Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Furniture for the New House

Sunday June 6, 1992

Joseph and Jr. are up already when we come downstairs at 7:30. They are watching the movies we rented for them. Frank goes to Marvel for some last minute touchup. The ad "for rent" is running in today's paper.

After lunch poor Frank goes to Newbury Park. His tenant there says there's a leak in the plumbing coming through into the downstairs. Just when we thought he was about through taking care of problems in the rentals!

The boys and I are waiting for the phone call that the new furniture is ready to deliver to Gary's house. The call finally comes at 2:15. We go to let them in. We try to arrange it to look real nice when Gary and Maria arrive home from their honeymoon.

We go square dancing 8-11. I feel real good.

Mom owned 3 rental houses, including the one she lived in prior to her marriage to Frank. Frank owned one rental house, the one he lived in before he and Mom bought a house together to live in. That makes a total of 4 rental houses. Even though Frank had retired the previous year, these houses could become a full-time job. The houses that Ric and I own (9 rentals) plus the 6 that we manage for Ric's mother have become a huge burden as well. When everything is going smoothly, the houses are all rented and prices are appreciating, real estate can be a very good investment. But for the first time in my lifetime, the value of real estate has come crashing down the past six years. We have lost most of our equity in the rental houses, and there are a few that are "under water", meaning our loan amount is larger than the value of the house. The houses that we bought 10-20 years ago are now requiring alot more maintenance than when they were new, and because of the recession, we have had to evict a few tenants in the past year, and other tenants are way behind in their rent. All of this creates a very stressful life during what was supposed to be our golden leisure retirement years. I do as much as I can, but Ric is the one stuck with doing the hard manual labor like cleaning sewer lines, repairing sheetrock, replacing toilets and water heaters. The work never seems to end. I can so relate when Mom says "poor Frank". With 20/20 hindsight, how I wish we had sold our houses 5 years ago when I retired!

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