Breakin’ (and not that awesome 80’s movie)

When one owns a home, one expects that things will break. That’s what warranties and handymen are for, after all. Yet one doesn’t always expect them all to break AT ONCE. Add insult to injury when you own TWO houses and don’t live in either of them, so while you’re importantly ensuring that your renters have important things like hot water and frozen food, it just doesn’t have that same sense of satisfaction that comes with repair. It’s like sending money into the abyss.

Lately, it’s been a breakin’ type of season. Two weeks ago, the renter of my townhouse alerted me to the fact that the washer was leaking. Lovely. That’s out of warranty. (The fridge was doing the same a few months back, and the garage door also stopped working. Awesome). Then, the renters of my house told me that the Atlanta Gas & Light people had come out but refused to re-light the pilot lights since the water heaters weren’t apparently installed to code. Two and a half years after my closing – and this was part of the house purchase – those things are posing a health hazard for the lovely family that lives there. Which, of course, is totally unacceptable, and the former owner or the contractor should pay for this. Only we can’t track down who that was since it wasn’t written in the settlement statement. And all the emails that I had sent years ago to the former owner to get the sewer line working correctly (don’t ask) seem to have vanished. ARGH.

I love owning my houses, I do. I think that eventually, after this whole hullabaloo with the interest rates dies down (thank the dear lord for my long mortgages) I’ll make money on both of these places. In the meantime, I’m building equity and credit and being a good landlord while I spend more on my rented apartment here in SF than I do on my mortgages (both of which I’m losing money on, btw, due to low rents and higher mortgages. Still, I shouldn’t complain. I was able to own a home at age 25 and 5  years later, am glad that I do so.

It’s just a bit hard when in a week’s time, a washer hose springs a leak, you need to replace your water heaters and then the fridge stops working. Please, God of Home Appliances, can’t ya cut a gal any slack?

One thought on “Breakin’ (and not that awesome 80’s movie)

  1. You hit the nail right on the head in your next-to-the-last paragraph: equity. If it weren’t for equity, being a landlord would stink. I own a duplex and rent out the “other” half of it, but fortunately I bought here in Orlando when the interest rates were more favorable, and before property values skyrocketed.
    I’m sure you don’t want to turn this into the landlord’s swap meet blog, but my little suggestion is to [attempt to] change the water hoses (both of them, cold and hot) on the clothes washer annually. No doubt that’s well before their projected end of life, but they’re so darned cheap that it’s worth the peace of mind.
    In any case, I definitely hear where you’re coming from…. and agree that the problems seem to always pile up at the same time. The most recent round for me was 1) broken toilet hose, 2) flea infestation, and 3) broken closet door.

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