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Monday, September 23, 2013

Housing Troubles, Part 3: In Which We Get a New House!

As some of you may recall, we had a little issue with our home here in Hawaii back in December: namely, mold (see here and here for previous posts).  And I am very, very happy to say that after nearly two years of dealing with pipe issues and flooding backups and tree roots and mold issues, we were able to move out of our old house with the move out fee completely waived!

Our new home!
Mr. L and I could not be more happy that we are in a place that doesn't have plumbing issues.  It's a wonderful little house, and although we did lose a bedroom and a little bit of square footage, it actually feels bigger!  Plus it's a newer, cleaner home, so we are definitely on cloud nine right now!

Entry way (the stairs are so cushy!)
The process getting here wasn't easy.  Last month, after about eight months of zero plumbing issues at the old house, the flooding problems reared their ugly head once again.  For months, Mr. L and I had been telling each other that although maintenance had "solved" the problem back in December, it was a temporary fix and that the backups would happen once again since tree roots were the main cause and no trees had been removed from our property.  So we were expecting it...but it still came at the worst possible time: the night before I was set to start a new job.  I was a total wreck, for sure!  I think I spent the majority of the evening cursing the stupid house and the stupid pipes and the stupid trees and the stupid everything, haha.

Very spacious 2-story living room
We had emergency maintenance come out, and the guy basically told us he was afraid the roots had actually gone and crushed the clay pipes outside.  Needless to say, we were freaked.  He said that he would get his supervisor out first thing in the morning so they could snake a camera down and determine if the pipes in the yard needed to be excavated.

Nice, large kitchen (ignored the confused hubby)
And, of course, that's where more things went wrong.  Maintenance was supposed to come out between 7AM and 9AM...and they didn't show.  They didn't show at 11AM.  They didn't show at 12PM.  After a couple of very angry phone calls to maintenance trying to figure out just what in the heck was going on, Mr. L's chain of command got involved once again and coincidentally three maintenance guys came to our house right away.  The only problem was a supervisor was nowhere in sight and neither was a snake camera.  They essentially did the same exact thing emergency maintenance had done the night before.

We actually have an automatic ice maker now, woohoo!
Mr. L and I were very upset, so we took to the internet and wrote out an ICE complaint about our experience.  Within a couple of days, we heard back from the liaison between our management company and the Navy, a retired master chief, who had read our ICE comment and was very concerned with our situation.  (Seriously, people, WRITE ICE COMMENTS.  They actually get read and can make a HUGE difference, whether they're positive or negative!!)

Finally, a laundry room with no bathroom attached!!
The liaison informed us that this issue wasn't something only we were dealing with.  Many houses on our street (and other streets in our community, as I've found out recently) are having this EXACT same issue.  Big Navy is finally getting involved in forcing our management company to deal with it, and the liaison added our names to the case list.  We told him we didn't want to move if we didn't have to, but if the issue wasn't going to get fixed, we did NOT want to stay.

The master bedroom is even bigger than our old one!
After many, many instances of back and forth between the liaison and our neighborhood community manager, we discovered that our management company's "solution" to the problem was to simply maintain the pipes every few weeks by clearing out roots indefinitely...which was the SAME EXACT situation that led to this problem in the first place when Forest City dropped the ball and didn't do any preventative maintenance.  When we heard that, Mr. L and I knew it was time to go.  We pushed to get out of the house, and after some more unsavory dealings (to sum it up, we felt like we were a huge bother to the people finding us a new place to live and that didn't sit well with us) we were finally offered a house in the same neighborhood where we were already on the wait list to move into.  Then we proceeded to move out completely and clean the entire old house in FOUR DAYS.  Yeah, that was fun.

Definitely a backyard downgrade, but I'm happy there's nary a mango tree in sight!
It's been a ridiculously long and stressful process, but I can honestly say we are happy with where we are now.  There are some cons (lost a bedroom, tiny backyard, only one full bath) but the pros and being out of the other house absolutely, 100% outweigh them.  Heck, Mr. L is so happy we're finally in a house we both love that he wants to extend his tour here, haha ;)  (Don't freak out, parents!!)  And honestly, I just hope this puts an end to our dealings with Forest City because we are sick and tired of it all.

Our own garage!!  There's a large section off to the left that's going to become Mr. L's man cave :)
Have you ever been in unsavory living conditions, whether it was in military housing or civilian housing?  If you have, I hope you got a happy ending eventually!


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