Remember how excited I was?  Our contractor got licensed in Nassau, and all we had to do was get him his Long Beach license and the permits?  This leg of the journey was supposed to be so much easier.

It almost was.

Steve told me at lunchtime yesterday that the Long Beach license went through right before his eyes!  I ran around the rest of the day, completely giddy, telling everyone who’d listen, “All we need to do is submit and pay for the permits!  We are starting next week!”

After being granted the license, Steve wanted to make sure all our ducks were in a row.  So he walked right over to the building department and did his job being thorough.  That’s what we do.  That’s why it’s so surprising that nowhere along the way did we discover the new truth we are now dealing with:  we really do need to elevate our house.


So now we begin again, AGAIN.

And no, we likely will not qualify for the FEMA grant available for this purpose.  They do that assessment from the outside.  Our siding looks impeccable.  Steve power washed it himself.  Plus, FEMA thinks we’re rich!

But going further into debt seems to be the best possible financial choice we could make at the moment, in light of the information given Steve by the nice (and apologetic) lady at the Building Department.  In ten years, according to the FEMA Fact Sheet that despite all our research we are only now privy to, our insurance—if we do not elevate—is expected to go up to $9,500 a year.












He.                      Hehe.                          He.    He.    He.

There are a few other approaches we could take that would eliminate the requirement to elevate in our case.  But if we kept the house as is and tried to sell it a few years down the line, the transaction would kick in that “undiscounted rate” for the new owners.  What new owners, you might ask?  Ever?

Well, to that end, we have contacted Donald Trump and put a bug in his ear–just in case it takes 10 years to get our elevation project started.

Here’s the thing.  We are completely shut down—again.  Our architect needs to revamp our plans (we just finished paying him).  We need to decide how far up to go.  A surveyor must come and also be paid.  I made seventeen fruitless phone calls today and visited two useless web sites.  Started revising my loan request.  This, this, that, that, same old story since October.  Chaos, confusion, mixed messages, height requirements that might or might not change again in four years, a mitigation “expert” who could not answer a single question because her computer was down, etc etc etc….BUT.

BUT—all I did when I found out that not only were our permits not accepted but also, we needed to find another $50,000—was laugh.  There was, admittedly, a tinge of psycho to it—but it was a laugh all the same.


Then I ate Doritos all day.

Nonetheless I feel as though I have begun to walk in the footsteps of the Buddha.


Here is the little, low maintenance, low profile house we bought, because it was sweet and we never wanted to be house-poor.




  1. I would laugh, cry, scream, drink heavily and do it all over again. After two days of that I’d feel better and start over.

  2. Jenn. Have you ever had Doritos and red wine? It’s great! Quite a discovery! But then I thought, wine goes with cheese, why not dried, fake cheese on a crispy chip? Delicious! 😉
    With that news, you could have justified a gallon of ice cream in the other hand, and a few shots of bourbon.
    You should do all of this listening to “Elevation” by U2.
    I’m making light, but I felt my blood pressure going up the entire entry. I would be a babbling nut (my vote), with no hair because I’ve ripped it out.

    • Thank you! I thought it might have been you because I had heard you were on Etsy! It IS so nice to reconnect–it seems like our paths somehow cross every few years. How is my Richard?

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