The Things I Won’t Miss

I had trouble falling asleep last night. It was 75 degrees outside and our apartment traps heat and cooks us whenever the temps get above 68. I’d finally found slumber when I was awoken by a woman ranting loudly outside our building. I could hear her through my ear plugs! She was going on and on about politics and the law and saying how “EVERYTHING IS ILLEGAL!” She was clearly insane. She finally wandered off down the street about 5 minutes later but by then I was awake and had a hard time falling back to sleep. Around 5am Dottie decided she needed snuggling/feeding (it’s hard to tell with her) and started gently pawing at my arms. I finally picked her up and when I did she clawed onto the sheet and Mr. Darcy’s leg.

Needless to say, we are both pretty wrecked today. I have to work until 7:30 tonight! And am up right now to show an open apartment at 7:45am.

Putting on a bra before 8am is a crime against boobs.

There are many things about our apartment and our neighborhood that I will not miss. These include:

  1. lots of people walking by at all hours in all states of sobriety/drunkenness (last night alone I heard 3 people walk by in the span of 15 minutes saying fuck very loudly before bed)
  2. smelling cigarette smoke from our neighbor smoking on the shared balcony next to our apartment
  3. hearing the guy above us walk around with heavy shoes on
  4. smelling pot smoke in the building hallways (see woman from #2)
  5. the lack of parking for visitors (people have actually called to say they couldn’t come because they had driven around for 20 minutes and found no spots)
  6. the on-going construction at the monstrosity of an apartment building a block away (the construction workers arrive early, take all the parking, and the noise begins at 7am, sometimes on Saturdays)
  7. shared laundry facility that is down two flights of stairs
  8. lack of closet space (I swear Darcy is going to throw all the stuff in his too-small-closet out into the hallway in a rage one day. I feel his pain since my closet is too small to store my laundry basket or all my dresses.) (No, I do not have too many dresses. Hush.)
  9. our apartment becoming like a heat box the moment the temp climbs above 65
  10. dealing with all the building upkeep like sweeping fire escapes and cleaning out the big ashtrays on the balconies (barf) and vacuuming 4 stories (I’m perfectly fine cleaning my own house but cleaning up after everyone else? NO.)
  11. having no private outdoor space
  12. a kitchen without enough counter space or storage
  13. no space to host a party, especially a dinner party
  14. People rifling through the dumpsters and, on occasion, defecating back there (oh my hell)
  15. dealing with the driveway (for some reason people think the driveway is communal- this better not happen when we own the house!)
  16. knowing that at any moment a tenant could call, knock, text for our help (like last night when a tenant called to tell us her kitchen light was out to which I said, “We don’t change your light bulbs but we do leave a ladder in the communal space downstairs.” Because SERIOUSLY?!)

We’re still waiting for underwriting to be completed and the appraisal on the house. We’re in the final stretch even though we worry about proclaiming it as ours until we have the keys in our hands, which, if all goes according to plan, should be June 7th. We hope that’s how it goes because we already hired movers for June 8th!

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I’m Sorry I Couldn’t Help

A few days ago a couple of on-line friends were sending me a link to a final good-bye post from another blogger, hoping that it wasn’t The Music Man. I read it, saw Dooce’s post about it, and felt really sad for this person I didn’t know, that they would feel so full of despair and hopelessness that they would take their own life to end their pain.

But then today I saw a former tenant of my building post a photo of himself with a couple other old tenants on Facebook. In the caption he said something about missing Jeff. Jeff was in the photo along with all of them, holding up a beer, and smiling. I asked him what happened to Jeff and that’s when it all clicked.

Jeff committed suicide on May 8th.

Jeff is Glueslabs.

So no, it wasn’t The Music Man who tragically took his own life but it was a former tenant and someone who I knew. Jeff was a good guy. Sure, he was late on his rent sometimes and yes, when he moved out I had to clean cat hair out of the fridge, but he was really nice. I figured he was somewhere in Seattle, living his life with his cats, maybe doing better than he had when he was at my building.

But he wasn’t.

I’m sitting here remembering him with a heavy heart. He lived two floors below me for two years and I had no idea that he was in such a bad place emotionally. None of us really know what those around us are going through, do we? And we don’t often take the time to ask or to listen. I hope I can ask more and listen deeper.  And I hope that those who are feeling alone in the world can tell someone and that someone will really listen.

