Monday, September 20, 2010

House Update

The ARC meeting went well, so hopefully we'll start work as soon as we receive notice of the facade grant!

For every step forward, though, there's always two (or three) steps back. The fence we put up in the spring had a section busted down, and people resumed throwing trash in our side yard, including two mattresses, a dresser, and five computer monitors/television sets. The basement entrance and kitchen entrance were broken into as well. Luckily, we didn't have much in the house, so the burglar(s) stole some tools and flashlights but courteously left the chifferobes alone.

I had also just finished reading "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" by Shirley Jackson (I honestly only bought it because of Penguin's new book cover design) and felt this immediate, visceral connection to the characters' struggle to protect their home. It opened up the reality of home ownership to me and how much you depend on the social contract once you own property. I'm more fired up for local politics than ever!


  1. Ay ay ay. I'm glad you were able to find some solace. I must check it out.

  2. I recommend getting the porch in check and getting some landscaping/plants going in front of the house ASAP. That's the first thing we did, and I'm so glad. It really raises the respect level that others will have for your property, and immediately makes your neighbors feel better about where they live.

    Also...lights on timers!

  3. agree with Anna's comments on getting some basic landscaping done. Even if it's planting a tree(s). Make sure to get rid of grafitti right away! In fact, I would spend a little extra money in getting the Antigraffiti paint as you'll have to go thru several rounds before 'they' get it and it's easier to clean off.

    Make sure you call Code Compliance...don't give up. Ask to speak to supervisors. Call the management company/realtor/owner handling the rentals on the multi-family occupancies and let them know there tenants can be liable if found that they are throwing trash/vandalizing your home.

    Once you actually begin rebuilding I would consider getting some type of security camera or security system along with some signs "No Trespassing", ADT stickers, "Guard Dog" etc.
    Another point to consider is to make some areas/nooks completely sealed/boarded or at least closed off in some manner. Again, I know it wont look pretty but it's about protecting your property for the short term until you can move in. And yes get lights! The more the merrier.

    Make yourself known to the local PD and FD. I mean it. Bake some homemade goodies during holiday, introduce yourself and let them know where your place is. I know it should be a given that your property should be automatically protected but that's not Newburgh and especially in the East End of the city.

    While there are many that may still go ahead and break the law, most will not, especially if they see your sweat going into the process. Not everyone in Newburgh, even in the worst of areas, want to live next to garbage.

    Last but not least, My #1 suggestion. Look at your home insurance policy and read it very carefully. Make sure you are covered and if not get additional coverage for property stolen, etc., when you are rehabbing. You don't want to get hit with a double whammy.

    Good Luck and keep writing. Really enjoy your blog :)

  4. This sounds all to familiar. Just keep taking those steps forward, regardless of the step or two backwards, and you'll be there before you know it!

  5. Wow, really helpful tips. I will definitely be adding lights and doing some landscaping, as well as reviewing the insurance policy. Good to know we're not alone!