The House Hunters – Part II

The last time we checked with our hero…um, me…we found him searching frantically for a new home because his landlord gave him a 60-day notice for renovations. Since that time, he has decided to buy a home and it closes in a week. No more landlords for this fella!

This isn’t the first time we’ve owned a home, but hopefully, it will be the last. Our original thought was that we felt we were too old to take on a 30-year mortgage. Obviously, our thoughts have changed. Certain landlords will do that for you.

One of our first landlords was one we inherited. We had a duplex and the previous owner had sold it, thus the inherited landlord. It was bought by an elderly lady who seemed very nice at first. There was some work that the duplex needed, to include finishing a closet. I went ahead and did that. Then when it came time to move, she refused to give us our deposit back. In reality, we had left the place in much better shape then it was when we moved in, but she said she had no way of knowing that. It turned out there was nothing we could do…but learn.

Another place we lived at was one I worked out from 2000 miles away. We were moving back to Washington state from Wisconsin and decided to rent again after owning a home. The trip with the rental truck was ok. We stopped along the way to pick up my mother-in-law who needed some extra care so we decided to have her live with us. We arrived at the house a day late and met the landlord there. That’s when the trouble began.

I thought I would check with the bank before I wrote the rent check and was in for a big surprise. The truck rental company had accidentally charged us 5 times, 5 TIMES, I said 5 TIMES!!!! When you move across country, it’s expensive enough to rent one truck, let alone 5. Anyway, the bank showed us as nearly overdrawn and caused us a lot of stress. The bank said they would get it cleared up, but it would take a couple days. The landlord refused to let us at least stay in the house for that time until we had the money to pay. My mother-in-law was sick from the drive and there was little we could do. We went to a motel until the money cleared. The new job I was supposed to start took back their offer when I said I would arrive a couple days late. It was a stressful disaster all around.

We finally got into the house and after four months, my mother-in-law passed. The landlord seemed to like us and offered us a beautiful rental on the shore of South Puget Sound. We jumped at it for two reasons. The first was that I really needed to get my wife away from a home that reminded her about her mom. The other reason was, well, who wouldn’t want to live by the water?

We moved to the water and while we were moving, we got hit with one of the biggest snowstorms on record in Olympia, Washington. The power went out and we had to live between two homes until the power came back on and we could finish moving.

Once we were settled in, it turned out the landlord liked me…but he liked my wife even more. It turned ugly and after a short while, we were looking for another home. We settled for a small house with a decent landlord.

After a couple years, the house next door came open. It was much larger and a friend of my wife’s was going to move in with us and share costs. She changed her mind after I gave notice and signed a new lease. We had no choice but to move anyway.

We lived quietly in the bigger house (our current home) for about 3 years before we got the notice to move. Even though we’re not fond of our current landlord, she did let us live our lives in the home. It only turned ugly in the end.

Bottom line is, we no longer feel we’re too old to buy a new home. We’re just tired of landlords.


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