Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hard Times and Property Taxes

My little world is about to undergoe some big changes.  I have a house that I've been renting to a young friend of mine.  (I live in the "cottage" at the back of the property where I have a gated driveway and my own parking space.) Up until now she's never had trouble finding a room-mate, but she's getting ready to make a big move to go to school out of state, so if she lived with her family for a few months before making that move she'll save money. And I'll be able to rent the whole house and make more money.  Sounds like a win/win doesn't it?  But because I live on the same (very big for an urban lot) property, I need to find the right person to rent it to. I'm not everybody's cup of tea.  The fact that I'm a bit of a misanthrope doesn't help.

I've spent most of my adult life trying to be as little like my heinous mother as humanly possible.  My mother was ungenerous in the extreem.  She was a tightwad and never ever gave anything away.  Even "gifts" came with a price tag or a trade off.  So I have spent my life erring on the side of generosity at the expense of my fiscal well-being.  It is time to grow up and stop living my life in reaction to a dead woman.  It's time to start thinking in terms of what's best for me for a change.  It's time for me to make enough money on this property to be able to pay my property taxes on time.

It's also time to finish the novel and put it to bed somewhere else.  I'm ready to move forward.  I'm ready to stop dreaming about the life I want and start working to make it happen.  I figure I just might have fifteen or twenty years to make at least one of my dreams come true if I work real hard right now.


Fran said...

Well, yes you live on the property, but the person is not moving in with you directly.
I understand there does need to be some understanding & flow.
The rental market has been tricky for friends.
A long term renter bottomed out & after 10 years, she stopped paying rent & they had to go through the official eviction proceedings.
Once they got her out, they had to get 10 years of stuff out, then do major repairs on the house.
They do the rental process on Craig's list & have the renter e mail their "story".... money to pay rent & overall situations.
They have been able to screen out a bunch of unstable renters in this way. No one wants to have someone move in who won't be able to stay a while, it's a lot of work doing the screening & interviews & then all the paperwork & stuff.
In the end it was taking too long to get it rented, so they had to drop the rent price.
Don't know what the market is like in your area..... you can study the classifieds & see what other comparable rentals are going for.
Always something.
You can always appeal your property tax to get it lowered, I have friends who appeal EVERY year!

Utah Savage said...

Unlike my usual slapdash way of doing things, I have it listed three places and if I feel the need one of the places will do credit and background checks. Also I'm starting with a month to month, rather than a long term lease. If it doesn't work for either party, we give the other one month notice. I'll have that in a contract. Makes eviction a little easier. And I have checked the rental market in my area, and what I'm asking is in line with comparable rentals. I live in a very desirable neighborhood. My house is large for a two bedroom house, and it was built in 1897. So if you wanted to live in this neighborhood you'd probably like old houses. I listed it today and have had two offers. So, I think this is going to be fairly easy. These could be famous last words. Don't make me eat them if I'm wrong.


I have repeated this story of something I read in the Lucille Ball autobiography and it's worth repeating..she was in charge of desilu with desi..she was working long hours at the tv show, plus making moviees, taking not only care of her family but her mother and uncle and desis family too..(plus he was messing around on her all the time)and she decided she was wearing her self out and not doing her self any good and because of that she wasn't doing anyone any good. so she took a piece of paper and wrote 'do whats right for lucy' and taped it on the mirrow of her bathroom...and when she'd get up in the morning that would be the first thing she saw...it set the tone of her day..do nothing unless its good for you first...
good advice..

Tengrain said...

Good for you, Utah.

Two of my (retired) neighbors own rental property. One serves as the property manager himself, the other has an agency handle it for them.

One goes insane dealing with the renters himself, the other seems to lead a tranquil life.

Take yourself out of the picture.



sunshine said...

Sending out good vibes that you will find the perfect person to rent the house!
Good luck. :D


Comrade Kevin said...

It's good to have a goal, though I also encourage you to be good to yourself as you pursue it.

Blueberry said...

Property tax is a beast when you pay it annually (we do that too).

Utah Savage said...

The interesting thing about property taxes in this area is that as the value of the property takes a nose dive the taxes and climbing straight into the stratosphere.