Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Do I stay or do I go now?

Image: http://courageous-creativity.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/12232097-a-green-two-way-street-sign-pointing-to-should-i-stay-or-should-i-go-with-arrows-pointing-to-left-or.jpg

I like to review how the previous month went, financially speaking, and to ascertain just where I am headed, as the new month begins. Although submitted in Feb, March was when my taxes were completed, filed, refunds received. Some unexpected expenditures such as purchasing a recliner and buying off the rest of the car loan. I am fortunate to have the resources to be able to do so.

My next big decision regards housing: I expect to rent for another year. While the LL was responsive to the bulk of my maintenance requests prior to moving in, a few she wouldn't budge on, such a installing a bathroom vent near the shower. Answer thru the realtor was open a window. @@  Fast forward, and LL has been very responsive to furnace issues, leaking toilets, leaking faucets, broken dishwasher, leaking pipes. Can't find fault there.

I recently sent her 3 separate emails, each had their own theme: yard work, tree work, outside maintenance. Yard work is being addressed. Outside maintenance is in the works, tree work? I have no idea. I still need to send her an interior maintenance email about interior peeling paint (against CT state tenant laws), reinsulation of the attic and crawl space, the energy conservation report that also outlines replacing the fridge in the kitchen-it has it's issues, yet still works Ok (mostly broken egg bin, missing meat drawer, cracked veggie bin drawer, etc), etc. I am not trying to push my luck here. All emails have been "this is a FYI" kind of tone.

My lease is thru mid August. I suspect that she plans on continuing to rent this place out, as she just rented out the cottage next door again. How soon a new lease would be offered to me is unclear. Per the lease, if she is to lease this house again, I get the right of first refusal. I am concerned that she may jack the rent up as she has put in money on general repairs, neglected maintenance. I have a good handle on how much a comparable home in this town rents for, and a final figure in my head as to how much I am willing to pay for this place.

I hate the idea of moving, especially as it would mean incurring costs to do so. Time will tell. For now, I am good until the Summer, and I am keeping an eye on the rental market here.

3 comments:

Nutbird said...

I would move. You forgot that this house is vastly under-insulated. To have to practically wrap your windows in blankets is unconscionable. It is obvious that the landlord has deferred all maintenance and taken advantage of you as a single mother. To raise the rent a lot may be against local housing laws. I would move to a better house. It will give you less stress and also give you a cushion in case you can't find a suitable house to buy. Ann

CTMOM said...

Nutbird,
Thanks for your comments. Of consideration is the following:
Pluses:
-location-
-same school for kids
-pets allowed
-I've pretty much gotten the house to where I want it
-LL had adddressed prior to my moving in and has been addressing maintenance repairs
-additional repairs are being scheduled
-more than spacious for our needs
-laundry facilities on premises
Minus:
-insulation,painting that needs to be done due to peeling (against CT state codes), a bath ceiling light that HM never fixed correctly, an additional request to consider rehooking up the WC ceiling exhaust fan and put a timer switch on it. This WC is located in the main bathroom with the shower. We currently use a window fan to blow the shower dry after use and to blow the hot air from the radiator to the shower area. Works OK. Now that we've had warmer days/weather, I've been able to use this same box fan in the window to exhaust the steam. Regardless, black mold discoloration is bleeding thru the wall paint-mold was painted over apparently. The paint color used is slightly lighter than the color of the paint underneath so I can tell wher the touch ups were. HM has some issues with his sight, I assume he can't detect this.
-someone* prior to my tenancy, used dirty wax to polish the kitchen floor. Washed weekly, as well as scubbed by the cleaning crew monthly, the issue remains that it's wax sealed DIRT. I tried multiple cleaners, now resorting to wax strippers (nasty stuff) to strip the wax off and then re-do the floor if desired. I have to wait for a warm day when windows with an exhaust fan can be used, for safety reasons.
-I had to come up with my own W/D-about 1/3 of the rental homes this is the case around here, so not a biggie. I bought the set off of the former tenant's daughter for $200. Fine.
-even with keeping the house cold, using the wood stove, using the zoned heat, I paid far, far too much to heat this place with oil. Reason for the tenant next door to move out after 6 years? high cost of heating the place. Maybe she'll keep that in mind when I request insulsation.

I am throwing whatever I can towards my house fund. I checked with the bank, I know what I'd qualify for, but am aiming for far below that (to a tune of $150,000 less). Welcome to real estate in CT! I am eyeballing homes in this town, as well as neighboring ones where my dollars will go further. Issue, however, becomes school for the kids, as I anticipate being able to move to a permenant vs rental home in one year.
-the configuration of the bedrooms is weird. Although called a 2 BR, the 2nd BR is more of an office with built in cabinets. I have 4 large double door closets in my BR, (one for shoes, one is built in dresser, one has 2 hanging bars, one has 1 hanging bar) so that is not a factor. Would be nice if there was a closet in their room instead and they didn't have to walk thru mine to get to it.
-DD may be taking a break from college, and may need to stay with me. While she can share my room, that can get old quickly. Need to determine what will happen.

Moving will cost me $4000 at least, to hire out the man/woman power to box up and schlep our belongings to the next place-regardless if it's rental or permenant home. I'll pay that in higher oil prices here. It's a wash.

I am taking all factors into consideration, and I keep monitoring the rental/sale marker for homes in my area.

I am curious to see what the rent is on a renewal lease. By law, LL can NOT increase my rent while under the current lease. She can, however, charge whatever she wants on the next one. There is no fair rent office in my town, so I have no recourse other than to contact her, should the increase be ridiculous, and offer $x instead

So yes, this place was let go. She lives in FL, I am unaware of who if anyone, she has watching this place. Did former tenants report maintenance issues? Was ignorance bliss? I simply do not know. Please note, this place is NOT a dump, although affordable for me.

CTMOM said...

i've been busy, so the late comment. You have two college kids, who must have friends. Your EX should help move the kids' stuff. He has a truck, right? He must if he plows driveways. You are going to be a little weak from the surgery, but four kids could manage to load up tons of laundry baskets and plastic bins full of stuff. They could also wrangle mattresses into a truck. You can then hire two men and a van for the big stuff. Most people don't hire real movers unless their company pays for it. There must be a decent house or townhouse between X and Y or north that would work for you. You spend so much effort cooking from scratch, I think another move wouldn't be too much work. You just haven't moved enough in the past ten years, so it seems like a huge undertaking. College girl could also help with the rent. Good luck Ann (edited and reposted)