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The Nine Scariest-Ass Things About Owning A House

Illustration for article titled The Nine Scariest-Ass Things About Owning A House

I own a house and the thing about home ownership is that it is a lifetime project. At any given moment, there is something about the house that needs addressing. There is always a PROJECT, and some homeowners like having such projects. They like to constantly spruce things up and tend to the landscaping and nurture the house like it’s a child. I am not one of those homeowners. I am a supremely lazy man. If it were up to me, I would just leave the house as is and die with an unfurnished living room and overstuffed gutters.


But sometimes, a house will not let you do that. Sometimes shit goes REALLY wrong, and it must be addressed unless you want to wake up with eight inches of raw sewage trapped in the basement. Sometimes shit breaks, especially in modern homes where everything is built to last exactly 10 years before crumbling into charcoal dust. Sometimes I actually have to get up, which something no dad EVER wants to do, look at something that’s broken, and then shell out ungodly sums to get it fixed so that I can sit back down again. This is the constant fear of homeowners such as myself and reader Adam, who asks:

What is the scariest/riskiest thing about owning a home? My wife is convinced that we will be consumed by a fire. She is also insistent that I hook up the security system so we don’t get robbed. I am much more worried about Mother Nature, like a flood of biblical proportions flooding my mancave. A close second is appliances crapping out when we’re hosting, or something like the upstairs shitter flooding through to the kitchen while company is over. What’s the worst for home owners?

God, there are so many. Let’s just go through the top worries in no particular order:

  • FLOODING. Oh God, flooding. Every time it rains, I shit a brick. When people tell me they’ve had flooding, I react like they’ve lost a child. YOU POOR POOR MAN. Regular home insurance usually doesn’t cover flooding. And even if you get separate flood insurance, it costs a billion dollars and only covers one kind of flooding. Like, if your basement floods because of rain, that’s not covered. If the AntiChrist emerges from his hellburrow and makes it rain blood for 90 days and nights, they’ll only cover 40 percent of it. Flooding is scary as shit.
  • MOLD. This is related to flooding, since water damage can cause mold, and mold can cause bankruptcy and/or suicide. Everyone knows someone who has had mold. “Oh yeah, we had to rip out the entire basement and then replace it all with cotton balls.” Fuck me. Look at this mold and tell you don’t want to die. Mold is also scary as shit.
  • HORRIBLE BUG INFESTATION. I fear termites for obvious reasons. But what if giant spiders also get a toehold in my home? Remember when all those brown recluse spiders invaded that one dude’s apartment? FUCK. Just… fuck, man! I’d be so upset. This whole house goes on lockdown if my wife spots a single mouse turd. I can’t even imagine what would happen if we had death spiders crawling all over the joint. Bugs are EXTREMELY scary as shit.
  • ANY KIND OF PLUMBING PROBLEM. If you have to call the plumber, it’s already too late. You’re going to lose all your money. Now I know why my dad used to get so pissed whenever I clogged the toilet. Big Vinny’s Toilet Snake Emporium is always lying in wait, dying to fuck you over. Plumbing issues? Scary as shit.
  • EMINENT DOMAIN. Oop, sorry! Turns out a local real estate magnate just inked a sweetheart deal with the county to take over your entire neighborhood in order to build a hybrid residential/commercial development. Ooooh, and it’s gonna have a Harris Teeter! Anyway, here’s 70 percent of your home’s value and a notice of eviction. Big Government: still scary as shit.
  • FALLING TREES. True story: One day we left our house and, when we returned, there was a 30-foot tree that had fallen across our lawn without warning. On a sunny day. It would have easily killed us if we had been under it, and it’s a miracle that it didn’t cave in the goddamn joint. I fear trees now. Trees are playing the long game, which is scary as shit.
  • ROOF PROBLEMS. I can’t even see what’s going on up there. There could be three-eyed monsters hanging out by the chimney and I’d be none the wiser. Anyway, roofs are constantly exposed to the elements, which means they are ripe to be fucked at any time by inclement weather, stray Frisbees, and bow-and-arrow attacks. It’s a ticking time bomb. You may as well replace your whole roof now and get it over with. You will be only slightly less scared as shit as a result.
  • NUCLEAR WAR. Obviously, this would be a global tragedy on unimaginable proportions. But also think of how long it would take to process your claim, if they process it at all! HORRIBLE. Even scarier than death, which is already scary as shit!
  • HURRICANE/TORNADO/FIRE VORTEX. See above. Scary. Shit.

Those are the fears. They are constant. You should just rent.

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.