08-30-11 - Big Pile of Junk

I dunno why I thought a home you buy would be clean; of course not, it's not required in the contract so only a sucker like me would do it (cleaning).

This is what we (or rather, our employees) pulled out of the house :

There was some crazy junk up in the attic and garage from the 40's / 50's. Lots of old metal bits that looked like turbine parts or something. I should've taken more photos but I was in a crazed rush with all the shit I was trying to get done before move-in.

Another thing that's obvious that I didn't realize is that between the inspection and key exchange, many sellers badly neglect the house. No yard maintenance, it might just sit vacant and dirty; sometimes they even actually trash it. It seems to me that a last minute walk-through before signing the closing papers would be a good idea, but nobody does that.

Anyway, paint is up, house is clean, lots of little shit left to do still, but I think the crazed part is over. I intentionally bought a house in very good shape to avoid living in a "fixer upper", but there's still just so much little shit to do.

Of course a lot of the problem is that I find myself succumbing to "home improver's disease". I find my eyes just scanning the room, and when they alight on something that isn't right the thought "I should fix that" pops into my head. All that little shit that you would just ignore in a rental like "those cabinet pulls are really ugly" or "that toilet paper roll holder is kind of broken"; my eyes won't just scan over it and keep moving, they get stuck, like they have friction and just catch up on it and my brain mentally sticks it on the todo list. This is a real disease that I have to resist.

A home is a bit like game development in that the todo list is essentially infinite. For games I've always liked to categorize todos into three groups : 1. must do , 2. would really like, and 3. wish list. You work on tasks in strict priority order generally, first all #1's , then only do #2's when there are no #1's. When new tasks come up you do an initial categorization, but you have to be flexible and move them up and down the list over time as things change (mainly you move them down the list as the #1's get too numerous).

The reality of game development is that you basically never get to any of the #3's, so in fact #3 is just a way of writing down something that you won't do (though it could move up the list under later scrutiny). And in fact you won't do most of the #2's either.


Aaron said...

Wow man. That's a lot of junk. I *still* have a fair bit of junk in my basement from previous owners, though some of it has been useful.

This reminds me of my most epic yard waste curb-side drop-off evar (a whole quince tree).

Thatcher Ulrich said...

Both times I've purchased I've done the last-minute walk-through thing just before signing, where you negotiate for slight adjustments or damage or whatever. Once in MA and once in NY.

Thatcher Ulrich said...

Congrats on the house by the way!

old rants