Tuesday, November 16, 2021

We Went Inside

After seeing the raccoons on the neighbor's roof again, we realized that we should probably go take a look inside to see the damage. Roger had watched a video of the damage that raccoons can do to a roof and a house.  So, I called the owner and asked if it would be okay if we went in. She said, "Of course, that's why I gave you the key. Go in anytime and look around." Here is what I wrote the first time we went in in January of this year. 

It so surprised us when we walked in. We expected cobwebs and filth everywhere. We expected inches of dust and stinky mold. What we saw was beauty. It has not been touched in so many years, but the piano in the living room looked ready for someone to sit and play. There were lovely paintings on the walls, and family photos still attached by magnets to the refrigerator door. It looked like such a well-loved home, full of sweet history. It was such a stunning difference from what the exterior looks like. How is this possible? We have no idea. 

So, we went in. This is what we found.






The last photo is of the house exterior falling apart as much as the house interior. The photo above that is of mushrooms growing on the carpet in the living room. The rest is damage from rain and raccoons. The house looks like the raccoons have found a way in and have been rummaging through stuff, there's old mail strewn across the floor everywhere. Supposedly a contractor is going to call me and set up a time when I will let him in the house. No call yet, so far. 

That house is quite a science project. We're in for more rain, and on it goes.

44 comments:

  1. WOW, that house is creepy, great for a movie set. The raccoons have had a ball! Why the owners did not rent it out is a question I have. I mean besides the raccoons.

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    1. Linda Sue-- I'm guessing it's a long story why the house has just been abandoned like this. It's always hard to figure out how something like this could happen to such a beautiful home.

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  2. Oh my goodness...what a mess!Why would anyone abandon a furnished house like that and not look after it?

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    1. Frances-- It is a mess, and it's heartbreaking to watch a lovely house decline like this.

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  3. Oh Horrors. Reading your early impression and seeing this is mind numbing. Those raccoon have had a busy time in those months. Don't envy anyone doing clean up and hope the contractor can figure out how to keep the varmints out.

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    1. Patti-- We met with the contractor. He's got ideas and a plan. Fortunately most of the damage is in the living room. We haven't figured out yet how the varmints get in and out. We know they get into the attic, but from there it's hard to tell.

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  4. This is such a baffling chapter in some family's story. Something tells me that it may be only the tip of the iceberg. I can't help but wonder what is behind this situation. Is it simply a lack of money to keep the house up? This is not even the end of the story. Something deep in me is horrified by the contrast between what appears to have been loved and what has been abandoned so stunningly. And then there is the parallel life of the family of raccoons who have found shelter in this abandoned house.

    Perhaps the contractor can explain what caused the hole in the ceiling. Do the raccoons jump through the hole? How do they get back into the attic? Is there another way for them to make their way from the attic to the rest of the house? How did the hole in the roof get there? Does the hole in the ceiling match the hole in the roof? A meteorite (!?) Maybe I am a scientist, too. I have so many questions. I wish I could enlarge your photos. My computer continues to make them smaller when I click on them.

    And I'm curious about that lion.

    Houses can have a considerable lifespan. This house's lifespan has been shortened to a degree that is deeply puzzling.

    I love the sun breaks after the storms, but it's been wild up here. Schools closed. Roads closed. Flooding. Trees down.

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    1. am-- The whole in the ceiling was caused by the hole in the roof where the raccoons get in and out of the attic. They found a way in and have stayed since the hole first appeared. The tarp was meant to keep them out, but they tore through that right away. I wish you could enlarge the photos. I am baffled why you can't.
      I love that lion. It is the lion version of our favorite pig Oinky!
      Take care there. Hope you get lots of beautiful sunny days.

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  5. This saddens me. Why let all of these nice things go to waste? It could all have been sold or donated to people that need furnishings. The home could have been sold or rented out. Such a waste.

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    1. EllenD-- It is sad. I really hope this time the work on the house will be done, so it doesn't just fall into a pile of rotted wood. It's heartbreaking.

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  6. I just don't understand what's going on with that property owner. Why would anyone leave a furnished, empty house essentially abandoned? Are they really going to hire a contractor to fix it? Why don't they just sell it? (So many questions!)

    Those mushrooms are a marvel!

    If the raccoons are getting into the house through that hole in the ceiling, they must be getting back up into the ceiling somehow in order to get out again. I think there must be other damage that you haven't even seen.

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    1. Steve-- We have a lot of questions too. I feel like it's our job right now to keep an eye on that house. It seems so sad to just let it fall into a mess like this. Yes, we were blown away by those mushrooms. Not something we expected to see. When we went into the house with the contractor yesterday, we were all trying to figure out how the raccoons could get out of the house once they got in. We don't have an answer yet. Crazy.

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  7. It's unbelievable the damage that can be done by racoons. It's good that you went in .Well it's too late to save that place.

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    1. Red-- We're hoping that the house is salvageable. The damage is almost all in the living room. So there's hope.

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  8. Unbelievable how utterly cute and utterly destructive those little rascals are.

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    1. Linda-- I am truly surprised by how destructive those adorable raccoons are.

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  9. Why would someone walk away from a house full of furnishings and pictures on the walls? Just lock the door and never look back. I don't get it but it happens here too. My sister knew a woman whose family owned four houses all in a row and whenever the occupant died, that's what they did, locked the door and just left it. When her mother died, Pam asked her if she was going to sell the house. Oh no, the woman exclaimed, we never sell property. But they'll let the house and furnishings decay into the ground. Doesn't make sense to me.

