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 How To Transcend A Condo Nightmare. No, really…How?




Can You Help Me Transcend?

tran·scend


Definition:  to rise above; surpass; to be greater than.


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How does a person rise above a nightmarish condo situation, while having to live there day after day? 
I can tell you, it isn’t easy.


CONDO HELL.  Soon, I will have lived in condo hell for four years.  It started out with a quick change in attitude from the guy who sold me the condo as soon as I bought the place.  (He was also the Developer, and is one of the Trustees.)  His behavior went from friendly and agreeable to dark, antagonistic, and, on occasions, threatening within a short time after my purchase.


Within a month, I had my first bout of raw sewage and overflow incidents which kept happening for the next two years.  This Trustee would not take responsibility to have the situation corrected, even after the City’s Plumbing Inpector contacted him and told him he needed to get it fixed.


On top of the sewage problems, the condo was filled with rental tenants who did not give a hoot about the neighbors or the property.  I was dealing with second-hand smoke streaming through my condo, excessive noise on a regular basis (any time of the day or night), unseemly trash and property maintenance issues, etc.  I witnessed violence between the tenants on a couple of occasions, and even received a death threat from a former neighbor.  On the day that neighbor moved out, my car was seriously vandalized. 


There was a stream of bug infestations, mold issues after the sewage incidents, and health scares.  I have lived in fear of illness and disease, retaliation, and for my general safety for four, long years.


SEEKING JUSTICE AND TRANSCENDENCE.  While I wait for the court system to decide if I have a case, with little understanding of what I can really expect, I am being encouraged by caring people to find a way to ‘transcend’ this place and experience.


I adore my pets, and I have one who is very, very special.  This beloved cat suffered through chemotherapy after being diagnosed with nasal lymphoma.   Research says the disease is exacerbated in dogs and cats from second-hand smoke.   That is what we lived with for two years, due to the fact that we have no ‘fire stop’ between the condos.  I had sore throats most mornings, when the former rental tenant lived in the abutting unit; and I found out later that he smoked more than cigarettes in there.  The Trustee I mentioned owned that condo, and did virtually nothing to help. 


I want to spend as much time with my pets as possible, but I find myself not wanting to go home after work.  I want to be able to enjoy their company and relax, and/or do some creative writing or work on my charitable pursuits when I get home each day.   But nothing changes for long in that building.  I have tried meditation, and I’ve begun doing more things outside of the condo, so I don’t have to spend a lot of time there.  But how and when do I get to enjoy a peaceful, safe, respectful home?  I pay two mortgages, rising real estate taxes, and condo fees, and yet I do not feel like this is ‘home.’


Any ideas?  I figured I’d put this out to the ‘Universe’ since I’m not having a lot of luck on my own. 


Just so you know, I joined a spiritual congregation to find some community and to meet folks with similar values. I’ve tried implementing gratitude exercises, too.  I try to list things each day I’m grateful for, including having a roof over my head.  Yet, it sometimes feels hollow, as I struggle with frequent and continuing condo- or building-related annoyances and incidents. 


I could use some guidance, ideas, and insights.  Does anyone have experience transcending a really bad condo experience?  Could use a few ‘there’s light at the end of the tunnel’ stories, if you’ve got’em.  


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* This situation culminated into what I now think of as The Great Raw Sewage Overflow of Summer 2009.  For a couple of days, other people’s fecal matter and tainted water poured into my tub, toilet and dishwasher, and overflowed into my other rooms.  I was terrified for my pets’ health and safety, and we were virtually homeless for a few days.  (I still shudder if I think about it for too long.)

 “Middle Class Lonely”

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

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On a Sunday afternoon in winter, I urge you to make your way over to Piers Park in East Boston.

There’s no one around.   It’s too cold. 

Walk to the end of the pier, and let the Sun shine on you. 

Ask the Sun to cleanse you…to cleanse your soul, and make you feel fresh and new.

Listen to the sea ducks as they run on the surface of the water before they take flight.

In your mind, take flight with them. 

Banish the loneliness.   Feel connected to All Things as you leave.

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I never knew there was such a thing as being “middle class lonely.”  But after going through this horrible condo situation—I now realize that politicians don’t really care about the individual, and I realize that my friends all have their own lives to live, and that they’re struggling too. 

INVISIBLE MIDDLE CLASS.  There are no programs for the middle class individuals like me who are deemed to have enough money in the eyes of society.  I’m supposed to be able to take care of myself.

So, what if you come up against someone like a ‘bad seed’ Building Developer or Condo Trustee…and you don’t have the money for an attorney to get leverage, and they’ve damaged your property value?  What if dealing with their antics and lies has done damage to your health and sanity, and you’re very tired and fear all this will finally affect your job?   Who’s there for you? 

It’s middle class lonely.   (I never knew.)  Read more…

 Raw Sewage in America!

January 26, 2010 Leave a comment
Raw Sewage Overflow Lasting Two Days! (Summer 2009)

I thought I was doing something good for myself.  

Bought a condo in 2007.   It was supposed to be a good thing.  Instead it has been two and a half years of horror.  My experience at this place has been something like the ‘Seven Plagues,’ including:  
  • Raw Sewage Overflows
  • Excessive Noise and Rental Tenant Violence
  • Insect Infestations
  • Second-Hand Smoke Exposure and Compromised Fire Codes
  • Property Maintenance Issues and Financial Deficits
  • Experience of Hostility and the Fear of Retaliation
  • Ongoing Condo Trust Rule Violations 

In my case, the Building Developer, Trustee and Seller were the same person.  I was told not to get a home inspection by the Seller and his Real Estate Agent (who I first believed was my agent), and that if I did, I would lose out on getting a one-year warranty on all the new appliances, cabinets, workmanship, floors, and bathroom.

The Real Estate Agent and the Seller both put pressure on me one night, and the Seller said, “… if you are concerned about money, and if something goes wrong—like the refrigerator dies—you would have to come up with another thousand dollars to get a new one if you choose to get an inspection over my warranty.”  

So, I spoke with my mortgage financing company, and they said an inspection was not mandatory.  However, I had been asking the Seller and his Agent (multiple times) if there were any assessments being planned or if there were any problems with the plumbing or electrical systems.  I was always told “no” and that they had spent a lot of time on the property, and that things were in great shape. 

RAW SEWAGE.  One of the more serious problems I encountered had to do with the raw sewage episodes.  One night, within a month of moving in, raw sewage poured from my tub, toilet and dishwasher for hours.  I was freaked!

There were at least 13 more raw sewage related episodes in the next couple of years, including one that lasted for two days, and ended in my condo unit being condemned during last summer by Boston Inspectors. 

My pets and I were virtually homeless for several days, and I have feared contamination and disease from the sewage all this time – for me and my pets. 

This is just part of the story…

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