We arrived, to take possession of the Lofty View property on 7-28-15. Bumping along on the dirt road up to our driveway, I felt a deep gratitude this part of the trip was only the last 4/10 of a mile!
The place was quiet and smelled of oak trees and pine. We smiled at each other and headed across the front entry deck to our double front door.
A note was attached to it. Maybe the previous owners had left a message of welcome, we thought. That could not have been further from the truth. The message was curt and precise. It was a FAILED inspection notice from the county building inspector! Unbeknownst to us, the permit for some replaced siding had never been signed off on…
The next day, while having our coffee, loud popping sounds came from the front deck. When we investigated, we found that the TV dish, attached on the railing, was pulling the deck apart.
That afternoon, our neighbor, Kim from up the hill came by to introduce herself. With her was Steve- the guy who does odd jobs for her. What perfect timing! We showed him the deck and got his business card.
A couple days later, Kim showed up with a Home Depot bucket. Inside was a rattlesnake she had just caught. But, hey, no worries, she said—it’s just a baby! And see all that low growing rosemary next to the pool—rattlers love hiding in that! Oh, and did you know a mountain lion got one of the previous owners goats?
On her way out she pointed to the ridge across from us and said, ‘ya see that brown place over there? There was a fire last week. Got pretty scary around here!’ About now, I’m thinking, what the f**k are we doing here!
Over the next two weeks, we battled with the owner’s Realtor, the installers and the county, but finally got the siding job done right and the building inspector to sign off on it. We hired three guys to take out all the low bushes where snakes could hide, while also cutting back the oaks from over the roof and weed eating the dead grass around the house.
Steve came by and reinforced the deck, and agreed to do some big jobs around here. We are so blessed to have him. He is a Jack-Of-All-Trades and a master of them ALL. Along with his buddy, Jimmy, they are an unstoppable team!
Gradually, we have become more comfortable about going outside. *grin* The only wild life we have seen are deer, peacocks (though Steve takes delight in showing us the bears and bobcats and cougars his trail cam captures) and turkeys. I have been told turkeys keep the rattlesnakes away! Won’t be eating any of these guys for thanksgiving! Oh, we’ve also seen a few of Kim’s 40 cats.
Here are a few other things NOT revealed on the legally required, disclosure documents. (Okay, I just need to get it out of my system, so thanks for bearing with the rant!)
The pole that carried the main electrical line into the property was rotted off at ground level. Since it was attached to the pump house, it had started to pull the small building over, requiring a new pole and a complete redo of the pump house. Isn’t it cute?
The other day, we asked Steve to fix an outlet in the kitchen and when he removed the plate, there was no wire or even a box behind the ‘outlet’. What he did find was a wall full of vacuum dust, lint and cat litter from the whole house vacuum! Apparently, the tubing in the wall was broken.We hadn’t used it and proceeded to remove the big thing hanging down stairs.
The previous owner and their Realtor seemed to think there was no need to be truthful when completing the disclosure docs–and though we could pursue this legally, it would be far more trouble than it would be worth. This has created enough stress and anxiety. We are not willing to give it anymore time!
Instead, we will be celebrating the fall equinox and we plan to ‘smudge away’ all the negative stuff left behind and move forward with creating peace, joy and love here at Lofty View Homestead!
And so it is!