NYRican in LA: The Difference Between Renting and Owning Is a Hell of a Lot More Money

The kitchen's circuit problems, it turned out, were due to lazy wiring. The rewiring job cost nearly $2,000, took almost a week and left holes in the kitchen walls and master-bedroom closet.

The noise in the walls was rats, many of them. "It's really bad," two separate exterminators told me. Not wanting to spend $500 to $1,000 more, my pareja and kids tried to poison the rats out--which apparently didn't work, so back to the wallet.

The drywood termites still live, and crap. In the closing papers, the house flippers allegedly paid more than $1,000 to have the house treated, but other exterminators told me that the treatment wasn't applied given the size of the infestation. Currently there is a complaint pending with the State of California Structural Pest Control Board and a $2,000 estimate for fumigation.

Don't get me wrong. I love sitting in the warm Southern California sun, and that my front porch and yard are my office. The lemon tree is blossoming, hummingbirds visit daily and the loquats are ripening. But there is no super to handle stuff. It's my paraja and I and our bank accounts.

Follow Maegan "Mamita Mala" Ortiz as she chronicles her adventures as a Nuyorican in LA, including trying to find Puerto Rican food among Mexican and Asian cuisine, her young daughter asking if she can be Chicana when she growns up, being grateful for not having to smell her vecinos, her musings on different Spanglish accents and slang, and the story of how the self-proclaimed original "Twitterputa" fell in love and ended up here in the first place.

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