Tuesday, January 31, 2012


If the above saying is true, than I should have nerves of steel and be one bad chick!  The past two weeks have been crazy, stressful, and finally getting to the point of comical.  It's either laugh or cry ... so, I'm trying to find the humor here.

For those of you that have been following along for a while, you know my nightmare called "rentals".  This nightmare just keeps on creepin' in every 3-4 months, and it's back!  Remember Pearl?!  Anyway, I'll try to sum it up like this ... several ignored phone calls regarding January's rent, three trips about an hour away to the JOP (Justice of the Peace) to file eviction, go to eviction court (she didn't show up), then file claim for lost income/damages.  Finally get a response after eviction (go figure) via email about how cruel I am to expect payment from a single mom (how could I?!), get a call from the local sheriff (he apologized for having to call me) cause the "wacky woman" considered my eviction harassment, "wacky woman" steals the furniture she was renting (and not paying for), rental company contacts me and I tell them "wacky woman's" whereabouts, rental company shows up at her office and she proceeds to tell them that she left the furniture with me in the house (are you kidding me?!), rental company calls her a liar and informs her that they've been speaking with me, "wacky woman" goes nuts and her manager asked the rental company to leave, then I get another email from "wacky woman" telling me to please return her furniture to the rental company cause they're looking for it ... Stop the Insanity!  As if sticking me with her rent wasn't enough?!  Now "wacky woman" is so desperate to keep her material possessions that she's stealing them, then blaming me.  I have a houseful of furniture that has no place on our boat .. I don't want any more!  Come on woman ... just give the damn furniture back or pay your bills!  All of this makes me say, forget getting stronger ...

Anyway, I've followed the law and have to hope that "wacky woman" doesn't have a violent streak in her.  In today's world ... one can never be too careful.  So, I feel like I've aged about 5 years in the last two weeks, and a good sleep sounds so far away, but I am "standing strong" and doing what I have to do.  Since I know this indeed is a "wacky woman", I'm not stressed about her actions near as much as I'm stressed about what she's cost us ... over $3000!  Do you know what we could buy for Nirvana's cruising future with that?!

I'm standing strong!

So, as we've done before, we're sucking it up and moving forward.   After all, do we have any choice?  Screwing people and not paying our own bills because someone screwed us ... not an option for us.  We like to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and know we're "living right".   I just really wish more people felt that way.  Heck, over the years I've sold my own jewelry, cleaned offices, pulled weeds, rolled newspapers in the middle of the night, delivered pizzas ... all while working full-time to keep my word and my financial obligations to others.

What makes it even worse ... when cleaning the dirty house she left behind I find a  ton of Starbucks coffee cups in the trash can  .. a TON!  That really pissed me off cause I've only had Starbucks about 3 times in my entire life, and that was a treat.  At about $5 a pop, I make my own coffee every day.  Now, here's this woman who can't afford to give me a buck but she's buying Starbucks every day!

Anyway, it's another setback for having the funds and the time to fix our own house but that's all it is!  We're still moving forward with our plans, no matter how many obstacles get in the way.  We've been working every day lately between our "normal" jobs and the rental.  Luckily my "normal" job as a real estate agent is in an office and not stressful lately (that's why I have the time for this site and Facebook).  However, no stress at work means ... no income!  Ken, on the other hand, is making enough to pay the bills, but he's working his body and his mind hard every day in the renovation/construction business.  I don't know how he's holding it together, when I barely can!

We're feeling a strong desire to spend some time with Nirvana soon.  There's nothing like being on the water with our sailboat to escape from the stress of our landlubber life.  I just hope "soon" isn't too far away!

While I know that jerks are everywhere, and they'll be a few in the cruising world, I look forward to getting out there!  The thought of no longer having to rely on others (tenants) to pay their bills and therefore our mortgages, no longer having to comply with the crazy and growing home insurance rates, and for the most part only relying on ourselves ... sounds like paradise, no matter what our surroundings look like!

Anyway, I hope you found this interesting and entertaining ... as I'm not trying to bring anybody down, just share our life's experiences.  We're gonna get there ... oh yes we will!   Now if we could get just one rich childless man (or woman) to find our blog and make a nice donation to those "hard-working kids" ... LOL!

And yes, as the song says ... "I am woman, hear me roar"!

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


Skylark said...

