Our house in New Jersey is still not finished and does not yet have tenants.
But this has been a good week. First off, finding the chance to get up there to finish the job has been difficult. The boys' sports ended, but then my sister came. My sister proposed that instead of Bill going up this weekend, we (as in me, her, her husband, and our combined 7 children under age 10) would go up today and get the work done. This is exactly the sort of ludicrous idea that I find appealing. She didn't even have to double dog dare me to try it.
Bolstering my opinion that this was a great idea and all would turn out well was my success at Home Depot in finding the exact same medicine cabinet to replace the one that was broken. We feared having to patch and paint drywall if we couldn't find one to fit the hole.
I was undaunted by the new knowledge that Home Depot no longer carries wallpaper. There is a small patch job (one wall) in the hallway, and I didn't want to rip all the wallpaper down and re-do it with a new pattern the way I had to do the living room. A three-minute brainstorming session with Bill yielded agreement that one hall wall with paint and three with wallpaper was perfectly acceptable. Drive on.
Next issue: tenants. We've had two strike outs thus far; two families with multiple accounts up for collection. We're not in a position to take a financial risk that threatens our mortgage payment, so we had to turn them away.
Another woman with twin toddlers, who seemed so very nice and polite and was persistant but not pushy, wanted to rent, but she was Section 8. For Bill, it was very easy to say no. For me, it still makes me sad that I wasn't willing to give her a chance. Our neighborhood is modest, but very nice. The neighbors are the kind of people who work 40 hours a week, mow the lawn on Saturdays, rest on Sundays, pay cash for Christmas presents, and live within their means. It's exactly the sort of neighborhood for someone who needs to break the cycle of poverty. But I admit I have a tendancy to romanticize poverty and simplify solutions, and fortunately, I have an extremely practical husband who is quick to point out that someone who isn't paying for the rent is less likely to take care of the property since they have no stake in it. He knows it would grieve me to imagine weeds growing in the garden or soil or scratches marring the wood floors. And he's savvy enough to know that I prefer to avoid interactions with the government, and Section 8 housing is way too intimate a relationship for me to stomach.
Thankfully, on Monday, another woman called about the house. I gave her the address and told her to look at the outside, peek in the windows and call me back if she thought it might suit her. We spoke last night. She and her husband had both stopped by and were very interested in seeing more. She gave me her credit info so we could do a credit check, and her husband will stop by today to see the inside and take pictures for her. And the best part is that they are looking for a long term rental having rented their current home for 12 years. Dare I get excited? You bet.
So today I'm off on a merry adventure which will hopefully be extremely successful. I can barely contain my exuberance!