Man cave or insect/rodent breeding ground?

Argh. When we went to the new house on Saturday to have some estimates done for taking down the popcorn ceilings and some kitchen cabinet reface-ing, we met some of the potential new neighbors. And so the story begins…

I will begin by saying that we are supposed to close escrow now on March 17th. The neighbor across the street is apparently a hoarder (as evidenced by his front “yard”) and generally a very interesting fellow. And by “interesting” I mean a little freaky. He came over and started talking to Kyle when we arrived to meet the handyman people. He quickly informed Kyle that not only was there a bomb shelter in our front yard, but that it was filled with water and the yard was sinking [insert gesture to small divots in grass of front yard]. He also said that he had informed the city and they would be coming after the owner for not having the shelter up to code (i.e us if we were to buy the house). Kyle thanked Senor Nosey Neighbor and went back to dealing with the repair people thinking that the guy was probably just a little off.

A short time later the neighbors next door came over and introduced themselves as well. They are much more normal-seeming and very friendly. Kyle slipped in a question about SNN across the street and was informed that he was a hoarder with some issues but relatively harmless. So Kyle mentioned that he had said there was a bomb shelter in the front yard. And thus we found out that in fact there IS a covered up bomb shelter in the front yard! Now I realize that there were many disclosures that I had to sign, but I’m pretty sure that I would have remembered that one. *sigh*

It turns out that when the owner purchased the home in 80s, he decided to plant a couple of palm trees over the entrance and just stick a fork in it so to speak. Supposedly, he never went down there to check it out because he was “too scared.” He also said that he had “forgotten” to mention the bomb shelter in the disclosures. Sounds suspect, doesn’t it? I mean how could you NOT check it out? I know that they can be dangerous but I’d be out there with a video camera duct taped to the end of a broom and a canary before I’d just plant a couple of trees over it! On the bright side, the next door neighbor and one of the real estate guys giddily offered to help dig it up. I think uncovering the bomb shelter is the equivalent to digging for buried treasure but for grown-ups. Kyle and I brainstormed some party themes along these lines and we were thinking that a Cold War-themed party with 50’s cocktails and the random use of sirens with duck and cover drills might be fun but decided that we probably should take a different approach to the bomb shelter situation. (I haven’t given up on the whole Cold-War theme party though so stay tuned for that. There’s a lot of potential there.)

So at this point, no one knows how to handle the situation because they’ve never had to deal with an undisclosed bomb shelter of unknown size and constitution. I think we’re going to try and see if he’ll dig up the trees stumps (he cut the trees down last year) and have someone inspect the shelter. If it’s intact, with a few Scar Face posters and some ventilation, Kyle can have the man-cave of his dreams! If not, then let’s fill it with dirt and call it a day.

Feel free to offer any kernels of wisdom. 🙂


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