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Archive for September, 2007

A Rare Paycheck

October 1st, 2007 at 12:54 am

Got paid today for the respite work with my last kiddo. Nice for a change; as I'm not doing anything to earn a regular paycheck any more.

Odd being without funds most of the time. (have money in the bank, but choose not to fritter it away). I'll get paid this quarter for teaching at the rec center, but that won't amount to a whole ton of money either.

Any monies from the rentals goes right to the bank and is pretty much all accounted for what with the mortgage, insurance and real estate taxes. If there is anything over those expenses, it stays in the bank for any necessary repairs that come up.

So, this check today was nice.....and it could be my last hurrah if we truly do move. I'll be way too far away to keep this guy, plus there really isn't an extra bedroom.......and mom has asked that I don't dream up any new schemes to fill up the house! She knows me so well!

Planning to finish a project with mom tonight. She had a huge closet full of packets of pictures when I moved in. We have almost made our way through all the assorted containers of them......should wrap up that part tonight. The living room is full of small labeled boxes, where we are sorting the pics according to which family they go to. Her plan is to give them to each family or family member before we move. Paring down we are!!!

As I put away some of my things, we're taking moms slightly older items and either sharing with family or freecycling them. A few items she has had me list on CL today & we've got one interested party so far. I can feel her gathering speed on all of this work we have in front of us; sorting, sorting and more sorting........prior to packing.

Back to work; mounds of old photos calling me!

47 Pages of a Title Report Later..........zzzzzzzz

September 30th, 2007 at 02:26 am

I've slogged my way through all 47 pages of this document........beginning in 1943 no less. I'm no clearer as to the property we're looking at now; in fact it is worse.

There are no recent documents, the last being in 1973, stating 3 parcels share a septic system & 6 share a well. Still no idea where any of this is located......

The easement is mentioned all through the document, however it is in legal property description language, & I can't make it make sense. (doesn't help that I've got my disabled kiddo here this week end; he turns my brain to mush by Sat mornings).

I just want a map. A simple map. One that shows the parcels on this road in question, and any easements and shared items located on the same little map. Shouldn't be too much to ask. Heck, I'd even go with a hand drawn deal at this point.

I can sure tell the difference in county governments and agencies. I've only owned property in a pretty large county, one with a planning department that is usually overly interested in what is going on. The county our potential property is in is pretty rural, doesn't seem like they know or care what is going on with this deal.......and I don't know where to go from here.

I've never really had a real estate deal that got this complicated. ICK, ICK, ICK. If we end up purchasing this house on the beach, I believe it will be it's last time sold. If mom (or I) sell it, someone will come in with tons of money and just do a tear down and put up something fantastic. One of the houses on the street has already been re done into a knock your socks off sort of home, so it's in the cards. Because of this, I'm not too interested in long term anything......I just want mom to get to be on the beach for a few years.

I'm hoping daylight will help my brain cells fire with more accuracy. Mushy brain and tired body tonight. Finally finished unloading this weeks van load of things from the old house. Also finished cleaning up the trimmings from this weeks shrub trimming event. Pooped!

Rental Details........Still

September 29th, 2007 at 04:43 am

It seems like the details with moms little house rental never end. I'd have a HUGE for sale sign on this place if it was mine.

Today we returned a set of burner pan thingys that were the wrong size for the stove.......cleaned up the old ones and are making them do. Bought another light fixture for the bathroom, as what we got makes light enough to be considered romantic; which wouldn't work for make up or shaving. No choice in lights, as it had to be with the pull chain deal. (old, old, house)

Dropped light fixture off for electrician who was supposed to be finishing up tonight. (called & re scheduled for tomorrow) Also had to set him up to update the outlets in the apartment, the tenant is being very nice about not being able to plug in his electronics. I'd be throwing a fit!

Had a freecycle success and several vintage light fixtures found new homes.....and we cleared out a bit more space in the basement here. Still making progress on this....just so slow it is hard to tell sometimes.

Sold another book, have it packaged up and ready to go to town tomorrow when we have to return for the electrician.

Oh, we fit in a review of the inspection report, and signed documents to send to the seller. Plus, my week end young man arrived.......with an ear infection and extra meds. 30 minutes with ear drops 4X's a day. That should keep us occupied this week end!

Mom & I are getting tired of the details here lately. I can see her becoming not overwhelmed exactly, but definately worn down with the constant something that needs attention. Forgot one today: We needed to get a plumber into the rental house too.......our usual guy is booked until the end of Oct, so we're trying a new one on Thurs. There is a leak in a pipe that we have a high tech solution for right now (a bucket) and have to remember to run down every day or so to empty said bucket.

Stopped at the rec center when in town, my class for next week has 7 registered already, will buy supplies tomorrow. I would never have agreed to all these classes if I knew we were going to be buying a house and possibly moving! Too much for my brain to process........

Surrounded by my stuff

September 28th, 2007 at 02:25 am

I headed to the old house this AM to supervise the loading of my things......which began to look like stuff right away quick.

By the time the crew was unloading it here, I was thinking of it in terms of junk! What in the world was I thinking about when I saved and carefully packed all this stuff??

Most everything is stored in moms garage at this point, since things feel so temporary right now. I've got a van full of "junk" that the movers didn't want in their truck, will save that to unload in the morning.

The whole day did cost me some money, but it was a job I couldn't do on my own and I've only got one son!!! Smile Nephews are all out of state, or recently injured in a car accident...so they are no help in the lifting and hauling department. So, the money was well spent and yes, I did shop around a bit first.

