I didn’t work very long today, but it was worthwhile. My projects today consisted of changing a broken toilet handle; posting notices at several apartments to notify the tenants that trees are being cut down at those properties tomorrow; and doing the lease up paperwork for one of my one bedroom apartments. Of course, any day that I get a new tenant is a good day.
Despite the recession, demand for rentals remains very high. Currently, ALL of my houses are full and I only have a couple of apartments open. I’m very happy with the rental situation.
After working for an hour or so, I went for a 7 mile bike ride and then came home to work on my garden. I was looking forward to working on the garden because I bought a fancy new rear tine rotor tiller yesterday. I tilled up a relatively small area and was happy with my new toy. I’m looking forward to getting some plants in the ground in the next couple of weeks.
I’ve had a lot of requests to start up my blog again, so here it goes. To be quite honest, I don’t really think that talking about real estate stuff is very important anymore at least compared to the destruction of our country at the hands of the socialists. For those of you that haven’t been paying attention, we have a socialist in the White House who has surrounded himself with socialists/communists/marxists. The Socialist in Chief (President) is following the Cloward and Piven Strategy, which was developed in 1966 by “progressives” to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible entitlements, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse. As capitalism collapses under the weight of the entitlements that can’t be funded, the socialists have an underlying socialist structure in place which they will use to “fundamentally transform” the nation. I have been busy (peacefully) fighting this socialism on a variety of fronts and simply haven’t had much time to post about real estate investing. In my opinion, fighting the loss of our country is infinitely more important than talking about my rental business.
However, for those interested in the day to day activities of a landlord, I do have an interesting little story that occurred today. My 3 hours of work today consisted mainly of routine tasks. I collected one late rent, with late fee; posted 2 eviction notices; and installed a window air conditioner for a disabled tenant. My last task of the day was to unlock the basement at one of my duplexes so that the Section 8 inspector could inspect it later in the day. I walked into the back yard of the duplex and unlocked the basement. As I was walking back to my truck, a large pit bull from the house next door jumped over the fence and bit me on the shoulder. I was able to knock him off my arm and back into his yard. Through an act of great discipline, I didn’t shoot the dog and fortunately for both of us, the dog didn’t come at me a second time.
I knocked on the front door and told the owner that he had better chain that dog up and that the next time the dog attacked me, I would shoot it (I WILL). My shoulder was instantly bruised and was bleeding. You could (and can) see where every one of the dog’s teeth bit into my shoulder. I carry a first aid kit in my truck and proceeded to clean the wound as much as possible. Then, I called the health department to see what needed to be done to ensure that the dog didn’t have rabies. The health department said that the dog needed to be quarantined for 10 days and that they were sending someone to pickup the dog. They will call to let me know about the dog after they have it in custody.
I’m already in holiday mode. The fact is that in the rental business, not much happens between Thanksgiving and Christmas. People are busy scurrying around shopping for Christmas presents. The weather is cold in Ohio. People certainly aren’t moving if they don’t have to. Therefore, I typically go into slow motion and take a lot of time off during the Christmas season. This week has been the perfect example.
On Monday, I worked for about 2 hours doing a little maintenance. I checked the winterization status of the couple of vacant rentals I have; fixed a minor electrical problem; and patched some drywall. For December, Monday was a beautiful day with temperatures in the mid 50’s. So, after my 2 hours of work, I decided to go to the gun club and do some shooting. I g adidas zx ot a lot of practice in and had a good time.
On Tuesday, my new Lionfish arrived (via overnight shipping) for my 220 gallon aquarium. I decided that was a good reason to take the day off and that was exactly what I did. I spent about 3 hours acclimating my new fish to my aquarium and then practiced some timed shooting at the makeshift airsoft shooting range in my basement. I find the airsoft shooting to be very valuable training as it builds speed and accuracy; and the gun I use for the airsoft shooting is almost identical to my Glock.
Today, I was in court for the final hearing on a judgment I won against the last tenant I evicted. That only lasted about 1/2 hour and then I took the rest of the day off.
I am planning to do a little work tomorrow if I can get motivated. However, if anything more interesting comes up, I may take tomorrow off also.
When I was a child, my mother used to say “never talk to strangers.” I guess I never was very good at taking instruction! Today was a good example. I was driving to one of my houses to do a little maintenance work. On the way, I drove by the only house that I now have vacant. As I glanced at the house, I noticed a stranger leaning up against the front of the house, fiddling with something in his hands. The guy looked a little “iffy” and I decided to stop and see what he was doing.
I got out of the truck and asked the guy if I could help him. He said “no, I’m waiting for someone”. I responded that was fine, but he couldn’t wait on our property (I never say “my” property, because I want to portray that I’m just the manager). The guy said that he was waiting for the person that lived in the house and said that he had just been talking to them a few minutes before. Since the house is vacant, I knew that he was lying. I asked him for the names of the occupants of the house and he said that he didn’t know, but it was a Mexican and a woman. There aren’t many Mexicans in this part of Ohio and almost every Mexican male that I have seen would be working during the day (as I was doing). I told the guy that there was no Mexican that lived at the house.
I asked the liar again what he was doing at the house and he said that his friends were working in the back of the house. I followed the guy around to the back, keeping a safe distance behind him. There was no one at the back of the house and I told the guy to get off the property and stay off or I would have him arrested! He left the property and started walking down the street.
My next concern was that someone might have indeed broken into the house. I used my key to enter the house and carefully searched it. There was no one in the house and no evidence that anyone had been in there.
