"You gonna get another job?"...

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Oh, and I think I bitched here about how everything I've attempted this year has resulted in failure, disappointment, and setbacks. Well today I got an appraisal on the house I bought a year ago. It should be worth twice what I paid for it.

Yes, I did sink some money into it, but nothing like the amount I paid for it. So I got at least 1 thing right.
 

Lanzman

No-one of consequence
Physical movie theaters are a dying business anyway. Maybe a nostalgia drive-in space would work if you could find a nice big lot with something that would serve as a screen, but otherwise . . . nah.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Ah, but bars and restaurants (coronapocalypse notwithstanding) aren't. Doesn't it sound like a nice evening to head down to the local pub and have a nice cheeseburger with homemade fries and your microbrew of choice while watching "Casablanca" or "Monty Python & the Holy Grail" or a months-long Infinity War marathon on the big screen?
 

Oerdin

Member
OK. Here's a fun one I just learned from our resident real estate attorney.

9 months ago our county decided to force landlords to accept Section 8 rent assistance.

That said, today I got to thinking: One of my requirements for a qualified renter is that their income must equal 3x the rent. Ergo, if rent was, say $1,000 a month and rent assistance covered the full $1,000, I could still reject an applicant if they didn't have $2,000 a month in other income.

Nope.

That's not the way it works. According to the attorney, the ordinance is written so you can only require 3x the balance of the rent not covered by subsidies. So if rent is $1,000 and Section 8 pays $1,000 they've met your 3x rent income requirement--even though their income is only $1,000 and your requirement was $3,000.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Say your rent is $1,200 and Section 8 only pays $1,000. Then by that definition, they've still got to come up with $600 in additional income (1,200-1,000=200. 200x3=600), right? WRONG! Because not only must you subtract the amount of subsidy from the rent you must also count that subsidy as income. So rent is $1,200. But knock off $1,000 for the subsidy. $200. They need $600 a month of income to meet your 3x income requirement. But now you count their $1,000 a month rent subsidy and they've met your income requirement with $400 to spare--even though they've only actually got $1,000 of the $3,600 you're requiring. AND they've met the income requirement while actually being $200 short on being able to pay rent each month. "Heads I win, tails you lose." I need to just sell my houses in Jefferson County and move to Bullitt County.

One way around that is if you have other applicants you can always tell them you went with a stronger applicant. Just make sure you can back that up by showing higher income, a better credit rating, not having pets, and other provable stuff like that. You don't want someone making a lawsuit just to waste your time and money.

On a related note I heard Seattle and SF are trying to get around the multiple applicants issue by mandating a first to apply must get the house rule. Which is absolutely fucking retarded. It is my house not theirs so I should get to decide whobI think the best apllicant is. This will backfire on the far left Democrats because a lot of mom and pops will just sell their rental units deciding it isn't worth the hassle and then rent prices will soar as there are ever fewer units available to rent. That was also the net effect of their illegal eviction moratorium too. Lots of owners said fuck it and sold so now there is a big shortage of units to rent.
 

Oerdin

Member
Physical movie theaters are a dying business anyway. Maybe a nostalgia drive-in space would work if you could find a nice big lot with something that would serve as a screen, but otherwise . . . nah.
Even George R. R. Martin owns an old classic movie theater in his town which had gone out of business. Apparently, it is a money loser. He spent millions redoing everything which he will never see a return on and even doing a lot of promoting himself for the place he has had to admit it was a money losing charity operation he keeps open for nostalgia purposes more than anything else.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Mike Butler, a local guru who literally wrote the book on landlording ("Landlording on Autopilot") advocates in his book for accepting the first "qualified" applicant to help protect against Equal Housing litigation. He says he works through applications in the order they are received. If someone isn't qualified, he lets them know why and what they can do to fix it--and then moves on to the next application while waiting to hear back. Once he gets to an applicant that meets his qualifications, he won't even look at any more applications. Says it works for him. It's the method I've been using, although you are allowed to select the "most qualified" so you're not at all required to use it.

