being homeowners

We are now homeowners. It makes me a little giddy, being in this house, knowing that it’s ours. It feels exactly like home, even now, with the boxes piled everywhere, and no idea where the majority of my clothes might be, and with the bathroom sink crowded with soap and toothpaste and brushes and everything else including a q-tip box since there’s no way we’re putting anything into the cabinets or drawers until we’ve cleaned them out.

There is one slight drawback. It is that we are homeowners. Which means we have to figure out how to clean the dryer vent and get the icemaker in the refrigerator repaired and find a way to replace a single pane of a double pane window. Because if there’s one thing we can say about the previous homeowners, it is that no one would ever mistake them for being meticulous.

I’d say half the lightbulbs in the house are either missing or burnt out, and that includes all of the lightbulbs in the refrigerator and the ones in the garage door opener. One bulb, in fact, in a recessed can light, is missing the glass portion and all that is left is the part you screw in and the filament.

When you attempt to get ice from the door dispenser of the refrigerator, you simply get a humming for your troubles. Anyone know if this means the motor is not working or the dispenser is plugged or if we have to get an entirely new dispenser unit? It’s a GE Profile and if you think the previous homeowners left a manual for it, you are far too optimistic. The more troubling thing about the refrigerator is that it often makes a very loud noise, close to a rumbling really, when you close the door. It’s like the engine has kicked into overdrive and is trying to climb one last hill. We hope this doesn’t mean we have to replace the compressor or the refrigerator entirely, because we paid the previous, apparently not only non-meticulous, but also not very forthcoming homeowners $800 for this refrigerator in a transaction separate from the actual home purchase. We could have bought a completely functional refrigerator for that price.

We were very excited at our purchase of a shiny, new, high-tech Bosch front-loading washer and dryer set, but we can’t use that all. When we run the cool, high-tech dryer, it starts beeping at us (loudly) and flashes a warning about the lint trap. However, as the dryer is new and no clothes have yet been dried in it, the lint trap is also sparkly clean and fresh. The manual says to clean the lint trap. Or possibly the dryer vent. We went on the roof and looked at the opening of said vent. We weren’t sure what we are supposed to do with it. We can’t even figure out out to get the cover off. But it was fun to go on the roof, anyway.

I called the appliance store. We bought our washer and dryer from the local appliance store rather than say, Sears, because we had been lured by promises of exemplary service after the sale. Maybe they hooked it up wrong? Or could at least provide some guidance as to what to do next, as we could not use the appliance for which we paid them $1000 at all.


First, the customer service person asked if I was perhaps using the wrong soap. I said that I doubted the soap was the cause of my troubles. Well, is my laundry room small? Was I trying to use the dryer with the door closed? Huh? I asked if the dryer was so fragile that it would not work in a small room with a closed door, because if that was the case, I might not want this dryer after all. But in any case, it’s in a large room and the door is open. But what is the return policy, just in case, I asked. She told me I would have to talk to my salesperson about that. There’s not a standard return policy? She avoided my question and scheduled a service call more than a week away.

We have a lot of laundry to do. This is not anywhere near as funny as it might sound.

P. sent me a text message: “Don’t use the dryer until I get home.”

Then he called me. “Did you get my message? Because I was reading on the Internet that if you use the dryer when the vent is clogged, you could get carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Well, I was already planning not to turnon the dryer to avoid the incessant beeping, but I’d rather stay clear of carbon monoxide also. So much for the dryer.

Have I mentioned that P. is slightly into things being clean? And that the previous homeowners really were not? The aforementioned unreliable refrigerator was coated in food: syrupy sticky goop, moldy crumbs. P. spent six hours just cleaning the stove. It was encased in several inches of grease and food that made the actual stove nearly impossible to find. The bathtubs were coated in grime, the walls covered with nails. All the floors are completed obscured by dog hair.

There are other problems. The master bathroom door doesn’t close. One of the bedroom doors has a gaping hole in it. The carpet is so stained and dirty we have avoided walking on it with bare feet. Most of the outlets looks as though they are waiting to electrocute us. And that double pane window missing a pane? Well, it has little pieces of jagged glass surrounding the entire casing.

But I walk into this house, and I’m happy. We can cook together in the kitchen without pushing each other out of the room. I can sit here, in my chair, with my laptop, and watch the birds in the trees. The cats are finding new places to curl up and nap.

We’ll deal with the problems one by one and at the end of it, we’ll be home.

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