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    1. ellen-- It doesn't make any sense to me either. It's very sad to watch a lovely home just fall apart like this. We're hoping work can be done to truly restore it.

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  10. Oh, no! I feel for the homeowner. That’s going to be a lot of work to clean up. Since raccoons are in, I’m sure there are micr, too. Mice can also make a heck of a mess.

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    1. oldwhitelady-- We feel for her too. She lives far away and can't really see how thing are unfolding here. Yes, we think there might be mice and rats helping with the destruction.

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  11. Oh what a shame for such a lovely home to be turned into shambles. Those raccoons really did a job. Why doesn't anyone live there or take care of it?

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    1. gluten Free A-Z-- The story we've heard is that the woman who owns the house inherited it years ago. She does not live close by and has not been here to check in. Thank you so much for commenting. I tried to comment on your blog, but it wouldn't publish. Not sure why. Here is what I wrote, and I promise to try again:
      "That sounds delicious. I am bookmarking your page so I can read old and new posts and get inspired by your wonderful recipes. Thank you so much for stopping by Dharma Bums blog. It's lovely to hear from you. Not sure how you found us, but glad you did."

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  12. Thank you for visiting me too at my blog. It did go through but I have it set so I have to first approve all comments before they publish. How I found you? You and and I both left comments on another blog and I thought I would visit everyone who left a comment. I find lots of interesting blogs that way.

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    1. gluten Free A-Z Blog-- I'm so glad you the comment published. Thank you for letting me know. I look forward to reading more of your recipes. The best part of blogging on the internet!

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  13. What a mess! If they wanted to trash the place they couldn't have done much better than to invite raccoons in - unless they'd rented it to students of course.

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    1. John-- You have no idea how much I worry about this house being rehabilitated and then rented to students. Not kidding, the owner mentioned such a thing to me once. I'd prefer raccoons.

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  14. My God, what a mess! I've seen raccoon damage in older homes before and had to do some repairs for same, but, man, what a mess...

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    1. pressedfortime-- We think that some of the stuff from the attic fell to the floor and that the raccoons haven't made it into the house... yet. What a mess.

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  15. That house makes me so sad. I wish they would fix it, even cheaply, and allow someone to live in it for nominal rent. What a waste. What a waste.

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    1. 37paddington-- I just went back and read nearly two years of emails between the homeowner and me. Now I feel like just looking away and letting it crumble. So much has been promised, so much has gone unfulfilled. What a waste.

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  16. If that was here in the UK the local council would be complaining and could even force a compulsory purchase on the place. Thankfully people do tend to let the houses out some they are not often empty, what ever that neglect is going to cost them

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    1. Billy-- Many of the neighbors have discussed with us about going to the city to see what can be done. We make take that path, if nothing comes of this horrible problem.

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  17. Oh my gosh, what a mess! Is that the set for a TV show or a real house in sad shape?

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    1. Ally-- Well, it could be both, but at this point it's a real house in very sad shape. Truly a bummer.

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  18. OMG! That is tragic. I think you said that the owners live in San Francisco. I told Judy they have too much money, then added "Of course if you can live in San Francisco, you DO have too much money."

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    1. Catalyst-- She lives in the Bay Area, but I'm not sure it's San Francisco. I have no idea why she's letting a house like this just crumble. It's beyond comprehension.

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  19. Those critters have really made a mess of things. I'm with you, I can't imagine why someone would let a house get this bad. I think of all those desperate for housing....

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    1. Tara-- The raccoons definitely made the hole in the roof, and the rain made the hole in the ceiling. Once we took a good look in there, it seems that the raccoons have not made it down from the attic into the house. The mess on the floor may have come from stuff stored in the attic. It's just a mess, and we're expecting more rain, and the hole in the roof and hole in the ceiling are still there. Oh well.

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  20. I just looked at these photos, Robin, and then backtracked to your previous post of the raccoons on the roof. Like so many others have commented, it was indeed sad that the house was left to decline yet still furnished inside. That said, it wasn’t totally a surprising sight as when we lived in VA we saw many similarly abandoned homesites and also wondered “why.”

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    1. Beatrice-- We just can't understand how a person can let a beautiful home like this just fall apart. We're still hoping that something will be done to repair it and perhaps even sell it.

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  21. I don't get why people do this - leave a house like that. Why not sell or rent it? Or let homeless people live in it for free as long as they are good tenants.

    I guess it might be good not having a neighbour on the side though - it's a bit of a lottery with neighbours.

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    1. Dr Michelle-- It makes no sense. She doesn't do anything unless she is called upon to take some action. I don't know how someone can be like this. She does the least thing possible, and then doesn't do any follow up for years.

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  22. I find it hard to understand too Robin. But my own father let his house fall apart, even though I volunteered to help him renovate it. Unfortunately the reason he did nothing about his house was the same reason his life was so difficult and didn't end well. Basically an inability to face reality and even worse maybe - a debilitating fear and obsessive 'perfectionism' that prevented him from finishing projects and dealing with his life in a practical way. He allowed every tooth to fall out of his head because he never went to a dentist! He managed toothaches with Paracetemol until the tooth fell out. He wouldn't go to doctors and when he broke a hip and ended up in hospital, chose to starve himself to death rather than face an operation. I loved him but he was a difficult man and his life was quite sad.

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    1. Dr Michelle-- Your father's story is utterly heartbreaking and tragic. I can't imagine what he experienced, and what you experienced watching such a thing unfold. I wish we lived closer and were not separated by an entire globe of distance, I would love to meet up with you and talk. I send you sympathy in every way for such an experience.

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