Now that there is no time crunch and I've got the load of things here.....I plan to go through things with a finer tooth comb this time; getting rid of almost everything! There are some things I just can't part with and what an odd bunch of stuff that is! My great grandmas rocker (really ugly, I keep saying I'm going to paint it and recover the cushion), a rattan doll buggy I had as a little girl (can't possibly get rid of that now can I?), a formal I wore in the late 60's!!! (way too many memories there!) and the list goes on.

The things I want to save and make space for, in addition to paying someone again to haul them to the next house (still crossing fingers it's the beach house), are not very valuable. Just to me. It's been an interesting exercise to notice the items I paid for, or people bought me over the years......aren't really on my list of things to keep. I've freecycled some, gave some to my foster dtr and left some at the old house for the tenants to use... I've truly come to a point where it isn't "things" I want. Nice.

If it wasn't for my piano and my bedroom furniture, I think I could get my really special "stuff" into my van! Smile

A Day at the Beach

September 27th, 2007 at 05:42 am

Spent the day getting to and from the beach house.....not much time at the beach actually.

Met the inspector there and watched him pick the house and property apart. Hoping the final report isn't too scary, but it is an old......really old house with a recent remodel, so it's not all normal construction.

Mom's not scared......she is still ready to go. There are just a couple items we will see if the seller will cover the costs to bring up to speed. Some of the other things are just going to have to be stuff we live with, in exchange for the location of the house.

Apparently, there were too many red flags re; the foundation, or rather several foundations and how they meet up on the corners of the new meets old house. And, there was an odd sound when the cover to the circuit box was removed........so an electrician needs to be brought in to give the word on that issue.

The rest were in the catagory of "areas to keep our eye on" sort of things. The house has a metal roof, made in the shape of tiles....and there is no way we could figure out to get up on the roof without collapsing the metal, look like roofing tile things. So, no info on the chimney nor the status of the roof. Not sure what we decided on this part....

And there was a bit about the lack of ventilation under the house......it was built before lots of the regulations we have now; and there isn't room for anyone to get under the house, so the vapor barrier, insulation is a difficult thing to do, or to check on. Again, not sure what the verdict is on this one, but it's not likely there is any fix for this.......

Waiting for tomorrow, when the actual report gets emailed to us, then we decide what we can live with and what we're heading back to the bargaining table with. Mom just wants to GET there, I would like to see her be able to do that.........and deal with any difficulties one at a time, if we need to. Selling the house shouldn't be a problem, most likely, the next owner would remove the house and put up something much more grand anyway.

So, again.......the waiting.

An interesting welcoming committee was at the beach house this AM when we arrived...........3 deer on the front lawn. This should make gardening a challenge...it has been 2 years since I had a yard with deer! This will be an odd yard indeed, as last time we visited the house, there was a seal sunning himself (herself?) on the float just out from the lawn.... Smile

Finally Closing Utility Accounts

September 26th, 2007 at 01:29 am

By tomorrow morning, the utility accounts for the old house will be out of my name. I did drag my feet on this one.......my aversion to conflict cost me stress and actual dollars.

The power and cable/net bills were the only ones left, but they are some biggies. Former room mate, now tenant did pay towards the bills; however did not cover them totally......so this will be a money saving step for me.

I also found a property mgmt firm I can work with to just accept the check from said room mate turned tenant & then forward to me. I just needed a buffer here, so she is responsible to someone else, not me. Long story, but I think this might work. If she doesn't pay on time, I won't have to listen to her 101 reasons why and steps to have her vacate will already be happening. Again, my aversion to strife here.

The inspection of the beach house is tomorrow; mom & I will join nephew/realtor for the event. Another ferry ride........and all day spent at the possible new place. I hope to measure rooms to come home with a better idea of what will fit where. Still have fingers crossed re; the 3 items we have on our list of questionable things there.

Managed to fit in a bit more gardening today, using the hedge trimmer I finished the way overgrown shrubs in the front yard. As soon as I get the trimmings cleaned up, I will have worked my way around this yard. It's taken me since last spring and it's not a complete job.......but it does look like someone lives here now!

Another Point for Freecycle

September 25th, 2007 at 05:54 am

I've got many, many empty shelves in the basement as of this evening. I had tried my dads collection of Readers Digest Condensed books again and had a taker scheduled for today.

Since I've had a couple duds lately, I did not pack up all the books and lug them upstairs. But, surprise, surprise, the doorbell rang, right on schedule and a very nice gentleman packed and hauled all the books to his truck. Woo hoo!

I'm guessing there were a couple hundred books, easy. Back to the 60's, maybe even the 50's. Not sure when these started coming out, but dad had to have every one. I remember reading them all when I was a kid....loved them!

I love them even more at someone elses house! The thought of hauling them all out to my van and then to the thrift store was just beyond my energy level. This worked for me! Besides that, I just couldn't see donating them to a store who was going to turn around and sell them! Much better to find someone to give them to outright. I just needed to be patient and keep offering them!

With a little more work and organization, I'll have three 6' tall bookcases cleared out for the move. I'm guessing dad has them attached to the walls, which could be interesting to detach them....and they will need a coat of paint as he was fond of some pretty strange colors. Mom & I have never had the luxury of bookcases this large, so they will be a treat indeed at the new place.

No word yet on the house deal....staying busy to keep from thinking about it ALL the time. Trying to come up with an inspector as the one I knew has flown the coop it seems.

