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Home ownership is not without its rewards. For one, there’s a nice tax advantage to writing off the interest. And of course there’s the whole, “It’s something of my very own that they can never take away from me” fallacy that anyone with a mortgage will tell you is utter crap.
I’m convinced that if mortgage brokers and banks told the truth about owning your own home, that at least a third of the people who now own one, never would. For instance:
- The tax write off doesn’t equal what you pay
- On top of your mortgage, tack on an average 15% each month on upkeep
- If you want to make minor improvements on your home, tack on another 20% each month
- If you want to upgrade anything on your home, add another 30% each month
…and the list goes on.
I think the most bothersome thing about home ownership though, are the surprises. The little things you never thought about.
In the two years that we’ve been in this house, I have trapped and released elsewhere, two squirrels who have taken up residence in my attic above my master bedroom–above my very bed in fact. Their scratching and merriment throughout the night have led to many a clenched sheet and frustrated loss of sleep.
Each time, I’ve tried to find their entry and have failed.
Due to some architectural elements in our house, getting around in our attic is a challenge. Getting over to the eaves in the attic is a near impossibility unless you’re Plastic-Man, able to bend yourself around corners and whatnot. (Actually, I hear The Redneck Mommy is “bendy”…).
Anyway, I had a general idea where the little critters were living once they got into the attic, so I put a piece of 2ft by 3ft plywood on the rafters and scooched over towards the eaves. Using a combination of hop and pull maneuvers, while also sliding under ducting and around wiring (in your head, imagine me doing my best Catherine Zeta-Jones “Entrapment” impression), I finally got over to the eaves where I thought the squirrels were living and sure enough, nest-ola! And just beyond the nesting area and, wouldn’t you know it, out of my reach, I found the entryway.
Apparently, someone goofed when they built my house; I can find no other reason for this:
The back of my house is pretty much a straight line. In fact, as you can see from the air, my house is basically a big rectangle. However, about a third of the way over from the right, it suddenly cuts in about four inches and then runs straight the rest of the way. My only guess is that some construction goober goofed on one side of the house and they had to just fix it and this was the solution.
Anyway, where the two sections meet, there is no gutter and so rain has slowly deteriorated this part of the roof over the years. I can see where it appears the previous homeowner “patched” it, but the patch was poorly done, leaving a hole the size of a pack of computer paper that the squirrels were using to make themselves at home.
So for nearly two hours yesterday, I removed leaves, twigs, pine tree seedlings, squirrel poop and desecrated insulation, and then after a trip to the local hardware store, patched up the hole as best I could with one arm and zero room to maneuver. It’s not pretty, but there’s not a hole yet that Great Stuff foam insulation couldn’t fill.
Also, I breathed in more than my share of animal poop dust, which my late night education on the Discovery Channel tells me can be harmful.
I can concur. My sinuses have been killing me ever since. So anyway, if I suddenly start raving and foaming at the mouth, you’ll at least know that it probably has something to do with squirrel crap.
Well, that or kids. Take your pick.