03:08PM | 06/02/00
Member Since: 07/08/99
24 lifetime posts
If Bob Vila was to help with my home improvement project would he pay for the whole thing to be done? Thanks!


03:17PM | 04/12/01
No the Homeowner pays for the remodel.


06:49PM | 01/11/07
Member Since: 01/07/07
3 lifetime posts
HELP! Long story, but in a nutshell, we have a money pit and we can't do anything about it because I lost my job! About 5 years ago we purchased our first "home", but it was a custom manufactured home that I was fortunate enough to have fully designed myself, which really frustrated the builder-seller that I was working with the actual builder! It was an amazing home - 5 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, formal dining room, beautiful kitchen, inside laundry. We had a custom fish tank with its own electrical breaker and one of the bedrooms was customized to have its own entry so we could use the room as a private office for our home based why didn't we keep the house??? I'm kicking myself. The reason we sold and bought this money pit: We lived in a mobile home park that was recently converted into an HOA Condominium project in which residents could actually own the land, thereby making the property real property. Because we were a new structure, the manager (who by the way is now dead which we recently found out) targeted us and a few other new homeowners. He would continually fine us for unreasonable items, such as a weed and fine us over $100, which would happen often, and we fought it because the neighbor in a mobile home that was over 30 years old literally had 3 feet tall weeds! Where was the fairness in that? He thought that just because we had a new home we could afford more. We were also tired of having our young children yelled at for playing in our driveway - where else were they suppose to play. And we were always getting in trouble and fined for having extra cars parked in our driveway when we had clients visit us - how exhausting to be hassled for no reason other than you had a new home! So we decided to move. We put an offer in on a beautiful home, which was rejected and countered by over $100k higher than we were willing to offer and the house was not even close to that amount. Mind you, property here in San Diego, California is well over inflated at an unbelievable rate! So we found the perfect home, brand new, less than 6 months old. The sellers were forced to sell because their job was moving them across the states. We put in a very healthy offer, which they accepted, temporarily, then countered at an unreasonable amount. Then when we got the appraisal back for more than $100K less than what they wanted, they became very greedy and rejected our offer and insisted on their own appraisal, which came back fraudulently over the market. Our Lender then reviewed all appraisals and cut the value even more. The sellers pulled the house offer and kept our $5k down payment and sold to another buyer, who freely gave them, so we assume, the sales price they wanted. So we were off to a third house, this one. My husband loved the house, I did not. The only redeeming features of the house are that it is on a private cul-de-sac with only 3 other homes and that it is situated on about 1/2 acres, enough room to remodel and add on. The house is not even 13oo sq. feet and is only 3 bedrooms - it is very dingy and dark and crowded. When my husband originally put in an offer on the house, the sellers rejected because they were already in escrow. That escrow fell out and it came back onto the market. My husband put in an offer, which they had accepted, but before he knew they accepted, he countered offered them more to insure that we would not loose out on another house. So started our agony. We had a private inspector review the home who found over $20k worth of damage to the home, which the sellers refused to repair. They only offered $6k towards closing costs, which our agent insisted we accept and we were forced into an immediate less than 30 day close. The worse part hasn't even happened yet.... The day we were suppose to close escrow, our agent and I went to the house for a final walk through. He couldn't get the front door open so he said, lets just look through the windows, the main purpose is to make sure the house is standing at this point...but I insisted on getting into the house. We finally found a way in and thank GOD!!! The house was flooded! Yes flooded! The kitchen plumbing had broken and flooded the floating wood floor in the kitchen and went straight to the carpeting in the dining and living room. The way I knew was from the dingy, musty wet smell and because I noticed mud tracks from my shoes when I went from the carpet to the kitchen floor and also heard the spongy noises as I walked. I nearly had a heart attack, literally, I was forced to the floor with a very major anxiety attack and was in tears, couldn't breathe and was sick to my stomach that we weren't going to get our money back again if we walked away. I immediately contacted the lending institution and told them what I found and immediately stopped the funding and closing of the loan. Our agent and the sellers agent and the broker were all very angry at me for stopping the transaction, but I was firm that I refused to but I