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Friday, October 31, 2014

Catastrophic Development

I came back from the reunion and was ill. After going to the doctor and getting medicine, I just needed rest and peace and sleep.

Wednesday is the dinner at the church, so I was getting ready to go. Only a drip came from the faucet. I called a plumber. Only a cup of water was in both faucets. So, I used that to brush my teeth and wash my face.

Jumping in the car, I turned the key and NOTHING. The plumber found me sitting in the car, thinking. When I turned the key, I could hear a click, so I knew the switch/starter part at the key was okay. I never grind and grind, trying to start the car. But, I turned the key and held it just for a bit. The motor was trying to turn over. Good deal. He heard it too, and agreed that was good news. He turned off the water at the road.

Auto Zone's telephone number is programmed into my phone. They brought me out a new battery. There went most of my money for Christmas presents. I think I got like $29 credit and paid $95 for the balance. There was an 8-yer warranty, but the new one has a five-year warranty.

Three plumbers returned this morning from the same company to determine what happened, where the system failed.. It seems I need a new water line from street to house. "How much will this cost me?" $3500
 
 
Seriously, I almost fainted, reeling around about to sag to the ground. One of the guys reached or me and they all wanted to know if I were okay. No, not really. I was so stunned I could not even cry.
 
The galvanized pipes coming to the house have been here about a hundred years.
 
I don't know what to do. I feel numb.
 
All my laundry is waiting and I have nothing else to wear. Remember, I was ill for a week before I went to the reunion, so things were not kept clean. There is not enough money here to even go to laundramat!
 
Your turn
I am drained and coughing my lungs out.

43 comments:

  1. Really, my heart skipped a beat when I read $3500! Since you and I are the same age, over 65, are there any resources, gov't or not, that can help seniors with major repair work? Most areas have a phone number, here it's 211, that is a line to someone that can direct your call to the best resource. Hoping and praying you will find a solution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bellen,
      211 here, too. Today, I was busy with house stuff, but not the water. That is on my menu now. I am still so sick.

      Delete
  2. Linda, I am so sorry... That is a lot of money to come up with. Hope you work out a solution soon. Hugs...

    I do not know how big is your house but I guess maintaining a house is an expensive thing. Do you think it might be a good idea to sell and downsize some time in the near future?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. T'Pol,
      Thanks. We will see. I live in three rooms and a house is good to have.

      Delete
  3. Oh dear, I am so sorry. Call your local area on aging, they can direct and help you. Maybe the house is too much now, maybe downsizing is something to think about .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aging assets don't cover this. I am working on it.

      Delete
  4. If I were superstitious, I would say that being without water earlier at the hotel was a forerunner to this. I'm so sorry to hear of your plight.

    Downsizing to a smaller home as the previous commenter suggested sounds like one good, albeit painful, solution. House maintenance, especially an unexpected and unwelcome surprise like this one, is very costly, but paying a smaller mortgage would free up money for an emergency fund, would it not?

    Or, renting and having a landlord who is responsible for upkeep can be a blessing. Unfortunately, the hitch in that plan is that rent increases regularly.

    Of course this is all irrelevant because you need the water fixed immediately, right? Maybe a huge yard sale for starters? So sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue,
      I know. I could not believe "no water" followed me home! I have no mortgage and cannot afford another. Never ever rented.

      Delete
  5. Reading the above comments, didn't you tell me once the house is paid off & you will NOT move? So I'm guessing that isn't an option. If it was an option, would medicare/aid/SSI (not sure what you have) cover a senior living arrangement?

    But in the immediate future, I'm not sure what advice to offer. I can't imagine getting a bill that high. I'll say a few positive affirmations for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tlc,
      Paid for. I am hanging in here. Public housing but won't go there. It is like jail. I need those good vibes!

      Delete
  6. If your house is paid off, you probably can get a Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC) from a bank or credit union. I completely understand if you don't want to do that, but I anticipate that if there are any agencies that give out money for those sorts of repairs, they will likely tell you that you have to do that first. In any case, even if you decide to sell the house and downsize, you definitely want to get it repaired first, because people will reduce the price they pay by much more than the cost of the repair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John,
      You are so right. It must be repaired even to sell it. Cannot get HELOC at this point. You understand.

      Delete
  7. Owning a house is a very expensive pastime, sometimes the money going out is never-ending. I feel for you, that is a huge amount. I do hope somehow you can work something out.

    Barb.

    ReplyDelete
  8. you may be able to save money if you dig the trench yourself and have someone do it, we did that for our water line in Florida sometimes you can get the company doing the work to give you a loan, careful of home equity lines interest rates.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda Starr,
      I am thinking along these lines, but don't want it done wrong. I will not qualify or a lone. Thanks for good ideas.

      Delete
  9. Well, I have no idea how far they would have to run that new water line but that sounds outrageous to me. I will say this; do NOT take the first estimate you get. Get at lest 3 estimates from various plumbers. You would be amazed at the variation in price. The big plumbing companies are going to charge you an arm and a leg. Maybe exBF knows a small time self employed plumber.?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. edifice rex,
      It needs to run at least 150 feet. Yes, this is a big company. Exbf lives 65 miles away, and honestly, he knows no one or he would have suggested it.

      Delete
  10. Surely there is some program to assist with this repair. It might take a little legwork, but I'd start by calling the water department and telling them your plight. The other thing I'd consider is posting to a community board with some sort of barter arrangement.

