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Archive for August, 2011

I have a lien on my house

August 10th, 2011 at 06:36 am

I have to confess that the construction on the house also left me with a lien on my house. Thinking about the whole thing gets me angry and stressed. So I have been in denial. But yesterday I received another letter from the company and know it is time to deal with it.

Essentially, when we bought the house, the back wall was sinking and had dragged the floors down with it so the back of the house was slanted. The load bearing walls in the interior had been moved to non-load bearing areas and had warped the floors from the weight of the house sitting on them. This was all covered up with plywood floating on top of the floors so it appeared that everything was level. I am still really mad at whomever decided to fix the problem by floating plywood and then carpeting and not revealing the problem when they sold the place. But it is what it is.

Anyways, my general contractor hired a construction company to straighten out the floors. We went with the mid priced company who is a big name in town. The construction company sent some guys out and after a week we saw less and less of the guys. The job was dragging out. And the job site was vacant most of the time.

After a few weeks the guys said they were done. This was already longer than expected to take to complete the job. My general contractor (GC) went out to the site and pointed out areas that still needed work.
A few weeks later they said they were done again. My GC pointed out more areas that needed work.

Then they said they were done again and my GC went through and took pictures of everything that needed work and sent them to the owner of the company with a furious email blasting the company and threatening to tell everyone in town about the quality of work from this company. My GC got a VM apologizing and the owner went through the next day with the GC and they identified what needed to be fixed.

The workers came out the next day, did some work and said they were done.

My GC came out and they had done nothing to fix the problems under the house.

At that point he told me to forget this company, donít pay them the remaining $3k and weíll get someone else to fix it. He called the owner and said that we were not going to pay because the work was not complete and now we donít even want them to complete it. The owner told the GC to pay what was fair for the work done. The GC said he would think about it. Then the GC had a day laborer who was on the job already fix under the house, and our carpenter kind of jigged the flooring so it was even-er. The plan was to send the difference in money to the construction company, but my GC got so angry every time he thought about it that he said to not pay anything. So we didnít. But the dining room is still tilted, you can tell because my china cabinet leans. And my back guest bedroom is still slanted; you get a miniature case of vertigo when you walk across the floor. Both problems are so minute that people question me when they see it; ďis it me, or is that cabinet case tilted towards the fireplace?Ē, ďGamecock, is something wrong with this floor, I kind of feel like Iím walking downward.Ē
I just nod my head and say ďI know, itís tilted.Ē And laugh it off because we are in a hundred year old house.

Anyways, I stopped communicating with the construction company. My better judgment was to call and explain why I was not paying the last draw, but my husband and GC both told me the owner of the company would construction talk me in circles and end up making me feel like I should pay or end up saying something heíll use against me in court. So I never called.

I received a letter saying they were going to put a lien on my house. Oddly enough, it was for $4k, not the $3k I owed.
My GC explained I had two options:

I could go to the court and put down the $4k as proof that I have the money and have the money held in escrow type account while this is settled in court.

I could ignore the lien because it does not effect me until I sell my house which we have no intention to do. The lien needs to be renewed every 4 yrs by the construction company just to stay valid and chances are after 4-8 yrs theyíll stop renewing the lien.

We ignored it until construction was over. We were still ignoring it up til yesterday when I got another bill from the company asking me to pay $2200 of the $3k that I owed.

I am tempted to just pay it. But my GC says not to- we can go to court and win this because our floors are not level within ĺ of an inch which the contract states they would be. And our carpenter who jigged the floors and then worked on the rest of the house said heíll go to court for me and we would win hands down.

But I donít want to go to court. I donít want to hire a lawyer. I donít want to risk losing. I wish BB would handle it for me but he is more inclined to believe the GC and wait it out and not do anything.
I think I am going to call the owner and offer $1500. And ask them to send me a notice that the contract has been paid in full. But I am afraid the owner will argue me in circles or offer to come fix it now or corner me into something I am not prepared to do.

Ugh. I think I will think on it longer and deal with it next week.

Making a comeback

August 7th, 2011 at 07:01 pm

I am back checking in after a long hiatus. BB and I were just reviewing our finances for the first time since we moved into the new house in April. I wanted to wait until the bills stabilized and the new house bills died down.

It's looking good. Really good. I'm surprised. The $15000 cc bill we racked up through the construction is down to 8800. I am projecting we can get rid of it by January. I'm really thrilled about that.

In other news on my mind...

The house we moved from that we are now renting out was broken into about 2 weeks ago. Someone busted in the back door while no one was home but luckily the house alarm scared the burglar away and they didn't take anything. The alarm company called me, I went over to the house and called the police and the tenant. The tenant was shaken up and asked to get a dog. I agreed. He got a Pitt bull from the humane society. He has his hands full, she is very high energy but is sweet so far. I am hoping he stays out the year with no more problems.

The tenant in my inherited rental in CA lost her job about 8 months ago. I gave her a significant break in rent for 6 months to keep her from moving out. She just asked for a 2 month extension. I am hoping that rent is restored to normal in October.

I got a 3 percent raise at work! I am happy about the raise but way prouder that I had a sit down and said I need a significant pay raise/ promotion because I have been doing the same thing for 2 years and feel that I am ready to take on more. He agreed and said he'll think about it and to give him a few months. I am going to hang tight and hope for the best. I believe my boss and think that this time next year I will be in a better earning bracket. We'll see how it goes down. I've never negotiated before and feel really proud that I stood up for myself and said what's on my mind.

Well that's a brief recap of what's going on. Hopefully I will be blogging more.