Sunday, June 7, 2009
Should I sell my dad's house or should I fix it up and rent it? Perhaps I could keep it and let the cats continue living upstairs and just rent out the downstairs. While my dad was still alive, we discussed this and his advice to me was to sell it.
After all, it was a double so I could get two rents from it but it needed some work. The thing is, renting is not an easy matter. My dad had several rental properties when we were growing up but he could do the fixing up himself, unlike me. My dad's house needed quite a bit of work. There was a major plumbing problem that had to be fixed which would involve breaking up the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom to get at the pipes. Several people advised me to sell who had bad experience with renters, including the plumber. It's very hard to find good renters who take care of the property and pay promptly. Since I didn't know anyone who was looking for rent, it would have been hard to find steady long-term renters. Plus, I already had sunk a ton of money into it so would have had to rent it for 3 years getting $400 per month just to break even, providing nothing else had to be repaired in that time.
Part of me wanted to fix it up real nice like the granddaughter did in Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers. It actually was looking pretty good once we got the clutter cleared out and I remembered some fun times there. I still liked the upstairs back porch and since that's where we were when Gerard proposed to me, it had some sentimental value for us. We wouldn't want to live there though because we like our house better and it's in a better neighborhood. Renting is a headache. I tried renting it for a month to someone willing to live there and take care of the cats on a short-term basis and found out that I wasn't comfortable with that.
Also, the cats played a part in this too. Obviously, I couldn't sell the house with them in it so I tried to find them homes, unsuccessfully. This was another reason why I considered hanging on to it at least for awhile and taking my good old time selling it because the cats could continue to live there and I could just keep going over a couple times every day to take care of them. After all, my dad let them live in his upstairs rent free for years. However, this was not a very practical solution and Gerard was not real happy about me having to run over there all the time--he wanted his wife back and I couldn't blame him.
Once I had the place cleaned out, I decided to follow my dad's advice and sell it, concluding that I'd rather put money into our house than that one. I priced it very reasonably, put it up for sale the last week of May 2007 and it sold within a week for which I was very grateful. We used money from the sale for a brand new Kia and to remodel our basement and still have a nice chunk left in savings. I think following my dad's advice was wise in this situation.
"My Funny Dad, Harry" Book Giveaway
Congratulations to all the winners of the giveaway for "My Funny Dad, Harry" at Red Pine Mountain. I am so happy that four of my regular commenters won! Read what Tim thought of it at Everyday Living.