Thursday, April 22, 2010

Uninteresting Update

As you all know, we recently moved into a house that, if we owned it, would be referred to as The Money Pit, given all the things that went wrong with it and continue to be uncovered. But, since we don’t own it, at least I can take solace in the fact that all these repairs are on someone else’s dime.
I feel the need to let everyone know that some action has been taken, and plans are in the works to get to work on aesthetics once the kittens have all gone to their new homes. I have paint colours picked out, but I am most looking forward to sanding and painting these terrible hardwood floors. I hate looking at them more than anything in this whole house. The landlord sent over a team of misfits on Good Friday, and they cleaned up the landfill in the backyard. They spent all day raking leaves that had not been picked up in a few years, they took away all the garbage, and most importantly, the dog shit as well. We now have an excellent blank-canvas back there, but we are still waiting on a tree trimming.
Also, it should be noted that the downstairs floor drain was capped, so it no longer splashes back into the basement. However, now that the algae has started to dry up, it seems to be smellier than usual. I’m hoping that musty dirt-basement smell doesn’t last too much longer, but at least the weather is nice enough that we can open the windows. The kitchen sink no longer leaks, we got a new hot water heater, the bathroom sink now has water pressure and the washing machine barely leaks anymore. All good things, but now that the weather has warmed up, the upstairs bathroom seems to be smelling like sewer pretty much all the time and it’s migrating into the rest of the house. I have the distinct feeling that the drain line to the sewer is going to have to be dug up and slanted so that things can drain to the street. Actually, I was watching Holmes on Homes last week, and they installed a VENT to the plumbing so maybe that’s what we need. Either way, that’s a huge job and I hesitate to even bring this up to the landlord, because I don’t want him getting pissed and hiking our rent for all the extra cash he’s dumping into this house. Then again, I’m not a doctor, but I’m quite certain that it’s not healthy to live in a house full of sewer fumes that have nowhere to go, not to mention the fact that it’s quite unpleasant to come home to. It is his responsibility to make sure this place is safe and healthy for tenants. Besides, if he refuses to fix it, I would hate to have to get tough and call in a home inspector, because I have the feeling that with the lack of bathroom ventilation fan, the sewer issues, the damage to the flooring and all things underneath it, and the [very likely] mould growing/dying in the dirt basement, it might be condemned, and then we’d have to move… AGAIN.

The thing that has really gotten to me is that we HAVE to live in either basement suites or shitholes because of the ridiculous housing market here. We work hard and are good people, we just can’t afford to (nor do we want to) buy an over-priced house and we're not able to rent a nicer or newer place, because they all cost way more to rent than we can afford. And it’s not like we can’t afford it because we are unemployed or addicts, Matt works a full-time job, and I am a student and working part-time. We almost never go out or buy crap we don’t need. We cook all our own meals and try to save money wherever we can. Doing all this, we SHOULD be able to make ends meet and live somewhere at least half-way decent. But because of the fucking housing boom here, and the fact that many company’s wages haven’t bothered to catch up to the cost of living, we can’t, and it is REALLY starting to bother me. We don’t deserve to live in a shithole, we deserve somewhere nice to come home to after working and going to school all day, but the sad fact of the matter is that we cannot make that happen, purely for financial reasons. It’s very unfair, and while I understand that landlords want to make money, I feel like just once in a while, they should see good people when they’re right in front of them, and maybe give them a break. We could really use a break.


Dylan Laine said...

preach baby!!! That's what the housing market is like out here... we are seriously fucking lucky we got he place we did!!!

Lojo said...

Fuck yeah. Fucking 'tard nard.

How much is the average rent going for in Saskatoon nowadays, anyway? Last I heard the real estate was on par with Calgary prices. Ridonkulous. Feel for you guys. Around here we bitch n' moan a bit about the death of our boom, but at least prices for accommodations have once again become reasonable. Of course, this is the point where I want to sell my condo, and if I do so now I will probably get ass raped without lube, but that's Murphy's Law for you. It follows me around.

twitch said...

Our 1.5 bedroom shithole is a steal at $795 plus utilities. So we're paying just over $1000 every month to live in this piece of garbage. The worst part is, we moved here because it costs LESS than our basement suite did. Our landlord prides himself on keeping his rent "low" compared to other places. But it's really not that low if you think about the fact that he bought most of these places BEFORE the boom. So this house was probably worth 60 000 when he bought it, but he's renting it out as if he paid $200 000 for it. Garbage!

twitch said...

But, if all goes as planned, in 2 years I will cease being a leech and will be making a serious financial contribution to the the family and we can afford to move somewhere else. I want to say maybe even buy a place, but then I catch myself, because I don't want to pay the prices asked here to live in fucking Saskatoon. Because, let's face it: it's Saskatoon. Not worth it.

Lojo said...

I am pumped for you that you got into that program and you're on your way to making some cashola. High-fives.

Rent around here is about the same. For a decent place you're paying at least $900 up without utilities, less for dumpier places, or rentals in the shit parts of town. But compared to what it was years ago, when it was at least $1100 for a decent place, it's not that bad. RD isn't a university town, either, so typically people can afford more. It's shitty when you have so many students needing economical rentals in a city that is booming.

And I hear you about buying a place in Saskatoon. My brother (bus/economics grad/ trader) warned me about buying during the boom. I don't completely regret it, since I've put a lot of money towards my mortgage instead of some douche landlord. I doubt I will lose any money on it, just probably won't make any, but you can really get screwed, too. My brother says that when the boom-bubble bursts in Saskatoon, which it undoubtedly will at some point, it will be dramatic and a lot of people will end up getting fucked. I'd rather live in Saskatoon than a place like Calgary just based on size alone, but all in all, the weather in Saskatoon still sucks, the mounting social problems still suck, and Saskatoon is still in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere. Not a place I'd want to dish out much money either, unless I had a damn good reason to be there and I was making great money.

twitch said...

Fun update on our landlord:
We found additional and pretty serious plumbing issues last night, and this morning the landlord said "If I have to pull apart the ceiling and fix all that plumbing, I am just going to sell the house instead."
So I can take a hint, let's hope we don't find anything else that needs fixing in this house. Fuck. But if he decides to sell, it'll be interesting to see how quickly a home inspector straight-up condemns it.