FINALLY: we have a done deal!

Our agent, Louise, called early this morning, with a short, but oh so sweet message:


This means that the purchase of our immobile  homeScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 9.38.03 PM can proceed, with the deal closing on July 29th.  Once again, we will be homeowners, masters of our own destiny.  Hallelujah!  This renting business is NOT to our liking, what with rent going up every time you take a deep breath!

We will have to continue to rent this house until the end of August at the earliest, what all the craziness we have packed into this summer!  Ïwith Evan’s wedding fast approaching in the end of August.  We will fly back to Canada on August 24th, for the wedding on the 27th.  We’ll stay with 4 year old Willa for a few days afterwards, allowing the newlyweds a short but romantic camping trip.  On September 1st, we’ll meet them for a quick lunch at Toronto airport, then we’ll fly out to head back here to SFO, at 5pm.

Property manager Hala has been a peach, warning us well ahead of time of the October price increase in our rent.  It will be going up by $100, to $3850 per month, but the homeowner wanted more.  I expect that our departure will bring about an even more dramatic increase to $4000 per month for rent, if not more.  Joy, aka The Homeowner, sees the real estate prices here rising at an astronomical rate, and feels she should be able to take advantage of this, too!  Houses like this one are selling for over $1,200,000 but are generally beautifully updated, with granite counters,  stainless steel appliances, and hardwood floors throughout.   This house is mostly in original condition, with ceramic tile counters in the kitchen and bath, and ancient carpet that has stretched badly,  causing ripples.

The only updates here are ones that WE did:  we pulled the old rug out of the living and dining room only to discover extensive black mould, and installed engineered hardwood in the owner’s choice of color.  We replaced the old short toilet in the main bath, with a new dual flush/low flush comfort height high efficiency model, and SHE got the rebate.  She even insisted that we keep the old toilet, in case she wanted to reinstall it, so it sat out behind the shed for a year.  Seriously?

We also did little things, like installing a switch at the height a 5 foot tall person could reach, in the master closet.  Glenn also put a motion detector light switch in the master bath, so midnight trips would be illuminated.   Several motion detector lights were also installed around the perimeter of the exterior, and he has repaired the irrigation system many times.  Now, however the central mechanism of the irrigation system has died of old age, and a fix will involve some serious excavation and re-plumbing of the system.  Our weekly gardeners shake their heads, and mutter in Spanish.  Dealing with Joy can be a challenge for one and all.

At the moment, I am stuck at home, waiting for a repair man to come AGAIN, and fix the hot water heater.  We went through this just about a year ago, allowing us four days without hot water.  Now, we are just about to enter day four AGAIN, as our 10AM appointment has come and gone, as it is now 1PM.  He was actually here on Tuesday, when he examined the recalcitrant tank, declaring that it was “full of sludge”, which shouldn’t be the case.  He had noted the presence of a water softener close by, so assumed that the tank would be dealing with softened water.  Well, it WOULD, if the softener wasn’t long dead!  Joy had assumed that a water softener was something you bought ONCE, and that it trudged on forever, with just the periodic addition of softener salt.

From our extensive experience with water softeners, they are good for a maximum of ten years.  The one here outdates that limit by many, many years, so softening isn’t happening.  No wonder the hot water tank is so cranky!  The repairman said that it needed to be thoroughly flushed before it would work again, which I assumed to mean that he would do so when he returned.

Hala just called me, to find out how the repairs went, and was just as dismayed as I am that he is 3 hours late.  At the moment, she is visiting Missouri.  I wouldn’t want her long distance bill!







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