So my mom put her condo on the market on the 13th or 14th of June (I forget which at the moment) and offered the tenants a reduction in rent for cooperating with the realtor. They seemed to think they were entitled to a reduction of twice as much as my mom's property manager had suggested they should be offered. And they seemed to think that we really wanted/needed them to stay there, paying the mortgage for us, while the place was on the market. At least that's all I can assume, in terms of what might have been going on in their heads, when traced backward from their behavior.

They mentioned their desire for twice the reduction several times to the realtor (probably hoping it would get back to us), whined constantly to her about the 'inconvenience' -- which couldn't have been much since they refused to return phone calls from realtors interested in showing the place, and then went so far as to place a padlock on the inside of the patio gate (barring access of all realtors to the lock-box on the front door, but also effectively locking out the property manager -- which is illegal!) When they locked the place over the entire 4th of July weekend we'd had more than enough from them and warned them that if that lock was ever back up on the gate they would get a thirty day notice.

They made a claim, when talking to our realtor, that another realtor had tried to show the place at midnight -- and had even gone so far as to walk in the front door. This, they claimed, was the reason for the padlock on the gate. The realtor informed them that that was impossible since the lock-box not only holds a log of everyone who's used it, and when, but it also sends her an e-mail instantly (ain't technology grand?). By the time they talked to the property manager the story had changed to 'someone' jiggling the gate handle at three in the morning -- 'probably thinking the place was empty', and therefore it was a safety issue. They said they wanted to keep it on at night, and on weekends when the husband was out of town). At any rate their little charade was not very effective, and when we heard the lock was back on the gate at 2.30pm on a Monday afternoon (were they feeling unsafe at that hour?), my mom called the property manager and told her to lower the boom. That was almost a month ago, so in just a few more days the place will be vacant, and can then, hopefully, be aggressively shown!

I guess that saying about no good deed going unpunished is true. We didn't really want them in there while trying to sell the place -- but we thought it was sort of mean to just hand them a 30 day notice out of the blue, especially since we knew they had just had a baby less than a year ago. We thought, we'll let them know we're planning to sell so they can start looking for someplace asap, we'll give them a reduction in the rent for their cooperation, and then, when it sells (which could be months down the road) we'll give them the 30 day notice when escrow starts. We even thought they might want to buy the place, and asked them if they wanted first crack at it (they were interested -- but only at $125,000 below market value -- as if!?!).

Apparently they thought we had serious need of them, and that they had some fantastic bargaining position from which to hold the condo hostage for the sake of an extra couple hundred dollars a month. I kinda would have liked to have seen their faces when they got the call from the property manager. Every sneaky, nasty, snippy, greedy thing they did seemed to be motivated from a belief that we couldn't/wouldn't tell them to leave -- it would have been sweet to see their expression when they learned they had so severely miscalculated. I know that sounds mean, but I haven't even told you the half of how awful they've been. It'll be lovely when they're gone.

So now we are keeping our fingers crossed for the following:

1) They care enough about their credit rating to move out on schedule (because eviction can be time consuming and messy).

2) They move out without wrecking the place (my mom knew someone once, whose tenants stripped the place down to the studs -- even taking the pipes and the wiring out of the walls to sell for scrap).

3) Between now and the end of the contract with the realtor in mid-October, the place can be sold. BTW, anyone interested in a 2 bed, 1.5 bath, 2 story condo in Fullerton, CA?

4) When the place does sell, that little berry farm in NE WA that we want will still be for sale.

Basically, if the place sells before the contract is up in October -- great! There's enough money in the condo account to cover the mortgage, association dues, management fees, etc. until then - with enough left over to pay the property tax installment that's due in November. If it hasn't sold by then, we'll probably rent it out again, and take it off the market until next spring/summer -- assuming that prices haven't dropped too far (I mean, there's no reason to give it away, and with the capital gains tax being so high on rental property -- not to mention the fact that when we buy something we want it to be relatively nice, and owned completely out right -- we naturally want the most we can get).

In the interim, it looks like we'll be moving back to stay with my dad by the end of this month. Not only is it unbearably hot here, most of the time, but now my dad isn't feeling well and thinks he might need some time in the hospital so he wants us to come back ASAP to look after the house, the dogs/cats, and presumably him. It's a funny thing because I've been looking forward to getting out of here since April -- but am not thrilled with the prospect of going back to that house very much. It's not like a real house -- it has sub-standard wiring and plumbing, it's a mile off the pavement on a dirt logging road, the nearest neighbor is a half mile away, it's an hour to an hour and a half to get to anything cool in Spokane (assuming you don't hit any deer on the highway and slow yourself down that way) -- and ladies and gentlemen: I simply do not like my parents enough to spend that much undiverted time with them.

But it will be nice to get back to the 'proper' side of the country. Lots of things will be nice about getting back there. Most of all, it will be nice if I can get my dad to help me out with the responsibility that is my mother. I'd be able to take a vacation, for example -- oh wouldn't that be magnificent?!?

So the next couple weeks are going to be crazy around here. I love to travel, but OMG, I hate moving! I've got to pack, re-pack, or re-seal unpacked boxes. I've got to have a talk with the neighbor who mows our lawn and ask if he'll help me (for a fee) load big things onto the U-haul trailer I'm going to have to rent. My dad is lusting after the chest freezer and portable dishwasher that were left here (and shouldn't have been!). I have to reserve the U-Haul trailer (after calculating how big it has to be, and which day to pick it up on). I've got to take the 4Runner over to get it's oil changed and it's doo-dads all checked out in anticipation of another 2,700 mile trek. I've got to empty and defrost the chest freezer at least a week in advance, so it can be moved. I've got to clean this place from top to bottom. I've got to call and get things disconnected (but not too soon!), and you know how many hours of phone time that's gonna be, UGH!

Am I giving you a clear enough impression of how fast my brain is spinning? LOL


La Yen said...

Are you driving with your mom? Because if you fly her, and drive by yourself, you can stop off in the EP for a bit and get all of the baby and soldier pics that you want...

LuluBunny said...

Unfotunately I will be driving both of us, and my big white dog -- and we'll probably take the slightly shorter Northern route which will mean hours and hours of joyousness in Podunk, Wyoming.

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