Thursday, August 16, 2007

Oh, the Joys of Homeowning

I skipped down the stairs to the basement last week to get Al’s birthday presents and stepped on something wet.

Well, that’s weird. Why would there be water right here? And why does this basement smell musty?

Yep, water in the basement. Never a good sign, but apparently a very common one, especially with the amount of rain we’ve had. I used to love stormy, rainy days, but now I start hyperventilating if it gets cloudy.

We’ve had that musty smell before, but I never noticed wet carpet before. Al and I spent the evening on our hands and knees, checking for wet spots. Luckily, there were only 2 areas where it was wet, but that’s 2 too many. Al thinks what’s happening is that the ground is so saturated that the water is coming up through any cracks in the basement floor. There’s nothing coming through the walls or windows.

This must be a popular problem because the basement dudes can’t come for another month! I knew this was the “busy season” but a month? Oh well. This company was recommended to us and seem to be worth the wait. In the meantime, we’ve put more dirt around the house and added extension down spouts to the drain pipes to get the water away from the house.

But this has to be done and as quickly as possible. Al will start talking to his assignment guy in November, so we could be moving by next Spring. That means the house will go up for sale and we still have to replace the kitchen counters and sink.

Dollar signs! I see nothing but dollar signs in front of me!

This is the first house we’ve owned in 10 years, and we knew we’d be selling it in a few years, such is the life of a military family. But it feels like ever since we moved in we’ve been getting ready to sell again. It’s all stuff that the “experts” say will improve the value—the master bath (updates with tile floor), the kitchen (new floor and still-to-come counter tops), nice lawn (new sprinkler system)—but it’s expensive enough without redoing the basement floor.

I blame all these real estate shows. It’s not enough to have a clean home with sound structure, you have to have a designer showcase with granite counter tops, tile floors, stainless steel appliances, wood floors or spotless carpet, perfect floor plan, perfect size, perfect yard, blah blah blah. Because heaven forbid a prospective buyer thinks they might have to paint or change the house to their own liking. I’m a little testy on the subject, can you tell?

But what am I doing sitting here? I still have a party to get ready for this weekend. We’ve had about 30 people say they’re coming. That’s a lot of spinach balls and jalapeno poppers, so I better get busy. Oh, but I did order the cake. It has the grim reaper on it saying, “Relax. I’m just here for the cake.” Kind of cute, huh?


susan said...

Oh no...I hope it's something really minor. Being a homeowner is great, but it's much easier when you can just whine to the landlord

Peggy said...

If you've got 30+ people showing up, I recomend taking as many short cuts as your hospitality levels will allow. Buy in as much pre-made stuff as you can get away with. I have, on occasion ordered sandwich trays from the local supermarket deli (semi-catering).

Sorry about the damp basement. I konw what you mean about the home staging/real estate shows. They've created this atmosphere where any sort of personality or colour has to be removed from your house. Bleah! It gets to the point where you feel you must defend your non-granite counter top kitchen.

Kell said...

Peggy--The freezer section of the store is my best friend! I make some things, but I've overcome the need to make everything by hand. The most popular food we've ever had was what I got from the local b-b-q place. Definitely learned my lesson.

her indoors said...

sorry about your wet patches in the basement hope it doesn't cost too much to fix.
have a great party, wish i was coming i love a good party!

Peggy said...

Kell, I'm so proud of you! (sniff) You not only have home catering under control, but you are so gracious when it comes to unsolicited advice.

Newt said...

LOVE the cake. I have to remember that one. Fabulous!!!! Another huge store bought hit: Brownie bites from Costco or Sams Club. Either one gets mucho compliments.
There is also a fabulous cold pasta salad from Costco that people couldn't get enough of at a party we had.

Michelle said...

Ergh. Sorry to hear about the wet basement. :(

It’s not enough to have a clean home with sound structure, you have to have a designer showcase with granite counter tops, tile floors, stainless steel appliances...

I hear you! Sheesh. I must be the only person on Earth that HATES stainless steel appliances. Mark my words, they are the avocado green fridges and stoves of the 70's for the new generation. They are everywhere and 20 years from now folks will be seeing them and say, "Yup. Appliances from the early 2000's. What were we thinking?!" Stainless steel shows every single teensy weensy scratch, imperfection, grease spot and finger print. GROSS!

Love the cake idea! Too cute.

Have a great time at the party.

Lena said...

Here's hoping the wet stuff going down at the party helped take your mind off the wet stuff seeping up in your basement! The rain has been a global pain this year!!

What a wicked cake! Any pics of it??