Flooring completed in the little rental, now just a few minor details to finish up by Sunday night. Amazing but true, it's going to be the bridal suite that night. The tenants are getting married Sunday, and the groom came to me in secret and asked if he could take his bride there for their wedding night as a surprise. She thinks they can't get into the house until they return from their honeymoon.... Hope she is as wowed with it as he is....it is a very old house and any charm it has is truly on the surface!

Putting the Garden to Bed

September 24th, 2007 at 03:04 am

I actually love this time of year; for lots of reasons. As someone who loves gardening and the results of gardening, this is sort of final curtain time with the yard.

I cleaned out the lettuce beds last week, nothing worth harvesting, they had all got too damp......so into the yard waste bin.

Today I brought in an armful of cucumbers.....twice......and pulled out all the old vines. Lots of cleared ground after this one, it was amazing how far a few plants went. We've had fresh cucumbers now for a couple months which has been very yummy.

Harvested a zuchinni that had got away from me, so it's going to become spice cake as of tomorrow. There are a handful of tiny ones that I'll be watching and try to get them in before they freeze if we have some nasty weather roll in. Hoping we have nice enough days these will continue to mature as we didn't get our fill of zuchinni pancakes! No matter how many of these plants I manage to put in each spring, I've never had too many. The zuchinni jokes are lost on me!

I've got many other projects to take care of before I'm going to be happy with the gardens. I am a stickler about getting the work done right away, because I hate working with slimy wet remains of plants in the garden. Today was sunny at times, no rain here and not cold yet........perfect gardening weather.

I won't be planting anything this season, as we've still got our fingers crossed about our beach house deal. (tomorrow should bring us some news about the title search/easement & well issues) So, the work is only cosmetic here; everything will be trimmed and picked up before I feel like settling in by the wood stove with my knitting!

Doing the Pre Moving Shuffle

September 23rd, 2007 at 05:50 am

The expenses are beginning to add up already and the deal hasn't even closed.

I picked up 2 van loads of boxes this AM, (freecycled), so the only expense there was the gas. Planned the pick ups to be close to the old house, so I wasn't too far afield. Met my son at the old house, so used cheap help!! Good help however. And, as an aside....fun too. Which is saying alot. He hasn't been the most likable fellow in years past.

I have hired a real moving crew and truck for Thurs however.... so there will be money out for that day. Well spent, since I only have one son and my nephew is recovering from a car accident... A paid crew seems to fit my needs this time around. It works better too, when I tell them what to do. Not so much with relatives! Smile

Was too tired tonight to unload my van. We packed it with things I'm going to try to get rid of, as well as all my computer stuff, hate to put that on a moving truck for some reason. Sent an email to foster dtr & she is interested in much of my stuff I just couldn't see getting rid of entirely. She will keep and use things like the dehydrator & juicer, etc........and if I ever feel the need for them, I can borrow them back. She was thrilled and I don't have to pack them. Works for me.

Found a property mgmt firm who will take on my old house & help come up with a solution re; old room mate person. Pretty sure this won't take long, if she has to pay someone besides me. Calling her tomorrow with the details of the new regime.

Can't wait to have all my things in one place. When I sort of moved to moms last spring, I brought just the necessities. Then, I started bringing a van load of things at a time, but have had no where to really put them. I'm doing lots of daydreaming about my own furniture in my room, my piano at the same place I'm living and being able to look around my space and see NO boxes! I know the new place is very small & I'm planning accordingly......tossing or farming out all the things I have not used in the past 6 months.

Will deal with the crummy load of things in the van in the morning.....everything looks better in the morning, right??? Smile

Staying Busy While Waiting

September 21st, 2007 at 10:53 pm

We're in the waiting stage again for the house deal. Ordered the title search today and thought I had a friend who would do the inspection, however he has vanished......so haven't got that part nailed down yet.

Ran some errands, picking up last minute things for the little rental, so it is up and running by next week end. Splurged on a big roll of packing tape and a good dispenser thingy.....so I'm set for tomorrow morning. There are some things it is really worth paying a bit more for and this is one of mine. I will have a FULL van load of boxes by the time I meet my son at the old house, and most will be flat....so the tape is going to be handy.

Mom got to the eye DR today, to find out cataract surgery is necessary. She wanted to wait til after the move, but I'm lobbying for sooner, so we don't have to find a new DR, or go back & forth daily on the ferry. Doesn't sound like a good time to me!

Emptied out one of the bedrooms here at moms today. Grandson #5 has just rented his first apartment & mom went nuts packing a truck of things for him. Worked out well for all concerned....we got rid of things we couldn't take with us and he got a furnished apt!

There was a bit of sun here today, so I cleaned out the lettuce beds, as well as the old cucumber vines. The gardens have been so full and productive all season, it seems odd to see bare ground again. We are just now having to purchase veggies again, and not that many yet.....so the garden was definately worth it. I'm always pushing myself to clean out the gardens come fall, as I truly hate that job if I let it get too far into winter. Cold, wet, slimy .........not if I can help it.

I've appreciated all the emails giving pointers and encouragement re; real estate transactions. I don't know if there is anything more stress producing...than buying and selling. I will be happy to be done with it all; mom and I were placing bets as to when we think we will be fancy free!

Is it Going to be Sand Between Our Toes???

September 21st, 2007 at 05:58 am

Yes, yes, and yes.........our counter offer to the counter offer got accepted late this evening. Now, on to the hashing out the details stage so we can firm up the deal for the beach house!!! There will be sand in our toes, as well as everywhere else I imagine. (having never lived on a beach, I can only guess)

Parts of me can't believe the whole chain of events; and then when we think about it, everything seems to be flowing easily and we can picture life in the new house as easy as pie! So, it feels good; to both mom & I.

