Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rental Woes

Tuesday September 3, 1991

Bad news for Frank. He is over at Gledhill house tearing out sidewalk to reach a leaking pipe underground beside the house. I meet him over there with his lunch. Later we go to Lemona where I water the yard. A friend of Frank's comes to check out the wall heater that's not working. Phil comes to replace the water meter at the same time. The dishwasher at Gledhill is working well. Frank did a good job of fixing it.

We head home a little earlier, 5 p.m. Tomorrow is chemo so that will kill the afternoon and evening.

This is the first time I have discovered that Mom made two entries on the same day. Odd.

Frank may have retired from the City of Los Angeles Parks and Rec Dept earlier that year, but you never get to retire from being a landlord. Mom and Frank had 4 rentals, the one on Lemona that I grew up in, the one on Gledhill Mom bought for her residence before she and Frank got married, one that Mom bought in Simi Valley before the marriage, and the one in Newbury Park that Frank owned as his residence before the marriage. When they married in 1982 they bought a big beautiful house in Simi Valley together. My husband Ric and I have 9 rentals and manage 6 more for my mother-in-law. Between the 15 rentals, there is always a sewer to unplug, a defective water heater or other appliance to repair or replace, or a vacancy to rent. Last year was a record: we had 6 turnovers in 2010! In addition, there are almost always delinquent tenants to deal with, which can be quite stressful, especially if it becomes necessary to do the unlawful detainer process.

Just as I was retiring from Pacific Gas & Electric, the housing market began a long downhill dive, and we have lost most of our equity. We are hoping the market will recover in the next 5 years, so we can start to sell, which was always the plan for my retirement. In the meantime, it is hard to travel or even be away for a weekend, as there is always a rental problem to deal with. So for now, with 2 teenagers at home and 15 houses to manage, we take short trips here and there, mostly to Lake Tahoe, where we can be home in 4 hours if necessary.

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