Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So few electrical storms

It got cold, so we tried to turn on the heat. But guess what? No heat. The furnace is broken. Here are our options:

1. Spend $500 on a part for the ancient furnace, and hope that nothing else falls off of it very soon.

2. Spend $1000 on more parts for the ancient furnace to make it a little more efficient. Similar to option 1 but, I think, dumber.

3. Spend one million dollars (approx.) on a new oil furnace. There would be no gain in equity because who thinks, wow! brand new oil furnace! when they are hunting for a house? Nobody, that's who.

4. Spend 1.5 million dollars (approx.) on a new natural gas furnace. The city would have to extend the gas line to our house, which is where the extra .5 million comes in. There would theoretically be some payoff in equity if anyone were to ever want to buy our house, which no one will. Ever. Also, there is no way in hell we could afford this option without borrowing from my parents or something. And I'm not sure it's worth it for this house.

None of these are good options, and yet we can't let the baby freeze to death. What to do.

I feel completely defeated by our house. I know I'm lucky that Mr. A and I both have jobs, and we are more than likely going to keep them a while longer. But I would give just about anything if we hadn't bought this house. Oh, to be a compartively wealthy renter, who can sort of afford daycare! I fantasize about just walking away from the house, or about an errant bolt of lightning that burns it to the ground when we're away on vacation. Too bad there are so few electrical storms in Seattle.

Also, today is my first day back to work. I'm mostly enjoying mingling with the grown-ups, but man--the things that sucked about my job before I left have really spiralled out of control. I work in Crazy Town.


Harriet said...

We feel exactly the same way about our house. We had plans to put in hardwood floors and new countertops. Instead, we have replaced the furnace, the water softener, the refrigerator, the dishwasher, the chimney and we've rerouted a spring that appeared under our house out the back, which involved tearing off part of our deck, digging a 12 foot deep, four foot wide and 20 foot long trench in our back yard. Now our deck is sagging, the whole house needs paint and a new roof and possibly a new septic field. Walking away sounds not so bad on the best of days. During thunderstorms, we pray for getting struck by lightning or maybe a tree to fall on the house, because at least the insurance would cover that.

Brandy said...

I came back from my (all-too-brief) maternity leave to find that the Adult Dept. clerks weren't talking to the Youth Dept. clerks, over some imagined slight. (Something about one floor not wrapping items for delivery a particular way?)

I spent my first week back trying to figure out how the third-graders I work with can be so close to retirement. So, I hear you on Crazy Town. Good luck!

Linda Johns said...

Yikes. Why do furnaces go out ONLY when there is a baby in the house? It happened to us, too (toddler in the house). But now that we have a teenager who can dress himself in layers and be sent down to the YMCA to run on the treadmill to stay warm -- NOW we have a heater that works. Sorry for how sucky the options are. I don't really get what's so great about home ownership these days.

ahniwa said...

We're in the same boat; we're planning on downgrading the car in order to afford a new furnace before the baby shows up, because I'm 100% sure that thing would fail this winter at the most inconvenient time.

And we did the new roof thing already, and there are a handful of other things we need to do ... so at least know that you're not alone.

For what that's worth.

Make!Do! said...

Note to self: stop dreaming about home ownership, be happy renting.
At least you have a dishwasher. What is up with Seattle and oil furnaces? 2/3s of rentals we looked at had 'em.

Lass said...

Sorry to hear of your heating woes. I am still considering home ownership but am spoiled by years of "something breaks, call someone else who has to foot the bill". Also, your baby is damned cute (but I'm sure you already know that). Hope the work craziness settles down for you.