Friday, October 29, 2010

A moment of panic

I had my first moment of landlord panic this week.  I haven't really heard a peep from our tenant since the day that she moved in, and we hadn't yet agreed how subsequent month's rent would be paid (email money transfer, cheque, etc.).

So on Tuesday, I contacted her to find out how she would like to pay for November 1st.  I didn't hear back from her on Tuesday.  Nor did I hear from her on Wednesday.  On Thursday, I still hadn't heard from her.  Panic was definitely setting in.  Had she run off somewhere?  Was she avoiding answering me so as to avoid having to pay rent?   Had she decided to end the lease and is trying to decide how to break the news to me?  While taking the train home after work yesterday, I passed by the condo and noticed a huge looming black cloud hanging over the condo.   The sky was otherwise quite blue, but the dark cloud was ominous and was a sure sign of an impending storm.  I couldn't help but feel that the cloud was hanging over the condo as if to say "ooooh bad things are happening".  I let my imagination get the best of me for the next 24 hours.  And then tonight, as if all was normal (which it is), the tenant responded to say I'd receive an email transfer on or before the 1st.

I realized that the panic was all for naught.  But it is just my nature to worry about this sort of thing.  So I was VERY relieved to hear that we'd receive the money and that our tenant does not appear to be some sort of scam artist! 

Has anyone else had similar moments of panic where they wonder about their tenants or the state of their property?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One man's trash is another man's treasure

After combining two condos worth of 'stuff' into one house, we had a lot of duplicates of household goods.  We also found in the move that we were bringing a lot of trinkets, books, decorative things, CDs, movies, and even clothes, that we were no longer using.  So we both made a point while we were packing and unpacking, to keep a designated "Garage Sale pile".

And this past weekend, we finally dealt with that pile, and held a garage sale!  On Friday night, we set everything up in the garage, grouping things onto a few different tables.  We had one table with bigger-ticket items (like printers, a Dust Buster, a full set of dishes, designer purses, etc.).  And then the other tables were labelled with signs that said "25 cents each, or 5 for $1" and  "$1 each, or 6 for $5".  And we put all the trinkety stuff on those tables.  We also had a "FREE" table.  On that one, we included little trinkets that could not even be valued at 25 cents, but that to some people, might be useful (or, to a little kid, like finding loot!).

On Saturday morning, we just carried the tables out of the garage  and onto the driveway, and I was amazed how many people showed up right as we began.  We had advertised on Craigslist and Kijiji, as well as posting a few signs on surrounding streets.  We put the "FREE" table closest to the street, and that caused a lot of people to stop and look around!  We stayed at it for a few hours, and even though it threatened rain on and off, the true deal-seekers still came by.  It was my first real Garage Sale experience, and pretty enlightening.  I realized no matter how low something was priced, people would still want to negotiate - and I was fine with that!  I went at this with the plan that anything that did not sell would be either immediately brought to Goodwill, or thrown in the garbage.  So any price was a good price for me. 

We managed to sell a very good chunk of the pile, and were happy to take the rest to Goodwill. 

What did we do with our profits?  We put them towards two new chairs from Ikea!  We finally have somewhere to sit other than the condo-sized couch!

The colours of the leaves in the chairs match amazingly with the different colours that appear in this couch - greys, taupes, and beiges.  And they are so comfortable too!  I also love the way they fit nicely under the window, rather than blocking it out.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Surrendering Control

Well, on Thursday night I met up with the new tenant after work, and handed over the keys!

It was a bittersweet feeling.  It felt odd walking away, while she stayed there taking measurements and checking things out.  All night I had this odd feeling that I hadn't locked the door behind me.  Which of course was true, since the tenant was still in the condo, and it was her door to lock, not mine!

I can't help but feel that I should get in contact with the tenant to find out how things are going, if everything is as she expected, if she's encountered any issues, etc.  I almost feel like I have a guest staying in my house, and I have to ensure I'm a good host.  But I do know that I have to respect her space, and just let her be.

I think I know how my mother must have felt when I moved away to University!!  How do you know when to let go, and what the right amount of contact is, in order to be appreciated?