The back story

Who lives in a house that is in such bad condition? We all had different theories about the previous owners. I had seen a google earth image of the house that had 4 or 5 work vans parked in the driveway so I imagined a house full of immigrants that were in the construction business. The kids were pretty sure it was a drug den. Dan just thought it was an old red neck. Whoever it was I imagined they were not very happy about their house being foreclosed. One day I tried to go to the house by myself to get some measurements and I was so terrified that I was going to be murdered by the axe murder hiding in the basement that I only lasted about 3 minutes before I had to run out of the house. Because, ya know, whoever lived there before still had keys!

Besides the bad condition inside the house there was one very bizarre clue left in the yard.


Why was this broken down van left behind? There are no plates and 4 flat tires. Then when we looked inside it was completely full of hazmat materials. Cans of paint, blacktop sealant, stain, fire extinguisher, oxygen tank, propane tanks and that’s just what we could see on the top of the pile. There are no seats in the van, just a lot of leftover construction materials. So part of our demo includes getting rid of all the stuff inside the van then having the van towed to a junk yard.

Another bonus that was left for us is a pallet of cement bags that have been left out in the weather for who knows how long. Which means they are all now solid cement. Thank goodness Thomas has spent all this time working out and building up those muscles, he’s gonna need them!


These items have added to the mystery of the previous owners. But the other day I was finally able to catch the neighbor letting her dog out. I went over and chatted with her for a bit about her cute dog, who is always excited to see us and runs along the fence whenever we’re over at the house. Turns out the dog used to live in our house but when the previous tenant left he couldn’t afford to keep the dog so they took him. No wonder he gets excited when he sees us, maybe he wants to come home.

And then I asked her what the deal was with the house, who lived here before? Turns out none of us were even close. A woman owned the house and her partner lived with her. And they were hoarders! Well that explains everything, no wonder the walls hadn’t been painted in decades or the carpets were so gross, they couldn’t even see those things because the house was so full of stuff. The five vans parked in the driveway were just more things they were hoarding. The neighbor said it made a (very ugly) privacy fence that blocked out all the other stuff that was in the back yard.

Recently the woman died and her partner couldn’t afford to keep the utilities on or pay the mortgage so he was eventually evicted and the house was foreclosed. Then the bank had many dumpsters of stuff removed (including some of the storm windows, I think) and 4 of the vans removed. Why did they leave 1 van and a pallet of cement for us to deal with? Instantly the fear of returning thugs has disappeared. I am no longer scared in the house and I am much more comfortable with the kids living in the house.

I’m so glad the back story was as benign as it was!


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