Monday, July 12, 2010

821 W. 30th St

821 W. 30th St, Richmond, Va 23225. View Larger Map This is the Google Maps picture of the house we rented. It was "good enough". The house itself is a mess, but it is close to a lot of parks, close to the city, and has great neighbors. Terry and Patty Shulman put this house on the market in February. That was a pain, especially with a little baby. People walking through your house when you're not there, people walking through on the evenings and weekends when you are there, trying to arrange walk-throughs at times when the baby isn't napping... Terry was even walking people through himself when the baby was very sick. It's one real downside of renting. The house was originally offered for $282,000. It eventually went down to $258,000, but never sold. It is assessed for $230,000.'s "zestimate" for the house is $216,000. We would not have bought the house even for $216,000. Among the many things wrong with the house included:
  • The house was incredibly drafty. Every visitor commented on this. There is a large gap under the front door. We stuffed that up - but it wasn't the whole story.
  • There's no tub. And no place to put a tub. The upstairs bathroom is very small. The existing shower is cruise-ship sized. We bathed the baby is a portable tub in the kitchen. That got old very quickly. Jeanine insisted on a tub in our next house.
  • The door to the baby's room didn't close at all. Several doors were "challenged". The house was built in 1920, the house has moved quite a bit, and the doors are probably all original.
  • The baby's room is crazily slopped. I often had the sensation of being at sea when I walked around that room. The furniture we put in that room did not stand on all 4 legs.
  • The columns on the porch are slanted. I guess they've moved with the foundation. It makes it look a little like a haunted house.
  • The mortar between the bricks in the basement and on the porch is crumbling. It leaves a fine powder. Wiping it up doesn't do, as it keeps crumbling.
  • The grout is crumbling in the downstairs bathroom. Cleaning the bathroom floor was always an adventure. You had to strike the right balance between scrubbing hard and knocking more tiles loose.
  • The basement is wet. The dryer in the basement broke while we were there and the dryer plug fused to the outlet. The outlet area seemed very wet to me. I'm not an electrician - but this may have been part of the problem.
  • There were 2 episodes of wasps appearing in the house for several days in a row. They may breed in the ventilation system. We were never able to figure it out.
  • Several times we heard animals running around the attic at night. They seemed to be about the weight of a small cat. I guessed rats or possums. We still don't know. I don't think possums run as fast as these guys ran. Because of the baby in the house, Jeanine was very nervous about this.
  • The wallpaper in the entryway is horrible. The wallpaper in the upstairs bedroom was old - very old - and peeling from the top, at the seams, and was torn. It crackled to the touch. It could have been anywhere from 20-50 years old. I'll post pictures later.
  • The kitchen counters were some old plastic-y linoleum-y stuff. I don't know. What was irritating is that even after you cleaned the counters, they still felt sticky. Yuck. There was a burn-hole in the kitchen island. I often wondered if someone put out a cigarette there.
  • The door to the basement is partially blocked by the kitchen counter. That was a real pain for trying to get laundry up and down. For bigger items - like our tub of holiday decorations - you had to go out the back staircase into the yard, and then up through the backdoor.