The Beginning of the Next Chapter

My eyes keep brimming with tears when I talk about it. I’m startled by my reaction though, in truth, I’m not sure why I’m surprised. So much is about to change.

I posted the ad for our apartment yesterday and as I write back to potential tenants, I feel a bit protective of my little apartment. I want someone good to move in, not just for the new managers but so that that special place that I’ve made a home would live on somehow. I’m personalizing it too much. But, it IS personal. And as I train the replacements, I keep thinking of all the things I’ve done and how I’ve cared for this building and the people in it. I was really good at it. It’s hard to give up something you are good at even if you know it’s time.

As I was writing the email to my tenants to announce our departure as managers I kept blinking back the tears. Maybe some would think me silly for being sad about leaving a job that has tested my patience and been the source of so much frustration over the years. But, for better or for worse, this job has been a part of how I’ve defined myself for the past four years. I’m an event planner, an apartment manager, etc. It was on my list of things that I’d rattle off when people asked what I do. It hasn’t been all bad. And of course, it’s had its entertainment. I got a lot of good stories (and blog posts!) out of it even when in the midst of it I was wishing I wasn’t living through it.

This job allowed me the opportunity to save money for the first time in my life. I paid off debt, my car, and started on a strong financial path. I broke up with a boyfriend in that apartment, standing in the hallway as we said our final words to each other. I once collapsed on the floor in tears after saying good-bye to someone very special to me who was als0 toxic. (Good choice, self.) I hosted book clubs and dance parties and family dinners there. I had my first kiss with Mr. Darcy on the front steps. He was sitting in the living room when he first told me he loved me. It’s where we figured out how to navigate the bumps in our relationship through fights and making up, silence and laughter.

I’ve lived a lot of life in that one bedroom apartment.

A lot is changing and in certain moments I feel flooded by feelings. I’m scared. I’m anxious. I’m elated. I’m concerned. I’m happy. I’m hesitant. I’m sad. What’s next is good. It holds so much promise. But I’m trying to cope with The Now and sometimes, I might cry.

Because I cared. Because it meant something. Because everything is shifting.

Here’s Where The Story Ends

It’s been a long week, friends.

I’ve lost track of time, each day hoping it would be Friday and yet, here Friday is, and I am up to my eyeballs in building management stuff so much that I had to take the day off work to deal with it all.

Yesterday morning I had multiple emails and texts from tenants complaining that The Music Man’s dog was barking and howling. It was 6am when the first alert arrived. I got dressed and had to wake Mr. Darcy. Poor Mr. Darcy, he had not gone to bed until 1am because his dad flew in from New Jersey and he went to pick him up. We made our way warily down to the apartment. I knocked repeatedly and announced myself as I unlocked the door. The dog started running around the apartment- the filthy apartment that is littered with papers and clothes and trash- dragging his leash around. We cautiously entered and I suspiciously eyed every lump of clothes for a body outline.

The Music Man was not there.

The poor dog did not have water, had shit on the bathroom floor, and had a giant bag of dog food open on the kitchen floor. I felt terrible for him and took him outside to go the bathroom while I called The Music Man’s only remaining friend and his case worker. Of course neither answered as it was just 7am. We put water and food out and locked the dog back up in the apartment until I could get ready to go to work and take him with me. He howled and cried as we walked away. Poor pup has serious separation anxiety.

I knew that our landlord would tell me to call SPCA for a pick up. Even Mr. Darcy was encouraging it at this point and I did consider it but decided that I had to go with my heart and take the dog with me. I called the friend and the case worker again telling them I had the dog with me and they had until noon to contact me about the plan for the dog or else I would have to call the SPCA.

Luckily my work allows dogs and I have a flexible schedule because not 30 minutes after we arrived, the friend called and said I could bring him over and he’d keep him. So we packed up and I went back to my neighborhood to drop him off. The friend swears that The Music Man cannot have him back until he gets help. During the middle of the night The Music Man had called this friend and left a voicemail that said, “Corporations are people.” and then hung up. So yes, it’s a good idea to keep the dog safe until he gets some much-needed psychological help.

Later in the day I learned that The Music Man was in the ER and had been for most of the night. His doctors were trying to get him to agree to go into an assisted care facility but he was resisting. This surprises no one. Even his friend, who came by around 10pm last night to sort through the debris in The Music Man’s apartment said as much. He’s known The Music Man for 20 years and he wasn’t always like this even if he was always a drama queen. He performed in LA and on Broadway. He studied acting with the likes of Eric Stoltz and Helen Hunt, but his life took a very different turn. Apparently, one night this week The music Man had gone to a local hotel to check in but called his friend saying he had no money and could he lend him some. The friend said no, of course, but we think that might be why The Music Man can’t find his luggage. He probably left it at the hotel. When I asked why he would go stay at a hotel the friend replied, “Because he’s psychotic.”

