When searching for a house in Georgia we had a lot of fexibility. We had a small bi-level in NJ and because we lived in a fairly deisrable neighborhood with good schools, when we sold the house we received a significant premium over what we paid for it.
This allowed us to get a house that would probably be worth close to 800K+ if we had purchased it in NJ and if it was in a more desirable locale than Sussex County where we resided (Mendham, Livingston, etc) it would be worth well over a million dollars. However, since we are living in Georgia we payed a good deal less than we sold our little house in NJ for.
One of the reasons I loved our house in NJ is because there was an actual river running through our backyard and I really enjoyed looking out the kitchen window and seeing the river or spending time on the deck and enjoying the view and the sound of the gently rushing water.
Here in Georgia, everything is broken down by subdivision and since we have children, living on a lake was pretty much out of the question. However, the house we decided on has a koi pond. We found this pretty appealing. The pond is located right outside the kitchen windows and when they are open you can hear the little waterfall that splashes into the pond. Also, when you look out the window you have a great view of the fish swimming around and I found myself routinely looking out at the fish. The first summer we were here there were frogs that had taken up residence in the pond as well and this was amazing.
There were two frogs and they would sleep in the waterfall, apparently enjoying the water rushing over them constantly. On very sunny days they would sun themselves on the rocks that the pond was built out of and routinely dive into the pond for a swim. I remember one day sitting at the kitchen window for over 30 minutes, just enjoying the little frogs playing in the water as the koi swam around them. They didn't return this summer and I really missed them.
Yesterday was Christmas here in Georgia and the weather was miserable. It was cold and dank and fairly depressing. No Dog of Consequence was kept inside as the weather was not conducive to his usual days of lazing around the backyard and sunning himself on our deck. I only bring up No Dog, because if he had been outside yesterday, the tragedy I am about to describe might never have happened.
No Family of Consequence was hanging around the living room as presents were opened and holiday merriment was enjoyed. However, No Baby, butt wiggling. as he crawled made a beeline for the kitchen. He was quickly scooped up by Mommy who let out a loud, "Oh my G-d!" followed by an equally loud, "Holy Crap!" I quickly got up from the couch to see what was happening and as I did I noticed a very large bird flying away. Apparently I missed the carnage.
It was a gigantic heron and it ate all of our koi. All of them. Gone. The waterfall continues to gently splash into the now empty pond and I feel like I was a bystander to a bad Discovery Channel documentary.
Mature koi cost between $30 and $100 apiece. So yesterday's birdy buffet cost me between $500 and $1500 worth of fish. My question remains, can I put in a homeowner's claim?
No 1 of Consequence