Monday, September 06, 2010

This Old Foreclosed House - Tree Edition

In this episode, we'll show you the wonderful front yard of this lovely little "fixer upper" next to us.  While the back yard now has a quaint little tarp covered dance floor over the partially mud filled mosquito lair, it also sports this lovely maple tree invading the back porch.  In the front yard, bordering our house, there's a MUCH larger maple tree that seemed pretty sturdy throughout its life, except for a time or two where it would deposit a big branch into the neighboring yard.  Our neighbors, being inventive people, would drag the huge branch into our yard... like we wouldn't notice, and expected us to take care of it.  Um, its your tree.  Initially I just dealt with it, but toward the end of our neighborly relationship, the branch would miraculously appear in their driveway when they came home from work (or wherever they went during the day).

So, it came as some surprise during a storm when I happened to hear a really loud noise coming from out front.  It wasn't THAT bad of a storm, but apparently there were some pretty strong wind gusts, and...  tree in their yard... and blocking the entire street.  GREAT!  Of course, in a normal situation the owners of said tree would do something about it, but as there are no owners of said tree, that left me to call the county street department and report it.  A few hours later, when there was no sign of the county street department, and I would have to lay in bed and listen to people run into the tree, my neighbors and I revved up the chainsaws and hacked off the parts sticking in the street and dragged the remains into the foreclosed home's yard.

Pretty, ain't it?  That's after a few days, of course, but still impressive.  The next day I called the bank and told them they had a lovely surprise on the front lawn of their house, and by the way, the tree took out some of my property too.  To their credit, they were out the next day... to take pictures of it, then they left.  Helpful.

It took a full month for someone to do something about it.  I expected a decent tree service would come out and get rid of the tree properly, fix the fence it uprooted and my property damage while they were at it.  You know, a bunch of workers that knew about trees and could get the root of the tree out without damaging the fiber optic cable that's buried RIGHT UNDER the tree.  So here is what they did initially:
Yep, they cleared a tiny little spot in the front yard to plop down a "for sale" sign.  WOW!  Its amazing just how well that sign hid all of the branches.  You can barely notice them, and what person in their right mind would pass up a house with a freakin dead tree in the front yard?

You'll note that I blocked out the phone numbers and name of the realtor because I know my audience... they'll be dialing the phone and listening to the handy recording, but one thing that I didn't realize when I was listening to how much they were trying to sell this craptastic house (thus making our house barely tread water) is that they KNOW what phone you called from, and like me, you will get a realtor calling you back almost the moment you hang up the phone, slathering about the fact that SOMEONE called and may be interested in the potential crack den from hell.

"Hi, did you just call the number for XXXX street name?  Are you interested in the property?"

Whoa there frantic realtor, I'm the neighbor, and although I'd love to buy the lot just to bulldoze the crappy house into the crappy pool and build a huge garage, I'm just curious to know how much damage you're causing my neighborhood by dumping this craphole for any amount you can get.

I'm pretty sure I heard the realtor's spirit break over the phone.  "Oh, well, if you know anyone..."

Holy crap dude, do you think I'd actually tell someone I knew to move into that mold-fest with built in West Nile virus incubator?  Tell ya what though, I'll keep bugging the bank about the dead tree, the damage to my property, and the health hazard that thing is, and I'll even try to refrain myself from screaming "FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD RUN, RUN AWAY FROM THAT MONEY PIT" whenever you bring someone to look at it.

The next day I got another call from the other realtor's associate asking if I was interested in the house (see above), and the next day called the bank again to complain about my damaged property.  Apparently the first person I spoke to neglected to tell me that I had to "file a claim" so I asked to "file a claim" and the woman told me that someone would promptly contact me... I'm still waiting.

A few days later, I came home to find some guy in a ratty pickup truck piling it full of branches.  By the time I came home from work, I found this:

I'm guessing that guy with pickup truck wasn't too sure how to handle the very expensive fiber optic cables entwined in the tree's roots and just below the surface (don't blame him), so here it sits while people come and look at the house... and there have been people coming to look at the house.

It takes every fiber of my being to not scream at them from our deck "HEY!  Take a look under that fancy tarp covered dance floor" or as they walk into the house "Where's your OSHA approved respirators for all of that black mold?"  If the bank doesn't fix my property, I'll be sure to add: "... and if you buy it, you have to fix my property too!"


Huffle Mawson said...

Well, I was thinking about buying the house so we could be neighbours but I didn't know about the mould. No thanks.

Lynn said...

Maybe you should contact your local news people (paper, television). Some bad publicity might get things moving (hopefully improving) next door. Who knows. Good Luck!!