Sunday, May 09, 2010

Washing away

It's the things that you don't think about when you buy a house. I always assumed the houses on the other side of the street from us had an advantage simply because they had the best views of the bay and the rest of the community. The last couple of days I've also learned they have another advantage...they avoid the worst of the melting water.

No, we haven't flooded and the house hasn't washed away or anything. However, our house, and all the houses on our side of the street does have a gentle slope running behind it. And that slope has had an awful lot of snow accumulating on it over the winter. The past week or so the temperatures have kicked up a notch. This past weekend was particularly mild, with temperatures around +4C. Oh, and it rained a lot. So everything has been melting at a quick rate. All of that melting snow, plus the rain water, has to go somewhere since the soil around here isn't exactly absorbent.

It's the stuff I guess you should think about when buying a house, but I certainly didn't. Plus, the road in front of our house got paved this year, so that's added a bit to things.

So yes, lots and lots of running water this weekend. On the upside, I've forgotten just how relaxing gently burbling water can sound. Seriously. I was outside for a bit just listening to the water trickle down. It was kind of soothing.

Right up until I saw it eat into the drive ways of my neighbours. That was a touch alarming.

There are actually culverts under the driveways of all the houses on this side of the road. However, there's been so much snow and ice, several of them got blocked up. Water has to go somewhere, so it's been running over the top of driveways, leaving huge gouges across them. City tractors have been by a couple of times the past few days to try and clear things up so the water can run the right way. They've had some success, but some of the culverts are still jammed.

We're fine, but that's for right now. If nothing else, it's something I'm going to have to keep an eye on in future years. We didn't get any ice jams or water eroding the driveway this year, but that's not to say it won't happen next year. Oh yeah, and I have no idea what you do with an eroded driveway. Get a load of dirt to fill it in, I guess.

This is the shit no one ever told me I'd have to deal with when it came to home ownership. I like the house, but it's stuff like this - the unknown, out of left field weirdness - that's going to give me a stroke one of these days.

Oh, and on the other side of the road? Nothing. No running water at all. I'm not certain if a better view and less of a chance of the house washing away is worth the extra $30,000 to $50,000 (a butt ugly box towards the top of our road has an asking price of more than $500,000. You're on drugs if you pay that for it, though), but there are days I do wonder what other surprises might be coming our way.

Oh, also made two dump runs this weekend to throw out a bunch of crap left in the shed and underneath the house. Apparently a cat has been making its home underneath our house this winter, which is a touch odd. You rarely see cats outside, just because of the volume of dogs in town. I can't imagine one also decided to tough out the cold as well. That's got to be the meanest, toughest cat in town.

And yes, this is a bit rambling. Something more coherent tomorrow.

Last Five
All from "My Weakness is Strong" by Patton Oswald.


Aida said...

we've been looking at houses in that area but the water trucks, no go for us. we lived with water trucks for almost 3 years, not a big fan. one house by your area. gorgeous place inside, crappy on the outside but its not worth the $475 000 price tag for sure.

towniebastard said...

We haven't had any issues with the water trucks. They are pretty good here as opposed to the horror stories I've heard happening in the smaller communities. Of course, we don't have any kids, so I can see where our water usage is probably less than yours.

There was that incident earlier the year that scared the hell out of me where one of the sewage trucks hit "blow" instead of "suck" and wrecked some serious havoc on a house. Something else to keep in mind.

And, um, $475 is insane. Without getting into exact numbers, we paid about $100,000 less than that.

The Perfect Storm said...

I once read that a boat was the definition of a hole in the water that you throw your money in, to fill it back up.

A similar analogy can be extended to homes I've come to learn. Just wait until your neighbours decide to pretty-up theirs far in excess of your home. There is the "are you going to be leaving that....." to experience and you really enjoy home-ownership and its unanticipated challengtes at that point.

That and when they get a yappy dog that they settle on booting outdoors to get some rest on a Sunday morning. Sad to say Yappy knows you don't need any rest.

And the list goes on.

(home owner since 1988 and still in the first and only one)