I don’t want to think about how much money I’ve put into our already painful overpriced plot of Bay Area land/house/box that we will live in, hopefully without major issues, for the next years of our lives.
It isn’t even the cost that’s getting to me. It’s that the more we spend, the more of a nightmare management of the home is. From too many decisions to make, to not feeling at all equipped to properly oversee contractors who are literally putting holes in our floors and walls, I am just over it. And there is still so much to do.
Yes yes yes I know this blog is filled with first world, still-have-a-job-during-the-horror-that-is-a-horribly-managed-global-pandemic problems. Sue me. I realize I’m fortunate. I’m blessed. Or, whatever. Yes. True. All of that. But, that doesn’t change the panicked feeling I have when I arrive at my house to check on something unrelated and the contractor’s subcontractor, who has already put in the beginning of plumbing work for the vanity, says “your vanity is 72″ right?” and I’m like… uh… no, 66″ — I confirmed that multiple times with the GC in our What’s App chat (btw, all the contractors like to tout using What’s App for communication, but this just means they can ignore you even more by saying “ok” to things you write in What’s App but then apparently not actually read them.
I’m not going to claim I’m an easy client. I’m particular. But for 25,000 I hope I get to be a little particular. Maybe that’s not enough money to merit particularness. In total we’re spending about 35k on the bathroom. I feel like that’s a lot. I mean, that’s the new car we’re not getting for a while. So. But I can’t be as hands on as I’d like because COVID and being pregnant and all. It’s already dangerous meeting my contractor while he’s in the bathroom and I’m in the hall. It’s stupid. I’m being stupid. After being so careful during the first half of my pregnancy, I’m risking my life over a bathroom.
But it kind of has to get done. It’s not there anymore. Well, the subfloor is there. And the studs. And some drywall they didn’t take down. I don’t know if they should have taken it all down. But it’s still there so. We need a bathroom. We need this bathroom to get done.
I still need to buy tile. It’s hard for me to visualize what things look like without seeing them done, and tile options are overwhelmingly limited yet awful. I don’t want too much grout, but large tile is not relaxing to me. Ok, so bathrooms are like, my thing. I like to relax in a nice tub. Get away from it all. As much as possible in a house with two little kids, a husband, and a father-in-law. So this is very important to to me. Maybe too important. But between how much I’m spending on it and wanting to feel GOOD about it on the other side of construction, I am freaking out about every detail and yet unable to properly manage this project.
That’s not to mention the nine thousand other things going on in the house right now that we’re trying to get done before we move in (spoiler alert, it’s not all getting done before we move in.) We decided we can’t justify paying another 3000 for January rent (plus I will be having a baby sometime in January and we want to be somewhat settled before that happens), so we made the call to move on Dec 21. A month out from my due date. Baby could come sooner, but G-d willing, baby will keep cooking through the move.
Will I have functional electricity and plumbing? That’s another story.
We’re getting the panel replaced. It has taken a month and a half for my electrician to get an appointment with the electric company. So that’s happening in January after we move in. Hopefully that’s not a big deal. Seems like most of that work will be done outside. Jan 7 isn’t that far away.
The HVAC is getting done now. The crew seems to know what’s up. And in this case its all the new vents. And the furnace. Now in the attic. I hope they’re doing this all right. 20k. Including AC. We didn’t have AC. Remind me to never buy a Bay Area house without AC again? Pretty please and thank you. My husband, who I put in charge of researching cost of putting AC into a home without it, made a comment once that it would be under 10k if there was already ductwork in the home. He missed the whole part about if your ductwork is from 1966 and filled with asbestos and in your crawl space you’re going to want to put in new ductwork anyway and that will cost 20k. And require putting holes everywhere in your house. That will cost TBD but surely a few thousand to fill. Thanks husband. I don’t blame him – this shit is confusing and complicated as new homeowners, and I always expected things to be expensive, but it is just like … everything is expensive and complicated…
So there are holes in my floor? Who will fix them? How do I find a trusted floor repair service to do this? Many floor companies I’ve talked to apparently won’t do a job this small. The super sketch ones will. Do I go super sketch? Do I keep looking? I don’t know. There is a 3×3 hole in my hall closet into the crawl space. I mean, that’s kind of cool. who doesn’t want a 3×3 hole in their closet into the crawl space with no cover? It will be a show piece for the house cooling party that we’re throwing once we’ve all had two doses of COVID vaccines. Check out our new house — check out our new hole in the ground. Want to see the bathroom? Oh, well, look at those beautiful studs! Who needs a toilet when you can pee into the hole where the shower once was? Crawl space is amazing peeps.
