Is it a sex blog? A mommy blog? A bitch & moan blog? Um, . . . yeah. This is my place to be totally honest. In my real life, I feel like I'm always lying to somebody about something. Here, I am totally honest. Brutally so. However, no matter what bad things I say about my kids, I adore them and would never ever really, say, sell them on Ebay. The husband, often referred to as Spousehole, is another story. Oh yeah - if you are under 18 (or if you are my husband), please leave now.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Anyone want to help me kill my neighbor?

Beware! Full-on rant ahead, complete with foul language:

I'm am pissed beyond belief at my idiot neighbor. I suppose he can't help being stupid, but still.

As regular readers know, I am trying to sell my house so that my kids and I can move "Down South" and reunite with my husband, who started a more personally fulfilling and higher-paying job almost 6 weeks ago. Part of selling a house is making it fabulously attractive to the ever-shrinking pool of buyers. To that end, my father and I have been working our butts off, cleaning the siding with muriatic acid (the only thing that returned the white vinyl siding to white), scraping and painting the garage, painting the porch and various other outdoor things, cleaning up and beautifying the landscaping, etc. I'm also working on stuff inside the house, but today I am concerned with "curb appeal."

One huge detractor from my property's "curb appeal" is the fact that my neighbor's concrete retaining wall is falling onto my property. It was leaning a smidge when we bought the house 10 years ago and has gradually but steadily gotten worse. The old lady that lived in the house for 50 years sold it in 2006 and told us that a condition of the sale was that she pay the new owner to have the wall fixed.

The first section of the wall is held up by the gate across my driveway.

The second section of the wall is held up by nothing and
is what is going to collapse onto my driveway (and/or children or cats) anytime.

The third section of the wall is held up by my fence
(which is attached to the garage just out of frame)

New owner, SK, moved in September 2006. We figured it was too late in the season so he'd have the wall fixed that spring. Nope. Nothing. All summer and fall 2006, spring and summer 2007 go by, the wall is only getting worse. SK doesn't seem to think fixing this wall is a priority. He is in his early to mid 40s and has never owned a house before. He talks all the time about how home maintenance is "so very difficult." As far as we can tell, he hasn't done any. His bushes are overgrown (the old neighbor had them trimmed 2x a year and they were never a problem - he's NEVER cut them and they scratch the hell out of my car leading to me trimming part of them back), he's let the flower gardens my old neighbor tended for 50 years go all to hell, and he mows 2 or 3 times a year. Spousehole worked for our city government, so naturally we just went to the city about the wall.

The city came out in August or September 2007 and cited the neighbor for the falling retaining wall, an unsafe floppy porch rail, and some other things that I don't really give shit one about because they don't affect me. All I care about is the wall.

SK came over to my house the day he got the citation. He can't understand why the city cares if he fixes the wall or not and I patiently tried to explain that it's unsafe - hello, it's a giant concrete wall that could crush my kids, or, God forbid, my cats. Not to mention it looks like shit and if it falls it won't retain his property very well, which is kind of the point of a "retaining wall."

SK pleads poverty and gets extensions of time to fix the wall. Then I talked to my former neighbor's son (who has her power of attorney, since she's in her mid to late 80s now). He tells me that what his mother told me was correct: the house was sold to SK "as is" (meaning he knew there was work to be done!) and that at closing they kicked back $8000 of the purchase price to SK specifically to pay for replacing the retaining wall. Let me repeat that: they kicked back $8000 of the purchase price to SK specifically to pay for replacing the retaining wall! He's claiming he didn't think the wall was that important and that he can't afford to fix it, but the closing papers show he walked away from closing with an $8000 specifically to fix the motherfucking wall.

Now SK's claiming he didn't get any money at closing for the wall (As Kid Rock would say, I was born at night but not last night -- I have the paperwork, asshole!), but it's not going to matter. He told my dad yesterday (I won't speak to SK) that he's been a renter all his life and this whole homeowner thing is more work and hassle than he expected, especially if the city is going to make him fix stuff, etc. So his solution is that he contacted his (subprime) lender and told them he doesn't want the house anymore and wants out of his mortgage, etc and THEY AGREED. Asshole SK quit-claimed the house to his mortgage company (deed in lieu of foreclosure, since he stopped paying the mortgage a couple months ago) and is moving this weekend. Back to the world of renting, where he doesn't have to worry about maintaining jack-shit.

