We moved into a house a week ago, Friday. I was happy to be out of the hotel but after a week of being here, the hotel is not looking so bad in comparison
When we accepted the house we were told it was older housing they were about to tear down; so we knew it would be temporary. We had to make a decision to accept or decline the house without going inside because the people before us hadn’t moved out yet. Kyle and I drove past it and although the outside left a lot to be desired, we figured the inside couldn’t be too bad. We lived in disgusting base housing at Fort Stewart so we figured we had seen the worst we’d ever see so anything would be an upgrade.
The day we signed for the house we had an appointment to meet with a leasing agent in the house for a pre-inspection then sign the lease at the office before we could move our belongings in. When I first walked into the house I couldn’t see past the crappy loaner furniture and cinder-block walls. I remember telling Kyle “This is a glorified garage.” All four sides are made of painted cinder-block, the bottom floor is linoleum and tile while the whole upstairs is carpeted. The windows are slatted with window AC united in the living room, master and Reece’s room. I am pretty sure this house was not wired for electricity when they were built because all of the outlets are boxes off the wall with the wires snaking from the ceilings and floors. We had already been told about bugs and geckos in Hawaii so I wasn’t surprised when we came across a roach and gecko the first night. It was obvious I hated our new home but, trying to not be negative, I shoved those initial thoughts aside and began looking for the bright side.
Sadly, this first week there have been more negatives than positives. First it was the cleanliness of the place. The floors were disgusting. Walking around barefooted for a few minutes left the bottoms of our feet almost black and covered in white dog hair. The carpets were stained with stuff crusted in them and there was one spot in the master bedroom that was sticky. The hard floors downstairs were so bad I went to the store and invested in a steam mop and the first go-over picked up so much dirt on the pad I had to use a second pad which got just as funky on it’s maiden voyage. The bathroom, appliances, cabinets, and walls were dirty as well. The tub stopper had a red/brown film and Kyle thinks he found a pubic hair in the corner of the tub.
The window-rattling AC units are annoying on their own but they smelled to boot. I hated turning the one on in Reece’s room because it smelled like fish to me. Kyle woke up the second morning and mentioned something about his allergies acting up which got me thinking, ‘maybe it is the AC units’ so I pulled the cover off and found it speckled with black dots! The filters were new and clean but the machine was disgusting! I now keep them off as long as the weather is decent as to not pump that funk into the air.
The bug problem is way worse than originally thought. I have released or killed ten roaches, countless mosquitoes, a millipede, a handful of random unidentifiable bugs, and two brown violin spiders (I googled brown recluse because that is what I thought they were, turns out there are no recluses in Hawaii but we do have it’s very close cousin, the violin). Now when we see a gecko we try to make him as comfortable as possible so he stays and eats all of the other ‘house guests’. We have noticed one reason we have so many intruders is because the windows and screens are not even close to sealed.
Kyle called the leasing office and explained to our agent the troubles we’ve been having so she asked if she could come by and see for herself; an idea we welcomed! She came by and was immediately grossed out. She smelled the carpets and looked at the ACs and told me how unacceptable it was. Apparently they use an outside company to clean the units before a new tenant moves in and it was now obvious to her that they did a half-assed job. It was surprising to her because when we did our pre-inspection the house smelled so good (like coconuts) and without a close look, the problems could easily be missed. She and I guessed the company lied about cleaning and sprayed some perfume to cover the smell. She promised everything would be taken care of. Kyle was contacted by the housing manager a few days later and told they would be replacing all of our AC units and professionally cleaning the floors.
When we accepted to live in this housing we knew it was old but it would also be temporary. If it were just Kyle and I, we wouldn’t be as bothered by the condition of the place but to think that the kids play on the gross floor and come into contact with bugs is hard to swallow. Topped with the fact there is not much we can do about it is frustrating. Thankfully when our leasing agent came to look at the house she also dropped off a notice informing us of an upcoming town hall meeting where we’ll get an idea of when we’ll move out so they can tear this neighborhood down. We know it is temporary and have decided to commiserate together in a humorous mindset. We can’t change the situation now so why be angry about it? We tally the bugs we see, name the geckos and shake things out before using them. Cleaning the floor is a daily chore and NOTHING is left dirty overnight.
This is what we do; we make the best of any situation we cannot change. The view is amazing and the neighbors seem nice. The house is becoming more of a home now that our stuff is moved in so although the situation is not ideal, it is ours. We got this.
-Click the images below to see them in full screen-