And, in the small world department, or it pays to be chatty department........mom has a hot prospect for the commercial property!!! Not even listed yet and we've got 3 people interested. She went today for her check up re; her nose injury from her fall. The DR had been asking her questions on her last appt, about where she lived etc. In passing, she mentioned the property in town and she said he got very inquisitive. Today, she told him the property was for sale.....he called here at home tonight and said he had already talked to his accountant & they were very interested. Passed him on to realtor/grandson person. Can you tell my mom is a retired realtor?? Never one to miss an opportunity!

I mailed off the packet of info to my potential buyer of the vacant land. He wanted plat maps & tax numbers.... said he is very interested. Hoping he steps up and makes an offer this week.

Some kind soul from freecycle dropped off a porch full of moving boxes today. I will repay the favor to someone when I'm finished with these. I'm off to gather up some more tomorrow.....when I envision packing up moms house it boggles my mind. She has been here since 62 when they built, and has not parted with a single thing since then! Smile

We got the lease signed tonight for the house rental. Made it only 6 months, in case the property sells right away.

Took my samples in to the parks & rec dept for the display there prior to my fall knitting classes. Need to order supplies tomorrow before I forget in all the real estate frenzy here.

Made a ton of phone calls, including a reminder to moms tax prep guy.....we're still waiting for him to finish up 05 and I'm crossing my fingers he has our paperwork for 06, as I can't find it anywhere here.

Tonight we received the first order of my moms meds, which is 3 months.....all FAXED in from the DR. Too easy. And, way cheaper than the 30 day prices with the local pharmacies. She was pretty impressed. Good thing we have 90 days worth, as neither of us will have the time to spend running to the pharmacy in the near future anyway! Smile

A good day, but a full one. Feels a bit like a week crammed into a day. Grateful things are working out, so I will be able to see mom sitting on her porch at the beach!

Well........poo

September 19th, 2007 at 10:40 pm

We heard from the listing agent, the sellers of the beach house didn't accept our offer, but have counter offered.
We're approx $75,000 different in our numbers....and have until tomorrow night at 9PM to respond.

Mom & I have had some interesting discussions today about what to do. I point out how hard she and dad worked for so long.........that this seems a small sum to me. She thinks it is huge, but she is always comparing things to what they used to cost.

I can't figure out what they pinched and saved for, if not to enjoy it. The grandkids have all told her the same thing, I don't think anyone has had a negative comment about her buying the little house on the beach.

Money wise, it will be a stretch at the beginning. She will be financing the house, after we pool our available funds for the downpayment. The other real estate is beginning to be listed, and when it sells, we can either pay the loan down, or leave it and invest the funds, so we create an income stream.

I'm not at all worried about she & I being able to 'tighten the belt' as she says. Between us, we take cheap to new heights! With a goal like this one, I know we both have our priorities set in stone already.

So.........it's a waiting game again. Easy evening here, then a wild day tomorrow. Both of us have appointments all day on into the evening when we have the new couple sign the lease on the little rental. In the middle of all that, we'll meet with our realtor (also known as #1 grandson) and see if mom wants the house enough to counter. I'm betting she does! Smile

Gardeners Make Great Friends

September 18th, 2007 at 10:09 pm

Almost 2 weeks (maybe even 3) ago, I answered a 'Wanted' post on freecycle, regarding rhubarb plants. Today, I was finally at the old house and got to meet Joy, the woman wanting rhubarb.

Joy came bearing gifts. She had everything from starts of chocolate mint to fresh tomatoes from her garden. (If you have never had the aromatic type mint plants, you really should try some, kids as well as adults love them.)

We visited while she did the work....digging up 2 of my rhubarb plants the current tenants are just letting go to waste. It always bugs me to see food going to waste anyway......and these plants were starts from my old place.......which was from a start from my dads garden when he was still living, so to me, they were even more important.

Before Joy left, I had managed to convince her she "needed" some other plants from my garden......strawberries, crocosmia, Japanese anenomes, lavatera, and a minty little ground cover. I hate for people to come all the way for just one plant! And, despite the neglect in this garden, things were growing fairly well. With some attention in Joys' garden, they should flourish.

On my way home, after spending the last couple days at the old house, I was pondering how gardeners seem to be so friendly. Is it just because we share plants between us & we are outgoing in order to share?? Or, perhaps gardening is usually a solitary pastime and we are thrilled to spend time with someone else?? I don't know for sure, but as we got starts for Joys' garden, I was reminded of the generous gardeners I had met because of the garden.

Thanks Joy, for making my day! I know each of us will be working in our gardens today, getting our new to us plants settled in!

I Hate the Waiting!

September 17th, 2007 at 06:22 am

Waiting. Seems like that is what real estate is all about ........at least after you have the property picked out.

We can't get questions answered re; the plat map until the county opens up the offices tomorrow. So, waiting for that. Seems the road to the house is most likely an easement, with the last 2 houses on the road using an easement through the house we're interested in. Would like to know for sure, as well as have it written down somewhere prior to purchase.

And, to top off the waiting........moms twin is here this week end and mom isn't sharing the house deal with her. So, we're waiting, and being quiet about it. Hard when it is pretty darned exciting.

My aunt took us out to dinner, so that was a fun treat. We've been pretty good with our meals, eating most of them at home, which I am certain is healthier; to say nothing of being cheaper.

