Our home lease is up this month. Mister and I have talked about it in depth and have made the decision to start looking for another place to live. We're very unhappy with our current landlords and are ready to move on. Turns out looking for a place to lease sucks. Sucks pretty badly in fact. This isn't something that truly comes as a surprise to me, as it sucked last year when we were looking for this place. But it is something I feel inclined to complain about.
When we moved from California to Kentucky last year we were rushed into finding a place to live. We had been staying at my in laws farm in Indiana, Mister was making the drive to Kentucky on Mondays and staying at a hotel in Lexington, KY during the week, and on his three day weekends we made the 3 hour drive to look at houses.
Looking at houses in a state you know and grew up in is a breeze considered to this scenario. Looking at houses in a state you have literally just stepped foot into for the first time is nerve wracking in every way imaginable to say the least. You have no idea what to expect from rent prices (which on the whole are about 1/3 of what they are in California. For example we rented a 2 bedroom condo in Pomona, CA (not the nicest of areas) for $1395/month. Here in Kentucky we have a 3 bedroom house in historic Frankfort for literally half that. Now, you do have to calculate in heating and electrical costs, because the winter and summers are obviously much more severe than in California, but it still doesn't make up the difference.
Trying to figure out which neighborhoods are acceptable has proved to be trying as well. You'll turn onto a street and start to get really excited - "holy cow, is this the area? It's soooo nice!", but then you turn the next corner which is actually the street you'd be living on and it's just complete crap. There are cars on blocks in front yards, various crap such as kiddie pools and plastic chairs strewn all over front lawns, what appears to be hoodlums lurking about, the guy next door obviously hasn't mown his lawn in over a year (and can I tell you that I am absolutely paranoid about getting chiggers out here? I guess the little shits hang onto grass blades and jump on you when you walk through it) so overgrown grass is a huge no-no for me, and many, many...manymanymanymany more complaints.
Many more complaints such as hardly any houses out here have garages (even those circa 50s, 60s and 70s. Does that make sense? It snows out here. Wouldn't you want to put your car and your lawn equipment in out of the elements? Instead, we have to spend 10 minutes every morning warming our cars up and then scraping ice off all the windows during the winter. Or how about the fact that this is freaking Kentucky and everyone looks at us like we're a little crazy when we tell them we have three dogs and two cats. People will allow a couple with five children to inhabit the same house, but my three dogs (who have never caused any damage to any place we've ever lived) will not be allowed unless we pay an extravagant amount in pet rent. Do these people realize that they live in Kentucky? Before I moved here I thought everyone rode around on a horse and I sure as shit thought that everyone had packs of dogs roaming freely to herd their damn cows and sheep around. Definitely not what I imagined. Kentuckians are just as uptight as Californians about that shit.
I mean, I get it. I don't need any snarky comments from landlords. I understand that there are shitty people out there and that those people are more than capable of being shitty tenants. I get it. It is just f-r-u-s-t-r-a-t-i-n-g. In the last year alone, I have forked out over $1100 just for the privilege of having my dogs in this house. The house that these LANDLORDS didn't bother to clean or paint when we moved in. We killed five mice the first week. IT WAS DISGUSTING!!! I could dedicate a long ass post to the things that weren't done when we moved in and haven't been done since. I guess my very long point is that there are shitty landlords out there too. As a matter of fact, as a tenant you are lucky if you get a decent landlord. Looking at some of the places for rent, man, you just have to laugh. And we did, at quite a few of them. Most people are stretched so tight on their mortgages for rentals that they have to ask exorbitant amounts just to cover their payment, which means little or no upkeep gets done on these properties. However they still ask full price. Which in my opinion, isn't a business exchange, but basically asking somebody to pay your bills for you.
Personally I consider the next person who rents to us lucky. Our house is WELL taken care of. We've even made improvements (with landlord approval) at our own costs. Our neighbors love us and our rent has never once been late. Our landlord has even commented more than once on "how cute we keep the place". Go figure why they wouldn't want to keep us as tenants, especially since we don't bug them about all the stuff falling apart in this house (we figure they wouldn't fix it anyway). We've invited them to come inspect our house in detail. If they still insist on charging the pet rent...then so be it. C'est la vie.
We're just pulling our hair out over finding a new place now. :)
Ahhh the joy. We've found a place that we're going to look at today....rent is over $100 less and the landlord seems cool with our animals. Has a fenced back yard, another bathroom, off-street parking... And hopefully this one won't have us trying to pay off their farm and beemer.
Keeping out fingers crossed... ♥
Good luck finding a new place! Since I've never rented before, I can't relate to your frustration but my parents own rental property and you and your husband are definitely a RARE find! Most renters never pay on time and instead of just keeping their place nice they destroy it ... no one has ever made improvements on my parents' places. Your new landlord will be very lucky! :)ReplyDelete
Hi Megan! I know, I know - I think I was a little hard on landlords in this post...sorry... This was a post born out of frustration... It's just hard when you really take care of the place and your landlord refuses to acknowledge this when it comes to renegotiating the lease. I think we actually found a place today for the same price, which is beautiful! Just off the 127, between Frankfort and Lawrenceburg. Have to let the guy know tommorow if we want it! :)ReplyDelete
Blog hopped from Chipper Nelly and just had to comment......oh you are telling my story here, I am from Australia and my landlady lived here before I moved in and she left it in a disgusting state and I am paying a couple of hundered more than you a month for a falling apart house, can't use the bath because it is all rusted and scratched, I had to thoroughly clean the house from top to bottom before I could move in etc. I had house inspection the other day and I have to clean the mould off the ceiling in the bathroom that she was too lazy to clean off. What shits me is, I'm paying her to clean her house. She has gone to live with her boyfriend, she works full time and I'm left in her run down house paying off her mortgage. Go figure. When they put the rent up I wrote a letter of great length complaining of the condition, result was no rent rise, happy with that at least, I just don't have money to move as I am a single mum with two kids. I think there should be some sort of law that governs rentals. Hope the house you are looking at turns out to be 'the one'ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you stopped by! I understand your pain and frustration over the rental sitution. When we first moved from California to Kentucky, I thought maybe it wasn't required by the state that landlords clean the place and make it acceptable to the new tenants. I'm jut now finding out all the things our landlords should have done...and didn't. Having little ones in a place that you're unhappy living has got to be extra hard - it's not like you can just pick everyone up and move at your leisure! Very happy you were able to talk them out of raising the rent... can you imagine how mad you'd be each month writing out that larger check to her? I do feel pretty pissy when they pull up to my house in thier BMW telling me they can't knock off the pet rent (even though they're well behaved animals) because they're stretched too tight financially from having just bought a farm and having a baby...how is that anyone's problem but thiers? Oh, please let me put MY life on hold and sign a three year lease (which is what they were asking) in order to get the pet rent reduced...pfffffft! :)
here I am indeed! boys back at school and I'm back in the the world of my virtual friends (often a far nicer world!)ReplyDelete
The above sounds hideous - just hideous. But I see from your photo that you are maintaining a sense of humour? I wish you lots of luck finding the right place. It's a big decision.
I also see you've met my blogging pal Sandi? you'll like her, she's funny!
love fee x