Friday, January 28, 2011

Lookin' Up!

Last week I posted about the landlord hell that Ken and I have been going through for the past few months.  So many of you responded with kind words and we were truly appreciative of the support.  We were amazed at the number of comments we received, and that post definintely has the most so far.  This outpouring of support just confirms to Ken and I the sense of community that the cruising world has, and how great you guys are!  So, before going any further we just wanted to take this opportunity to say "thanks" to all of you who took the time to not only read our post, but send such kind words.

Since our last post, I have been busy getting the word out that we had a house to rent and Ken (and his helper) have been busy repairing all of the damages to the house (thanks to our lovely tenant).  I wasted no time putting ads on craigslist, as we really need to have our house rented by February 1st.  On top of all of the repairs, we've got a mortgage to pay so we can't waste any time feeling sorry for ourselves.  Fortunately, I got several inquiries to our ads and I spent the past week reviewing applications and interviewing people.  I'm happy to report that we have a young couple moving in February 1st!  We're hoping they're better than the last tenant, who we hear had 5 dogs and a countless number of men living there.  We've learned our lesson about not getting into our tenant's business.  We'll be checking up on them from now on!

Meanwhile, Ken has spent the past two weeks repairing all the interior trim and sheetrock, repainting the entire interior of the house, removing the gross stained carpet in the bedrooms, installing wood flooring in those bedrooms, pressure washing the house, etc.  Ken has been working his butt off, coming home so tired and sore and I'm again reminded of how lucky I am to have such a skilled and hard-working husband.  Even with Ken making the repairs and getting a big break on the wood flooring (thanks to our parents that own a flooring store), the repairs are costing us about $3000.  We're going to sue the tenant for damages, but that doesn't assure she'll ever pay. 

Also, my real estate business has picked up slightly and I've spent quite a bit of time this past week showing property.  I actually met two different clients yesterday and wrote two offers!  While I'm not so sure one of those offers is going to be accepted or lead to anything else, I believe the other one will.  Although I come into the office 40 hours a week, I haven't had a closing in 8 months!  I had two closings set up recently, only to have them fall apart at the last minute due to financing issues.  Luckily, I saved my money when the business was better, but my savings are gone.  I feel sure I'll be sitting at the closing table next month.  Hallelujah!

So, Ken and I have been going through the motions and things are looking up!  I should be receiving a commission soon and maybe now that 3 of the 4 rentals have new tenants we'll start having better luck with our rentals.  It's been hell lately, but hopefully we'll have "smooth seas" and not have to consider selling our rentals.  We'll have to play it by ear, and see how things are looking once the leases expire next year.

Once we catch up on things, the weather should be warmer and we can enjoy Nirvana again! 

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

Oh, we disabled the word verification when making a comment.  We figured that since we're already moderating the comments, there's no need to make ya'll go through the extra step of word verification.  If the comment is spam we'll catch it when reviewing it.  So, don't look for that extra step, it's gone!


Sandee said...

I'm so happy you feel good about all the comments you received about the rentals. You should never be ashamed for the hard work you've done. That's what is wrong with our country in my humble opinion. Those that work hard and achieve the goals they set seem to be the bad guys. I'll be glad when this trend dies and goes away.

Hoping for closings and money in your account.

Have a terrific day. :)

Steve and Lulu said...

Just think, one of these days you can forget about all this stuff while lolling around on some tropical beach admiring your sailboat anchored out in the lagoon. Of course, you'll probably want to unload the rentals before you do that. I'm sure the income would be nice but who needs the hassle when you're searching for your lost shaker of salt?

Unknown said...

Glad things are looking up for you both. I sold one of my own listings last I am pretty pumped about getting a pay check as well.

Emily said...

Great to read that things are looking up for you and Ken! I can only imagine how hard he has had to work to get the rental back in shape; that kind of work is exhausting! Hope that your new tenant proves to be a responsible person and your closings go through too. It's time for some good things for the two of you!

Andy & Tracy said...

We are landlords as well. Full time. We check the tenants credit before we accept them. It weeds out alot of the bad ones.. We also build houses and my wife is an agent. Things are definately improving up here in
Philadelphia. Real Estate will always be the best profession. I say stick with it. Things are already getting better.

Ken n Cheryl said...

Thanks guys! Sandee we agree that those who aren't motivated to work and have anything are those that are rewarded! So tired of it. Steve n Lulu we are definitely thinking of unloading the rentals. We can't wait to forget about them and using that salt shaker! Debra congrats and here's hoping we both get a check. Emily it is exhausting and thanks for the good wishes. Andy n Tracy, sounds like we have a lot in common! We do agree that overall real estate is a great investment and profession, but not sure it will give us the freedom we want with cruising. We shall see! Thanks again to all for the kind words!

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