Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lost Causes

The above photo was taken when we first moved into our newly constructed home, the photo is a bit dark as it was taken just as the sun was setting. You may notice that the garden is nonexistent, the landscape barren, that green grass is really just a carpet of weeds. At this time the driveway was little more than dirt with a large mud hole in its center. It has taken us time, 2 years to be exact, to slowly transform our yard into a ... well into a yard, rather than a barren plot of land.

When we moved into our new home, we had an allotment of about $20,000 to do such things as install an irrigation system and buy plants for landscaping. But given the fact that our builder/contractor, Brad , was undoubtedly the worst businessman this side of the Mason Dixie Line our money disappeared. We are pretty sure that Brad over extended himself by attempting to construct 5 residences with his meager construction team, and I might add a very piss-poor team at that. Brad could easily have fired 2 or 3 of them and he would have noticed no difference in the amount of work being done. It’s sad that he was not able to see how he was being used by their laziness and ineptitude, to Brad they were good old boys, he had known them awhile and he placed his trust in them. Well sometimes the best of friends don't make for the best business partners.
I figured out that Brad was basically using money paid from one project to finance another, this game of musical funds is played much the same way as musical chairs with the outcome being very similar. When the music stops you end up with 4 chairs and 5 people, somebody ends up without a chair. Our $20,000 landscape allowance ended up who knows where, but definitely not in our yard.

Perhaps we could have taken legal action but it would not have gotten us our money. Brad didn’t have the money, the money was gone, long spent, matter-of-fact he was so in debt and over his head that his own electric bill often went unpaid leaving him in a dark home without lights or air conditioning, a condition almost intolerable in the heat and humidity of south Florida. Faced with a battalion of creditors who banged relentlessly on his door, plagued him with phone calls and sent threatening letters, his wife had taken all the harassment and hardship she possibly could and left him.
Many times we tried to reach Brad via telephone, calls were not answered as he knew all too well it would just be more demands for money, money which he did not have ... to be continued


  1. I feel your pain, after remodeling several years ago I vowed never to trust a builder again! Now with the slumping house market it is realtors, what is it about the housing market that brings out the worst in people! :(

    Hope your daughter feel better soon, regards, T.

  2. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  3. You have absolutely no idea how in touch with this I am. Money is money, it comes & goes but a year+ long legal battle, well that takes forever!

    I had started writing a book about our experineces working on our first home, you have inspired me to not only get back to it but release the introduction in a post (prob tomorrow, I'm going to tweak it a little bit). Amazing what we will let "slide" when we balance the effort to pursue vs. the outgo of cash.


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