    I'm sorry you're having problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo,
      I will check Monday. I have nothing with which to barter. Thanks.

      Delete
  11. Oh Linda, what a nightmare. And on top of feeling sick to boot. That surely made you really sick. The only hopeful idea I can offer is a Kickstarter or Gofundme. You certainly have many friends who would contribute (including me). I don't know the way to start this or the tax ramifications but certainly someone who reads this does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. carol,
      Thanks. I thought of those programs. Maybe.

      Delete
  12. I'm so sorry. I had to replace the water line in my front yard a couple of years ago, but it wasn't very much piping. I had problems with it afterwards, and the city came out and fixed it for free. They said the problem was on their side. Some cities have funds to help people with plumbing and electrical problems. I wish you the best.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janie,
      This is a long yard, so lots of pipe. I beat the city into believing the problem was on their side once. I was bluffing, but they dug up their side and it was barely on their side. I was right. Thanks.

      Delete
  13. Were you told WHY the lines needed replacing. Stopped up or what? If the pipe is leaking underground, you will soon see wet ground I would think. I have dealt with some ripoff pro plumbers (even the area utility co.) , thousands wanted to fix the 'problem'. Finally located it myself - a leaking commode that I couldn't hear running.

    There is no agency here to give help of any sort. Grow old and you are up the creek without a paddle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sissy,
      The galvanized pipes under the house, in the ground under the bathroom are crumbling. There is no way to repair it since it crumbles when they touch it when they examine it. I did not go down to check it out because there was 3-6 inches of water in the basement, plus the area under the tub was a mud hole that had to be dug into to even find the hole.

      We are in the same area, so I really expect to find nothing. However, I will call until I have exhausted all avenues.

      Delete
  14. Lost part of my comment.
    SS checks due soon; that is if you are eligible yet. That could solve the dirty clothes issue maybe. Try in the future to have a few gallons jugs sitting in a corner "for emergencies".

    That is odd you had the water-lack at the hotel (barely enough to wash your face) and now the same lack at home, as that other commenter spoke about. Linda, sometimes I swear we are living in a Twilight Zone these days - I rely a lot on duct tape but have none of it left now! I wish you the best and cheapest solution.

    Google GoFundMe; that's a start.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sissy,
      SS check will not cover my bills, much less laundry.

      I know. I was shocked to not have water after a dirty-me weekend. I will see.

      Delete
    2. Sissy,
      I cannot carry a load of clothes to the car. It would take three trips or a load. Even using the red wagon, I would still struggle since the wagon is getting hard for me. Once I got to the laundramat, I would not be able to get the clothes inside. Taking them out all wet would be impossible.

      Delete
  15. Why would you have to stay in that area.. there is some nice Senior government housing. Its not all the projects.. I've seen it with my own eyes in several states in my insurance job. You dont seem to love the town you are in anyway (understandably) due to x husband. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I'm Heather.. Not "go figure" :-) Best Wishes

      Delete
    2. Heather,
      I do not want to lose control of what I can do. In govt housing, for instance, if the electricity goes out, you must vacate. They don't care where, just go. I like my grass and what I can plant. My friend lives in one of these apts, and she cannot have furniture in front of windows because they say so, as it is a safety issue. Thanks for understanding. I need some luck and money just about now. Thanks, Heather.

      Delete
  16. Not sure why you wouldn't qualify for a home equity line of credit. They use your equity as collateral. My mother, unknown to us, had applied for one and had dipped into it quite a bit. Quite a shock when I figured that out. But if you have necessity repairs it might help. You have to be careful about the interest rates, but hers was quite low and it didn't have to be paid back until we sold the house and the bank took their portion.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Linda,
    I am so very sorry. Is it possible to have a roommate? A younger roomate could perhaps help with some of the things you cannot do. Their rent money could make the payment for the loan for the needed water repairs. Then maybe you could tackle some of the other needed repairs?
    I know it is hard to have someone in your space. I had to have one for a while after my abusive marriage, but I really had no other way to make my mortgage payment.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have two rooms and a bath. There is barely room for me and no one would pay to sleep on the floor. It is frigid in here!

      Delete
    2. Besides, how can I charge someone for a place with no water?

      Delete
    3. Yes, you would have to take a loan to do repairs, then get a roomate to pay the loan as no one would rent a place with no water.
      I didn't realize that you had such a little space.
      I just cannot imagine how you can do the repairs without some income and I know you are too ill to work at a job or to do any of the repair work yourself.
      I think you will have to find some outside help, since I don't believe your family can help. Either a government program or a go fund me is probably your best option.
      You are in my thoughts and prayers.

      Delete
  18. I'm so sorry you have to go thru this. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you can find someone to do it, and it not cost you an arm and a leg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle,
      I am looking and have found a more reasonable offer. I still have no money even for that.

      Delete
  19. Did you call area on aging? Here they do help with emergency work on homes for elderly. You may have to go into the office. My mother in law after many years moved to a beautiful apartment, I think you need to look around. It sounds like people are scaring you. If you can't even lift a load of laundry I cannot see how you can take care of your health while living in such harsh conditions. Being evacuated for a power outage is a small price to pay for not having standing water , which will create mold that will make u sick in your house.
    It may be scary because it's new,but it is worrisome how hard things are for you, and it won't get easier.
    Just my 2cents

    ReplyDelete

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