So we had a conversation with the neighbors yesterday after returning home from church. They filled us in on the goings-on at our humble abode before it was our humble abode. It so happens that the people that were there before the people that were there before us owned not only our house but our neighbors' house, as well. Over time, our neighbors told us, they have had to shell out about $20,000 to get the house up to code. Great. As if money isn't tight enough.
One event that was not entirely welcome for our neighbors was the fate of their doorbell. When using it one day, the wiring caught fire. I'm sure that kind of greeting would be quite traumatizing for a friend coming over for a friendly chat and a shared supper.
"I-I don't know, o-o-officer," Bob stammered to the cop on scene, with the charred ruins behind him. "I just brought over some barbeque for them and rang the doorbell. The house just burst into flames."
"Really? That's what happened?" the cop asked.
"Yeah," Bob replied. "Now what am I going to with these ribs?"
Our neighbors warned us about lots of things, most of which we already knew. The foundation in the king and queen room (old garage) probably isn't up to snuff because it was poured without permits. The wiring is going to have to totally be replaced. They weren't surprised to learn of our need to replace the flooring (with which we are about done replacing in the kitchen.)
It's good to have neighbors that are in the know about things that affect us. Knowing that these neighbors who have seen the inside of our house know the history of how it got that way gives us comfort that if something goes wrong, they likely will be able to let those who handle such things know what happened to us and why.
Now, where's that doorbell?
To add to the original post: the whole conversation started when they asked us if we knew anything about the fence. We didn't but we had noticed how odd and piecemeal it seems to have been built. Turns out they had a deal with the owners of our house that they would split the cost of the fence and build it together. Our neighbor went out and purchased lattice, posts and other fencing supplies and had it sitting in their yeard ready to go. Lo, our neighbors came home one day to find that part of the fence had been built, and badly so. No money was offered, much less given, for the materials used and it was too late to start over. So, we've given our neighbor the green light to tear down, rebuild, put up, or whatever he wants to do to the fence. Just as long as their dog does her business in her owners' yard and not ours, I'm happy!