Monthly Archives: October 2013

Foundation

A few weeks ago D and I were standing in our driveway and simultaneously made the same horrible realization. We both looked at our house and said a flat, ‘oh’. Our house is leaning towards the west in a very noticeable way. It seems that two years of drought followed by a year of excessive rain has caused the earth under our home to shift, taking the foundation with it.

D is so good at handling the repair side of home ownership. He immediately made calls to foundation repair companies to take bids on fixing our problem. The first bid left me feeling like a stone was lodged in my stomach. $30,000. That does not include repairs to the rest of the house that will become necessary after lifting and securing the foundation, such as drywall cracks, plumbing, replacing windows and doors, and so on.

I wanted to cry. For two days there was no consoling me out of my funk. A friend of mine is a realtor and we invited him over to evaluate our home for listing purposes. He confirmed what I already knew: we cannot sell our home with this kind of damage. We will have to address the foundation if we want to sell. (Not that we want to sell anytime soon—after all, the Woman Den has just been completed. More about that later.)

Another bid came in at $5,000, but this one is not to repair the foundation, just to stop it from worsening. I will not go into the details, but it sounds like a mere temporary fix and would, in the long run, be a waste of the money rather than a good application of it.

A third bid came in that seems reasonable. It would correct the west side of the house; the east side would have to wait. It comes with a transferable warranty and a detailed explanation of the work done so any potential buyer would be fully informed. It will cost literally everything we have in savings. But wait; there is a silver lining to all of this.

This year our saving habits have gone into turbo mode since we discovered minimalism. I suppose that sounds odd. Shouldn’t we have known all along to spend less and save more? Well, we thought we were doing just that. We thought, compared to other people, we were doing a good job of staying out of debt, saving, and living modestly. After “discovering” minimalism, we realized we could do better. Spend even less and save even more. Stop comparing ourselves to others.

Thank God. I keep thinking if this simple realization had not been made, we would have fewer options and this situation would be even worse. By living simply, we could recover from this hiccup in just a year or two. And we are perfectly fine with living simply. In fact, we crave it.