07 May 2011

Moving Unknowns, both Known and Unknown

My husband and I are in the process of moving. We’ve been in an apartment in Tuscaloosa for almost two years but we found a really terrific house, so we bought it. And we are in the process of moving. This will be, I think, my 19th mailing address, and hopefully one of the last.

This is the third house I’ve bought, so I should know the ropes by now, right? Not so fast, my friend. We knew that there would be some expenses. Got to pay the movers, we want to upgrade some furniture, got to have shelf paper and stuff. Still, there have been some unanticipated expenses. So, for the edification of future homebuyers, I will start a list of Unknowns.

Mailbox We should have seen this one coming. Our new neighborhood is an older one, with homes dating back to the 1930’s. I never noticed before, but some of them have curbside mailboxes while others have the type that connects directly to the house. You know, the more convenient type. Well, it seems that the U.S. Post Office has determined that all new residents of the community will have curbside post delivery. This means us. The very cool folks we bought our house from had lived there for over fifteen years, so were evidently grandfathered into the handy variety of mailbox. With us, not so much.

Funny thing about a mailbox – you get to pay for it (and its installation and maintenance), but the space inside of it belongs to the U.S. Post Office. They are rather particular about things, too. The post must be sunk so deep into the ground. The opening for the mail box must be at just exactly a certain level, for their convenience. And the innards of your mail box may not be used for anything except U.S. Mail. Them’s the rules, as they say.

This is not cheap. The most cost effective mailbox at Home Depot will set you back about $15. The post itself runs about $40. There is also a gizmo called a post anchor that runs another $35 or so. Also, one must prepare the ground and set the post anchor before the post can be installed and the mailbox attached. If you want your address and/or name in cheesy lettering, expect to pay $1.25 per number or letter. So $95 or so in materials and an unknown investment in labor and possible medical/chiropractic care. Or you can subcontract the whole thing out to your local iron monger and get something nice, stylish, and professionally installed for $200. We are still in the evaluation process.

Water setup and deposit We will be dealing with a new water company in the new house. Never mind that we have been ideal customers, paying on a timely basis and not causing any troubles. Our new water provider is unimpressed, so we have had to pay a $75 deposit and $25 setup fee so that they can send us our bills. I hope we have a functioning mailbox by the time the first bill arrives.

The one I hate to complain about.  An F4 tornado swept through our community at 5pm the evening before our scheduled close. More than forty people lost their lives. Thousands lost their homes. We had to do without cable for maybe 36 hours. So this is not a complaint. It is merely an Unknown. Our lender required a drive-by appraisal after the storm to verify that our new house had not been destroyed. Our bill $100. I am very happy to pay this.

That’s about it so far. I’m sure there will be more. And should I classify the fact that I suddenly want a stainless steel kitchen trash can to match my spiffy new stainless appliances as an Unknown? Or should I just try to bury it in the budget?

No comments:

Post a Comment