Thursday, July 18, 2013

A New Home Update

When we were making plans to move from our Ohio rental home back to Florida it was difficult to search for housing from such a long distance.  My husband made a trip down here for job interviews and found what we thought had worked out to be a decent temporary rental house.  At the last minute it fell through.  We scrambled to find something else and secured this house that we're in sight unseen.  The real estate agent had told me it came with a washer and dryer (so we sold ours to make more room in the moving truck) and that it would be cleaned before we arrived. wasn't.  Far from it.  It was disgustingly dirty and I burst into tears after walking through it. There was no washer and dryer as promised and the agent claimed she didn't remember telling me they would be here, and she insisted that it had been cleaned and basically had the attitude of "It's not my problem it doesn't meet your standards."  It was obvious to me and my whole family that it had not been cleaned.  I refused to sign the lease and we were basically homeless and living in a hotel for 2 days.  She agreed to have the cleaning team come back and clean again, but she outright refused to have the carpets cleaned or to supply a washer and dryer.  We went round and round with her, in the nicest way possible while still being firm about it.

We came back to the house after it's supposed cleaning, and it was minimally improved but still not at all what could be considered "clean."  (I am baffled that she actually pays people to do nothing.)  Because of the conditions I told her we would only sign a 6 month lease with a month to month option after that.  She quickly agreed.  My sweet and wonderful family all pitched in and we scrubbed and scraped, and bleached and mopped, and cleaned this place from top to bottom like it should have been done the first time.  We rented a Rug Doctor and my dad cleaned the carpets.  It was liveable.

The stove was really gross and I couldn't imagine having to cook on it.  My mom did a great job scrubbing it up as much as could have been done seeing how bad it was.  It was at least passable and I felt I could make a meal on it with only a small chance of contracting some disease.  :)

After it's scrub down, and from a distance it didn't seem too awfully bad.  But....when you looked up close...

The display was cracked in 3 places, the timer didn't work, it was yellowed and gross in all the hard to reach nooks and crannies...

The paint was bubbling and chipping off along the metal parts, there was just grease and thick grime in the places you couldn't get to.....

and the broiler drawer was a nightmare.  Corroded and rusty and disgusting.

The range hood above wasn't much better.  It was almond colored, but it was supposed to be white.  It had really yellowed from age and probably from smokers.

It was yellowed and gross around the switches, and the paint was chipping off all over it.

The very worst part was up underneath.  It was SO greasy and sticky and filthy that you couldn't even touch it!!  I tried to scrub it down with a steel wool SOS pad and even that wouldn't clean it!!  Bleck!! 

So.....I said all of that to say, the very first night that I was finally able to cook a homemade meal I did spaghetti and garlic bread.  I got the pasta all made and went to heat the oven for the bread.  I checked it a couple of minutes later and....nothing.  No heat at all.  I called my dad, he told us what to try, we tried it, and it didn't work. I was secretly jumping for joy and praising the Lord it didn't work!!  I was hoping beyond hope that this would mean we could get a replacement.  

I emailed the agent told her the problem (along with all the other things wrong with it) and asked about the possibility of replacing it with a nice used one instead of trying to repair it.  I offered for us to do the leg work of finding one and installing it, saying that it would make it easier on her, but really it was so that I could pick out my own and not have to worry that they'd come in with some avocado green monstrosity that I'd stroke over.  Amazingly the owners said we could spend up to $400 on a replacement.  They never even questioned the fact that we were claiming it didn't work....hmmmm, sounds suspicious, no?

We started searching Craigslist, but weren't having a whole lot of luck finding a gas range that was nice, in good condition, the right color, and in our price range.  Finally we found one for $250, but the guy told us he wouldn't be able to meet with us until the following evening.  Later that night we called to confirm that we could still come see it and found that he had sold it out from under us!  I was so aggravated, but I was trying to trust that God had something better in mind.

So...the next morning we headed out to a town a little over an hour away to check out a used appliance store.  There we found a really nice, really clean GE range for $250.  I hadn't actually asked the landlord about replacing the range hood, but figured it really needed done even if we had to foot the bill.  I didn't see any in his shop, but went ahead and asked if he happened to have any.  He thought for a moment, then went and dug out the only one he had.  A brand new, never been out of the box, beautiful white one.  He said he'd sell it for $35 (the cheapest one I saw at Sears was $170!).

He gave us a discount for paying cash as well as a little discount for bringing in the old stove, so we got both items for a grand total of $265, well under the budget.  It is SUCH a huge improvement in the kitchen and makes me so much happier to cook on.

Ahhhh...much better!!

I hadn't even prayed about the disgusting stove.  I just figured it was one of those things I'd have to learn to be content with, but God saw fit to provide a blessing even though I hadn't asked for it.  I am so very grateful for His all knowing ways and for His love for me that shows even in the little details of life.

Meanwhile, I'm making really good progress on the rest of the house.  There are no more boxes left in the main living areas and I would consider them complete.  The only room left to address is our master bedroom.  I'm sure I'll be sharing more pictures soon.  

Thanks for sticking around and being patient with me through all this change.  :)



  1. Hi Stephanie! Its funny because just this morning I was thinking about you and wondering how the move was, the new house, the new job, living closer to family, etc....! So I was super excited to see your post today! How are other things going for you? I hope well. ~ Dori ~

  2. So glad you got a new stove. Seems like such a little thing but for a girl who likes to cook, everything revolves around it. You'll have the whole place looking great in no time!

  3. So thankful for a Heavenly Father that cares about the "little" things that are so "big" to us! You guys have had such a time - my heart goes out to you! I remember walking through a rental (we had verbally rented it, were just doing a last minute walk-thru before actually giving money) and bursting out bawling at the condition that did not match up with the info we had been given. I do understand that feeling! Sounds like you are making good progress, though :)
    Andrea S.

  4. I swanee, your agent sounds like MY landlord. He puts a "bandaid" on things that break. I wonder what her house looks like and if she would find the conditions acceptable if she were moving in? Makes me wonder too what the actual owner of the property is being billed vs what the agent actually pays someone. Hopefully you are getting to put your touch on it and feeling a little like "home"

  5. Bless your heart, and isn't it amazing how God fixes our little things as well as the big! And you didn't even have to ask. Happy for you and hope life is just full of joy.

  6. I hope that your new house is starting to become a home. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that but loved hearing how you relied on the Lord. I love your blog and what you share.

    I will keep you in my prayers.

    Jeanna Waters

  7. Looks beautiful...and I am glad the Lord answered your unasked prayer!! God is so good!

  8. Bless you sweetie...I am so glad to hear from you!!!
    Your new stove and 'hood, are beautiful...PTL!!!
    Blessings to you,

  9. How frustrating for you!
    Looks like you are starting to get it under control.
    Good luck!

  10. We were living in a rental in Alabama. Every time I turned one of the burners on, there would be an awful small. I finally figured out how to lift the top up to clean and there were about 500 dead, half roasted roaches. I cried for two days.


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