Needless to say I’ve failed in my commitment to blog weekly this year. I do have an excuse if it is nothing more than to hear myself write!
I own two houses. Not by choice as I am not interested in property management and Lord knows I’ve tried to sell it. With the economy and overflow of foreclosures on the market, my (old) neighborhood’s property values have plummeted. Fortunately I am blessed and not in any trouble financially to afford two mortgages, but I am not desperate and not willing to “give” it away either. Thus, it remains in my ‘portfolio.’
Not seeing any activity in selling, the next option is to rent. The mere sound of the word “rent” conjures up all sorts of negative scenarios. Not to mention my lack of interest in property management, the house is 40 miles away on the other side of Memphis. Just caring for the lawn would absorb half a day with round trip driving time. For peace of mine and time, I hired a property management company to not only manage the property after it rents, but to do all the necessary advertising and background checks. I am pleased that within two weeks of hiring them we now have a tenant – for at least one year!
The house (#2) has been vacant for 2 1/2 years. It was the house my son and I lived in and when I remarried in 2007, I built a new house (#1). Initially I put a lot of time and money into #2 getting it ready for sale. It wasn’t the price, size, location, or even wall colors that it didn’t sell. It was most folks didn’t have the down payment and banks stopped the “if you can breathe, you can have lots of money” loans.
Other than maintaining the landscape and minor maintenance, I haven’t put much time or effort into it until recently. I received the new escrow adjustment on house #2 a couple months ago and about blew a fuse! First, in the middle of ’08, the county tax assessor increased the property value by $16k. Dumb! The entire county’s property values dropped by an average of 20%, yet they went on a tax increase spree by re-assessing all property values. That’s a whole ‘nother argument! Second, since the house had been vacant for more than six months, I could no longer carry a rider fire policy under house #1 and had to get its own policy as a vacant property. Finally, the new escrow payment was…well, lets just say enough is enough. I had my motivation!
All that being said, this summer’s freelance projects have been good. With one weekend day at house #1 and the other weekend day tending to house #2, weekday evenings have been freelance.
Blogging just hasn’t been on the to-do list. Although, during this time I have added many potential titles and tutorials I want to write about. This post is the first on the list and the “second” time I’m re-committing to weekly blogging. May even toss in a few extras!
Let it be said; let it be written; let it be done!
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