Sad and true.

As it stands now, The Music Man is still in the hospital. His dog is safe with a friend that will care for him indefinitely. The tenants of my building will not longer be disturbed by all the noise, the cops, the paramedics, the music played at insanely high volumes. The guys are here right now hauling away what is left in the apartment- a bed, a couch, miscellaneous lamps, clothes, and crap. Later, the locksmith will come and change out the locks and then the cleaning service will arrive to give it a deep cleaning. Then the painters will come, new blinds will be hung, a new stove will be installed and the carpet will be pulled up and replaced.  And this apartment that was a source of so much trouble for so many years can finally be rented to a new tenant, one who hopefully is quiet, keeps to him or herself, and maybe doesn’t even enjoy music.

I truly hope The Music Man gets the help he needs and lives out his days in peace.

Things Get Worse Before They Get Better, Right?

I could tell you about how my car broke down less than 2 miles from the mechanic yesterday morning and how I had to push it off a busy street by myself until, out of nowhere, a semi-toothless black man, a pudgy white dude in business casual attire, and a lady in a sari appeared to help me. Or how later the mechanic called to say I needed a new distributor and with labor that would be $465.

I could tell you how our new lender approved us but at a higher rate and we’re just trying to understand it all. This new guy is not as clear when he explains things like mortgage points. Our closing date will have to be pushed back to early June. I was freaking out about how it will all work with our landlords, our replacements, renting our apartment.

I kind of lost it about 4:30, just wanting to go home and cry from the stress of it all.

I called our landlords who were understanding about our situation and said if it all fell through we could just stay on being managers which is nice of them but OH HELL NO. We want that house and we want to pass the torch. It’s just going to be delayed a couple weeks. When I talk to our lender today, we should know better about rates and closing dates and then we can get on with hiring movers , etc.

The real story here starts at around 5:45 when we got a knock on our door. I looked through the peep hole and turned to Mr. Darcy to mouth The Music Man’s name. He was standing out there, dog on a leash, with a paper in his hand. I haven’t had any interaction with him face-to-face besides seeing him at court or trying to reason with him through a locked door in months. I open the door and he starts talking about how he needs help- with his flight, how he wants to get home, how he is sorry, how the bank won’t let him get money, etc. I tried to reason with him and figure out just what it was he wanted. He handed me papers that were his flight information. He seemed very confused as to what to do. He was acting very erratic and had a black eye that he later told me was from a fight and then a few minutes after that said he got drunk and walked into a door jamb.

He started bawling about having the landlord forgive him and that he was sorry. He pulled out a bottle of pills from his jacket and asked me to keep them for him because he wasn’t sure he would wake up. My crisis counseling kicked in and I started asking him all kinds of questions about harming himself, how much had he taken of the pills already, did he need us to call the paramedics. He couldn’t recall how many he took. He said yes, call them. Mr. Darcy went to call and I sat on the ground with him outside our apartment. He was all over the place, glassy-eyed, obviously very agitated and spacey. He’s always been a bit crazy but this seemed worse than usual. The fire department showed up then the paramedics. There were at least 5 people working on him. He changed all the answers when they asked him about the pills, etc. I had to pull one aside and give them some back story. They wanted to take him into the hospital but he refused to go so they asked me to check in on him later that night as a compromise. They lead him back to his apartment and we closed the door.

I sat down and just cried. In talking to The Music Man we had learned that his plan was to fly to Santa Barbara (where he is from) and stay at a homeless shelter. This is his plan. HOW CAN THIS BE A PLAN? He is not in his right mind and can barely navigate getting on a plane let alone landing in his former home town with no support system and no place to live. It breaks my heart. I left a message for his case worker and called the numbers of the two friends of his I have spoken to before. One friend said they were on the outs and that being in The Music Man’s life is very wearing. Apparently The Music Man has burned every bridge and is left with no one to call in an emergency.

