Breaking Down the Door

Good news! The house I bought a few weeks ago is now all completely renovated. I installed new electrical wiring (upped to 200 amp service), some new plumbing, and put in a more fuel-efficient burner and fan in the furnace. Through contractors, there is newly installed central cooling and new Corian countertops in the kitchen. That old horrid baby-blue tile on the floor and walls of the kitchen is gone, gone, gone … replaced with neutral-colored resilient flooring that was a snap to install and is easy maintain, and new drywall where that stuff was on the wall.

I did most of the renovation work myself with my partner handing me tools and helping as best he could. I found it was actually cheaper to have a company provide and install the countertops than for me just to buy the countertops myself. Plus, I had painters do the painting (I really dislike painting) and carpet-layers install new carpeting (doing that makes me sneeze like crazy). Anyway, it’s all done! Yippie! Now I can concentrate on the work on my partner’s list of “Spring gotta dos” in our yard and gardens.

Knowing that the house would soon be ready, I listed its rental availability on an on-line bulletin board used by teachers in our school district last Friday. Within an hour of listing it, I had over 50 email messages. By Saturday morning, I literally had people lining up to see it. I was astounded. I think the demand and the interest — which is dramatically higher than when I have listed any other property — is a function of the current bad economy and the reasonable monthly rent I will charge.

Rather than struggle to learn which potential tenant had the most heart-compelling story (they all did), I decided to interview the first five serious applicants who inquired, and pick one of them. I ran a background check (I can’t be too careful as a landlord), and it came back squeaky clean within hours. The lease is all signed and sealed. She and her family will move in next week. I’m still a bit dumb-founded. Less than a month ago I had no idea this was going to happen!

Life is short: wear your work boots and productively assist your community heroes!

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