Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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So we delayed our trip to Yelm for an extra day to allow for the snow storm that raged through Oregon and Washington. 14" in Yelm but raining for a day so hoped it would wash away. Trip to Yelm took 2 days but mostly dry until second day when we hit rain. Snow mostly melted off roads although still large drifts along side of freeway.

Arrived in Yelm around 6:30 pm on Tuesday to find mountains of garbage and junk in the front yard, mountains of garbage in the back yard, discarded clothes laying all over the house from the break in. The door in the rear bedroom was missing a pane of glass and had a piece of plywood nailed over it. A box spring was left in the bedroom, a sofa in the living room, and junk and trash scattered over the floors. It could have been worse though and rapidly became worse.

Needing the bathroom DS1 found the toilet full of unflushed feces. Flushing did no good and we discovered that the water was not working. DH checked the electric panel which was ok, so he went out to check the pump and see if the water was turned off.

A scream of rage brought DS1 and I running to find DH in the pump shed with his flashlight pointed at a hole in the floor. THE ENTIRE WELL PUMP ASSEMBLY, TANK, PIPING, AND ALL ELECTRIC WIRING FROM HOUSE TO PUMP HAD BEEN REMOVED!
:ep:somad:rant:barnie:rant:somad:he


More investigation in the dark showed that the2 room shed had been broken into as well and my antique wood stove looked like it was missing as well as the table and 4 chairs from the dining area that we had locked in the shed!

No water, no bathroom, off to a motel in Lacey - 20 minutes away.







 

Ridgetop

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Next morning we went to Home Depot to buy giant garbage bags, cleaning stuff, rubber gloves, disinfectant, and 15 gallons of water! Then returned to the house and took an inventory. DS1 poured water into the toilet to flush it. I called the plumber who promised an emergency call the next day. The glass guy couldn't come out until 2 days later for the door. I started cleaning the house - throwing all the trash, clothing, etc. into garbage bags. Then I cleaned and wiped out all the cabinets with Pinesol. They were actually pretty clean, so not too disgusting. Cleaned off and sanitized the countertops. Picked up all the broken glass in the bedroom and vacuumed that floor Removed a lot of broken blinds to the dump pile. Cleaned and sanitized the bathroom. Took 2 days since we had to leave when it got dark. Only the kitchen and office have overhead lights, and it gets dark early in Yelm.

While I was cleaning the house DS1 and DH were bagging all the garbage into large heavy duty yard bags using a rake and shovel. Most of the stuff was household trash. A lot was garbage bags already that had just been tossed into the yard.
IMG_6297.jpgFront IMG_6298.jpg Back IMG_6291.JPG


IMG_6283 (1).jpgIMG_6284 (1).jpg Pump shed but where is pump??? Just a hole in the ground!!! Plumbers said they had never seen someone steal the entire thing, including the casings into the ground to reach the water level!!! They had to replace 52' to the water. After pump was replaced the electrician said that ALL the wiring was missing, including the shed light, wiring into attic to panel, shutoff box, etc.!!!

$8376.35 for pump, piping, etc. $6730.97 for replacement of electrical wiring and panel

:hit:somad:rant:duc:hit:hit:hit :sick:somad:somad:somad:rant:rant:rant

When the electrician gave DH the bid I thought he would have a stroke! 😤😠🤬 Wort part - electrician cant get to job for another 3 days!!! Stuck paying for motel for another 3 days! $$$$$$$$ :hit:hit:hit:hit:hit:hit:hit:hit:hit

So after I was finished with the house I was able to work outside. While DS1 went to the dump 20 minutes away to unload, DH and I started on the 2 room bunkhouse. This had been locked with a hasp and padlock, completely removed by tenant. I had screwed the slider shut too, again tenant removed screws and opened the door. Someone had been living in there, our tools, dining room set, and other things were missing. Big mess. DH and I spent hours cleaning the first room and hauling out debris, wood etc. until DS1 returned and we loaded the truck for the dump again. So far $350 in dump fees and only 1/3 finished! :th


:hit:hit:hit:hit:hit $$$$$$$$$$
 

Ridgetop

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Had to post since couldn't load any more pix.

