This has been a week for the books – aka the week from HELL. Lord, have mercy.
We’ve only had the chance to share this craziness with a few people, so if you’re a close friend or family member, and you’re finding out via the blog – I’m sorry. Things have been insane. I thought it’d be nice to write about it here so that I can stop telling the longest story in the history of the universe over and over again. I also thought it’d be a nice stress reliever. I’m going to try and keep it simple, and straight to the point, but even still…I think this post will be lengthy.
We found this lovely home a month ago. We’ve been in an apartment for a year now, and really wanted a nice backyard where Harper could run free whenever he wanted. He loves being outside! We were very excited to find this house. It was gorgeous, old (I dig old houses), spacious, in a nice neighborhood…and in our price range! We signed a lease for it in late August and set our moving date for September 20th.
Fast forward to Friday.
I met our landlord at the property at 10:30am to pick up the keys. She let us in and I immediately notice a “smell”. The house has been vacant for quite some time, so I assumed it was musty for this reason, and pushed it out of my mind. We went into the kitchen where she had me sign a move-in form stating that everything was in good condition. At first glance, everything was in good condition. Looking back, I probably should have walked all over the house and looked in ever nook and cranny before signing and letting her leave, but Harper and Emrist were both roaming the house, and she was staring me down, so I signed the form just to be done with it. Tisk tisk.
We were really pushed for time with this move. I’m currently working two jobs, with one of them requiring internet. With that being the case, I needed the timing to be perfect so that I didn’t miss any of my work. We had our internet provider and the gas company come out and set up service right away on Friday. They both came around 12:30pm. The gas didn’t take long at all. The internet took just about all afternoon. Once I got the kids down for their naps, I started wiping down the kitchen. (I do this no matter where we move because you just never know…)
I started opening cabinets while cleaning in the kitchen, and the more I opened, the more I found. Here are just a few pictures:
Umm, yes. That is garbage, crusty gunk, and a half smoked black and mild.
Cue the music.
You feel me? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
I was very upset about the mess, but decided to just saturate the house in bleach and be done with it. But the more I looked, the more I found:
Top shelf in our bathroom closet.
Gross. This was in one of the drawers in the bathroom.
This mess was under where the washer and dryer had been.
They had been in the house when we originally viewed it,
and we told them we would be bringing our own.
So they removed the washer and dryer, but left the mess.
What the hell-o. Did they even have this place cleaned?! They later told us that their cleaners did come by the house, and missed all of this. I’m gonna go ahead and call BS on that. Along with the lovely mess, we also found a picture of the previous tenant in a towel (hawt) along with bail bond cards. Super skanky, y’all.
We called the landlord later that afternoon to see if they would send a cleaner by. At this point, we were still okay with staying as long as the mess got cleaned up. We expressed our displeasure, and asked for help and were basically told there was nothing they could do because Erica was out of town for the weekend. Umm…okay? The lady (Jennifer) we spoke with told us to document everything and they would make a note of it in our file. Gee, that’s helpful! Thank you.
Even though we didn’t have time for it (my parents were coming the next day to help us move, and we needed to focus on packing our things up), we decided to take the kids to the house Friday night and clean like crazy. However, just as we got into the process, lights in 3/4 of the house went out. Awesome. We spent the next eternity looking for the breaker, all while the kids were fussing at us, and wandering around in the dark. We finally decided to just go home and put them to bed. Once we had everyone in the car, we found the breaker outside. We flipped the switch, and everything came back on. We were exhausted and frustrated and decided to continue with our plans to go home.
My parents drove from Birmingham to bring us our washer and dryer and to help us move. Of course, it poured rain the entire day. In my family, we have a title for things like this: Waldrop luck. Now I’m wondering if maybe God was just trying to get us to stay at our apartment. I sure wish we would have. Instead, we braved the rain, and moved in spite of it. Blaine and Benji did an amazing job of carefully wrapping each piece of furniture so that it didn’t get wet. Mom and I stayed with the kids at the house and cleaned. At the end of the day, we had all of our (dry) furniture in our new half-cleaned house. I decided not to unbox anything until everything had been cleaned, so we didn’t unpack at all.
To keep this as short as possible, here’s what happened next.
That night, as we were leaving Harper’s room, sparks shot out of the light switch when I flipped it. We soon realized that this happened anytime we flipped it. The next morning, after the “clean” smell disappeared, I noticed the original musty smell again. It was concentrated in the front bathroom. I shut the door, and it continued to get worse. Like way worse. It got to the point where it was knock you down strong if the door was left shut for any period of time. If it wasn’t shut, the smell went all throughout the house. I finally concluded that there was definitely some mold somewhere in the bathroom. Benji and I talked and decided that it would be best for us to try to make a clean break from this place.
I spent all weekend documenting the mess, and when I finally received a response from Erica, she was appalled. She apologized and said that when Jennifer had called her about this on Friday, she thought we were complaining because “the house wasn’t clean to some people’s standards.” So basically…she got the news on Friday, and could have helped, but decided not to because she thought we were complaining over nothing. WONDERFUL. I wrote her back and told her about all of the other problems and told her we wanted out of the lease and that we also wanted both the pet deposit and security deposit back. Only then did she finally offer to do something. Ugh.
She offered to call an electrician immediately, and to have their cleaners come by the house – because clearly they did such a lovely job the first time. She said she didn’t want to lose us as tenants and asked if we would stay if she did all of this. I told her no, and again told her we wanted our deposits back.
What followed was a series of emails, phone calls, waiting, sketchiness, broken promises and more waiting. Thanks to the determination and perseverance of my husband, we finally succeeded in getting out of the lease without losing our deposits. Our move out day is set for this Saturday. So we moved in last Saturday and will be moving out this Saturday. One freakin’ week, y’all. The shortest we’ve ever lived anywhere.
At this point, I’m not 100% sure what our next step is. Honestly, I feel rather lost. I’m just trying to breathe and take one step at a time. I know God will get us wherever it is he wants us to go. We are going to call our landlord from the apartments today to see if we can stay in our old two bedroom until something else opens up. We are praying that it hasn’t already been promised to someone else. If it has….well I guess we’ll have to cross that bridge when and if it gets here. Sigh.
I have been so stressed the past few days. I haven’t had a day to just relax in a few weeks now, so my brain and heart feel fried. I was really upset about my parent’s efforts in moving us going to waste. I told Benji that I wasn’t going to ask for their help again because they had already gone through enough trouble for us. We decided to rent a u-haul and move everything by ourselves. I texted my mom yesterday evening to let her know that we were getting out of the lease and to apologize. About five minutes later, my stepdad’s number popped up on my screen. I immediately started crying because I knew what he was calling to say. He’s pretty awesome. He told me to rent a huge u-haul, he would pay for it, and they would be here Saturday to help us move…again. Now…I’m not a big cryer, but I sobbed during that entire phone call because I felt so loved 🙂
I don’t know what the point of all this is, but at least I know that we are loved. Benji and I now have yet another crazy apartment story to tell our kiddos when they get older. As I was crying last night, Benji reminded me that this will be a story we will definitely laugh about on down the road.
“Hey…you remember that time we lived in a house for like two days?”
I look forward to the day when this is all a distant memory and we can laugh about it together. I know we will.