Friday, June 6, 2014

A Minor Glitch

      I'm going to veer off the timeline of the Blue House Project for a moment here. Today it dawned on me that I hadn't received a copy of my new home owner's insurance policy, which should've come last week.  When we bought the house in January I secured a renovation policy on the house and property. The insurance agent I was using at the time informed me that once we moved in, we should be able to upgrade it to a normal home owner's policy.  I had called her several times after we finally moved in, but she never called me back, so I decided to go with a different company.  Setting up the new policy involved answering about a half hour worth of questions from a humorless wench, but I gritted my teeth and got through the process thinking how clever I was and it was one more thing I could check off my list.  Ha!  Steeling myself for another annoying series of questions, I rang up the new policy's hotline, punched in all the ridiculous touch tone responses,  and an automated voice said to me, "Your policy will be cancelled on Sept. 7, 2014.  This must be a mistake, I thought. What on earth? So, I dutifully pressed 0 to talk to a human and get to the bottom of what that statement meant. A woman named Laura answered, and I explained to her that I hadn't received my policy, nor had I received any bills and what did that automated voice mean when it said my policy was to be cancelled?  She was quiet for a moment while she looked up the number and then she said, "Oh, it has to do with the inspection."  I replied that I knew someone was coming out to do an outside inspection during the time we were away a week long horse show, but I hadn't heard anything about the status.

"Hmmm, that's strange," she said. "But I can see why you aren't eligible for this policy. You'll have until Sept. 7th to either make improvements, or get a new policy.  Here, let me email you the report, complete with pictures."

I stalked into my office, and pulled up my email account.  Her email promptly popped up so I could open the pdf file.  I was pretty angry since I didn't have any idea what was going on and I felt they really had been remiss in not contacting me by mail, or phone. Pfft! How was I supposed to know what was going on??!!  Was I supposed to be clairvoyant?? I imparted these thoughts to her and, I admit my tone was less than friendly.  She apologized and proceeded to list off the reasons as to why our place wasn't considered acceptable to insure.  Dry rot on moldings, unpainted eaves, open crawl space, the red barn has no foundation, etc., etc., the list went ON AND ON.  By this point I had pulled up the report, complete with detailed photographs of our one hundred year old abode's insurance hazards.  The pictures clearly showed all of the problems she'd listed to me in painful detail.  I couldn't help it. I started to laugh.

"Wait," I said between giggles. "It's not that bad of a house! You should've seen it before we bought it! The pictures aren't showing all the work we've actually accomplished!  It's a virtual showplace now!"

  I think she was relieved to hear that I had changed my tune, so she chimed in, "It's actually really cute! I can see why you bought it, but it does need to have these improvements made before we can cover you past Sept. 7th."

"Are you kidding?" I guffawed. "These pictures make the house look like something out of Deliverance!!! What kind of an idiot would even buy this place??"  By now, I was almost losing control with maniacal laughter.  "The eaves aren't painted, because it's a NEW roof! Doesn't that count as a good thing??  And the red barn is charming, charming I tell you! It's a piece of southern history!"

  Poor Laura. She endured my hysteria with good humor.  I felt those pictures were incredibly unfair, but the fact of the matter is that there are some cosmetic issues that we have to take care of wether we like it, or not.  Buying an older home that has been neglected isn't for the faint of heart.  I wouldn't exactly call our house "ramshackle", but between its age and the southern heat it has suffered its share of exterior wear and tear.

"Okay, Laura. I understand. We'll start addressing the exterior problems," I said when I finally had my composure back.

I hung up and Jonathan called to me, "What the hell was that about?"

"Honey, brace yourself and come in here. I have some pictures to show you."

  Just another little hitch in the Blue House Project, but at least I'm laughing about it. I kind of feel like Tom Hanks from The Money Pit. Remember that movie?  He buys a gorgeous, falling down mansion and he fixes one thing and ten more things break.  Oh well,  off to see our friends at Lowes for the millionth time this year.