Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Little update - part 1

One of these days I'll have time (or make time) to finish the story about our floor.

For now, here is a little update about life.

- I am still working, working, working at our fourplex. We keep trying different things to get more, uh, qualified applicants. Right now we're doing a "FIRST MONTH PAY 1/2 RENT!!!!!" special. It's just been kind of a problem because I've shown both of the apartments a lot and for a while I was getting people who just...well...they were way too risky to rent to (or, they're not actually interested). Among people who have come to see the apartments:

* many people without jobs (so...uh...how are you planning to pay rent?*),
* a felon ("Is it a crime that the city considers a danger to neighborhoods, including sexual crimes, crimes against property, or violent crimes?" "Yeah, it's one of those ones." "Oh."),
* someone in the process of being evicted ("My landlord is such a @#$)&$* !!! He said he's not going to give me any of my security deposit because we have cats and we're not supposed to, but I have a note saying they're COMPANION cats for my daughters** because they've been through a lot, so they have to let me keep the cats. But he's evicting me so I'm going to just stay there another month and not pay him rent since he's not giving me my deposit back."
* people thinking about moving (after 30 minutes showing both units and discussing where to put furniture, etc: "Now, I have to be honest with you--we're not really sure we're moving. We won't know until Tuesday. In fact, I can't even say there's a 50% chance we're moving." [So...why am I spending my weekend with you instead of my family...?] "Mhmm...", OR "If I give you $100 will you hold this apartment for me until October?" [back at the beginning of August... Ouch.] "Uhhh, no. If you want to put down the deposit and first month's rent, then maybe." "Oh, no, I just have $100.")
* guys who just want to hit on me (A couple guys drove by while I was watering the lawn and they started honking and calling out to me. Then they called the number on my FOR RENT sign in the yard. "Did we just see you out watering the lawn? ... Ohh, hi! Can we come look at the apartment?" They did at least pretend to be thinking of moving.)

Anyway, we're*** hoping to finish getting the units ready pretty soon. There really isn't much left. I've learned a lot in the process. Next time we have a vacancy, I think it will probably go smoother. I will hire help faster. I will have clean pictures to post so that people can get an idea while I'm still actually fixing it up.

Some of the things I have done at the fourplex are: replaced tons more sprinklers, installed 17 boxes of fake wood flooring. Replaced showerheads. Whitened grout, re-caulked tub. Used an airless paint sprayer to paint all of the rooms in one unit and the downstairs of the other unit.**** Patched four holes in walls. Replaced ghetto 1970s ugly lights with modern light fixtures. Re-seeded the lawn. Cold-welded an iron handrail that renters broke. Installed a new motion light outside. Cleaned, cleaned, cleaned. Installed a dishwasher and new garbage disposal (but I still have to finish that because it needs some change to the pipe work beneath the sink.) Changed locks. Replaced 10? sets of blinds. (But I mostly had my brother and the other guy I hired do those, because I really don't like installing blinds.)

* In Utah, you can't discriminate people based on "source of income." It's a Utah thing. That to me sounds like prostitutes and drug dealers, but Utah actually means you can't say no to people who receive housing assistance or child support, etc (if they are otherwise qualified). And that's completely fine. The trouble is, lots of people are unemployed and have no "source of income." (You can "discriminate" about that.)
** Can I say their names online? Stormy and Sulfur. And I don't mean the cats' names. They seemed nice, though. And I would have rented to them if they applied and were qualified.
*** [I'm]
**** Ha! I'm so bad at using a paint sprayer. It takes practice, I think. In the rooms that were dark, I ended up with drips all over the place. In one of the living rooms, I accidentally got way too much paint on one wall. I wiped it off with my hands (into a little bucket) and I painted a whole big storage closet all with the extra paint from around the outside of just that one closet door. Oops.

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