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Living In The Real 'Money Pit' Or How Owning A Home Is A Soul Killer

By Jodi Smith | Think Pieces | November 7, 2018 |

By Jodi Smith | Think Pieces | November 7, 2018 |


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I heard a raccoon in the ceiling over our upstairs master bathroom on Wednesday night. Wanting it gone immediately and the problem area sealed up, I called my brother to come over and have a look. In the course of searching for an entry point to the raccoon’s temporary digs and setting a trap for that trespassing trash panda, two roof leaks presented themselves and two holes accidentally found their way into the master bedroom wall.(Listen, it is confusing once you get up in the space between the roof and the ceiling, okay?)

The raccoon, that I will call Kato, climbed his big butt up the side of my house — ruining shingles as he climbed — and then strong-armed my attic vent open. Kato put a bunch of straw in the small space above my bathroom for a stinky nest and then had the audacity to claw a hole in my bathroom ceiling over the shower/tub area. Fucking Kato.

While checking various other places in the house, we found that the dryer vent on the roof was leaking and poured mold and dirty water out of the vent hose connected to the dryer. We also found ridiculous plumbing for the upstairs bathroom, which was leaking into the area where Kato built his nest. I think. It was a lot to take in, I won’t lie.

While in the attic space over the garage, the following took place:

Brother: I think this is where he got in. I’ll just go through the drywall and…why are there socks in the wall? I JUST ACCIDENTALLY PUNCHED TWO HOLES IN YOUR BEDROOM WALL.

Meanwhile, the leak in the garage attic space is leaking down the plywood and over electrical wires that run through there. FANTASTIC.

I should stop here and explain that although the previous owners left behind a lot of expensive things when they left. Mostly useless, generally used by someone that had no idea what they were doing, but sometimes saving us money when fixing the terrible job they did on things. Case in point: lots of drywall left behind to patch up their shoddy work and rolls of brand new insulation to boot. But then I also found ski poles hidden in a very expensive length of PVC pipe, so I don’t know what the hell. I did have fun using the ski poles to pick things up and hand candy to my daughter and nephew, but that was just so I didn’t murder anyone with them.

SO. In the garage attic we found wooden bi-fold doors for closets, the ski poles, insulation, and a dryer vent pipe — that was supposed to be fixed prior to closing due to A FIRE THEY HAD AT ONE POINT — didn’t even connect completely. That’s right, someone just place two pieces of pipe next to each other and probably shotgunned a Natty Light in victory. Remnants of carpet also lived in the garage attic, right next to a kitchen or bathroom cabinet piece that matches nothing else in the house because WHY NOT, AMIRITE.

One electrical mistake and some rain later, I think everything is done for the evening. WRONG. The rain kept on coming, flooding into the duct work of the house. Do you know how unsettling it is to hear an odd sound and find that all of the vents are full of shitty rainwater and regret? 0/10 WOULD NOT RECOMMEND. Turns out they didn’t disclose this problem to us, but it doesn’t really matter. Also, THE HOME INSPECTOR NOTICED NONE OF THE SIGNS OF FUCKERY WHEN HE “CHECKED” THE HOUSE.

But thank Jebus the previous owners left us two broken bowling balls, pool chemicals (we don’t have a pool), hundreds of dollars in landscaping bricks, a broken grill we had to fix to use, a bright pink patio swing, an ugly blue outdoor table and chair set, bowling champion glass beer mugs in the freezer, and thousands of their mistakes we need to fix. SO IT ALL EVENS OUT.

Let this be a cautionary tale to any of you interested in buying a house. If problems keep popping up and the owners try to explain everything away, walk from the sale. If the sellers tell you the house is empty and then you get a call that their son lit a fire in the fireplace and filled it up with smoke, walk. If you go to the final walkthrough and find a cat and a dog with fleas still living in the house with said son, a hole in one bedroom wall filled up with a Walmart bag and a cut wire, and multiple people carrying shit out of the house while letting the fence gate slam closed, WALK.

Last and most important, ALWAYS insist on the seller providing a home warranty for the property for the first year you will live in it. For one co-pay you can have a qualified company come out and fix — at no extra charge other than the co-pay — some of the disasters you encounter. We got a new water heater installed for the price of a co-pay.



Jodi Smith is the Associate Trade News Editor at Pajiba. You can email her or follow her on Twitter.



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