Amazing Military Family!!!

We still haven’t found renters for the new place. The agency rep assures us he has a few possibilities and will forward an application any day now.

This is good enough for my sailor, who weirdly never ruminates over worst case scenarios. (Apparently, this is the special talent I bring to the marriage.)

In order to feel pro-active without actually contributing to the situation, I surfed kijiji, used Victoria and craigslist to see what the competition looks like. I’m biased, but I think our house with its water views and peaceful location beats all the other rentals on the market. (If this house was someone’s dad, it could beat up all the other dads, no problem!)

As well as rental properties, I found ads from wannabe renters. One ad resonated with me: Amazing Military Family seeks three-bedroom home for July.

You may be skeptical as to their actual level of amazingness, but based on their ad, I can vouch for their awesomeness.

They have two children who are “assets to any neighbourhood,” two loveable cats and a gorgeous well-behaved golden retriever (I know this because they posted his photo and resume: graduated top of his class from Friendly Fido Obedience School). Their full package of wonderful is completed by a dashing sailor and a devoted mom.

They out perform us in every area: more children, more and better pets and definitely more oomph and enthusiasm.

I showed the ad to my sailor.

“Why can’t we be an Amazing Military Family?”

“We are,” he said. “We are.”

Could he be right?

Well, we have an astro turf basement. That’s pretty amazing. Actually I think (hope) the bright green floor covering is underlay. It doesn’t look much like the carpet I picked out, but who knows? Every day when we get home, workers have done something new to our basement.

We have one super duper boy. I’m not sure if he’s an asset to the neighbourhood, but I’m certain he’s not a deficit.

And the dog? One emotionally needy Chihuahua who has never taken a class, but wags her tail so fast when she welcomes us home it starts her entire body vibrating. Now that’s amazing!

How to Purchase a Rental Property

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.



I missed a couple of posts last week because I’ve been so caught up in the three W’s: winter, weather and worrying.

Every time I start to believe spring is finally on its way, we get hit with yet more snow. It’s the wet stuff that doesn’t stick around for too long, but it’s just enough to spoil the day.

The worrying is house-related.

The adventure of the flooded basement continues. We learned that the damage is covered by our insurance (insert happy dance!)

The noisy industrial fans and de-humidifiers were removed last week so we’re able to sleep again.

It’s looking pretty desolate down there, but rebuilding should begin soon.

Even though the work will be covered by our insurance company, we’re still on the hook for the deductible and getting the outside drain and the perimeter drains scoped by a plumber. This step was recommended by our agent and our contractor as no one is sure exactly what went wrong on the day of the flood. It will be worth it for me to find out if there’s a problem with the drains because I go into panic mode every time it snows or rains, which it’s been doing almost daily.

Before the flood, we’d been looking for a house to buy as a rental property. We’ve never been landlords, but the time seemed right for us to take this big, scary step. After looking at about thirty duds, we found a house we love. The plan is to rent it for a few years to pay down the mortgage and then move into it and rent our current, less nice, place.

Our offer was accepted about two days before we had the flood and realized just how miserable and stressful home ownership can be. On March 31, we’ll be doing it times two.

I haven’t started biting my nails again, but the level in the wine box has been dropping faster than I’d like.

The one ray of sunshine in this sea of worry and anxiety?–We’re still without a vacuum cleaner!