The House Isn’t Ready Yet!

The day finally arrived. We decided to move wholesale into the new house. It wasn’t quite ready for occupancy yet, but it was livable.

We had painted 2 bedrooms that had no flooring yet. The guest bath had been painted with a new toilet installed, but still had a broken shower and a marginally useable vanity. The kitchen was barely functional with a working sink but little storage inside and workbench style cabinetry, if you call it that. The central heating unit was making a lot of noise and seemed ready to self-destruct. Too bad, I suppose!

What forced our hand was that the rent on our apartment in Ft. Lauderdale was being raised 40% and we decided it was time to leave. We hired a budget priced moving company to handle our large refrigerator, king size bed, and shop table saw (very heavy). The rest we moved via the utility trailer.

This is Part 9 in the BUDGETHOUSE RENOVATOR series that involves the search for, location of, and unique auction-style purchase of my home in the country. The series includes dealing with a foreign based auction house and escrow to help facilitate this transaction. Also, I show how I worked with a mortgage company programmed to process the “specialized” FHA 203k Program rehabilitation loans. My loan included funds to buy “and” repair my house. Part 8 is about dealing with Move in Events and first Renovation Steps. My next article in Part 10 is entitled Do It Myself Renovating“. It will expand on initial renovation steps with some trials thrown in for good measure.

Calamity On The Turnpike

We had to stay in a hotel the day before we moved. The beds and refrigerator were gone and the trailer had the first critical load and was really bogged down. The remaining beds, furniture, and construction equipment maxed out the capacity of our 16′ dual axle hauler and it showed.

Leaving the next day, I noticed that the tires on the trailer were kind of overwhelmed. The gross vehicle weight rating was 7,000 lbs., but the tires were 6 years old. I planned to keep an eye on them as we traveled.

With 2 birds in cages, and 2 cats in travel containers, we set off for the our new home. We planned to take the I-95 interstate up to Ft. Pierce, where we would transition over to the Florida Turnpike. This decision became our downfall.

I noticed while driving that the trailer was sort of weaving back and forth, so I kept slowing down to compensate. As we left the transition highway in Ft. Pierce and entered the turnpike, disaster struck.

After a few miles, one of the trailer tires blew and disintegrated. I had no spare nor accessible tools to remove the wheel. There was no crossover in the center divider, nor any nearby exit ramp. My wife and her mom were following in their vehicle behind me, but I did not want to leave them sitting on the side of the road keeping an eye on the loaded trailer while I searched for help. 

So, I made an unbelievable decision. I decided to limp the trailer along the shoulder for the next 35 miles on the now-exposed rim. The trailer was double-axled, but that didn’t matter with so much weight piled on. I knew the rim would be destroyed in the process.

Finally, An Exit!

We finally reached the Yee Haw Junction Plaza exit and pulled off. There were no close by hotels and so I pulled into the overnight truck parking area and unhooked the trailer, and we left.

While staying at a hotel in the town of Okeechobee, I located a truck towing and repair facility in town. They sent out a big flatbed truck to load my stricken trailer. It was so heavy that it took multiple steps to get it loaded properly with the widespread wheels hanging over and barely situated on top of the flatbed.

After following the truck back to the facility, I made arrangements to have it repaired. Not wanting to stay in town waiting while the facility searched for a new wheel, I made the decision to take everybody on up to the house. Animals in travel cages don’t work well out on the road, so I got that issue resolved first by taking everyone up to the new house and then came back for the trailer when it was finished.

Faulty Move In

Since the trailer had the remaining beds and more furniture, we had a rough time getting settled. We arrived late and there was no heat in the house, so we had to make do with what we had.

With the temperature outside hovering around freezing, it seemed awfully cold for Northern Florida at the time. Even though infrared heaters were purchased, it was not enough. The living room was open to the dining room, kitchen, and hallways. The master bedroom had no wall or ceiling coverings. The other bedrooms had no sleeping facilities at all.

Solutions, And More Solutions!

I needed a bed for my mother-in-law, so the next day I went looking for something reasonable. I found it at a furniture rental store. The manager gave me a new double bed assembly for $200. It was priced to coincide with their pre-Black Friday event. That was a blessing for sure.

Next, we cleared out bedrooms 2 and 3, then installed our queen sized bed set in one, and my wife’s mother’s new bed in the other. With the new heaters confined to rooms with covered ceilings and walls, the house at least now had livable sleeping quarters.

A week later, I went back and got the completed trailer. After paying a $754 towing and repair charge, which included 4 new tires along with 2 new running wheels so that I could have a spare, I headed back and reached the house with no further incidents.

We were able to salvage all the food we brought in coolers, including a large box of Cod fish fillets. A smaller refrigerator and freezer were already onsite from a previous trip.

We allowed the moving company to ferry our goods when it was feasible for them. When the truck arrived, it was occupied by 2 imbeciles. They were told that our dirt access road was not viable for a semi truck to maneuver in, but they pulled in headfirst anyways. I was back in Ft. Lauderdale for my last load at the time and gave instructions by cell phone.

So, they first wound up backing out the way they came in, and then backed again towards our house. Then they mishandled the big refrigerator and caused the doors to fly open as they brought it towards the house. Since they didn’t know how to remove the doors for passage through the front door, they left it outside for me to deal with later. That fiasco cost me an extra $200 because the first delivery they scheduled was during the time we were stuck in Okeechobee! The ridiculous charge was for holding and storage fees.

Lessons Learned!

After that misadventure, I vowed to never move again. This house was it. After counting all the different places we have lived in, I came up with a total of 8 different states and 28 homes. Such is the life of a contractor.

I will never use a moving company again, as well. We still have a big storage unit in Mandeville, Louisiana full of personal belongings and more tools. I will make the 260 mile trip there myself and bring back stuff one load at a time. Don’t know where to put it, though, but that is another tale.

Our RV was stored in Ft. Lauderdale (6 years) and I went back with my Son-In-Law, Shaun, to pick it up a year later. This time, I installed 4 new tires on it before leaving the area where it was located. No more blown ones for me.

My next article in Part 10 is entitled Do It Myself Renovating“. It will expand on initial renovation steps with some trials thrown in for good measure. Till then!

I am requesting that my readers click on the links provided and download a sample read of each book and give a review on Amazon. You will have free access to the first four chapters of each book. My hope is that you will like the story lines enough to obtain either an eBook version or a paperback copy that you can put on your bookshelf as a masterpiece when you are done. FATE STALKS A HERO I: RESURGENCE, FATE STALKS A HERO II:THE FIJI FULCRUM, and THE SAGA OF HERACLES PENOIT. I will be giving excerpts on these works in upcoming blogs to familiarize you the reader with exciting details about the contents of each one. Thank you!


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