I begged off shopping at the mall (yikes, was it a terror on the week end), when my aunt needed to "just run in for a bit". Sat in the car & knit! A much better use of my time. Can't believe how many people were at the mall.....trying to park was dangerous.

Daydreaming of the new place almost all the time.......no malls. Heck, no stores to speak of. I do believe there is a bait shop that also has the word groceries on their sign... Smile Post office, fire dept, and a school; but only through the 8th grade. Not sure what they do with high schoolers! We'd be almost an hour away from any sort of town with real stores and serious shopping. Sounds dreamy to me; but mom is making plans so she can get to Costco and Macy's on a regular basis.

Heading to the old house tomorrow to finish packing and have all my things organized for a truck & crew to come pick them up. Need to get them here, even if the beach house deal doesn't fly for any reason. Meeting with former room mate person this week to, laying out the finances for the house, to see if she honestly thinks she can handle the rent. Hate to go into a meeting with negative thoughts.......but I see no way this is going to work.

At least all this gives me stuff to think about while waiting for our offer to get written up and presented. Continuing to keep fingers crossed!

Gearing Up to Make an Offer

September 16th, 2007 at 04:31 am

Yes, mom & I are getting our act together so we can present an offer on the beach house on Monday. We had a list of questions for the listing agent, and were in hopes he would get back to us yesterday.........here we are on Sat night and still no word from the gentleman. I'm venturing a guess he isn't the top salesperson in his office!

We're going ahead on Monday, even if we haven't heard back, mom wants this house in a bad way. Her eyes light up and she gets pretty goofy when we start talking about it......or we look at the pictures again. Have my fingers permantly crossed that the offer is accepted, or at least we get a counter offer we can live with. I truly hate this stage of real estate transactions!!!

The rest of the day was a blur. I took my week end young man on a freecycle errand and we shoved moving boxes in my van until there wasn't an inch of empty space left. Then off to the old house, unload the boxes and start packing. I have sorted prior to packing, as either way....moving into moms or the beach house, not all of my stuff will fit. (and I've been living without it since May anyway!!) Then, back to moms, unload the things we brought in the van....and it's already time to fix dinner.

Company for dinner; moms twin. Thankfully, both of them are on the mend from their recent falls. Each are just sore....but doing OK. My mom is not telling her twin about the potential beach house; it is so funny watching her.....I can't tell if the twin knows, but she mentioned the house this evening, so it's a possibility.

Knitting like a mad woman in all my spare time, to get ready for this quarters knitting & crochet classes. I've been asked to put a display up in the rec center office and when I stopped in to measure the space I was shocked to find it 4' X 5'. Yikes. That's alot of knitting!

Feeling a bit like a circus performer; the one with the plates on the sticks. Smile Knitting, moving, caring for my young man, taking care of mom, getting the little house rented, packing, sorting, and more packing and sorting! While I was driving home this evening, I couldn't remember when my classes started & thought perhaps I had forgotten one.......fortunately that wasn't the case & I'm good to go....nothing starts til Oct 4th...whew! I can tell I've got a few too many sticks and plates when I begin to panic! Time to take one thing at a time I guess.......

How Long to Hold Rental Properties?

September 14th, 2007 at 08:41 pm

We're having a meeting here in the next 30 minutes or so.........with the main topic being......what to sell so mom can get her dream house?

I've been gathering numbers (me who is number challenged) to show her on paper, how she is really loosing money these days on her rental properties.

Anyone else at this crossroad? Where years of hard work and budgeting to the max and accumulating real estate have come to the spot where it COSTS to keep them. The money she has to pay out each year in property taxes, as well as insurance and repairs doesn't equal what she can bring in with rental income. And, my properties are in the same position now too.

I think she gets it......but I'm never sure these days with mom. So, me, the math whiz (HA) is going to try and lay out the plan where getting her equity out of these properties (she owes nothing on anything in her portfolio) and doing anything else with it, is the better deal.

She wants so badly to gift her 5 grandsons with something when she dies.......I do believe that is the reason she is holding on to the properties. I need to show her she can leave a nicer estate if she isn't chipping away at the equity all the time.

I'm having one of those weeks, where life as I thought I knew it is changing faster than I can imagine. Dreaming of doing nothing at this beach house of moms!!!

Unsettling Phone Call

September 14th, 2007 at 03:19 am

We had a great day, crossed the ferry, had lunch out and viewed 2 more beach houses prior to visiting The House we had seen twice before. Sat on the porch there & made a quick plan for tomorrow to list some more things, and come up with an offer to present.

As we got back home this evening, while everyone was saying good bye, and congrats to my mom for her decision re; the house........I decided to check voice mail. I was waiting for the call from the couple we need to get together with to sign the lease for the little rental. (probably the piece of property mom will list for sale too.......not the best timing, however the lease is for a year and any commercial use will have a couple years with the planning stage, so it should work)

Anyway........back to the phone. I did get a call from the young couple, excited out of their minds, this will be their first place. Also got the call from moms DR, her prescriptions are finally ready but they didn't get them faxed in. Drat. Then, there was a female voice, never did identify herself, saying horrible things to my mom re; the little house that just rented.

This woman was very ticked that we had "kicked out" her friend who used to live there. We did ask her to move, last Oct, primarily for her disregard of the lease terms & not paying her rent. It has set vacant until this coming Oct..... But, the woman on the phone was crazy mad that it was being rented to anyone, (there is a for rent sign in the window) as she thought we were selling it as commercial property. And, little does she know.....it will hopefully be sold asap as just that.

