My First Money Pit

US Wealth Napolitano |

My First Money Pit

Homes are like people. They each have quirks, personalities, and often provoke strong memories.  Over the years as a result of life’s changing circumstances, I’ve owned five different homes. One that really stands out for me was my very first home in Beverly; a 90 year old colonial – victorian hybrid.

The realtor dubbed it as a wonderful “starter home” with “lots of potential”. My father in law (at the time) apparently agreed. One morning he entered the dining room with a hammer and a crow bar and inquired “I wonder what is behind this wall?” Before the end of the day, there was nothing left of the dining room except for the wooden studs and a substantial amount of dust. He laughed for years about the look on my face as he wielded those tools to deconstruct the room. I didn’t know squat about construction at the time, but eventually I learned to more or less put a room back together without too many obvious blemishes.

It was disclosed on the listing sheet that the basement that could occasionally experience some “damp spots” during heavy rainy periods. I suppose I should have noted the size of the cement blocks elevating the washer, dryer and furnace. As the Perfect Storm rolled into New England in the fall of 1991 (made infamous by author Sebastian Junger), there was something inherently shocking about seeing the first trickle of water enter my dwelling.   As water levels rose, in hindsight owning a pair of reasonably tall waders would have been a great idea.

Once the construction on the house was generally complete (any homeowner can tell you there is no such thing), it was time to decorate. As a kid I’d owned several aquariums – both salt and fresh. I thought it would be a great idea to stick a tank in the empty corner of our living room. I found a really great deal on a used 55 gallon aquarium in the want ads, complete with a sturdy stand. After carefully arranging the tank décor, I filled it with water and then went to bed. Early the next morning I awoke to the sound of light rain. This was puzzling because the sky was clear and the sun was out. You probably can guess the outcome; overnight the tank had sprung a leak!  You should have seen me outside the house in my underwear trying to get a syphon started with the garden hose. The 55 salty water gallons that dribbled onto our newly refinished hardwood floors turned out to be not an optimal combination.

If you have some funny stories that you would like to share with us about being a homeowner, we’d love to hear them.

This article was written by Tom Fletcher.