Chatted with a friend about the Section 8 thing and the thing is, that you don't have to explain to them how the ordinance screws you over in their favor. She says she just explains that she has a 3x income requirement and that the rent subsidy counts towards that requirement. That, along with requiring a good credit score means she's never had a Section 8 applicant follow through and apply.
 

Oerdin

Member
One of my renters is on section 8 so they can make good stable long term renters. You just have to be very picky to find the good ones mixed in amongst the dirt bags.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Our Section 8 office is a pain in the ass to work with. Landlords in neighboring counties do Section 8. People here used to do Section 8. But the office is so badly run that it isn't worth the headaches. Of course the solution to that wasn't to fix the office--just to force landlords to use it.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I need to get doing. Because the thinking makes me nervous and indecisive. On paper it is hard to beat buying and holding single family homes for rentals. But you still wind up in a long term transactional relationship with humans then. Since I'm free and clear, I could also do a "house hack" sort of long-term flips--sell my current houses and buy new ones to fix up and hold for at least a year; maybe renting for a bit while taking out some capital to live on. Just typing that, I realize how bad an idea that sounds. Don't even want to try and figure out the ways that could go wrong. There's also a guy who is moving into commercial storage and looking for capital. Trouble with that is, I stopped typing this to go chat with a friend in the business to get her read on the guy and it lines up with my read on him--talks a good game, but I don't trust him. I trust his partner, but is that enough? Probably not.

Well, I should get going. Turkey breast isn't in the oven yet so unless I want to have lunch at 7pm I'd better get moving.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Just a boring Thanksgiving Day bloggy post: Slept in. Started my turkey later than I should've so, as usual, lunch on Thanksgiving is going to be around 4pm. Each year the dinner gets simpler and simpler because there's always too much to eat and something usually gets forgotten. This year it's a turkey breast (basically a quadruple amputee turkey), stuffing, sweet potatoes, probably gravy, cranberry sauce, and apple pie. I sort of wish I'd gotten pumpkin too, but such is life. Maybe tomorrow I'll pick one up to eat with leftovers. Last of the 2016 plum wine from Oregon. I still have 1 bottle of 2016 after this and 1 from 2015 but I'll save those. Realistically, it isn't like Chateau Lafite Rothschild, where it will get better and better with age, but I want to keep 1 bottle from each year for nostalgia purposes. Still sitting around in a robe and jammies with stubble, bad breath, and bed hair; trying to decide what to wear: dressy, for the occasion, or with a very loose elastic waistband--also for the occasion.

This is also the problem with renovating a home you don't live in--I've got a bunch of little projects I could be banging out over at the vacant rental--some touch-up painting, putting in a different bathroom vent fan, cleaning out the garage, a little weeding; maybe finish landscaping the fish pond--but I've also got a turkey in the oven here. I guess I could go and leave the turkey unattended, but who knows what could go wrong and I could burn down my house. So instead I sit here, fucking off on my computer instead of making money. Ah well, we all need to fuck off sometimes. And Thanksgiving is as good a time as any for it.

On an unrelated note, I finished up "1984." While I was working on that, the millionth person told me I had to read "A Brave New World." Too lazy to go track down a copy when its available online as an e-book. Unfortunately, I made the decision to finish one dystopian future novel before diving into the next one. The flaw in this is now I have nothing to read in the bathroom. I mean, I guess I could lug my laptop along. You definitely have a lap when doing...that. But it just seems...wrong. Wrong and unwieldy.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Break-Free is amazing. It is the gun-cleaning fluid favored by the Marines around the turn of the century. Its subtitle is CLP (Cleaner, Lubricant, Protectant).

The bathroom fan at the vacant rental was terrible. At the time I tried giving it a thorough cleaning and that did, indeed, help. But it was still terrible. So when I was showing the renters the place I apologized for it and offered to change it. The missus said it was fine and better than the one at their current place. This was, perhaps, my first of many warning bells.