We went downstairs around 8pm to check on him. There is a huge frame sitting out in the hallway outside his apartment. I mean, it’s bigger than a headboard and covered in bright blue glitter. We knocked and could hear him on the phone inside. He spoke through the door saying he’d be right there and then continued to talk to his grandma. He kept saying grandma and was clearly pacing the apartment by the way the sound of his voice came and went. I could hear him saying  “can you send me money” and “no I won’t get in trouble again” and “I woke up from a nightmare, this is all a nightmare”. A few minutes went by and we knocked again. He hung up with his grandma (who, by calculations would be in her late 80’s at best because he’s 52) and immediately took another call. We stood there looking at each other like WTF? I knocked again and he finally came to the door. I announced who I was and that I was just checking on him. He said, “I am fine but I don’t know why you have a police officer with you.” Mr. Darcy = Police Officer. Who knew?

He finally opened the door and looked even crazier. His eyes were super glassy and he wasn’t making any sense. He asked us for a suitcase and also if we could lend him money. We said no and encouraged him to call his case worker. We left shaking our heads. What a disaster.

Very early this morning, Mr. Darcy got up to pee and I checked my phone to see what time it was. The clock read 5:00AM. I had two texts from a tenant on the same floor as The Music Man saying that the dog had been barking and howling for two hours. I texted her back and she was awake doing homework and said that he was still at it off and on. We thought about going back to sleep but we were both worried that the dog barking meant The Music Man was hurt or dead. So we got dressed and went downstairs.

I knocked a couple times and called out The Music Man’s name. The dog was at the door barking. We decided to call for back up because there was no way we were walking into the apartment of a dead guy. 911 dispatched cops and paramedics in case he had overdosed. When we met the paramedics outside the building, it was the same guys from earlier and they informed us that they had received a 911 hang up around midnight from The Music Man so they came out and checked on him. When they were at the building earlier in the evening they had told him that if they were called back, he’d have to go into the hospital. And they did haul him in and his dog was locked in his apartment.

I have no idea how long he will be at the hospital. I emailed the landlords and they want me to call the SPCA for the dog. I cannot do that. As much as I don’t like the thought of the dog in the apartment, it would kill The Music Man to lose his dog. I thought about taking the dog with me to work (which I’ve had to do before) but I can’t get involved to that level. I’m really hoping that he gets released from the hospital and is back with his dog to prepare for his 10:35am flight tomorrow. It could get way worse for him if he is not out of the apartment by May 3rd. The sheriff will have to be called and all that.

While not having The Music Man as a tenant is a good thing for the building and the landlords, us and our replacements, it’s such a sad and terrible story. I hate thinking of him on the streets of Santa Barbara, penniless and out of his mind, with his poor dog in tow. That is no way to live out your final days, even if you’ve been a crazy nuisance and retaliatory, passive aggressive asshole.

The Last Song for The Music Man

(For those who have been having trouble commenting because of the WordPress change requiring everyone to log in to comment, I’ve found out how to turn that off so you can comment. Here’s hoping I don’t get a bunch of spam now!)

We told our landlords about the house and our subsequent move via email and oddly enough, the wife part of the team didn’t respond. She’s the one I’ve dealt with mostly these past 4 years. Her husband, who I would reach out to with higher up questions like excessive noise complaints and setting rent rates, responded kindly. I know they are happy for us but disappointed to lose us as managers.

The big question for Mr. Landlord was if I was going to still testify in court against The Music Man. I responded, “Yes! I consider it my parting gift to get that guy out of here.”

I haven’t mentioned the goings-on regarding The Music Man since the law got involved a few months back. After serving him with multiple 10 day notices we had a case to move towards eviction. The papers were drawn up and hand delivered and we thought we were moving forward towards FINALLY making him move. He’s lived here at least 8 years and in my four years here complaints about his noise level and erratic behavior have rivaled the plumbing issues- and this is a building that was built in 1908 so it has a lot of those!

The first time we went to court it ended up with Mr. Landlord caving to an agreement that if The Music Man made any noise that disturbed the peace and enjoyment of fellow tenants we could take him back to court. The tenant living above The Music Man has been enduring A LOT and was not happy about this outcome as he desperately wants him out so he can enjoy living in peace and quiet. Mr. Darcy and I were furious because we were still in the same place of having to monitor and deal with this guy who is, at best, a passive aggressive jerk off.

But Mr. Landlord knew he was giving The Music Man just enough rope to hang himself. The Music Man cannot help himself and with in TWO DAYS of the agreement, he was blasting his music at full volume. We have, at present, 9 separate instances in the span of 2 weeks where he was in violation of the agreement. Ho boy!