When I moved down to Virginia from New York, I had a few extra dollars from the sale of my house and thought I would look into buying property as an investment. Basically find something that needed a little work and then rent it at a decent monthly profit. After looking at a lot of info online and talking to family about it, I was more or less convinced and decided to get my realtor involved. After a 5 minute conversation, I was shocked to hear her trying to talk me out of it. The experiences she recounted were shocking and certainly not meant for my nerves to handle. She lost a pretty nice commission, so I did listen. :)
Rental properties can be a tough way to go, so I certainly feel for you. Have you ever through of using a rental agent? Of course the fees will eat into your profits a bit, but the piece of mind might be well worth the hit.
Regardless, get to the boat and enjoy!

s/v Skylark

CapnRehab said...

Hey Cheryl,
Renters that don't pay do suck. But landlords that train renters that it's ok not to pay are really asking for it. I've been down that road where you want to give a renter a chance because some rent is better than no rent, but it isn't really. I've done the eviction myself before, and just recently used a law firm that specializes in it. Wow, what a relief! Get the forms to them and all else is handled. Quite economical too. You need to tell renters the rules [ie. due on first, (3 day notice posted on the second), late on fifth,(papers to lawyer as soon as allowed) - Tell the renter "don't call me to bring current, call the lawyer and pay his fee with your rent."] Scummy renters will suck everything out of you they can. I've fallen for all sorts of hard luck stories - and lost THOUSANDS as a result. Bad renters have sucked out every bit of landlord compassion I ever had. Hang in there, get tough, kick them out early till you get good decent people like yourself that are willing to pay the rent to keep a roof over their heads.
Good Luck!

Jill said...

Wow, that is crazy!

My husband wants to turn our house into a 2 family and rent it out when we are ready to sail off into the sunset. I am scared of crazy renters!

Carolyn Shearlock said...

We knew a number of cruisers who decided to rent our their houses (mostly in CA -- they knew they could never afford to buy again if they got out of real estate there for a while) or decided to invest in rental properties for an income while cruising. I only know of one who was happy with it -- and his brother was a professional property manager and handled it for them. Ditto for people who decided to rent out (charter) their cruising boat. The damage people can do is amazing!

And then when we were looking for a place to rent while selling our boat, I wondered why no one wanted us . . . we'd lived on cash for 6 years while cruising so had no credit history (we had to be BAD people, to live on cash!) and had a 6-pound dog (could she honestly do more damage than a person?). We ended up having to put down first and last month's rent PLUS 3 months rent as damage deposit!!

Good luck finding some GOOD renters . . . there are some out there . . .

Latitude 43 said...

Tough times right now, but they will be a distant memory you can raise a glass to when you're anchored in warm tropical waters.


Allan S said...

I agree with Jim from Skylark. Stay away from rental properties, these renters will hose you down as soon as your most drops below the horizon. I know three people with rental properties and that is all they talk about, crappy tennants. Google "Tennants from hell".

Laura and Hans said...

I love the "I'm a single mom" excuse. I didn't realize I could have used that to get out of paying bills back when I was a single mother!
For a few years I worked in accounts receivable and heard all kinds of crap. One excuse that really baffled me was, "I'm a Christian." Really?? And that gives you the right to shaft other people?
And Starbucks? What is it with people who spend way above their means and then blame everyone else for their problems?
When Hans and I left our apartment in Pittsburgh before moving aboard full time, Hans got back his security deposit and the place was rented out within days of our leaving (we were there for 7 years). I'm sure our landlord misses us!
I hope the day soon arrives when you can unload your properties and wash your hands of the whole landlord nightmare.

Dan N Jaye said...

We have a *really* excellent local professional property management company for our rentals. These folks are well worth the 7% of the rent they charge - and earn - for finding us great tenants, collecting the rent, taking care of the maintenance, etc etc. Can't say enough good about them, and can't imagine leaving the area without someone like them in place. Good luck, and best wishes that this phase will soon be behind you.

Dani said...

oh my! I am so sorry to hear about your troubles..That sounds like a nightmare for real:(...

Hearing your stories about your renters makes me glad that Tate and I took the hit and sold his house in Baton Rouge for a major loss. We considered renting it, but he was completely against it.

I hope one day this troubles you no more. I wish we lived up there and could rent from you. I'm quite sure my landlord feels lucky to have Tate and I committed to stay here about 3 years.

On the same note, Tate and I do rent, and we always pay the rent, so maybe you'll get lucky and get someone like that.

I'll be hoping for you.

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