She continued to rant at my mother on the voice mail.......about how she was going to tell everyone in town just what mom had done. I'm so glad I was the one to check the voice mail! I deleted her right then, as I didn't want mom to have this spoil her day.

We did decide on the beach house...it is small, but it will work. Mom is on cloud nine. Tired, but still happy with her decision.

Hoping the voice mail lady has a really terrible day, that her negative stuff will circle right back at her. Not nice, but I'm tired and cranky too and that is exactly the way I feel. Sooooo grateful I grabbed the phone as soon as I got in the house!

Couple # 2 Gets the House

September 13th, 2007 at 06:41 am

We chose the couple with no kids, the one that didn't ask if I was going to re do the attics, pull out the counters, and when would the roof be re done? After sleeping on the choice, the couple that was satisfied with the house in it's current condition, the ones that were willing to finish up the stuff I just didn't feel like doing........they are the happy campers tonight.

The house really is cute, just VERY old and quite small. And, I'm tired of old, small, dirty and vacant. Hoping to set up the meeting with Couple #2 sometime next week, to draw up the lease and give them the keys. They won't be moving in til the middle of Oct, as they are getting married and heading to Hawaii.

Since we rented the house, and did (finally) meet with the flooring gentleman, mom & I decided to go out to a late lunch before quitting for the day. Our favorite restaurant(the one where we always have a coupon from the paper) was closed. So, no lunch, no money spent........we headed for home & fixed dinner ourselves.

We did have time for a LONG discussion re; the pros & cons of keeping the property we just rented, or selling it. I need to dig for some numbers and we're going to repeat the same talk. I believe mom is paying to keep the property, what with insurance, taxes and repairs. I know that is the case on my 2 rentals. There is no way to charge enough to cover the expenses. I think mom is close to some breakthrough thinking here, she did say she thought I might be right.......and if she is making any money, it is minimal.

We're taking the whole day tomorrow and heading out to look at "our" beach house again, along with 2 other homes we have seen on line that meet moms needs. I'm hopeful she will just make up her mind and decide one way or another to move, stay, sell, rent.......something.

I did reach one of my interested people on my vacant lot. He owns the neighboring lot & is very interested. Told me not to accept an offer without letting him know. Plus, he's interested in our other lots.... Possibilities here I believe! Contacted our 1031 facilitator, so he's ready if mom does decide on a house tomorrow....we can get the ball rolling.

Next step needing attention: Contact the city to see if I can have trees taken down. Not used to working in a city, and I would hate to get fined for removing trees...even tho they are on our property. They are not helping the condition of the roof, so I'd like to get them down, build up the wood pile and have it all done before the new renters get moved in.

Each day I become more aware of how far behind my mom was getting on taking care of her life and all that entails. I think we're making progress, then another new chapter pops up! Tomorrow will be a welcome break!

Getting Very Close

September 12th, 2007 at 05:03 am

I'm almost decided ..........Plan to sleep on the top 2 couples (again) for the rental. Have 2 more people coming tomorrow, that are going to be in the Seattle area this week....but I am pulling now for couple #2. They are younger, no kids, no pets, both work, and neither will need a car at this location... plus they didn't ask for anything!

Couple #1 came through again today & began asking if I was going to do this, clean the atic, you name it. And, here I was thinking it looked pretty darned good.

The differences between the 2 couples became more obvious to both mom & myself today. Both wanted to have reduced rent for a time, but only one couple really had a list of what they could do for us in trade. I'm swinging to #2 for that reason. I'm tired, they're young & energetic, plus their references say they are able and talented. Can't beat that combo. I'm just old & tired at this point. Smile

I'm tired enough, I'd just like to exchange a key for a check and let the place go, anything they could do would be an improvement!

My son stopped by during the work day, so I took advantage of that and sat down for a visit! Crossing my fingers the stories he tells are more truth than fiction these days. He seems to be making headway......job, apartment, etc.

Received a couple calls from an interested party re; my building lot. He has the neighboring piece, so it might work out. Will try to contact him tomorrow, but I have a full day of rental stuff again. And, drat, the floor guy didn't show again. Trying tomorrow for the 3rd time now. Since he has made me wait, I'm expecting a nice cut on the bid. He's done most all of my floor jobs for years, so I can press the issue about him not showing up.

Can not wait til Friday.....promising myself to have this rental thing all wrapped up by then!

Decisions, Decisions

September 11th, 2007 at 05:57 am

I thought we had "the" couple to rent the house......and today, another young guy walked in while I was cleaning. He is almost a carbon copy of "the" guy from couple #1, which is weird enough, since we rented the apt in back a few months ago and he has almost the same story too. All 3 are youth pastors. Very strange........good, but strange.

So, a decision that was almost made, now is back in the iffy stage. Meeting wife of couple #2 tomorrow.....and we'll go from there. References on couple #1 are glowing. Haven't got the app from #2 yet, but I'm betting they are all going to be good too.

Met with the property mgmt person from adjoining property today. She informs me the trees in question (they are making a mess of our roof) are truly on moms property, not the parking lot of the bank. Well.......after letting mom stew about this for a bit, she informs me they kept back a 2' strip when they sold the lots for the parking lot eons ago. Huh??? A separate tax # and the whole bit. Guess where the trees are?? You bet. All the way along the 2' strip. We didn't plant them, but it was so long ago, whomever did is long gone. So, my friend the tree man now has more on his TO DO list.........will call him tomorrow.

