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Troubles on the Home Front

posted at 10:23 pm
on Feb. 9, 2008

Comments: 6 so far

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Earlier this week, the owner of the house we rent came to visit.

She gave us a day’s notice, and brought with her a middle-aged professional woman, and they toured the house together.  The owner didn’t say what exactly they were doing here, but Susie, who was home at the time, got the distinct impression that the lady was a real estate agent.

This follows on a visit two weeks ago, when the owner came by with two other people: the property management company rep and a contractor.  She investigated the whole house, and talked about lot about what needed fixing, framing it in terms of regular maintenance.

She and the contractor discussed all sorts of fixes—repairs to various shower in the house, flushing around the decks, replacing broken light switch and electrical covers, fixes to gutters, fixes to window clasps, and replacing countertops.

Some of the work could only be done months from now in the summer, and some of it was work that you’d only do if you were planning to keep the unit, and keep it as a rental.  Other work seemed like things you’d do to clean it up to get it ready to sell.  When she left then, we had mixed impressions of what she planned to do with the place.  This recent visit left less confusion.

I’m extremely stressed out at the prospect of finding a new place to live, even more so because we don’t know for sure when or even if it would happen.

If we get the boot, we’d have to find a new place to live, a new place for Hop Studios, and a new place for Matt.  That’s a lot to deal with all at once, and our current work and schedule doesn’t have room for any of that.

We really like living here.  It’s not the perfect house, but it’s pretty close to it for what we need right now.  if it went on the market, this house is tax appraised at about $900,000, which is out of our price range (out of the price range of anyone we know, in fact, but that’s another story). So buying it is out of the question—and it’s not necessarily the house we’d by anyway.

Perhaps it’s a little bit of karma coming around.  After all, this summer we sold our house in Pasadena, though we did give the tenants about 7 months’ notice.  The owner of this place, on the other hand, has been very disconnected from us; I don’t even know her last name or what city she lives in.  And I don’t even know how much notice we’d get.

In a perfect world, here’s what I hope would happen: she’d make all sorts of upgrades, and sell to someone else who wants to rent to us; it’s the perfect rental house in many ways, with two suites and a structure that’s impossible to damage. We’d get to keep living here. Yay! (I should also say I have no issue with the current landlord or owner, nor with the maintenance, so I guess in a perfect scenario, the house wouldn’t sell at all).)

In a worst case scenario, she’ll surprise us with the worst possible timing, give us 30 days to get out, and we won’t be able to find any place suitable so we’ll end up living at the YMCA downtown.  Vancouver’s rental vacancy rate is currently about 0.7%, which isn’t a very appealing market in which to be looking for a place.

And the real estate market isn’t great now either—our U.S. savings are down vs. the Canadian dollar, and the market here is still really high and getting higher for houses.  So buying a house here is not really an option.

Either way, it feels a bit like a sign.



 
 

 

Previous entry:
In Defense of Wasted Time

Next entry:
The Year of Not Buying In

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

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...who said it?

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, man. I feel for you guys. Should we maybe start looking for houses, sort of "lightly"? Maybe it's like an adventure?

Ergh. But yeah, I know *I* pretty much hate moving...and we still haven't had a pig roast in your backyard.

 

Posted by Boris Mann
  at 10:24 am on Feb. 10, 2008

 

 

 

I feel for you guys too...that really sucks. Nothing more stressful than something like this happening on the homefront.

My wife and I were living in a house that we really liked too until the landlord (who lived upstairs) moved out and rented it to a couple from hell. Eventually we couldn't take it anymore and decided to give our notice and move instead of fighting with them anymore. We had less than two weeks to find a place and move at a time when we couldn't really afford to go through all the hassle.

We ended up with a place we hated and had to sign a lease because there wasn't many options with such short notice but at least we were out of the house. Took us almost three years to get out of that place and finally get into our own place.

No matter how you look at it, moving sucks and is a pain but fortunately, with good friends, it's a shortlived pain.

Then you get to play the always fun and exciting game of 'which box was that in' for months afterwards...at least I am.

Hope it all works out for you.

 

Posted by John Biehler
  at 5:27 pm on Feb. 10, 2008

 

 

 

Should I be adding this to my To-Do list too...? I kid not.

 

Posted by Rachael
  at 6:16 pm on Feb. 10, 2008

 

 

 

Sucks dude. This seems to be a trend in the rental market in Vancouver - I have heard similar stories from a number of people.

In fact, it happened to us too. It was by coincidence that it happened within a few months of a planned move to another city anyway, but our move came to us one month early because the house we were living in was sold.

If that happens, you get two months notice. That's how it worked for us, and I just confirmed it at the BC Residential Tenancy Branch web site on page 26 in this document.

 

Posted by Mike
  at 9:02 am on Feb. 11, 2008

 

 

 

Yeah, I think we're going to be keeping our eyes peeled, that's for sure.



I do hope we get two month's notice.

TTFN
Travis

 

Posted by Travis Smith
  at 11:17 am on Feb. 11, 2008

 

 

 

Oh man. Now I feel like a total shit for ragging on you last week. I'm sorry Travis. You get TWO hugs next weekend.

 

Posted by Aaron Cruikshank
  at 3:05 pm on Feb. 12, 2008

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