Everything’s coming up Milhouse

When we initially closed on the house back in August, we closed with a $4,000 water bill, which our attorney assured us was based on estimated readings and that we would get that money back. Eventually. The seller’s bank somehow paid most of it, but we still had to write a small check for a few hundred dollars anyway, as the estimates kept rolling through, even after the last reading.

In November, we got a bill for almost $600, which we were also assured by the Department of Environmental Protection, that we would get back after the official reading happened. The bills came every three months, the DEP guy said, so hopefully we would get a reading in before then.

February rolls around and we get another bill for almost $300. Which made no sense to us because we had someone come by twice and get a reading on the whole thing. We even got a violation for it the first time when the guy complained that there was too much trash in the house and it was maybe covering the water meter. So it happened.

I called DEP because I really didn’t want to pay another water bill and the lady on the phone told me that we needed to hook up the wires we were given (which did happen, my boyfriend was handed a handful of wires and was told that we had to figure out how to hook the water meter in the front of the house to the main line in the back, wtf) so they could get a proper reading.

And then the bills will be adjusted?

Yes, then the bills should be adjusted.

And you’ll get the reading right away as soon as we get all this stuff hooked up?

Yes, it will come through our computer system automatically.

And if we do it before March, we won’t have to pay the bill?

Well, if the reading comes up as more than our estimate, you will have to pay the difference.

It won’t, the water hasn’t been used for years.


And if the credit comes out to be pretty big, can we get cash back?

Well, you would have to provide us with checks that prove you paid those bills yourself.

Oh. Okay. (Let’s not mention that the seller’s bank paid the bulk of it last year.) And if we don’t provide the checks, we get the credit?


Great, thanks.

Today, I got a revised bill in the mail and for some reason, now we have an $1,800.

I immediately called Brian. Did you give our contractor the wires for the meter?

Oh shit, no, I can do that today.

Wait, I just got an email saying we now have a huge credit on our water bill.

Wait, what?

Yeah, I don’t know what happened – I mean we should probably still get those wires hooked up as soon as possible – but now I’m looking at a bunch of adjusted water bill transactions . . . which means we won’t have to pay water for the next year, maybe more? (!)

In less Milhouse-y news, the plumber is not there today for some reason (should be done by mid-next week, emphasis on word should by contractor), contractor is also not there today, electrician who was supposed to finish a week ago is still working, and I’m paying one more month’s rent so I can stay in my apartment through March, because, well, yeah. All of the above.

And so it goes.


5 thoughts on “Everything’s coming up Milhouse

  1. You know when someone say’s to you “I know what your going through” Well I do know what your going through. We still have a couple of grand in “water bills credit” and we closed 4.5 years ago on a gut job!

    • Oh my gosh! That’s insane! I asked about them cutting me a check and they said that we’d have to produce all the checks ever written so they would know who to pay it back to. I decided to just take the credit, and, from what it sounds like you’re experiencing, never have to pay a water bill ever again 🙂

      • Right and of course you can’t produce the checks because you didn’t write them. They then got access to put in one of those electronic water meters when the builders were finishing the basement. So I arrive home and I can’t open the hatch to the basement because they installed it over the hatch. So I call them and they say “Sure we will send someone around. That will be like $200.00 (approx). I went apeshit and finally got them to do it without paying but what an bunch of pricks!
        One of a million stories…..

  2. I noticed you didn’t list an architect in you list of advisers, but I would assume you have one if you are completing a renovation. Am I wrong?

    • Thanks for reminding me, I knew I was forgetting someone. We do have an architect, but because the job is so small, he was only involved in getting the blueprints done and has been available for random questions here and there. He and his team have been incredibly efficient and responsive though. And very professional. I have added him to the list!

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