Fucking asshole. Now the property is owned by some mortgage company based out West somewhere. What's the likelihood they are going to maintain the property (mowing, etc.), much less fix the wall? I'm already in contact with the city about them transferring the citation to the mortgage company and threatening to prosecute them for failure to maintain a safe property, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for something to happen. We had a house up the street that the former owners deeded in lieu of foreclosure to their mortgage holder, a large bank with local offices. That house sat for a year before the bank finally sold it. Though they did at least arrange for the lawn to be mowed. Hopefully this subprime lender from God-knows-where will at least do that.

/rant off

Update: the city was just about to file misdemeanor charges against SK for failure to maintain his property, but now that likely won't happen since he no longer owns it and he's moving on Monday to Oregon, where he plans to live with his 21-year-old daughter until he gets a job and finds his own place to rent.

Good riddance.


Craze said...

What a pain in the ass! I guess you'll have to put your letter writing skills to work and write the new mortgage company informing them of their hazardous concret wall.

Desmond Jones said...


I could tell you a couple stories of my own, but they wouldn't really fit in comment-space.

You just gotta love a guy that'll walk away from a mortgage 'cuz he doesn't want to have to keep the place up. . .

Altho, if his finances are that tight, you gotta wonder about the lending institution that gave him the loan. I've seen that one happen over and over again, and the damn lenders get what they deserve. . .

Pluff said...

The guy QUIT-CLAIMED?! Clearly we're talking about a financial whiz here!!

Here's positive mojo it is resolved soon!

Slick said...

Geeeez, he's sowed the world up with his ignorance.

I'm a piss poor handyman too but I hope I'm not that bad!

That bastard

TAG said...

I wouldn't hesitate to mention in your letter to the sub-prime lender that a big reason they now own the property is the liability they get with the wall.

You well know that large corps. don't give a crap about neighbors. But they DO care about liability. Play up that angle. I bet that will motivate them to get something done.

Best of luck.

(So you did definitely decide to move south with spousehole?)


Vixen said...

Ack! That's insane. What a shmuck! I'm surprised the dude just didn't move back in with his freakin' MOM!

*shaking head*

I really hope something gets done about the wall. That sucks. :(

The Troll said...

Wow. What a crappy neighbor. Can't think of a solution though. Sorry.

Maybe sue him personally? At the very least, if the case is accepted, he'll have to transport his lazy ass back to Michigan for hearings and such.

garbonzo said...

Fuck! Oregon!?!? Now I'm going to have to worry about him :P

for a different kind of girl said...

I feel your pain. I have three city employees living on my street. Well, now I have two. Anyway, they are (were) all the worst offenders of our city ordinances. The one who just moved away (leaving his house empty, unkept and for sale without even one looker for over a year), had a dog that barked constantly, crapped in my yard (so he'd just mow into my yard and claim it was his! When he mowed...), and never, ever removed the snow from his sidewalk. It was pointless to report him, yet if I or anyone else not employed by the city did those things, we'd be cited immediately.

I wish you luck!

Z said...

Yes! I'll help you, so long as you'll come over here and help me do mine :)

Semiresponsive said...

Oh, holy hell. Good luck to you.

Sheen V said...

Argh! At least you won't have to put up with him in the future.

Project Christopher said...

While I hate you have to deal with that, you're right, good riddance to bad rubbish! Sounds like his daughter is the adult in that family. asshole. I think the $8,000kickback should be garnished from whatever pitiful, I'm a poverty case, wages he gets!

hang in there and stop using "Down South" like it's a bad thing! :)


Sue said...

First of all... you can quit-claim a deed to a property just to get out from under it and the mortgage? I did not know this.

Second, what an asshole. Shall we pull a "Throw Momma From the Train" and I take care of him while you do in Plowboy?

Third, would it be unethical to find some sort of road kill, pick it up with a shovel, take it back and stick it's head in the crack to make it look like it strangled to death, take pictures and prove just how dangerous that wall is to get it fixed. I mean, really, that could have been a kid and not a raccoon that got it's head stuck in there and died.