It’s Only Money (But I’m About Out of It)


Not only do the appliances not match (horrors!) they don’t work. Were it not for electricity and hot water, it would be like squatting in a vacant home. In fact, most of the stuff on the first floor belongs to the former owners (I gave them until the end of July to find space for the stuff). And the bulk of my stuff won’t be here until next week. It really doesn’t feel like my house yet.

Does “HolyshitwhathaveIdone?!” count as buyer’s remorse? I really don’t regret selling my old house and I know that this one is going to be fabulous…in 10 years. But right now all I can see is an empty bank account and a K2-sized mountain of work. (It was Mt. Everest-sized…so I guess that’s progress.)

The closing was May 29; I had $20,000 remaining after signing the documents. As of June 6, I have (maybe) enough for a cup of coffee (gas station coffee, not coffee shop coffee).

What was the second-flloor kitchen. I'd call it the junk room, but at the moment they are all junk rooms.

What was the second-floor kitchen. I’d call it the junk room, but at the moment they are all junk rooms.

At the moment, other than the microwave I brought with me, there is not a working appliance in the house. The 25-year-old stove on the second floor worked on all fronts at inspection; apparently it was held together by crud. After being moved to the garage, cleaned, then installed in the first-floor kitchen? Nope.

I’ve ordered the least expensive gas stove in the Bosch offerings (the former owners have kindly offered to give me $100 toward a stove; that’s the least for which I could find a decent one on Craigslist). It should be in later this week.

The refrigerator that was on the second floor also worked at inspection. It, too, was moved to the garage and cleaned. It might still work, but there’s no electric in the garage so I can’t test it (and my extension cords are still on a truck). I hear it was literally hosed down and scrubbed. I’m guessing direct hits of water aren’t good for coils. Even if it does work, “energy efficient” is not in its lexicon.

So I went a little nutty and ordered the nowhere-near-least-expensive refrigerator in the Bosch offerings – the one I’ve been coveting for years but couldn’t fit in my old house (36″-wide, French door, counter-depth with bottom freezer). It, too, should be in later this week. I’ve already had to remove a cabinet so that it will fit.

See? Junk. And still not the right paint color.

See? Junk. And still not the right paint color.

Granted, a dishwasher is non-essential. But the first-floor kitchen (henceforth known as the kitchen) has a dishwasher in place; one can use it only as a dish-drying rack.

So I got a new one of those, too. Again with the Bosch. Which got to me to three kitchen appliances and a rebate as a result (hey – those brand-loyalty programs really work!).

It’s on backorder for a couple weeks…which is a good thing because it’s 1/4″ too wide to fit the space; that gives me time to hack off the 1/2″-wide trim from the edge of that cabinet run.

But the above is the comparatively cheap stuff. And I’ve resigned myself to the laundromat for the foreseeable future.

The roof, gutters and a few downspouts are in the midst of repair, though my roofer seems to have disappeared. I trust he’ll be returning; his tools are in what will be my study.

A lovely statement for any study.

A lovely statement for any study.

On June 15, the HVAC work commences. The new furnace is (I’m told) incredibly quiet, 98-percent efficient, and approximately the size of a footlocker on end; that’s about one-quarter the size of one of the two existing units. It’s going in what will be the hand-tool and bench area of the shop. My bench room just got a lot bigger.

I’m also having a/c installed…about a week too late. I’ll be spending the rest of this day – projected to be 87° – editing at the local coffee shop…even though I can’t really afford to buy a drink from the nice people there.

And there are still floors to refinish and 20 new windows that need buying – and of course, I want wood frames, at least on the interior. With what money I do not know (if anyone needs any editing…do get in touch). The eight on the second floor simply must be replaced by winter – otherwise, I’ll be throwing money right out the window and the gaps around them.

Addendum (because I’ve heard a few kind people are genuinely concerned): By “out of money” I mean that I can’t do things like buy $20k in new windows right now or have the floors refinished. I can easily afford groceries (as soon as I’ve the appliances to both store and prepare them later this week)…and coffee. I am perhaps employing a wee modicum of hyperbole above.

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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22 Responses to It’s Only Money (But I’m About Out of It)

  1. tombuhl says:

    Thumbs up for bottom freezer. My last big house had the freezer in the basement. Which had benefits. Made one hesitate just a bit before hitting the ice cream. Of course if one did make it to the freezer one could be inclined to make it a plus-sized serving for all the effort.