The final one is a real kicker though. On the night before our second court hearing, I got a text from the tenant above The Music Man saying he’d called the cops. For months now Mr. Darcy and I have been somewhat helpless in dealing with this because we’re instructed to not interact with The Music Man which means we can’t go knock (bang) on his door to get him to turn his music down. And frankly, it wouldn’t matter if we did because he does not respond. He’s past all common sense. He’s in full on retaliation mode. We’ve only been able to witness the violations so that we can testify in court which has sucked because I have a lot of choice words I’d like to say to The Music Man, none of which would probably change the situation but for a moment might make ME feel better.

The music that night was at the loudest volume I’ve ever heard it in my 4 years here. I could hear it from the top of the stairs. I could make out all the words. Standing in the tenants apartment, the floor was vibrating from the bass. It was out of control. For the 20 minutes I stood there talking to the tenant, it never turned down even when the songs changed. The tenant would say, “Oh yeah, this song is a favorite of his.” Finally the cops showed up after about 30 minutes (that’s quick for a noise complaint) and luckily The Music Man was still blaring his tunes. A cop knocked on his door with no answer. So they amped it up- another cop was outside banging on his windows while the officer inside started banging on his door. At first The Music Man would yell out in the same crazy tone of voice, “how can I help you officer?” in between breaks in the banging. Yet, he would not open the door. He finally turned off the music but never opened the door. Mr. Darcy and I came down with our master keys and as I handed them to the officer he asked me, “Is this guy mental or just an a-hole?”

“Um. . . both, officer.”

The Music Man had locked an old deadbolt that I do not have a key to so we could not gain entry. Meanwhile it’s so quiet from inside his apartment. Even his dog didn’t bark. Like what is he thinking? We clearly know he is home. He has gone completely off the deep end.  The officers gave us a complaint number and we added it to all the others to bring to court as evidence. The cops have been out to the building more in the last 3 months than probably ever thanks to this situation. Plus, The Music Man had started calling the cops on the tenant above him completely out of malice. He’d say that it sounded like things were being thrown and were breaking when the tenant was asleep on his couch. It’d be 2am when the buzzer would wake the tenant and us up with the officers at the door.

This morning Mr. Landlord will be here at 9am to search The Music Man’s apartment for any and all electronic devices. The court ordered yesterday that he is not allowed to have any until his supposed move out date on May 3rd. His lawyer balked at that and the judge said, “No electronics! Have your client get a newspaper or read a book!” (Which was pretty much my favorite moment of the morning followed by when The Music Man fed his dog a raw hide and he started chomping on it loudly.). His lawyer claims that The Music Man is relocating to California and will be out by May 3rd and if he is not, we will put the eviction into motion (which can take up to 2 weeks) finally and forcibly remove him. The best case scenario is that he leaves on the 3rd FINALLY and sort of on his own accord without violating the courts stipulation of having electronics in his unit. I know he is afraid of Mr. Landlord and having him search his unit while he stands there is probably sending him further off the deep end.

But, my sympathy is at its end. In my tenure as manager, he has been the biggest issue and time suck for me. For years I’ve dealt with his bullshit, his crazy-making behavior, his passive aggressive, manipulative harassment.** I’m d-o-n-e. I hope he can find some peace in California and leave us in Seattle to ours.

**If you don’t know about The Music Man, click on the links in that sentence. That will give you some insight to his crazies!

People are asking so I’ll give you an update- we are pending on the house, awaiting appraisal and underwriting. The seller agreed to fix all the things we wanted (including a new roof!) and so we are hopeful but not ready to throw confetti yet. Keep those fingers crossed, please.

More Reasons I Can’t Wait For This Gig To Be Over

Last night we were woken up at 2am by a drunk tenant claiming her jacket was stolen and her keys were in the pocket. Mr. Darcy was the one to actually hear the buzzer as I had my ear plugs in so I didn’t hear her texting me some garbled, intoxicated message about how she can’t find her keys nor did I hear the buzzer. We’d been asleep for 3 hours by then- deep in blissful sleep. Neither of us ever fully got back to that place and so today, if you see us, be gentle.

Also, she owes us cookies or something because that shit is ridiculous.

***

We took Wednesday morning off to go to a hearing for the Music Man who is being evicted. He was served papers 3 months ago. He is still not out. We now have to go to trial in a month which means taking more time off. I won’t say more since it’s all hush-hush and involving the legal system.