Cleaned the little rental house, made some major progress. Couple #1 is coming back tomorrow for a 2nd look see. And, the floor guy friend, didn't get me to the top of his list.....which means he didn't get to my job today, we're trying again for tomorrow.

Sent both of my tenants notices about listing the properties. Don't expect anyone to be happy. None of them are answering their phones. Too much drama for me.....

Sleeping on the decision re; who to rent the house to. Mom has told me I have free rein this time......not that she really means that. She will have opinions all along here!! Smile Good thing we think alike!

We Turned a Corner

September 10th, 2007 at 05:49 am

I can tell, mom has made some decisions and I think they're good ones. The day feels like it has been a week & I'm that tired too!

Started out at a run it seemed, loaded the van with everything I could think of we might need at the vacant rental. Cleaning supplies, yard maint stuff, trash bags, hedge trimmer......we had it in the van. Got there to find the electrician hard at work. Things are truly getting done!

Began setting up shop to get the place organized for a couple appointments to see the place in the afternoon. HA! People started dropping in right away. I had done the old realtor tricks, had it smelling good, doors open;sunshine everywhere.......fresh flowers on a sign in table, music playing in the background. For a dirty, old, little house.......it looked pretty good with just a couple hours work!

Nephew/realtor/mortgage guy showed up to help his grandma........and did pretty well with the list I gave him. AND, he has a day set aside to take mom & I to see The Beach House again, as well as 3 other houses in the same county. A week from tomorrow we set out in earnest. Mom actually told him to go for it, I think were her actual words.

We dug up the paperwork for her extra lot behind the house we're in, and nephew person will call the city tomorrow to check on zoning, permits, sub dividing procedures and get that parcel on the market.

We're checking the 1031 specifics to see that we're still on the right track.

I've got a list of phone calls to try again on in the morning, then I'm meeting nephews wife to help clean the little rental again.

Oh.....one of the best things, I do think we met the future tenants of this little place. They have already faxed in their application & I'll meet with them again on Tues for another walk through of the house & yard. Hoping like everything they sign up for a year. That would get this piece off our list for a bit.

We did talk today of listing the piece with this little house, (also has an apt) but selling it to a developer, who will buy it even with the leases currently signed. Mom is really ready. I'm getting excited, both for her....and I'd love to move too. Being in this house I was raised in is just a tad odd at times.

So, I'm not sure I can turn my brain off tonight and go to sleep. Leases, phone calls, TO DO lists, beach houses, packing, more phone calls.......Too much going on for only one day.

The Landlord Business

September 9th, 2007 at 03:02 am

I'm deep in the process of handling the inquiries re; moms little rental house. Seems to have generated quite a bit of interest, however no real serious folks yet. I think we've got the price right, as that doesn't seem to weed anyone out. The parking and the no shower are currently tied for being the negatives.

Heading to the house tomorrow to let a few people take a peek. Hopefully, they will bring a ton of optimism with them, as it isn't ready for people yet! But, we're making headway and at least it looks like work is happening.

Did talk with mom today about getting us both OUT of this landlord business. She is ready to sell a building lot behind the house we're currently living in.......and I'm ready to sell an empty lot of mine too. (I actually listed mine on CL today and have one couple heading out to see it tomorrow) Moms lot needs to have some additional paperwork done at the city level here....it's large enough, but doesn't have it's own tax number yet. Mine has a number, but no road or services to it.

We reviewed the beach house paperwork again and went over the pictures. Just can't get a read on mom to know if she really wants to move.......really wants me to start pushing this through......or if she just wants to dream about it and have me hunker down and get this house we're in up to snuff.

Either way, I sure do want to be out of the landlord business. I'm contacting everyone on my list and letting them know I've got some properties available. All of mine would be great for a builder/developer to take and do something with. Crossing fingers here.

Listed another round of items here on CL today. Hoping to gain some empty space in the garage if these things sell. Furniture, lift chairs, commercial sewing machines........you name it, my mom has held onto it. Amazing she always kept enough room carved out for her car to fit in there! Smile

Lots of Work, No Progress

September 8th, 2007 at 06:04 am

No matter how hard I worked today at the lengthening TO DO list, nothing got crossed off. Hate days like this! I'm truly one who gets excited about crossing things off my list.

Mom gave the nod to start work in earnest on the vacant rental. Made a bunch of calls; and only received one call back. My friend in the tree business........ So, we managed to meet at the rental and here at moms, for him to give me a bid on hacking down the hedge that looks more like old growth timber, as well as limb up all the trees that are touching the house here. Can't schedule him, as there is an adjoining property issue on both jobs; neighbors to contact, property mgmt firms to reach. Waiting.....waiting.....

Dropped off moms 2005 tax info packet to the tax man. Came home all set to start in on the 06 stuff........only to find we can't find any of it. Only 2 of us living here, and we have misplaced a whole pile of paperwork. I'm crossing my fingers & calling the tax guy in case we were really ahead of the game and had taken it in the first visit. Again....waiting.

Put the rental signs up at the house, as well as listed it on Craigs list. CL response winning at this time, although I don't have any great prospects from either. Also called my friendly floor man, to get the job set up for a new kitchen and bath floor......have the materials leftover from a job of mine, so the price shouldn't be too bad. Again, no call back........I really hate it when everyone in the world leaves work by noon on a Friday.

Mom & I attended a seminar last night, primarily on 1031 exchanges. Poor speakers, but we did pick up some pointers and both of us got rather fired up to sell our rentals and get out of the landlord business. Now, if I can just keep that fire lit under my mom!