  2. J.C. says:

    T’is the magic elixir of despair and hope. Heavy on the hope and stir well. O frabjous day! Bourbon works too.

  3. Steve Branam says:

    Based on experience renting old houses with gappy windows in New England, the clear plastic sheet indoor window seal really does work as a temporary solution to get you through the heating season. Cheap, effective, and as attractive as plastic sofa covers. Well, 2 outta 3 ain’t bad.

  4. I know it’s a lot of work, and money, but I’m excited for you. What a cool house. Hang in there.

  5. I’m with you. Our closing is June 29th. Our new house in Virginia was built in the early 1950s and the work that was done by the previous owner was, let’s just say, scary. Can you say hot water supply connected to the cold water supply with a shutoff valve between???😳 Based upon what I’ve seen, I know there were no permits pulled for any of the work. But some people just shouldn’t be allowed to touch tools even if they do own the house. First order of business is to take care of some serious fire hazards in the basement. Then I have to tear up the sinking living room floor to find out why it’s sinking, fix it, put all the 70 year old hardwood back and refinish the floors. Then there’s reproducing old missing baseboards, building new kitchen cabinets, and a new sliding glass door in the dining room. Plus whatever else needs to be done on that house, rebuilding the shop, and breaking ground on our log cabin next spring if all goes well.

    Do they offer bulk discounts on bourbon?

    • fitz says:

      Well maybe we can figure things out together…like why the water lines on one wall of my house work fine but on the other they’re lacking in pressure. Very odd. But one was done by a plumber…the other…probably not…

  6. toolnut says:

    Well there’s no looking back, so treat it like having to eat an entire elephant. Do it one bite at a time and you’ll get through it. (Keep looking at what’s left to eat, you can get overwhelmed real quick and that will just slow you down.). Good luck. It will look very nice when you complete it.

    Finally, I don’t know what you had budgeted for power tools, but that money could be appropriated for other more pressing tasks around the house given you do have access to tools at work. Just a thought.

    • fitz says:

      No pt budget at all. I have a couple good ones already. Jointer will just have to wait (which is fine; I know how to sharpen my No. 7)

  7. rondennis303 says:

    Hang in there . . . you are a survivor!

  8. mysticcarver says:

    I would offer editing services to you but my few e-mails and facebook comments might not add up to much by way of money. But I can carve ya a nice decoration or 2 for a wall. Hyperbole or not it is often difficult to watch money fly out a window, but at least you can see where it is flying!!!

  9. miathet says:

    Three things:
    1. Congrats life is better away from real estate people
    2. In our area used appliances are really cheap for what you get. The ones a good used dealer will have many of the same models as they can keep them running a long time.
    3. Not having a dishwasher is not near as big a deal unless you are adopting kids


  10. wortheffort says:

    Until the furniture arrives are you bringing out the roller skates to get around the place? Well, I don’t know why you couldn’t do that when the furniture arrives but it seems more appropriate without.

  11. potomacker says:

    Chivari chairs? Did the previous owners wedding planners?

    • fitz says:

      In fact, the previous owner did in fact own a bridal shop – good eye! (Having never had any part of planning a wedding, I didn’t know that style was ubiquitous in that realm.)

  12. belloeinvincibile says:

    The 20 windows you planned to have mounted until autumn next year? Well that’s less than 2 windows a month to make.

    • fitz says:

      No, no. By _this_ late autumn. And anyway…I have no time for such shenanigans tempting though the thought is). And really, only 7 are utterly dire. The others can wait a year or two…I think.

  13. ewingda says:

    Recently moved from Indy to Boston area. Same situation – house needs some love! But to the point…

    Thermador is offering a deal where you buy stove and dishwasher and get rebate equal to dishwasher. Not cheap but I love a good stove – I like to cook after making sawdust. They own Bosch and their dishwasher is essentially the Bosch with new badges. (hate dishwasher invading my quiet time)

    Also deal with fridge…but their fridge is mongo expensive. (really nice tho)

    It may help…best of luck!


    • fitz says:

      I’m holding out for a Ilve stove, I think. Maybe a Verona if I can’t come up with the Ilve cash. In the meantime (read the next five years at least!), the Bosch 300 series will no doubt serve perfectly well! (Thermadors are too modern-industrial looking for me.) But man…Indy to Boston has GOT to be a shock to the wallet!

  14. claydeforge says:

    Hyperbole is a good thing! You, de Woman 🙂

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