I am so OVER his particular brand of bullshit.

***

The roof was leaking into another tenant’s bedroom right above where his bed is. AGAIN. Turns out someone had opened the roof hatch from the 3rd floor balcony.

I need to buy a lock.

And quit this job.

***

Someone broke the laundry room window from the inside since all the glass was outside the window. Why would you do that? The handle was broken off from the inside too (the window has long been painted shut).

I’m baffled.

***

Another tenant gave notice. In our email exchange it turns out she has not been paying her gas bill for the entire year plus she’s resided here. That’s not going to be pretty.

***

Our code lock box for the building’s spare keys won’t open for anyone but us.

Inconvenient.

***

Got a knock on the door early Wednesday from another tenant saying he can hear dripping in his kitchen walls. Plumbers came out and cut a hole in his ceiling. . . in the bathroom. I’m not clear as to why and so I’ll be calling the again today. If this is anything like the last plumbing disaster, it’s going to go on for weeks. But hey, at least everyone has a working toilet.

Knock on wood.

***

Got a call from a tenant wanting to pay the $30 fee for a bulky item pick up by the trash collection guys. I set it up and tell them not to block the dumpsters. I check on it as I’m driving to work and they had, yes, blocked the dumpsters. So there I am in my high heels and dress shoving a futon frame out-of-the-way because people don’t listen.

***

Home ownership looks more and more appealing. At least when there is bullshit it will be OUR bullshit.

Flushed

I’ve had to pee in my next door neighbor’s bathroom since last night.

Let me explain: Our bathroom is currently unusable except  for the sink thanks to shoddy plumbing in our old building. Our downstairs neighbor alerted us to a dripping sound coming from her walls and condensation that later lead to a leak near the ceiling. I knew it was going to be a big problem. Drips and leaks are not something you ever want to have happen.

So since yesterday her ceiling is ripped out and a portion of her wall is torn out exposing wet, rotted walls and the beginnings of black mold. We aren’t able to use our toilet or our shower until tonight when they’ve (hopefully) replaced the pipes. Apparently whoever owned the building prior did a half-assed job repairing leaks- there is old duct tape and excessive use of caulk. Plus, they set it up so that the  toilet pipes link to the shower pipes and that is not good as per the plumber. What do I know about pipes and leaks? I’m an event planner.

Our landlords did not offer to put us up in a hotel and instead of trying to stay elsewhere, sleeping on a blow up bed or something, we decided to just tough it out and stay. Our neighbor is in New Zealand until the new year and Mr. Darcy was smart in remembering that. She’s the hoarder lady but she had recently cleaned up her place so thankfully it’s not scary to go in there. It does, however, suck to have to leave you house to go use the bathroom. And we can’t even flush it because her pipes are connected to the problem. It’s just a better alternative  since ours is going to be removed then replaced today.

Related: Once you hear you can’t use your bathroom you will be struck with a feeling of having to pee and it will persist throughout your ordeal. Trust me on this.

I woke up this morning to discover that the one house we liked so far in our search went from active to pending. My heart broke a little reading this. The combination of no working bathroom in our current home combined with the disheartening news that the house we started to get excited about was gone pushed me to tears. I’m just so done living in an apartment and being a manager. I’m done handling other people’s problems, complaints and inconsiderate behavior. I’m done feeling cramped, done with switching cars in the driveway so that Mr. Darcy can get out to go to work, done with no kitchen space, no space to throw a party and no yard. D-O-N-E. I’m done in my heart and it makes it hard to enjoy being here. But here is where we are stuck for the next few months (hopefully) as we figure this out.

We were set to meet our realtor this Sunday at that house we had our hopes on to really discuss it in earnest and then to look at some other houses in the area. But the idea of looking now just seems wrong to me. We aren’t in a place to make an offer because we don’t know how much we have for a down payment (it’s being generously gifted to us) and the rules around how long we have to have that money in our account before we can use it. We don’t have the savings we want in our own bank account either and have said we’d like a couple more months of aggressive saving to really feel ok with moving. And yet that house made us feel like we could risk it and take a leap. I knew this could happen. I was warned about it. I just didn’t know I’d feel so sad.

