Moving In _More Adventures

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 a broken shower and a marginal vanity. The kitchen was barely usable with a working sink but little storage (and workshop cabinets). The central heating unit was ready to self-destruct and making a lot of noise. Too bad!

The rent on our apartment in Ft. Lauderdale was being raised dramatically and we decided to go. We hired a cheap moving company to handle our large refrigerator, king size bed, 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. It was loaded with the remaining beds, furniture, and construction equipment.

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 next adventure. We planned to take the I-95 interstate up to Ft. Pierce, where we would transition over to the Florida Turnpike. This decision would be our downfall.

I noticed while driving that the trailer was sort of weaving back and forth. I slowed 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 nor nearby exit ramp. I did not want to leave the loaded trailer sitting on the side of the roadway. My wife and her mom were in their vehicle behind me.

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. I knew the rim would be destroyed in the process.

Finally, An Exit!

We finally reached the YeeHaw 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.

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 with the widespread wheels hanging over and barely on the flatbed.

After following the truck back to the facility, I made arrangements to have it repaired. Not wanting to stay in town waiting, I made the decision to take everybody on up to the house. Animals in travel cages don’t work well out on the rode. I wanted to get that out of the way and come 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 move in. We arrived late and there was no heat in the house. We had to make do with what we had.

Sleeping in near freezing conditions, it seemed awfully cold for Northern Florida. 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 (with sofa) had no wall or ceiling coverings. The other bedrooms had no sleeping facilities.

Solutions, Solutions!

I needed a bed for my mother-in-law. 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.

Then we cleared out bedrooms 2 and 3 and installed our (guest) 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 was now livable.

A week later, I went back and got the completed trailer. After paying a $754 towing and repair charge (including a new running wheel and a spare), I headed back with no 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 first they wound up backing out the way they came in, and then backing again to our house. Then they mishandled the big refrigerator and the doors were flying open as they brought it to the house. Not knowing how to remove the doors for passage through the front door, they left it outside for me to deal with later. That cost me an extra $200 because the first delivery they scheduled was while we were stuck in Okeechobee! The charge was for holding and storage fees.

Lessons Learned!

I vowed never to move again. This house was it. After counting all the different places we have lived in, the total came to 8 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 stuff. 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, 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 before leaving the area. No more blown trailer tires 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!


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