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Jess Knows Best! Advice on love, life, and more for the modern geek and geekette!




Jess Knows Best

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This week: The Joys of Moving/Owning Your Own Home

After a long hiatus from Comics Waiting Room, I’ve returned! Where have I been? Moving! As Stimpy would say, “Ohhh Joy!”

Blech. Let me walk you through a few of the pros and cons of moving/owning a home.

Pro: As my husband’s editor Joe Rybandt (Dynamite Entertainment) would say, “The best thing about owning a home is whizzin’ in the yard!”

Con: Sure, you can whiz in the yard – if you don’t step in the neighbor’s dog’s crap, sink your foot in a mole hole, and break your ankle in the process.

Pro: Having a two-car garage means extra storage…and a practice space for our band!

Con: Security! In an effort to secure some of our most precious belongings (outside of ourselves), we immediately had a security system installed. So far, my husband has set it off twice (that I know of). He’s driving me to the Brinks of insanity! Yeah, I said it!

Pro: Living in a nice private neighborhood. We are actually co-owners of the private street we live on, so everybody knows everybody, and knows if someone doesn’t belong here.

Con: False sense of security. After watching a young man walk across the street, where he had been talking to another neighbor, my husband opened the front door to find out what he was “selling.” The story he gave: “I’m out collecting subscriptions for magazines (or straight donations), as part of a rehab program.” What really happened: He was casing our house. He even looked in past the front door and noticed we had two laptops in the living room: “Hey, I see you have the internet! You could pick out the magazines online.” Right. A visit from a local police officer confirmed our suspicions. The magazine sales act is regular among thieves.

Pro: Saying goodbye to our landlord. We rented from him for the past five years, and during that time, he’s actually been a decent guy. As such, we even offered to let him in to do work on the condo prior to our actual last date of rent (August 31).

Con: You give them an inch, they take a mile. We cleared out MOST of our belongings on August 18, leaving behind only those we didn’t trust the movers to handle. They still managed to break a BUNCH of stuff, but our moving insurance will cover that. However, unbeknownst to us, the landlord brought in a painter just two days after our main moving date. This meant our clothes were still in closets, my son’s Lego sets were safely placed on shelves out of the way, our keyboards were safely placed in the corner of a bedroom, and the dried roses I’ve had since my marriage 10 years ago, and the bridesmaid’s bouquet from my best friend’s wedding were still hanging where I’d left them. Mr. Dillhole painter decided we must have just left all this stuff as “not important.” He shoved all our clothes in garbage bags, stacked the keyboards in the living room (damaging keys), moved the Lego sets (undoing all the hours of work my son put into building them), and THREW AWAY my roses. Yesterday, we discovered he put our vacuum cleaner in an outside storage closet – on top of a bottle of charcoal starter fluid. I didn’t realize the damage that was done, of course, until I went to pick up the bottle and it spilled all over me and the vacuum cleaner. There are no words for how angry I am about this situation, and the landlord better believe I’ll use my legal resources (I’m a former paralegal) to collect if I have to.

All in all, even with the crap we’ve had to endure, we’re very happy here in our new home. I have a very rare and unique set of problems with my hips that will require surgery very soon if I’m ever going to walk without a cane again. This house has no stairs and will facilitate that surgery and recovery, so I really can’t complain too much. I’ve never been so happy to be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt!

Since this is supposed to be an advice column, let me leave you with some words of wisdom: If you have the opportunity to buy a house, and the stars align in that perfect way, I highly recommend the purchase. You’re making an investment in your future, your family, and your own peace of mind. Expect the best, prepare for the worst, and don’t be surprised if something completely beyond your wildest imaginings pops up along the way.

Now, I’m off to purchase a lawn mower.

Ask Jess!


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