The one good thing was that we showed the house after we had the house clean, and most of the front yard emptied up. They wrote a full price offer BUT we had to tell them to check on zoning since they have 3 small children and ponies for them. One child has Down's syndrome. We just couldn't close on the offer if they can't keep their horses on the property. :( Worst part is they wanted to close by March 19!

We have another showing tomorrow. The good part is that the house looks good, and everyone is telling us that our price is fair and houses are at a premium in the Yelm area - none to be had - so that is good news for a quick sale. :fl Please, please, please . . . .

Next project - load the truck and another trip to the dump first thing in the am. Then finish the second room in the bunkhouse and on to the barn.
IMG_6338.jpgIMG_6339.jpgIMG_6342.jpg These pix don't show the 10 junk cabinets the tenant dumped in the barn along with all the remodeling refuse from his reno jobs. Also another mountain of garbage bags of household trash from the past year or so he lived there. The management company is blaming not dealing with this problem on Covid. I told them they should have called the city health department and reported him as a health hazard. Since being up here I have heard from several people that our Remax broker and agent (also our management company) do not have a very good reputation. Not surprising.

DH and I are so tired and sore that we go to the motel, shower, and collapse. We are very out of shape and agreed that if we kept doing this for another year we would be either completely back in shape - or dead. :gig:lol: We feel very old and have to sit down to rest our knees every few hours. :old Thank God for DS1 who is a tower of strength for us and does most of the hard work. :hugs In fact we have to go to Home Depot tomorrow am to buy a mattock and sharp shooter shovel so he can dig the trench for the electrical conduit from the house to the pump shed. The electrician said he would knock $500 off the bid if DS1 dug the ditch. DS1 offered to do it to save the money for us.

DH comes home to the motel, showers, and falls asleep immediately. Poor fellow this is not work he is used to anymore. 🥰
IMG_6330.jpgIMG_6336.jpgIMG_6337.jpg
Here is part of the barn debris - note the sofa that was apparently being used by people living there. I recognized the sofa as belonging to the tenant from earlier pix of the house interior. Giant tires were in the barn, lots of other tires were also left all over the property. DS1 thinks the tenant was stealing them for the rims. The tires were slit in such a way as to be able to remove the rims but the tires were in good condition treadwise. We can dispose of 5 tires per day at the dump.

IMG_6348.jpgIMG_6344.jpgIMG_6345.jpg Portions of a car dumped behind the old barn. There are also 2 engine blocks in the barn, along with other car parts laying around. So far we have found a dryer, stove top, several microwaves, a large TV, and other assorted large appliances. This is not normal rubbish left after a tenant vacates!!!

DH mentioned possibly renting the house out again! After I stopped screaming in anguish he admitted that maybe we should just sell. After receiving the electrician's quote (when he could speak again) I asked how he felt about getting another tenant. He gave me a LOOK! I think that meant "NO, WE ARE DEFINITELY SELLING!"

Another day tomorrow - where is my bottle of aspirin?! :th
 

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Mini Horses

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So sorry for that huge mess. Did the realtors never inspect the property while "managing"? We sent pics to our owners every six months and would never have allowed this!! Of course, with Covid many were under non- evict regs and tenants went wild. As you can see.

I'm thinking I'd approach the brokers with bills and threats.....they are obligated to do better. And, would insist that the contracts were cancelled immediately. They would be answering to State authorities I mine. Real estate mgmt for 20 yrs and this is just way beyond any I have seen.
 

Finnie

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Arrived in Yelm around 6:30 pm on Tuesday to find mountains of garbage and junk in the front yard, mountains of garbage in the back yard, discarded clothes laying all over the house from the break in. The door in the rear bedroom was missing a pane of glass and had a piece of plywood nailed over it. A box spring was left in the bedroom, a sofa in the living room, and junk and trash scattered over the floors. It could have been worse though and rapidly became worse.