I’ve told Mr. Darcy that I need to hold off on house hunting until we get our financial ducks in a row. We need to know how much we have for the down payment and meet with our broker first before I can feel comfortable looking in earnest. I’m not good at window shopping. I started imaging us living in that house and now I know what it feels like to foolishly dream when you don’t have the financial reality behind it. I’m sure I’ll move past the sadness. I needed a taste of it to be able to temper my emotions moving forward in our search. I just never imagined I’d be crying about it while peeing in my neighbor’s toilet.

That’s Just Shitty

It’s no secret that I am over being an apartment manager. It’s four years now that I’ve been doing this gig and I am tired of dealing with the bullshit. While I love the ability to save and have extra money, the hassle of managing people, dealing with bullshit, and picking up cigarette butts (disgusting!) is outweighing the benefits.

Like recently Mr. Darcy and I have both had to sidestep dog shit that is perfectly placed at the driver’s side door of our car. We park in a long driveway back to back- sometimes he pulls in first, sometimes me.He’s inadvertently stepped in it. Yesterday I had to kick it out of the way. Our driveway isn’t really THAT accessible unless you come around the back of the building where it stretches along the side of the building. I find it odd that a passing stranger would climb past our cars, over the rocks, to let their dog defecate right next to our car.

I have a suspicion that it is the Music Man. Or rather, it’s his dog that he is guiding next to our cars to go the bathroom. That is SO like him. He’s spiteful like that. He’s monumentally pissed that the landlords are trying to evict him (a very difficult process which could take years, honestly) and probably still mad about the time we called the cops on him when he was playing his music insanely loud during quiet hours and refused to open the door (jerk!). I called him yesterday under the guise of checking on an appliance delivery that was supposed to happen on Monday and snuck in this, “Oh and I wanted to mention that someone has been letting their dog go the bathroom on our driveway right next to our cars. I’m sure it isn’t you as you are more conscientious than that but since you’re the only tenant in the building with a dog, I wanted to let you know and if while you’re out walking your dog you happen to see someone over there, could you please let us know? We’d appreciate it. Thanks.”

If I were to straight out call him on it he would lose his mind and go off on me. Frankly, I thought I would have a slashed tire so I suppose dealing with dog crap is not as bad but IT IS GROSS. And rude. And well, like I said, I AM OVER THIS.

It has gotten to the point where I have emphatically told Mr. Darcy, “I WANT OUT!” and now we’re in the beginnings of discussing the how. Will we rent a house or buy a house? When? We’re signed up for a first time home buyer’s workshop later next month to give us some much-needed information as we’re both going into this whole thing as novices and it’s daunting. Our friends live in two camps- those who hate owning a house and those who love it. What is right for us? We’ll hopefully find out and be on the same page.

 

A for Approach

I have this one tenant that amuses me. He’s very friendly and nice and I like him. No, really! I do! He’s never given me any hassle. I enjoy his occasional emails the most. A few months ago he sent me this:

How’s it going? Seen any good movies lately? I’ve seen a few, namely Black Swan, The Fighter and True Grit. All of them thoroughly entertaining. Trying to get to The King’s Speech next.

Anyway, I have a some bad news. The faucet in my kitchen has developed a steady drip that can only be stopped by shutting off the water under the sink. The hot drips worse than the cold but both are starting to act up now. I’m afraid it may be time for a new faucet as evidenced by the rusty debris working its way out from under the faucets stainless facade.

I’d be perfectly happy to just have the old one fixed but if it needs to be replaced do you think the Dublin could spring for a setup with a taller downspout? The better for filling pots and doing dishes.

He signed it “your pal”. I enjoyed the movie opening of the email the best though the part where he goes “Anyway, I have some bad news…” is in the running. And also his use of the word facade.

Then last night I got this:

I have a few questions:
1. What would be the procedure for me to take on a roommate, i.e. the lovely Jill you may or may not see me with occasionally? I think I remember you mentioning a 25 dollar increase in rent to cover water. Is that correct?
2. What if Jill’s move in coincided with the arrival of a foster cat from Seattle Humane? 200 dollar deposit maybe?
3. Does my lease become month to month after my initial 12 months?
4. How do all these questions make you feel?

You could call or text or email me answers or we could set up a time to have some beer on the balcony if you’d like. I wouldn’t mind chatting about this in person at all.

My favorite part is question #4. I would like to respond,“Well, it makes me feel tickled because your emails are funny.” And also, follow up question, “Are you providing the beer? If yes, see you Saturday at 5pm on the communal balcony.”

See? Not all my tenants are a pain. It’s just that they are generally the ones giving me blog fodder.