house I could live in. They managed to repair the plumbing, or so I thought and the house closed. I really wish we hadn't sold our other home! Before we moved in, we had the carpeting in the living room and dining room ripped out and replaced with new carpet in the living room and hall and a very expensive, beautiful carved pergo-hardwood floor in the dining room. To this date, we have not been able to replace the kitchen floor, which is a huge problem still...It now has gray markings coming up from underneath the very cheap leno flooring that they glued down, I think it is mold! And this is just the beginning of our nightmare! The money pit! I tried to have a plumber fix the bathrooms, the main water regulator, the showers and tubs, sinks and toilets because they were all leaking. They were able to replace the main regulator, the main bathroom shower head and that was it, the master bath shower just crumbled in their hands...I lived without a shower for 2 years! When I went to repair the toilets, I found that they were cracked and that sewage was actually in the bathrooms! What’s worse is that it appears that they tried to repair them, but could do it properly, how do I know, because they put silicon around the base of the toilets, the bolts on the toilet were rusted sealed and I had to saw them off and when I finally got them off, the toilet ripped the cheap leno off, and what did I find...hope you have a strong stomach...there was sewage under the leno and on top of the original leno tiles! I had to completely remove all the flooring in the master bathroom down to the concrete and let it dry for several days after I bleached it out to get rid of the smell, etc! I'm a woman and I did this on my own! Then I put in two new toilets and I replaced the sink complete with new plumbing in the master bathroom and I fixed the shower in the master shower, now I finally after 2.5 years have two fully functioning bathrooms, though they are still very unsightly! But this is still the beginning! The electricity only works in 1/2 of the house, my father managed to get it working in the kitchen, but barely and we still don't have working outlets in either bathroom! The plumbing rattles and moans in the house and the water heater is rusted and has holes. The air conditioner quit last year and the home warranty people refused to honor the home repair warranty we had so we had to hire a private party to get it to work, but it is still very loud and on its last leg. The furnace is noisy and rattles, doesn't keep the house properly cooled or warm, when the front room is at the proper temperature, the bedrooms and bathrooms are still cold as the north pole and the vents, I am sure, are in desperate need of replacing, as my allergies are worse now then they have ever been in my life, I seem to have a full time sinus and breathing problem since we moved into this house, as does my 4year old son, actually he just turned 5 a few days ago...more...yes there is still more...the outside irrigation plumbing has burst so that we have been forced to turn off the water so as to not flood the yard, so we cannot water the yard, was cars, windows, let the kids pay in the water, water our fruit trees, landscaping, etc....the retaining wall is about to fall, the old owners simply welded and bolted a brace to extend its life...the fence is literally missing parts and is almost completely on its side, and I am sure completely termite infested, and we share the fence line with at least 6 other properties - how are we suppose to repair that??? The pepper tree in the front yard is cracking the driveway and the neighbors pine tree has damaged the roof so badly that if we don't sweep the roof on a weekly basis, it might fall in...And to make things even worse, if I hadn't mentioned it already, I lost my job! Oh yeah, the wind has already blown many of the shingle off the roof in the past few days and the rain has started - I am afraid we are going to have leaks everywhere....what am I suppose to do, I can't afford to hire a repair man, I've done as much as I know how to so far, though I am willing to do more, but I can't afford to do anything, so I ask you, what am I to do....We see those dream home TV shows and wonder how these people are getting these free home makeovers and think, how can we do that, there is nothing special about us, except that we seem to have remarkably bad bad bad-luck, so we don't apply. I would love to have assistance, I would even be willing to help, but we can't afford to pay for anything and we are already maxed on what we can afford for our mortgage, so I ask again, what are we to do...We can't sell because we would never get what we owe...if something doesn't happen soon, I am afraid that we will have to move into our travel trailer, which is only 19 feet and a family of 4 with animals can't live day in and day out 365 days a year that way...we desperately need help...anyone up for a challenge, a freebee - we are even willing to trade trades if necessary - as we are photographers for my husbands home business, which we are struggling to keep alive! Help, please, we are begging! I apologize for spelling errors, as I am tired, frustrated and typing very quickly...
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