Anyhow, getting the place ready to rent out again I decided I just couldn't in clear conscience leave it. So I headed down and found you could pick up a replacement fan/motor dirt cheap. Just pop the old one out and pop the new one in. Stick the grille back on. They even had one with an electric plug--no wiring needed. Now I didn't remember if the current one had a plug or was hard-wired. And I wasn't sure which wire would go to which if I wound up snipping the plug off to wire it, but I figured I'd burn that bridge when I got to it.

Got over today. Got to work. Happily, the old fan DID have a plug. So in theory I'd just pop the old one out and pop the new one in.

In theory.

First off, I had a hard time getting the old one out. Wound up going up in the attic to try to figure out how it was mounted. Got back below and pried with a screwdriver in the appropriate places and popped it out. Went to pop the new one in.

Turns out bathroom fans aren't as modular as light switches or door locks or any of a million other things that are standardized these days. It was at least 1/4" too long and the tabs and openings were in the wrong places. So I could try modifying the new fan. Except my tin snips were at my house. Or I could try lubing the old fan. Except my lube was at my house. I could take the fans out of their housings and swap the new fan into the old housing. Except the fan and drive shaft didn't appear removable on the new fan. So even if I cut the new housing to get it free, there'd be no way to put it in the old housing. I made a valiant effort with my Leatherman but couldn't get the new fan to fit in the box/frame thing. So at that point I loaded everything in the van and turned to things I *could* get done.

When I got home, I decided to have a look at things. That's when I realized my tin snips must be out in the garage. And I don't have any cutting bits for my Dremel. With nothing to lose, I went and got my Break-Free, and dripped a few drops into the bearings. No improvement. Then I realized how rusty the drive shaft was and dripped some on the shaft. Problem solved. Break-Free solves everything.

I actually have a ceiling fan out on my porch that didn't work. You could hear the motor humming when you flipped the switch. Sometimes the blades would even turn slowly. Finally I had some free time and started troubleshooting it. After taking various parts of it apart to try and find the problem, I just douched the whole thing down in Break-Free. Problem solved! Break-Free solves everything.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Now I just have to see if I can scrounge/buy one of those springs that hold the grille in place. The clip that it fastens to was busted so I'd just threaded it through the grille. Since I was taking everything else home, I decided to take that too and try to fix it. Of course when I opened the door in the dark to unload stuff when I got home, it all fell out and I lost the spring. Flashlight at the time and walking around in the daylight just now yield no result. I know I had one of these springs from the old (nonworking) bathroom fan in this bathroom and it may be out in the junk stack in the shed, but most likely I said "I should hang onto this, just in case. Nah, when am I ever going to need this?" God is like "fuck you, you're going back to the hardware store and buying shit whether you want to or not."
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Got no excuse today. Well, I got a little excuse. I could be cleaning my own house and paying bills and other weekend chores. But it's still early in the day and (apart from getting a plumber to connect up the gas fireplace) all that needs to be done on the inside of the rental is one more good cleaning. On the outside, I've got to finish weeding cracks in the driveway/sidewalks, thoroughly hose down same, clean out the garage, and fine-tune the pond. So I guess I should get going.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Interior is more or less done. Still need to get the gas fireplace hooked up. But of course as I was cleaning out supplies, the weather changed such that the top corner of the back door was binding again--in spite of being planed back repeatedly--and the jamb was snagging the outer steel cladding. So I've got to get back there and fart around with contact cement and/or just shoot a screw into the top corner of the door and be done with this problem.

That said, this progress was at the cost of a sink full of dirty dishes, a stack of unpaid bills and unread e-mails, full trash cans, and a dirty (my) house.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Gettin' old sucks. I'm only in the early stages of it. My friend is a few more years along. And my neighbor is to the point where she has only 1 housecat but doesn't want to get another because she figures it would outlive her. So yeah. Not quite 10pm. Should at least get dishes done and maybe put away stuff I brought back from the vacant rental. But I've had a glass of bourbon and a hot shower and it turns out spending most of the day cleaning house and pulling weeds is enough to leave me pretty tuckered out these days. Especially as the warmth of the shower and the wisky take hold.