I hired a gardener. I know nothing about plant life except it seems like it should be more green than not green. Gardener was hired because I had an emergency need to prep house for termite fumigation situation (apparently that’s a big deal) and someone who I knew through an old hobby responded to my post on Facebook in a random local group and said her husband can help. And he turned out to be a gardening service owner. And he gave me a quote for bi-weekly gardening service. 125 a month. Ok. But who does he hire to do the work? What do they actually get paid? I’m guessing these men doing the work are undocumented immigrants, which I’m not ok with, but I’m uncomfortable asking. And I’m worried about what they actually get paid. But it also seems most gardening services are owned by white dudes who have undocumented immigrants do the work. I don’t now. Maybe they are documented. How would I find out without making it uncomfortable to answer? I’m morally opposed both to hiring people who are undocumented and even mores morally opposed to paying some white dude 125 a month (which doesn’t even seem like that much) to pay people 10 an hour to do the work. Which, maybe they get more than that, but I would like to know. And I have too much social anxiety and panic to ask. But at least my horrifying field of doom grass has been cut. It looks like its dying. It’s winter. I guess that’s normal. Is that normal? The pepper bush is the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen. Trees seem ok. The gardeners cut a wire to the lights in the front of our house. Didn’t tell me. I asked and he said they did it, but they fixed it, or something. I don’t think its fixed. I want to fire them but I don’t have time and now it’s awkward because it’s the husband of someone I sort of know who I might meet again. And I don’t have time to find a new gardener yet. So for now, they are going to have to do.
I bought too many things for the bathroom. What does that mean? Let’s just say 3 giant vanities (same one, 3 colors) were delivered to my driveway from Home Depot. Poor husband nearly broke his back getting them inside. I wanted to see the colors in person. But in hindsight that was dumb. Ordered a blue, grey, and white one. Leaning towards white. Was always leaning towards white. Home Depot supposedly will pick up a return for free, but that didn’t go so well the other day when we scheduled a return and couldn’t be at the house all day for pick up. We still don’t know if anyone came to pick up the items. One thing is for sure, we’re not going to be able to lift it and get it back to the store ourselves. So we have to return about 5000 of merchandise within 30 days or its ours to keep. Uh. Ok, bad job me. Blame my husband for getting stuck on the idea of a blue vanity. I’m aiming to win him over with purple walls (we both like purple) so we can keep the vanity white, and make it easy to go natural when I decide I’ve had enough of this house and need to sell it in about 2 months.
Oh, some costly-but-happy things… My new washer and dryer is being delivered in a week. Woohoo. The current ones appear to be from 1966 and even my husband (who was very adamant about not replacing them as long as they work) made a comment that they seem to be useless. So, I splurged (because why not, I’m spending all my money anyway) on some nice GE front loaders. At the very least in this house o mess of mine, I can have clean clothes. I mean, if the new electric panel ever gets put in. And someone can confirm the current wiring in the laundry room won’t destroy the new washer and dryer. It might. I don’t understand electric other than our house was not wired correctly. Much is not grounded. Some outlets are. Circuits are not set up right. I don’t know. Is my house going to burn down the first time I do a load of wash in my new sparkly sapphire blue washer? Possibly. That’s one way to clean clothes.
We need a new garage door. The old one is not only manual, but it is mostly broken. I mean, you can bang at it for a few minutes and get it to open if you’re strong enough. We dream of an electric garage opener.
How was this house 1.65M again? Would I have done better buying a 2M house? Did we get screwed? I don’t know, Zillow seems to think it’s worth that. Is Zillow fucking with me? Did Zillow spend 30 minutes having a panic attack trying to open the garage door the other day? That has to knock the Zestimate down at least 100k right?
There is still a random “wine closet” broken refrigerator thing with a lock on it with no key in our garage that the sellers left for us. Thanks sellers. Um. We need to fix our doors as well. And I’m supposedly putting in a door frame for the open nook in my son’s room so there can be a closet there a well.
Did I mention I’m having a baby in T-43 days? And trying to NOT be stressed right now?
Yea, moving in the last month of my third trimester. Great idea peeps.