PLEASE NOTE: Today’s post is taking place at the Hazel Green Farmlet location, and not on the Mountain Farmlet! 😉
The old place died today. No one was sad about it. It was an evil, killing place. Over the years it had been the ruin of four happy marriages, and had drained the bank accounts of at least five people in the five years since we moved here. Most were people thinking to patch the place up and “flip-it.” Sadly, one of the unsuspecting buyers was a young family who had put down “earnest money” on the place to secure their purchase. They wanted to make it a home for their family. Thankfully, they found out the truth of the property in time. They may have lost their $500. deposit, but their health, marriage, and their bank account are intact.
Unbelievably, the frame had been built onto ground with a very high water table. The soil would not allow for a good draining septic system, and for all appearances… the frame was built onto the soil! This allowed for moisture to wick up into its framing, and then the termites came. One of the owners over the years removed the wood flooring and tried to pour in a foundation. The foundation not being attached to the house, well, it was ‘floating’ and when the rainy season hit each year the water came up and then under the tiling and carpeting. One buyer even tried to dig a pond… a scary deep pit, onto the back of the property. It was his hope that the water would drain into the huge void and keep his home dry. I am afraid he did not understand about water tables. It of course did not work. When the rain came the pit filled with water and became a lake, the water table still rose to level beneath his home. He was no better off for his spent time and energy, and perhaps worse off, because now he had a murky mosquito infested swamp back there.
In the last two years the place had become an attractive nuisance. Late in the night it was being inhabited by
“…young ruffians who came there to smoke and drink.”
This, of course, led the younger children into believing that the place was haunted! Thankfully, the neighborhood is close-knit, and kept a watch for trouble. The sheriff was called out a few times and this quickly put an end to the trouble with trespassers.
Abandoned, ugly, rotten to its core, it was a dangerous eyesore on our little street, and now it is coming down. The backhoe made the first cut. Timbers cracked and nails shrieked as the bucket tore at its frame, but the evil place wasn’t done yet.
As the backhoe worked on breaking its bones the house spewed clouds of plaster dust into the air.
Laden with mold spores the stench was horrible.
Having completed my early morning chores I beat a hasty retreat into the house!
As I write, its remains are being bulldozed by county workers into the now dried out
pond mosquito swamp. The whole space will be filled in, properly graded for good drainage, and grass planted over it. When the new owners are done it will be a park-like setting for their family BBQ’s, and in summer a place for neighborhood gatherings.
I have no idea how much the last unsuspecting buyer paid for the place, but I know he sold it at a great sacrifice to his wallet, to someone local who knew its history and wanted it gone.
28 thoughts on “Farmlet News: the end of it”
I love stories like this – something bad is done away with and creation of something better is put in place! I can’t believe appraiser’s and inspectors approved this purchase for any prospective buyer’s loan. I remember that house… it did not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. It sort of held a doom in the neighborhood. I am thankful it’s gone too. You and Bob be careful about venturing out much in the next days. Let things settle a bit!
It is wonderful news, isn’t it? Yes, we will stay in for sure! At least until it rains for a few hours, which it is supposed to do off and on this week. 😉
It is a sorry situation for any prospective buyer in Alabama. Home buyers must be very careful when purchasing because the state goes by the rule of “Caveat emptor” or Buyer Beware:
“A warning that notifies a buyer that the goods he or she is buying are “as is,” or subject to all defects.”
You can read more of the legalese HERE
And as you have seen here on my blog, even with a home inspector on the job you can still be faced with surprises! Though I don’t see how anyone could have failed to see the black mold and smell the dank musty odor in the place. It really was RANK!!!
Yay! Some places are never meant to be.
Yes, Annie! Right from the beginning the builder had to know that the property was not a good building site! It has been a thirty year disaster and today it is finally finished.
Very interesting story!
Thank you, Nancy. I think I will need to do an update in the future to show the before and after. It is amazing what the bulldozers have accomplished in only this morning!
Wasn’t sure at first if this wasn’t another of your 100 word stories…
So, my question is, “Why were building and septic permits ever issued for this site in the first place?”
I haven’t a clue, Deb. I do know that at the time this home was built, this area was considered pretty remote and rural. A lot could be gotten away with out in the country as they weren’t subject to the municipal codes.
Just look at what we are changing at the Mountain Farmlet. Granted, it is older, but I still keep hearing, “This is the country, you can do whatever you want, there are no codes out here.” Thankfully, this ethic is changing in Madison County. We now have stricter codes and permits are necessary. Not everyone likes this change, but we sure do! 😉
Well, from what I’ve seen, municipal building codes are usually pretty logical minimum standards. They sure make “buyer beware” a lot less hazardous (and ‘way less chance of something coming back to bite you in the butt!; )
Glad this mouldering pile of trouble is going to rise like a Phoenix from the rubble: )
Wait a minute… Did you say “Madison County”? Like, as in “The Bridges of Madison County”?
There’s more than one. 😉
The title that popped into my head is The Little House of Horrors.
For all the previous owners I am sure it was, Steve. It is dead and buried out back, sans the salting. It can’t hurt anyone else. 😉
goodness me! c
I saw the new owner surveying the finished job and I yelled across to him, “Did you feel it?”
Him, “Feel what?”
Me, “Our property values just went up!”
He chuckled, and I thanked him.
Your title scared the hell out of me!
Oh sorry! But you are correct, it is scary, Julie!
Yes it’s scary Lynda but I liked your writing. I can see that you work hard at the Farmlet.. you already have nice flowers.
Chantal, those flowers are from a huge Crape Myrtle tree that was sawn down years before we bought this place. The little shoots persisted in coming up into the lawn even after all those years; so three years ago I just decided to stop chopping off their little heads!
The result has been a Crape Myrtle bush! I like its flowers too! 😉
Lucky you with that Crape Myrtle tree..
Yes! We’d love an update down the road. What a story! And for all the negativity surrounding the old place, your photos are great! I love that second one especially!
LOL! I have a few more and there are a couple more needed but for those I have to wait…
OK. I’ve just read your update and I’m really confused. I’ve never heard of the “Hazel Green Farmlet” before. Is that where you’ve been living? Or is it a third farmlet? I guess I haven’t been reading closely enough to keep everything straight in my mind. Well, or my mnd is going!
OH, please no! I don’t think I could handle three Farmlets!
Sorry to confuse you, Linda. The original, and where we still live, is the Farmlet. It is in Hazel Green. 😉 So there is the Farmlet, and the Mountain Farmlet. Clear as mud? 😉
Yes, ma’am! I was beginning to quiver a little when I thought of three farmlets! In my other comment, I mentioned that I finally found “Hazel Green” up in your header and figured that out!
Whew! Glad we got that one cleared up. 😉