While I was working at the other house I got a call from the neighbor. She was in the barn and had fallen down and couldn't get back up. I told her I was on the way and she said not to worry because she'd figure it out. Of course I came anyway. Because better to waste 40 minutes on a false alarm than find out your neighbor died because she was wrong about being able to figure it out. So hopefully I have a neighbor like me when I get that age. Because it happens to us all eventually. Crap. Now I'm thinking about my dog. I don't know if I mentioned it here but I read an article on "boradors" (lab/border collie mutts) and it said they live to be 10-12. So she was right about at the top end of that. And it must've just been "Yep. Body doesn't work anymore." And I think animals are different from humans in that, when the time comes, it comes a lot more abruptly. But I guess if you do the old 1:7 rule of thumb a month for a human is like 7 months for a dog and you can go downhill pretty fast in 7 months when your time comes. Especially when vets (at least around here) don't get very excited about the idea of cancer: "She has a new bump on her shoulder." "Oh yeah, that's normal." :/ But I guess what are you going to do even if it is diagnosed? Chemo? Radiation? On an 11 year old dog?

Yep. Gettin' old sucks.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I've become a better judge of character. Unfortunately, often not in time to do anything about it, but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that, in the future, if something feels fishy, it probably is.

My remaining renter felt fishy on the day it was time to sign the lease. Unfortunately "something seems a bit off" wasn't enough for me to back out of the deal. And more things looked OK on paper than looked "off."

So last week he pops the idea of renter's assistance. Since his lease is up at the end of February, I feel obligated to bring up the likelihood that I won't renew the lease. He, of course, gets all butthurt and blusters that he's always paid his rent on time and plans to keep paying his rent on time--even though he's collecting unemployment and it's very hard to make ends meet on that.

Flash forward to just now, when he texts me, asking if I can send him a late rent letter so he can get going on rent assistance--and telling me rent is going to be a few days late this month.
So yeah. I totally called it. Not enough to trust my instincts, but I called it. Now I gotta figure out how to make the best of the situation.

Like I say, the good thing is the lease is up at the end of February. So I can get him on a month-to-month lease after that. Then when summer rolls along and he (hopefully) has some money again) I can tell him I'm not renewing and he has to move out. I'd love to just move him out in February, but even with the lease up, there'd be a chance I'd have to do an eviction. I'm hoping if I make things simpler and more painless for him to move out, he might go along voluntarily. I dunno. We'll see. I should get in touch with an attorney to strategerize at this point. Fuck.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Why do messy people have the most cleaning supplies? I'm being a little hyperbolic, but cleaning out the vacant rental last night I found all manner of soaps and cleansers. And after the second time spot cleaning walls and dusting, the 3rd time mopping floors, and the god knows how many-ith time of sweeping, the place is finally starting to look clean.

In fairness, a vacant house always looks worse than a furnished house. And I know there'd be a lot of deferred cleaning if I were to move out of my place today. And they were busy, trying to get their business off the ground. And had 2 dogs. But geez. There's soaps and soap refills and spray bottles and God knows what else.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
What's my confidence level these days? Yesterday I saw that I needed to replace the batteries in the thermostat at the rental. Checked and confirmed I needed 2 AAs. Got home. Went to grab 2 AAs. Decided to grab the entire box instead (in case I got the count wrong). Then I also grabbed the box of AAAs (in case I also got the size wrong).
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
2 new Great Truths (ordinarily I'd put these on Facebook, but I'm pretending (not really pretending) that I'm busy, so it doesn't fit the story that I have time to fuck off online):

There are exceptions to the rule, but if someone is living from paycheck to paycheck, chances are it is because they are *planning* from paycheck to paycheck.

If the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison had given up after their first couple setbacks, we'd be walking everywhere in the dark.
 
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