A very good friend of mine is in need. A former U.S. Army combat medic, she served three tours over seas. After mustering out, she went to school and became an E.R. nurse, spending over 20 years at a VA Hospital.
A year ago she bought a second house as an investment, aiming to fix it up and flip it. Unfortunately, she bit off more than she could chew. Due to trusting someone she shouldn’t have and pressure to sell before interest payments ate up any potential profits, she wound up hiring a contractor who ripped her off of her life savings.
Not only did he take her for $60,000, but he started ‘work’ by doing demolition, making it virtually unlivable and guaranteeing it would be impossible to sell it for a fraction of what she paid for it. The list of damages:
- Tore up the floors in the living room, dining room, kitchen
- Tore out all the cabinets, appliances, plumbing in the kitchen
- Tore out the bathtubs & showers
- Ripped up the electrical wiring in the kitchen (some of which is being repaired now, after a year)
- Pulled up the flooring near the side entrance, leaving a gaping hole to the basement
Then he stopping coming, responding to her emails or phone calls. When he did finally respond, it was to ask for more money and more time–despite what was agreed to in the contract.
He then demanded another $15,000 for taxes and threatened a lawsuit if she didn’t pay, even though he had already broken the contract. She had to spend another $3,500 in lawyers fees for that.
Even if she were to put in that $60,000 worth of work, she’s paid so much in interest that she wouldn’t break even. It also turns out that the house needs to be leveled, which is another $10-$15K worth of repairs that she wasn’t counting on.
Now, she doesn’t know I’m trying to help her, and she isn’t one to ask for hand-outs. She isn’t in immediate danger of becoming homeless (she’s renting out her other house, which just covers the mortgage on that house), but with no more life savings, she is just a serious illness or injury away from losing everything it took her a lifetime to build. She made some mistakes, but she doesn’t deserve that… no one does.
But as it is, she’s working overtime and hasn’t been taking vacations all to make emergency repairs to the house so it can be livable. She still doesn’t have a kitchen sink (or any counters or cabinets for that matter). She has had no stove for a year. All the weather protection she has on the back of the house is a piece of plywood with a bit of tarp to keep out most of the rain. Every day she goes back to that house makes her sad and she has no time or money now to do anything to take her mind off of it. She was nearing retirement, but now that is out of the question.
Though she is not among our nearly 3 million wounded and disabled veterans, she has dedicated her life to taking care of them in their greatest moments of need. Please join with me in helping with hers. In lieu of donations, if you know any people in the Seattle area who would volunteer their time to help work on the house or the yard, please contact me. Anything would be appreciated. God bless.