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Monday, August 10, 2009

My Name is Pearl, and I’m Sorry Your Toilet Isn’t Flushing

I like trees. I like tree houses. And if the logical conclusion of having little maple trees growing out of the cracks near the foundation/in the sidewalk of our rental property was gorgeous maples lifting the duplex up and creating a tree duplex, I could die a happy woman.

But owning rental property isn’t about getting what you want. It’s about buying at the height of the market, nanoseconds before the real estate market goes upside down, and collecting just enough in rent to pay the mortgage.

That’s what rental property is about.

You know, I had never considered how many chores there are associated with landlordism. Everything is yours; and at first, that sounds wonderful.

Everything is mine!

And everything certainly is – and your responsibility as well. With three two-bedroom units available for rent, our own unit, plus a loft, that’s five fridges, five stoves, three washers, three dryers, not to mention sinks, toilets, roofs, sidewalks, garages…

So Sunday afternoon, when the temperature was 84 F/29 C, the humidity left us just short of requiring gills and the smart money was on air-conditioned movies, what was I doing?

I was a lumberjack (and I was okay).

You know, we bought the house in a euphoric, name-signing haze. This would be our fiscally conservative and “good citizen” way of investing: we’d have these sweet little places and be good landlords; and in exchange, there’d be a slow building of wealth, however modest.

We were so naïve.

Oh, don’t listen to me. It’s just the dirty nails and the salty neck talking. We love our buildings, and we even love our tenants in that totally innocent landlord/tenant kind of way. And I actually enjoy gardening, but I really had nothing I was dying to say today, and I thought, why don’t I do a little light complaining?

Sorry about that.

Happy Monday, everyone. Welcome back to the workweek.


ellen abbott said...

I am toying with the idea of renting out the city house when we finally get moved. Husband isn't so enamored with the idea. Sounds like free money to me. Sounds like everything going wrong at once to him.

darsden said...

Happy Monday to you Pearl, you didn't sound like you were "really" complaining...just more like how busy you really are besides your day job..and your writing job now you are a landlord..I didn't see that coming at all :-)) Wow, I am impressed ...can you juggle too?

SparkleFarkle said...

WOW! Lord AND lumberjack! ***bowing lowly*** You're as close to royalty as I'll ever get!

The Jules said...

Are you having buttered scones for tea?

You should have buttered scones for tea.

Kavi said...

I have a landlord here. And i am a landlord where i lived before.

So, i kind of know both sides...and its interesting !


powdergirl said...

Oy, being a landbaron is work, work, work!

I have a chain saw which I use with reckless abandon.

Do you need help with your gardening?

I'm a lumberjack too!

Reddirt Woman said...

Pearl you are supposed to buy at the bottom of the market and then have the market rocket upwards...

Being Lordess of the manor can be very entertaining and/or a lot of work. Hopefully it all balances out to a nice, peaceful existence.


Not The Rockefellers said...

I would love to move out of the Not The Rockefeller Estate and into a small well cared for rental that has the possibility of going treehouse.

And to have you as a landlord, Pearl?

Icing on the cake.

Peace - Rene

Anonymous said...

Light or even heavy complaining sometimes works, as does a good rant. I have never really wanted to be a landlord. You graphically pointed out why.

Suzy said...

My sister and I rented out my Dad's apt after he died. I put $7500 into this 2200 square foot apt. I fixed everything.

The renters moved in and said one of the hinges on the entryway door was squeaking. Could I get that fixed? And the kitchen fawcett leaked. I wrote them back and said I'll get the fawcett, you get WD-40.
The moment they moved out we sold the place.

Anonymous said...

A landlord's life is not always a happy one, not if he is a good landlord. Perhaps you should be a bit like ours. He has us tied to a lease.We pay for his insurance so that if the house goes up in flames he gets a new house and we get nada 'cos we can't pay for two insurances. We are also liable for any repairs and paint jobs. However, our rent is below average and he only comes for his inspections once every other year [he is eighty four] and a sort of friend.
I think I would quite like to be your tenant.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

We're landlords, as well, so I so totally get ya!

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

But ya gotta think of the "loss carry forwards!"

mapstew said...

Hey, i'm wearing my new (fcuk) lumberjack shirt today!