Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rental woes and lessons

So about that rental house. Its still not 'done'. While the to-do list has shortened considerably, currently down to a mere handful or so of items from the 2 double columned pages of items, I needed it done by the end of last month. Before grouse hunting season opened. Before I had my weeklong conference in Seattle. Before I had to get back to working weekdays. Before my house fell completely into unclean, untidy chaos. Before the pass closed and the chances of it getting sold this fall fell slowly to nil.

Luckily, all of those things haven't yet come to pass, but I still need it done. Like last month. Like last week. And definitely like yesterday.

This Friday is my 28th birthday. Yup, this here mama is getting old.

Well, not really, and I have to say, thinking about the number 28 and me is a little shocking, but thinking about a 28 year old being at the place I am now: married, toddler, dogs, property, chickens, gardens, job, etc, it works.

But as I keep setting deadlines (2 weeks from when we get possession back, end of August, before my conference starts, the weekend I get back from my conference, my birthday), and keep missing those same deadlines, I get more and more irritated. This house was not my choice. It was not my burden. I didn't purchase our new house. I didn't have a real say in the finances of our new house.

I play these arguments out in my head too often, as I dip close to my breaking point, on and off over the last month and a half +. When I get right to the meltdown, tears, life-just-isn't-fair point, I sometimes even say these things to my better half.

In truth, it isn't his fault either. When he bought the rental, he never anticipated meeting someone like me, someone who would encourage him down the path less travelled, the path more wild. The path that involves chickens, row upon row of vegetables, wood cutting, DIY projects, chainsaws, and solitude. When he (we) put the rental (then our/his home) on the market and hoped it would sell before we closed on our current home, we never anticipated that it would be over 2 years later and the now rental would still be ours. We never anticipated the market crashing and crashing this bad, and that over 2 years later the housing market here would still be catching up with that crash, and prices would still (or finally) be dropping here.

But that is what happened, what is happening. And all we can do is roll with the punches, keep on living, balance our budget so that even though we might not be quite where we wanted to, we still end up fine at the end of the day, at the end of the month, and, with any luck, years down the road. Because fine we are and will be, and what else can you hope for?

I run through this conversation with myself all the time lately it seems. I hate to be mulling over the same things over and over, but how else do we decide whether to get renters back into the house I have poured so much of my heart into making perfect in the hopes that someone will come through for a viewing and fall in love with it. Overlooking the overly close proximity of the road, the small backyard, and instead see the princess room, the little boy nursery, the clean modern bathroom, the potential in the side yard to be a great garden or a collection of fruit trees, with a curving stone path through it all to the backyard.

Without mulling over these things, how else do I remember to let go of the irritation I feel, the anger, the resentment, of this house that is looking so nice, that makes me then notice the bare bulbs in our current house, the outdated and falling apart kitchen, the things that normally I am fine with, because we are in the process of fixing the place up, waiting for time and money, and the perfect designs to come to us. But all of the work we did on the rental, last month and this month, is so great and it taught us so much, and I can't overlook that.

But I some days I do. I overlook all of the positives, and get overly stressed about the place not selling, and us ending up screwed financially, and all of those common worries. But when I stop and mull over the rental, and force myself to appreciate what we have learned from it, and where our situation truly is and will be, only then do I realize that we are doing pretty ok. So thanks for bearing with me on my little circular winding way out of my irritation with the rental. I think I'm back in happy mama land now :) As long as I get the rental off my to-do list by Friday that is ;)

Oh, and I almost forgot in all my complaining. There was a viewing on the weekend! The people apparently didn't love the house, thought it was too close to the road (shocker) and didn't think the backyard would be good for a dog (I'll refrain from screaming to the world that we had 2 dogs there just fine thank you very much). So even though we know not to hope for an offer to come from it, a viewing at all is better than we've had in months, and without the renters being out of there it wouldn't have happened at all, so I guess there are even more positives than I give credit for :)


  1. Hang in there, Katy. It all works out the way it's supposed to! Promise!

  2. I've been there with the double house thing. Twice, that I can remember. And both times it worked out. Finally. After a lot of just such skull banging as you describe.
    Good to count your blessings - you have so many. Not the least being all the skills you have learned about renovation.
    We've got some fall colour here, finally, although it won't be a top colour year since it is so dry.
    Jim and your dad were out walking fence lines all yesterday afternoon, with your dad's fancy GPS. Jim's shoes found a lot of burrs, if nothing else.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement Daisy :)
    Mary - I'm definitely ready to be done the skull banging part, but you are right - we are still lucky to be where we are :) I miss fall there! Even a less than super colourful fall! Glad the guys GPS'ed the fences - I'm sure they had fun :)


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