The Hateful House
Q: Why is it that your house never looks as good as it does when it goes on the market?
At this point I might as well call this my 110k Savings Challenge because if I spend $10,000 repainting my house, tearing down the rotting garage and replacing the broken hot water heater, I’ll consider myself lucky.
I have a love/hate relationship with my house. Mainly its been a hate relationship for the last couple of years. My 1920′s abode is showing its age and falling apart. I have lived in “that house,” much to the chagrin of my neighbors, for a long time because I just never had the spare $7500 lying around to pay someone to repaint the exterior or the spare time to do it myself.
Last April I moved into Dinky Manor, which is my boyfriend’s 1937 dumpy bungalow. We’ve spent all of last year making his place livable, while my house stood vacant and overgrown. While I’m so happy to be sharing a home with Mr. Foxypants, my housing situation has been endlessly frustrating to me. I had renters last May who were willing to live through me slowly renovating the place while they lived there, but then my sewage system went kaput and needed to be completely replaced. Right after that, my garage, which had been derelict when I bought my house a decade ago, finally decided to cave in. Finally the water heater broke. All this time, I’ve been paying my mortgage and property taxes, of course.
Well, it’s time to put my house to work. I have two friends who want to rent out my place starting March 1st, so I have to get my house into excellent living condition–ironically a condition that I never experienced during the 10 years I lived there.
My friends have agreed to pay me $875 more than my monthly mortgage in rent each month. (They will also take care of the gas and electric bill and supply their own renter’s insurance). The extra $10,500 each year that I will make in profit by renting out my house will cover my homeowner’s insurance, my property taxes and the water bill. So, starting in March, my biggest financial burden will be paid for by other people and my month living expenses will consist of paying for the phones and the high speed internet connection at Mr. Foxypants’ house!
In the mean time, I’m scrambling to stay ahead of the renovation costs. I’m hemorrhaging money which totally sucks. I’ve been using a credit card (which is the Devil) to pay for all the home repair…meaning that I’m already in debt and it’s only the 10th day of the year. Luckily, I’ve sold $80 in books on half.com this week and I sold one of my handmade necklaces today for $60. None of this money was anticipated, and I’m really hoping that weird little windfalls continue coming my way…not that I can count on that though. But if I can somehow continue to eek out an additional $140 a week by selling random stuff this year that would be $7140! Almost enough to pay for that paint job.
So, unfortunately, the next 50 days will be spent trying to pay down that credit card so I don’t have interest-accruing debt cutting into my savings plan once my house-as-profit-generating-machine kicks into gear. Grrr…