As I exited the house, I saw a couple of guys that lived in the neighborhood. I asked them if they knew who the stranger was and they said that he had been slinking around their truck and camper a little while earlier. Obviously, this guy was up to no good. Clearly, mother knew what she was talking about this stranger was definitely trouble. I asked the two neighborhood guys to call me if they saw him again and they said the would do so, as well as calling the police.
I’ll try to keep an eye on the property for the next couple of days.
The economy is bad I guess that’s not a great revelation. One of the issues that has arisen due to the bad economy is that I’m seeing more tenants paying late (during the 3 day eviction notice period and with a late fee). This month was no different, and I had one tenant that paid me yesterday. When I was in town to pick up the rent, another tenant called to tell me that there was a bat in her house. I told her that I was already in town and that I would be happy to stop and remove the bat for her.
I’m an animal lover. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a wacko, leftist, PETA type animal lover that doesn’t eat meat or wear leather, but an animal lover nonetheless. I can’t say the same thing about tenants, but that’s another story. Anyway, many tenants are afraid of bats and will kill them unless I go get them. So, I always like to go rescue the bats from the less than lovable tenants.
When I arrived at the house, I found the bat hanging from the living room curtains. That’s a frequent occurrance in this part of the country. Bats that are hanging upside down normally won’t fly or cause any other problems and can be easily moved into a box. Once I located the bat, I went back to my truck to find a box. As it turned out, the only adidas zx box I had was a beaten up box that contained contractor size trash bags. It had been underneath some of my tool bags and was in bad condition. I taped the corners of the box back together and took it into the house to retrieve the bat. I placed the open box against the curtain just below the bat and used a small piece of cardboard to scrape the bat off the curtain and into the box.
As usual, the bat seemed perfectly content to be in the box. He didn’t move or attempt to fly. I closed the lid and put the box on the floor in the front seat of my truck, because it was quite cold outside and I didn’t want to freeze the little bat before I released him.
Since the bat had already found a way into the tenant’s house, I didn’t want to release him close to her house. I decided to release the bat at the state park, which is located very close to my house. My business in town being completed, the bat and I headed for home. About half way home, the bat apparently started to wake up (it was getting close to dark) and he started scratching at the inside of the box. I felt sorry for the little bat being trapped in the box, bu adidas zx t we only had another few minutes remain adidas zx ing before we would reach the state park.
Just before I reached the Park, the bat finally stopped scratching and I assumed that he was settling down. Then, suddenly, just as I turned into the Park, I thought I saw something fly by my head. After thinking about for a second, I convinced myself that it was just one of the floaters I’ve had in my eye since my recent retina tear. This isn’t the first time that I thought I saw something that wasn’t there due to these floaters. So, I just kept driving as I was only another minute or so from the spot where I intended to release the bat. I’m sure that you can guess where this is headed. The bat had somehow gotten out of the box and was loose in the truck with me. At this point the bat flew right by my ear and landed on the seat beside me.
Although I love animals, I certainly don’t have any desire to be locked in a pickup truck cab with a bat. I immediately stopped the truck and got out. I walked around to the passenger door and as I opened the door, out flew the bat. I’m sure that he was very happy to be free and I was equally happy that he would out of my truck.
After a two month hiatus, I’m back to blogging. For all of you who have sent e mails wishing me well, let me say a hearty Thank You! I appreciate your concern.
My break from blogging started one evening, about two months ago, as I was cleaning the swimming pool. As I glanced into the water, it suddenly looked like a thousand gnats were swimming in the water. Obviously, gnats don’t live in water. I looked away from the water and discovered that the “gnats” were still there. Within a few more seconds, the swarm of gnats had expanded to fill the entire field of vision in my left eye, only now there weren’t a thousand gnats now there were THOUSANDS OF GNATS. I was puzzled as to what could cause such a malady, so I decided to make my way back to the house. Within a very short period of time, things got much worse and there was a sudden influx of thick black liquid swirling around in my left eye. To top it all off, there were sudden flashes of light that looked like little lightning bolts. At that point, I decided that a trip to the emergency room was in order. That is how my adventure began.
After sitting for several hours in the emergency room, it was decided that I probably had a torn retina. Being a Saturday night, there was no opthamologist on duty, but the ER physician called one that was on call and he scheduled an appointment to meet me at his office the next afternoon. After a detailed exam, the opthamologist determined that I had a retina that was torn in two places and that I had experienced a hemmorage as the retina tore (that was the thick black liquid floating around in my eye).
I felt sorry for the opthamologist who was wasting his Sunday afternoon to work on my eye (although I appreciated his sacrifice). It reminded me of the occassional times that I have had to fix some tenant problem on a weekend. As it turned out, about 2 1/2 hours of his Sunday afternoon would be spent examining my eye and then performing emergency laser surgery to “tack up” my retina enough to get me through until the next day at which time I would see a retinal specialist. As I understand it, the surgery basically consists of using a laser to burn the retina, causing it to form scar tissue and thereby welding it to the rods and cones at the back of the eye. This prevents the vitreous humor, which is the liquid in the eye, from leaking behind the retina and causing a retinal detachment, which is a very serious problem that can cause blindness.
The following day, I met with the retinal specialist and had more surgery. While the first surgery on Sunday was relatively painless, the surgery on Monday was excruciating! I think the issue was that Monday’s surgery included re burning the previous day’s burns to my retina and let me tell you IT HURT! Within a few minutes of the surgery being completed, the pain was nearly unbearable. I took everything I could think of to lessen the pain and put an ice pack on my eye for a couple of hours. Although painful it was certainly better than being blind so I really didn’t have anything to complain about.