenses ... i'm sorry!

Katie P

Dy said...

Oh, {{{hugs}}}. I feel for you. But WHY on earth would they charge to cut the water so you can replace a faucet? Is there not a valve to the bath that you can turn off? I'm guessing this is a condo? But there's no main just for your unit? Even still, sheesh, I cannot believe they're going to charge you for that. Riiiight. Try getting an Occupancy Permit w/o a functional shower. Or letting out a rental w/o one. I mean, if it's in code that it MUST be working, how can they... wait, you're in CA, right? Nevermind. I think I just answered my own question.

Still, {{{hugs}}}.

Emily said...

Yes, we live in CA. Yes, we live in a condo. Yes, our association is crummy. :) They require us to use only their contracted plumbing service for water turn-offs. I assume that they're within their legal rights to do that...? I'm too pregnant and sleepy to want to spend the time looking it up. :)