Needing the bathroom DS1 found the toilet full of unflushed feces. Flushing did no good and we discovered that the water was not working. DH checked the electric panel which was ok, so he went out to check the pump and see if the water was turned off.

A scream of rage brought DS1 and I running to find DH in the pump shed with his flashlight pointed at a hole in the floor. THE ENTIRE WELL PUMP ASSEMBLY, TANK, PIPING, AND ALL ELECTRIC WIRING FROM HOUSE TO PUMP HAD BEEN REMOVED!
:ep:somad:rant:barnie:rant:somad:he


More investigation in the dark showed that the2 room shed had been broken into as well and my antique wood stove looked like it was missing as well as the table and 4 chairs from the dining area that we had locked in the shed!

No water, no bathroom, off to a motel in Lacey - 20 minutes away.
This is absolutely terrible. Would there be any way to press criminal charges on the tenant? Breech of contract on the management company? Is there insurance that can cover some of these losses?

No wonder the realtor was not getting any offers on the property. 😡
 

farmerjan

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I have nothing more to say than what @Baymule and @Mini Horses have said.... except that I would get a lawyer and do whatever I could to tear apart the broker. Also, REMAX is a national name.... I would contact the national headquarters, and see if there are any thing they can do..... because if you start spreading it that REMAX was the broker/agent it will reflect on the national chain standing and such. It would seem to me that the top brass in the company would want to help "smooth things over" so as to not reflect on the "name brand" so to speak.

I would definitely sue the broker for negligence with the management.... as @Mini Horses said, there are things that they should have been doing, Covid is NO EXCUSE. Doesn't take much effort to go our and take pictures in the wide open air and then go through the legal channels.
 

Bruce

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I'm not sure I could have even started cleaning up that mess! I hope you can get back at least some money from the management company. What a disaster.

including the casings into the ground to reach the water level!!!
:ep How did they pull 52' of casing out of the ground? That would take heavy equipment. Are there any houses around where the residents would have seen this happening?
 

Ridgetop

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OK 3rd day at the dump aka Yelm house. The house is clean, the front yard is clean, the rear yard is clean except for the pile for the metal yard which will be the last trip we take. The little 2 room bunkhouse is completely emptied and clean, and the large barn is in progress. (It is a BIG barn with 3 bays that each fit 2 cars tandem.) The farthest bay has been cleaned except the sofa in the back. The center bay has been cleaned 1/3 of the way back. Another 2 runs to the dump today removed all the bags of trash we raked and shoveled up today, including one full truck load of junk wood and another 5 tires (total of 15 taken to dump so far). Tomorrow we will finish the center bay, remove the sofa, start in raking and shoveling up the last bay. We have another load of 6 doors, lumber, plywood, and large base cabinets to take to the dump along with whatever trash bags we fill with raked up junk and trash tomorrow. We fit the bags into the cabinets and stack more bags on the top of the load and tie them down. We also have several large pieces of wet carpet left laying around on the ground to remove.

GUESS WHAT?! We found some funny looking things in the barn. At the same time they reminded me of something but I could not figure out what. DH said someone told him what they were but he couldn't remember. While raking and shoveling up debris I kept looking at them and finally light dawned! They are the old cattle stanchions from the original barn!!! They have to be about 100 years old. They are somewhat rusty, but I have decided to keep them. If nothing else, they will be a conversation piece to hang on a wall. LOL They are rusty but seem to be complete - other than the missing barn partitions. :gig No wonder they looked familiar - they looked like giant goat stanchion headpieces on steroids!

