Let the Buyer Beware!

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Ok, I’m writing this because I need to get it out. I’m not sure if ANYTHING about this post is going to be very humorous.

 

About 5 years ago, I was living with my current roommates in a house that’s actually right around the corner from where we are now… and we LOVED out house. We were renting from this realtor guy, who, even though he was a bit weird, seemed alright.

 

Fast forward about 2 and a half years, and we surprisingly get SERVED foreclosure papers at our door one night. Seems that Mr. Realtor guy was taking our rent and not using it to pay the mortage. According to the papers he hadn’t made a payment in over 6 months.

 

We tried to get out of our situation then, but he turned into a bully, threatening to sue us, citing parts of the rental contract and twisting them to his RANDOM interpretation. After talking amongst ourselves, we decided to stick it out for another few months, until the end of the lease.

 

Things rapidly got worse. Our landlord Mr. Realtor guy decided to file for bankruptcy, and in the process included all of his rental properties, citing that they were empty. We were given less than a month to get out, and had a hard time finding a house to rent at the last minute.

 

When this house came up for grabs, we thought ourselves fortunate! Right around the corner from our current place! Lower rent! More space! The owner seemed like a nice guy and was very empathetic when we told him that we why we were in such a hurry. We though we’d found the perfect arrangement and settled into our new home.

 

We’ve been here about 2 and a half years now, and really feel connected with the neighborhood and the community. Bee and I started looking for our own place to rent once the lease would be up in December and wanted to stay pretty close. With saving for the wedding AND saving for a new place we’d outlined a strategy to get both things done without breaking the bank.

 

Things were fine until we got SERVED (!!!!) in March of this year. Turns out our landlord was going into foreclosure! We were in the the same situation again!!! As you can imagine, this did not sit well with me or my roommates. We became panicked and paranoid, scrambling to make sense of it all. After confronting our landlord with the truth, he explained that he wanted to remodify his mortgage; these days the banks won’t even talk to you about that unless you’re a few months behind on your mortgage. He assured us that all was well, and after renegotiating the rent down to a slightly lower price, we agreed to stay until the end of the year, when our lease would be up.

 

My heart rate and stress level was finally subsiding back down to its usual level of mania when the phone call came: our landlord wants to put the house up for short sale! With the intention of somehow buying it back!

 

How could it get to this point? What made my landlord think that this was a good idea? Or that his tenants would stick around during this process. I feel so effed by it all, and worst of all, somewhat powerless and I hate that. A very large part of me is super pissed that we’re being put in this situation, part of me is in awe at the sheer ridiculousness of my landlord’s decisions to let things get this far. And a not-so tiny bit of me is also pleased.

 

With all of this going on we’re now contemplating moving out WAYYYY ahead of schedule – August, in fact. Bee and I have been looking at apartment complexes, trying to find one in the area that works for us, and will be our first nest together. 🙂 What sucks is… EVERYONE is looking for apartments right now too.

 

It’s funny – now that the housing market is going through all this drama people are choosing NOT to rent from private owners, but are turning to apartments and management companies instead. Bee and I are not ready to buy a home, and I know we’ll be renting for a few years yet, and I hate that we’re now so suspicious of rental properties managed by the owners. For a long time the law was on the side of the owners, but now more laws are coming out to protect the tenants, yet I feel that not enough is being done. It’s hard and unfair – if I don’t work out a reasonable deal with my landlord, I’m at risk of “breaking” my lease… even though he’s the one not paying bills. Does that seem crazy to anyone but me? That I’m stuck in someone else’s mess? The process server for the foreclosure has already been by twice. Now we have to accommodate realtors wanting to show the house.

 

On the flip side, I am more than a little excited that our plans to get our own place together are being sped up. I am looking forward to living in my own place, where I can sit in the living room on the couch in my underpants, eating oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and not worrying that my roommate is going to unexpectedly bring home a gaggle of people while I’m enjoying Pants Off Friday.

 

I also won’t have to worry about lawn care. Bee and I enjoy gardening but I’m pretty sure I’ll like a container garden just as well… less ants, less bagworms (WTF?!?), less pesticides to worry about… no more haggling with lawn care companies to cut my grass before it becomes the neighborhood eyesore. It got so bad recently that parents wouldn’t let their kids walk on the sidewalk by our house… they’d quickly usher them across the street. If I was wlaking out of the front door at the same time my neighbor was backing out of his garage, I’d scurry back in until he’d left. Last week’s community garage sale was the worst. I wanted to check out all the wares, but didn’t want to leave through the front door, ’cause then everyone would know that I belonged to “that house”. Until our new lawn care guy bravely ventured in and mowed the yard, I was pretty sure Bambi and his friends were moving into our front yard. I swear I saw forest creatures frolicking around my hibiscus bush the other day. NOT COOL.

 

Another nice thing will be cheaper power bill! Yippee!!! Our current power bill would make you nauseous. Seriously. It’s pretty bad in the summer. Water will be less, and the likelihood and me having to run down the street chasing my trash guys in my pajamas is fairly unlikely.

 

One final super cool thing about getting a new place: a toilet seat that’s never been sat on by another butt. I didn’t realize how important this could be until a friend pointed it out. How tantalizing!

 

It will be weird adjusting to a small place, but I’m pretty sure me and Bee will make it cozy and welcoming… not only for ourselves, but our friends too.

 

We planned for such a long while about moving in to a new place together, and now it’s coming, whether we like it or not. We’re getting pushed head over heels into this new awesome change. If you know me, you know I HATE change. So why am I so pumped for this massive shift in my world???

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