REAL ESTATE=REAL PAIN

Do you ever have one of those days?  You know the kind you want to pull your hair out, or sit down and cry like a big baby-or take a 3hour nap, or a scarf down a gallon of ice cream all by your lonesome?  Ever have those kind of days? Well I feel like I’m having one of those weeks.  I know I shouldn’t feel this way, because I live a pretty blessed life, it’s just very hectic right now.
                I shouldn’t go telling the whole world our problems, especially since to some they might not seem like problems at all, but I’ve always lived my life like an open book, and sometimes I just NEED to VENT.  And so now you get the pleasure of hearing me vent, well you can’t hear me, but you get my jist.
 Five years ago.  Five years ago is when Danny and I bought our first rental property (1 of 2 we own)  Stars twinkled in our eyes as we dreamed of pursuing  numerous investment properties so we could retire wealthy and travel the world.  What can I say we were young and naïve-and the first rental property has been a success.  Well since we were doing so well we repeated the plan and two and half years ago the hubby and I bought our second rental property.  And that second rental property was bought with tenants already in there.  Tenants that kept the place clean and  paid their rent every month.  For the first year it was all dandy and fine, but then one of them lost their job.  Now obviously we had compassion on them, and so long as they were trying to pay rent we didn’t  charge late fees and didn’t kick them out.  We lost thousands of dollars that year, that we forgave, never expecting it back.  And they got back to paying rent on time and in full. 
                Well in the summer time, August to be exact we stopped getting rent.  Now please know that we aren’t rich folk.  We don’t really make money from these properties we make enough to pay their bills and all the lovely house repairs that have come with it.  So we have been going without rent.  They owe thousands of dollars again, but this time we had to evict them.  It’s not something you want to do, but then I don’t want to lose the house either.  So they left the house this week, after paying us one month’s worth of rent and leaving a bunch of junk behind.
                So we are scrambling now.  Scrambling to get some new tenants.  I’ve been dragging the kids all across Allentown, to a  property manager  so they could check the place out at their leisure and meet the heating and cooling guy at the property. Why was I meeting the heating and cooling guys?  Well, the oil tank was empty so much that we needed the pilot lit by the pros. The tenants never bothered to refill the tank, they just let it run dry.  I needed to get that oil tank filled-epsecially on the coldest day of the year.  After numerous phone calls and I mean numerous we (the heating and cooling guy was kind enough to help me out)  finally got an oil company to come in yesterday and fill the tank up.  Ha Lay Lou Ya, looks like the pipes won’t be cracking, phew. 
I walked about the house with the girls, while waiting for the oil guy to show up, my first time actually in the house.  I could see that there was the usual to prepping a house, like painting cleaning and new carpeting.  More work, more money.  Why did we get into this business again?  Truly the house itself isn’t bad, really.  It’s an older town home, and it was pretty big.  I sometimes romanticize things and for a brief moment after reading a blog I truly love- I thought , how exciting to live in the city, I think I want to live in the city.  An afternoon in Allentown has changed my mind.  No yard, random people walking by your house, some  looking a bit shady, and we were in the heart of downtown, on an alleyway.  I was a little anxious to say the least.  So when the oil guy knocked at the door, I was ready to get outta there.  Ready, but not, because I locked the keys in the house, and the car door was locked and the kids and I were stuck in the alleyway in the frigid cold, as the sun was beginning to leave the day.  Frantically pulling out the four items in my purse I reclaimed a single house key I had made a copy of earlier.  Dragging the girls with me I ran around back –because it was the key to the back door-and retrieved the keys.  I had reached tears now.  The stress of the day, the situation, just a LIFE at the moment.   And I’m grateful to live in a small town with a yard, where I know and trust my neighbors. 

Just to inform you, I do not regret buying the rental properties.  It has been an eye opening, learning experience.  I now know how to go about evicting tenants that don’t pay, open business accounts, drive through Allentown-really all the one way streets!- collect rent, pay random bills, acquire city business licenses,  and most of all call people, LOTS of people, oil companies, plumbers, roofing and siding businesses, water, section 8 etc.  And I’ve learned from our mistakes, like getting into real estate with a small percentage down-really not a good idea, the more you have down the more money you’ll make in rent- and just because you can start in the inner city does not mean that you should.  Section 8 tenants are great!  Our other rental is section 8-but if they aren’t section 8 in the not as pretty part of the city, you can bet you will be taken advantage of-and I know this because we talked to ac couple property managers in the area.  Ugh-sorry so long.  Any questions?  Please Ask.  

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