Sold another of my dads books today, did get it packaged and mailed today, so I guess there was something I actually finished today!

Not Rose Colored.........but, New Glasses

September 6th, 2007 at 04:23 am

Had my eye exam today and got the new glasses I had picked out Monday. Used the AAA discount, as it was more than the 50% off sale LensCrafters was having.
Since I don't have insurance, this is considered a good deal for me. And, as an aside, I have been doing a fair job of a series of eye exercises for the last couple years, and I do believe it has helped. My right eye had almost no change, the left eye.....a bit more she said. Trying to treat my eyes as muscles & it seems to be making a difference to me.

Did fill up the van with gas while waiting for the lenses........I was almost on empty so I ended up using all of $40.00. Made a deposit of the one rent check that came on time, as well as the payment for my week end young man.

Mom had her physical too today, and got a pretty good report. We managed to get the meds all as generic, with 90 days of each so we can now order by mail. TA DA. Money and time saved and she should squeek in the window of this Medicare business. Have yet to understand the logic of it, but there is a range of money spent on meds that isn't covered. If you go above it, the expenses are again covered......but there is this no mans land in the middle. I'm aiming to come in under, so most of the prescriptions are covered.

And, I'm also aiming to drop some of the meds (with the DR approval of course) by cooking things a bit differently here. So far, moms chlorestrol is back in normal range with just the few changes we have made since May.

My biggest step today was making the schedule for the vacant rental....cleaning starts Friday and I managed to pin down the elusive electrician who promises to meet me there on Friday also!

A long day; but many lines crossed off on the TO DO list here.

Icky Mail Day

September 5th, 2007 at 04:22 am

I have been really angry since Sunday, but unable to do much about it. Spent the time here, shuttling mom & her twin from appointment to errand, & back home for meals........giving all my spare time to a letter I was going to write to former room mate person, now tenant at the old house.

I did get to the computer today & have the letter written and in the outgoing mail for tomorrow. Room mate person had conveniently forgotten several things I had said or asked.......so I wanted to put my communication to her in writing.

Well.......back to the mail. I have now got my mail coming to this address, and in my delightful collection was a rent check from the other house which was nice.......and my contracts for the rec center teaching position for fall quarter........and a letter from the county, letting me know I had 10 days to contact them re; the condition of the old house. (yes, the one with the former room mate person) I had just sent the letter to her, detailing much of what the county has probably got on their list of complaints too..... Called room mate person, just voice mail. Hate that when people just don't answer, or return calls when they know something is wrong.

Not sure what my next step is. I do know this kind of stuff makes me not sleep at night. I feel like I want to hit my head on the wall & knock myself out so I can get to sleep!

I did make some progress with my mom re; her vacant rental. I have a cleaning party with some help coming this Friday, and both Monday & Tuesday of next week. Feels huge to have got that on the calendar. Mom could use the rent from this place & it has now been sitting idle for a year as of next month.

In the conversation to get this plan set up........mom let me know her grandson (not my kid) who is renting another of her houses........is behind 2 months now on his rent. She will not speak to him. She won't allow me to speak to him. I did tout the benefits of putting all our rentals with a management firm, letting them do this part of the job for a fee. Seems cheap to me....and she didn't argue. May be making some progress on this too.

Moms twin went home, so life here is a bit more relaxed. I really need to clean, since I haven't while we had company and truly haven't thought about it while moms been recuperating from her fall. I feel like I'll never catch up with all that needs to be done, here, and our collective rentals.

Pretty sure I'm not going to get the mail for a day or two! Icky things out there! Smile

Another Item off my 2007 Goal List!

September 4th, 2007 at 12:57 am

Both my mom & her twin wanted to go shopping for glasses frames today.....so off we went. Since new glasses were also on my goal list for this year, I picked out a pair too. Not alot different from my current pair, but enough it felt like a 'new me'.

We all have AAA memberships, so the frames were 15% off this week end. Mom & her sister have insurance for the exams and lenses, but I'm going to be paying for mine. It's been years since I've had my glasses updated so this will be a nice treat....and I always have my old ones tinted to use for sunglasses too, so they will also come in handy.

The rest of the day was spent back at home, I'm still trying to keep my mom pretty close to home after her fall. It will be just a week tomorrow since her acrobatic stunt here.

Heading back to get my eye exam on Wed, as I didn't want mom waiting for me today. Will leave her napping when I go.....

It's hard to find the mid ground between guarding over her and leaving her room to be independant. Roles are definately switching here.

Roses, Rhubarb and Leek

September 3rd, 2007 at 04:22 am

Went to the old house (rented to former room mate person) for the afternoon. Had to go drop off the week end young man, so planned to spend time packing a van full of my things to bring home.......

Ended up in the garden since it was such a great day here.

Picked the rhubarb first......I know, it's not spring anymore, but these plants are still producing nice tender stalks. Since I'm not into wasting anything, I picked them. (no one at the house cooks anything more complicated than top ramen)

Noticed my rows of leek were dry as dust, so set the hose out while I was there. Three of the leek were decent sized, so picked them to put in the freezer for homemade potato/leek soup on the next rainy day.

And, before I left, I scalped the rose bushes........I had quite a bouquet when I was done. I did forget to grab some water to put them in for the trip home, so they didn't look nearly as great when I got them here. Hoping they get themselves refreshed by morning!

I always feel so self sufficient when I can pick fruits/veggies and flowers from my own gardens! And, grabbing 4 dozen eggs from the chickens while I was there was fun too!