Friday, September 25, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

I HOPE & PRAY with all my heart that I'm going to be renting a cute little Victorian house from a friend in near future. I dream about it every day, it's become such a compulsion that I drive by the house several times a week like some kind of stalker. I know it’s not definite but it gives me some hope that I will finally get out of the nightmare living situation I am in right now, I can’t tell you how thrilled I will be. I just hope it will happen before the first snowfall. I’m boxing stuff up already. It may be several months from now but it can’t hurt to start packing! I’m so excited!! Most importantly, there isn’t a steep flight of stairs to enter the house like I deal with now and even more importantly, the bathroom is upstairs with the bedrooms so I don’t have to go down & up a flight of stairs 3x a night to use the bathroom & then struggle to get back to sleep! I hate everything about living in the multi-family 2-bedroom apartment where I am now, to the point that it affects my quality of life. Bonus: short level driveway to shovel that I won’t get stuck in vs. the muddy &/or frozen sheet of ice/swamp our unpaved, below-street level mud pit that our yard becomes in the winter. WOOHOO! Plus the little backyard where I can plant flowers again [this makes me want to weep with joy I’ve missed my gardens so much] & maybe a little patch of vegetables, plus my own private patio table set that no one is going to borrow or destroy as happens now. And no neighbors up my ass, slamming doors, blasting Reggae, blocking my car in the driveway, keeping the washer & dryer full 24/7 so I can never do laundry at home, pounding down the stairs & waking me at 6 a.m. on a Sunday - oh it gets better, how about vacuuming in the bedroom on the adjoining wall to my bedroom at 6 a.m. on a Sunday?!! Ha, ha and that's just the tip of the iceberg! Although I actually do like my neighbors, I really hate the quality of life of living in a multi-family having owned my own homes from 1988 until 3 years ago. It's been a Very Unhappy transition.

My friend, KS, who owns the house is not a very close friend, but a friend who goes back more than 15 years & we've each invited the other to our homes for parties, etc. She's a very nice person & we have had a lot in common, so it's very easy to talk as friends do, even after not seeing eachother for a year at a time.

KS has a real dilemma with what used to be her charming little home. When she lived there it was about the cutest house I'd ever seen, she has incredible decorating skills & took a very plain, ordinary house & created an absolutely adorable dollhouse. After she moved in with her long-time "boy"friend, L, she rented it out to various tenants through the years without major problems. About 2 years ago, however, L's grandson, grandson's wife, & their child moved into KS's house. They basically destroyed it. Ripped out an antique built-in corner cabinet to make room for their entertainment system; trashed the yard it looks like a town garbage dump; & I don't remember the details but KS says they've done damage in every room in the house. For at least a year & a half KS has been trying to evict them. The first time they went to court, the wife showed up pregnant again with a sob story for the judge, and also somehow came up with the back rent. Apparently the wife is the daughter of, and the daughter of, a multi-generation welfare family that knows how to work the system. Everytime KS has a legal reason to evict them, they somehow come up with the back rent. To make it even more complicated, they are L's family, so KS is in a very very bad situation because this is threatening her 15+ year relationship with L. This situation is almost unbearable since she can't make the mortgage payment without the rent, and more upsetting, she can't bear to drive by her little house because of what they've done to it, she's absolutely beside herself. It has created enormous, unbearable stress for her, poor thing.

One of many problems for me is that my friend KS is a very poor communicator and since she is extremely stressed, she can't deal with my repeated querries about the status of getting them out. She has promised that the house is mine once they are gone. I'd been in it a couple of times when she still lived there, but it's been many years & I can't remember all the details. So I've sent her two emails with the following questions & she's ignored me. !! So it's driving me nuts!
1. Pursuant to our conversation a few months ago, did you ever have a chance to find out what you spent on heat when you lived there? I know the price of oil is higher now, but it would be nice to get an estimate.
2. Also, you mentioned the propane heater in the living room. Is that the same unit that you put in when you lived there & I visited a couple of times? Does it also take wood or coal? If not, is there a wood stove hookup anywhere that I could install a wood stove?
3. Is the basement dry where I could store boxes and extra furniture, etc.? I know it has a walkout to the yard, does that area leak in the winter?
4. Or is there an attic or crawl space, is it walkup, pull down, or just a little square panel you push up and access with a ladder? My greatest problem right now is storing things I use infrequently but need to get at [vs. everything that is in my rented storage unit] like tools, crafts, toys, laundry paraphernalia, holiday paraphernalia [as you know I have "stuff" for every holiday season], etc.
5. Also, where is the laundry hookup? I need to get a used washer & dryer, mine are gone.
6. Did I understand you correctly that you opened the den on the first floor by taking down a wall[s] between it and the living room?

These are the BURNING questions I have. I gave up on her responding back in July so I figured, she's got enough on her plate, I have to stop harassing her. But then in a weak moment this week I sent her one last email:
"I guess this isn’t happening since you aren’t responding to any of my emails, texts, or voicemail. I’m very sad. However, if it’s still a possibility please give me as much notice as possible since I want to give my landlord 2 months notice."

I didn't hear from her, as expected, but then a couple of days later she wrote back:
sorry very busy dont give up yet they being dumb hold tight a little longer thanks

WOOHOO! Please lord, let me catch a break here! I'm desperate to move out and KS is giving me a monthly rent that is $300-400 less than you can rent an entire house anywhere in our area. Although it will stretch my budget, I will save $115/mo. when I get all my sorely-missed belongings out of storage. Plus with a 3-bedroom house plus a den, if I have to I could rent a room out at least during the winter to offset the cost of heat [which is included with my current rent.] Do you remember in the Peter Pan tale when Tink drank the poison to save Peter, she told Peter that if all the boys and girls in the world who believe in fairies would clap their hands then she would live? If you're out there [IS anyone out there?!], Please clap your hands and say, I believe in fairies, and I believe that Sassy's dream will come true, and Oh, Auntie Em, There's No Place Like Home!


LegalMist said...

Good luck; I hope you get the house. And I hope you'll be able to put some time and love into making it beautiful again for your friend. But not too much money. Have her pay (or let you subtract from the rent) if you re-paint or fix anything!

LegalMist said...

Also, your friend could evict them even if they aren't behind on the rent by simply giving notice and terminating the lease either at its natural end point or, if they are in a month-to-month situation, by giving whatever notice is required under state law (usually 30 days, but your state could differ). Have her talk to a lawyer who does landlord-tenant law about how to get them out.

Sassy DaffyKassy said...

Thanks LegalMist, good advice. Her problem is they are related & the family keeps intervening and she doesn't want to end her relationship with her guy over it. She emailed me yesterday to say that she's going to get Him to ask them to leave. So hopefully there's an end in sight!

Sassy DaffyKassy said...

Post Script: Poor KS lost her house after the tenants completely stopped paying rent and she couldn't legally evict them in time. The sheriff for the foreclosure lender finally physically threw them out months to a year after KS lost the house. What an unnecessary tragedy. And the crazy thing is, she's still with her BF! [I could have been the owner by now in our Lease/Purchase plan & KS wouldn't have a foreclosure on her credit. So sad!]