Our dedicated pile of scrap metal grows larger everyday as we locate more and more metal mixed in with the trash scattered around the property. That won't cost us to dump at the metal scrapyard though, and they will take all of it. There are 2 car engines (causing DH worry about lifting them), a riding lawnmower, a regular gas lawn mower, a motorized wheelchair assembly, parts of a car chassis behind the large barn, a washer or dryer, and a huge amount of car parts like mufflers, etc. That load will fill the stock trailer. We figure we will have to use the stock trailer to haul it off since the engine blocks are heavy and we can't get them inti the pickup. DH and DS1 think they will be able to push them up a ramp into the trailer or pull them up using a come along. Oh yes, then we have to dump the ramps along with the second couch left in the living room. LOL

So far we received an offer on the house, but are countering. First we want the buyer to double check whether they can keep their children's ponies on the property. We don't want to take advantage of a young family with 3 little kids if they can't. This offer is for more than list price, but this is because they want us to pay their closing costs. By bidding more on the house and having us pay their costs they can finance their closing costs and keep their extra cash. The closing costs are actually several hundred dollars more than the additional amount they are offering and our agent and broker (whom we hate) will get a larger commission since the purchase price will be larger. :tongue Between the additional commission and the additional $$ on the buyers' costs their offer will net us $2,000 less on the sale. :( We are trying to decide if taking $2000 less is worth closing the sale by March 19 which is when they want to close. We don't think they will be able to keep horses on the property though so I don't think their offer will actually close. Is $2000 worth the hassle of keeping the house in the market longer? I think I will have my agent specify that we will have the option to take additional or back up offers during this process.

Today another buyer came to look at the property. Two people came but she is the buyer, not sure if mom and son, sister/brother, both are serving. She is stationed at Ft. Lewis while he expects to be deployed back to Korea in another 6 months. She wants to buy VA which might be a problem without a garage since VA financing requires covered parking. The barn qualifies as covered parking though. And since the loft only covers 2 bays the 3rd bay is tall enough for RV parking as well. She is the buyer and loved the privacy of the property. She said she loves quirky little old houses so hopefully she will make an offer. She only has 2 cats which means no livestock consideration if she submits an offer. :) DH told her he was willing to sell VA which means paying points, but we support our military so that's ok. Won't know till tomorrow or later if she will make an offer.

I am afraid DH and I may have to come back up here and stay at the house until it sells. In spite of the security system, I am getting paranoid about leaving the house empty. Of course, with the Covid lock down there is no necessity for us to remain in CA right now. Other than DD2 having her baby in mid March, Oh yes, and DDIL2 having her baby in mid April. Neither of them are not prepared. I am not worried about DDIL2 since she has a mom and 5 sisters. DD1 is getting worried abut DD2 not being prepared for the baby and saying she hasn't any money to buy stuff. On the other hand, she has chosen NEW baby furniture even though I have a crib and mattress for her. I am NOT going to buy all her baby stuff - I have baby clothes for her that are used but if they were good enough for my kids they are good enough for my grandkids. Besides they are only new until you wash them the first time! LOL Also crib pads, sheets, blankets, etc. She has decided she wants diaper service, not disposables. That would be fine if she planned to use cloth diapers and wash them like I did, but she wants the service. In between complaining that she does not have anything ready for the baby, she complains to DD1 that she doesn't have any money. Doofus' truck is working now so he is back to work and everything is rosy again between them. DD2 complains to DD1 who complains to me. Maybe coming back to Yelm, away from my daughters, would be better than I think. :hide

Coming back up here would entail bringing some furniture, mattresses, etc. to live here. I suppose I could check out rental furniture. That would take more $$$ though. The sale to the couple with 3 children would be perfect since escrow would close March 19. Then we would have 45 days to find, identify, and enter escrow on a ranch in TX. With cash in hand we could ask for a fast close on that escrow. On the other hand if we did have to come back up here I would paint the bedroom which needs repainting. If necessary we could also add Ikea closets in the bedrooms. Not that I want to spend the money, but if we relist we will raise the price so I might do the work.

Well, another day of exhausting labor awaits tomorrow. Slow but sure, a few loads at a time, everything will get cleaned up. All it takes is a few years off our lives and a lot of money. Hopefully our insurance will pay for all the stolen and damaged stuff except the $1000 deductible. Oh yeah, and insurance won't cover the $1000+ in dump fees. Or our labor. Or our pain. 😓😩 LOL

Found my aspirin bottle. Taking 3.
 

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