Saturday, February 7, 2009


I called the guy at the power co again just to see if there is any chance that this is a mistake. He says no. It is over $400 every month all winter, and that it isn't a gas leak because it goes down to $30 each summer. (And with an aside, he said that it is good because at least we will be able to catch up. LOL!) He also said that it has to be the equipment and insulation. It has been like this for 5 years now (over $400 each month each winter for 5 years!) and that other houses that have better equipment are less than half that. He said that sq footage doesn't really matter, if the insulation is bad, and the equipment is inefficient then your bill will be high. "And yours is crazy high. That sucks." Direct quote.


To answer Beth's question, we are moving for a whole host of reasons. This house is The Money Pit.

See that is the thing. Our last house was smaller, but the bill was never over $250 a month... not even in the winter. So I put aside $300 for the bill when I noticed we had not gotten it for over a month and felt comfortable that that would make up for the missed month. That bill (for Dec) was $573! Then Jan came around and that was $480. So the average in our area is not that high... not even close. This house just has no insulation.

We were looking to buy it come June. But a whole lot of things have come down, and now it is feeling very much like a fixer upper... Which I feel like I could take on if the price was right. I am handy and good with that type of stuff. However, the prices to fix all this stuff has to be reflected in the price of the house and I just don't know if it is or not. But she hasn't given me a concrete number... which makes me even more nervous. But I love the house. I really like the neighborhood... we are tucked away in a beautiful grove of oak trees and it is a sweet little space that is right off a main drag so it is easy directions etc. I like the location better than the house... but I like the house too. It has big beautiful windows, (where our last house was dark) it has enough space for the kids homeschool stuff to be out of the dining room (a must when we were 'looking'), two bathrooms, etc. Lots of potential... but how much do you put into a house? How long do you wait? The list of things to do just keeps getting longer and longer and longer.

At first I was overreacting. I really was. I was getting looks from my nearest and dearest like "You have to replace the roof and sink and fence of a 1950's house and you are surprized by that?"

Now they just look on with sympathy.


Jenny said...

We rented an insultaion blower from Home Depot for cheap and then bought the bags of shredded newspaper to blow into our attic. My husband filled the crawl space with insulation (it's right over our bedrooms) and it has lowered our bill ALOT! We still have the other half of the attic to fill (it's about 5 feet high though). It was cheap & suprisingly easy work. Just a thought to help you consider... if you guys are handy, it can easily be done in a day. The hardest part was finding someone to watch thek ids.

Sarah said...

So sorry you are going through this!! I always thought most of that was a landlords problem? (not the gas but the roof, sink, etc...)

Gotta go...we're still sick here...

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Hi ladies. :)

Jenny, that is a great idea! We can't do anything like that because we don't own the house yet.

Sarah, it would all be the landlords problem if she would fix it. She is stonewalling us. We have already fixed the sink, the toilet, the dryer plug in, and the sliding glass door by ourselves. (None were hard fixes... necessarily... but not our issue and should have been delt with BEFORE we moved in)... seriously, when we moved into this house, there was stuff still in it. And I am not talking stuff like "hey they left a broom" I am talking a whole drawer filled with personal items like razors, contacts, etc. Complete with brushes with hair in them, and scissors (with hair in them too... YUCK!)

She didn't take care of the house, and doesn't care. And it is OBVIOUS... and totally sucks.

Sorry to vent. I am pretty angry about it now that the shock has worn off.

Love Val

mibarra396 said...

Hi Val, you know we have one of those ancient 1910-Ish houses and it needed a lot of work when we moved in. We weren't sure what to do, so we asked the community center coordinator, and he said for needy families sometimes there is a loan program available to clean up historic parts of town. So we applied and they gave us a 0% loan for 25,000. We don't even have to pay it back, it's just on the books as being owed.

That might be something you could look into in your city, getting some help in that area. As for Power bills, ours is about 70-90 dollars a month depending on how much we use. We live along the Columbia River, so the Hydro-Electric power is much cheaper. Might wanna think about moving out in this area, Lol

Good Luck and God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Hey Val, I saw your comment on my blog. I reformatted my computer because I visited a website that decided I need a trojan virus so I had to reformat it over the weekend. I lost all of my email contacts. I swear, one of these days I'll take the time to write them all down! So if you want to email me, please feel free. Its :)

erika~ the inspired mama said...

ugh! this sucks in so many ways!!! i hope it all works out for you and your family, as i know it will! (((HUGS)))


Susan said...

Ugh, that is high. At least you get a break in the summer though. We live in Florida and our summer bills are the highest - sadly it is nearly always summer! I hope you get a break soon!

Brie said...

Ouch! Our last house was that high and the landlord wouldn't fix it or the electric...sad when we rented from my mom;) That's why we bought..if there's a bigger problem then I can fix it and not feel like it was a waste. In other words I feel your pain!
When the next renters moved into that house the electric company actually warned them about the winter bills LOL

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