How to Purchase a Rental Property

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1. Find someone who excels in organization (sailors and other military types are gifted in this area) and leave all the dreary details to him.

Voila! In one simple step, you too, can reap the benefits of landladyship!

My sailor, AKA the detail guy, bought a binder (bright orange so it stands out from his substantial collection of other information binders) and has compiled an exhaustive collection (alphabetized, categorized and backed up digitally) of every scrap of paperwork generated in this never-ending process.

He set up the harrowing meeting with the insurance agent.

He has left messages with four different departments of the Township of Esquimalt because the seemingly benign insurance lady needs to know the date of the small addition over the car port (May 1976), the age of the oil tank (the stack of annual inspection reports from the oil company aren’t good enough–unless we know the exact age of that baby, a functioning oil tank must become landfill when we replace it with a new one), the date the original 1940’s era plumbing was replaced and intimate information regarding the upgrading of the house’s electrical system.

My sailor has dealt with the increasingly demanding emails from the lawyer’s assistant who NEEDS to know the insurance information like yesterday.

Then there’s a rental agency. Since neither of us have any experience as landlords and I have zero interest in becoming involved in this process, my sailor decided we should hire a property manager to deal with the daily nitty gritty. I’m good with that decision, but just finding someone, anyone, who isn’t away on holidays and can take us on as clients, is no small challenge.

We’ve reached the critical point where he can’t even come for a walk with me because he must wait by the phone for replies to his various messages.

I wouldn’t presume to speak for my sailor, but I for one will be glad when this process is finally over.

When Your Basement Floods…

035015I spent the days leading up to Valentine’s Day making plans with a man–a group of men, actually.

Not sailors, but contractors.

We weren’t talking red or white wine, French or Italian food. We were deciding how much of the walls needed to be removed, whether the carpet was salvageable and where to store all the stuff in the basement while the reconstruction work is happening.

I wasn’t reassured to hear, “This could go on for months.”

After a night of heavy rain on pre-existing snow, our basement flooded. It was just a couple of inches of water in the unfinished, cement-floored area but had soaked into the carpet in the rest of the space. I’ve learned that just a couple of inches is all it takes.

Although the upstairs wasn’t damaged, the entire house is damp and the insides of all the windows are drippy. The pot plants are loving it. The rest of us, not so much.

Big loud dehumidifiers and fans have been running continuously since the water was discovered, but the house still smells like the inside of an abandoned boat house.

We’re waiting for word from the insurance company. Will they cover the damage, or won’t they? It’s the big question at the front of my mind.

They sent a team to examine, interview and photograph, but we won’t hear until sometime next week whether all those fat premiums we’ve been paying for years will actually get us anything.

In the meantime, the work downstairs continues.