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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

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