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Honored Advisor

Another day shot to bits....

,,,this time, in pursuit of that alarm system at Jenna's house.  The cell-based alarm system was a bust. 

 

Left here a bit after eleven, got there at one, accepted delivery on some appliances at one of the rentals, then moved up the lane to sit and wait. 

 

Ijournaled a while about Jenna, which I try to do on every visit. The tech finally showed up a little before two, and took about an hour to try for a signal, to no avail.  He left me some signs and stickers, and said to get a landline in, which ought to take "not very long...."

 

Yeah, right!

 

Well, I then hit the wall for almost four hours on the phone, due to that damned credit freeze I put on my name.  Finally got down in my notes precisely what I needed, and decided to come home to try getting the PIN I had to have to get the thing lifted temporarily, so I could have a basic phone line for $25 a month.   This while sitting on a paid-for farm worth about $1.5 million...ironic, huh?

 

Verizon required Equifax, and I only had a PIN for Experian.  Mike had dug it out of my files when i called to get it, and given me that number about halfway through the afternoon's travails.  Keep in mind, I only had the Experian PIN because Verizon Wireless only uses Experian information. 

 

God forbid that the company would use the same credit service for both of its  phone sides.  I would almost bet that Verizon Long Distance uses Transunion....

 

Anyway, got home to find that the only way I could get the freeze lifted, even for a minute, was to have a PIN that I couldn't get online, so I chatted with a help line tech.for a while.  She gave me a Security Freeze tollfree number. 

 

That lady asked me a ton of credit- related questions, dating back close to 20 years...do YOU remember the credit limit of a card you closed in 2001?  Thank goodness I am compulsive about numbers, so I did....With her call center line getting ready to shut off automatically for the day, she gave me the magic code, with only seconds to spare. 

 

Called back to the Verizon line, and got the same tech - out of 200 on duty - and he got my service set up to start at midnight tonight.  Now, I can call and ask for a new alarm installation appointment, and alter the contract for the different service.  A good friend recommends cameras on teh premises...so, maybe those, instead of the wi-fi setup. 

 

I ask myself:How complicated can such a simple thing be???

 

Just hope the intruders are still scared from our encounter.  Mike gripes that now we can get those  "This is Rachel, from Credit Card Services" scam calls and political surveys at suppertime up there, too. 

 

The icing on the cupcake of this day was a town speeding ticket, almost in sight of home...$50!!!! 

 

Only nine hours and $50 in gasoline wasted....

 

Ever get frustrated by how hard it is to do the simplest things these days? 

 

 

 

 

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8 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Another day shot to bits....

Unbelievable! Asking questions about 20 years ago would have finished me.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Another day shot to bits....

Hopfully, when you get all these details out of the way you can enjoy the peace and comfort that Jenna's home provides.

We have talkd often about a winter home in the south but i think we would be overwhelmed with two places to take care of. We have our hands full with just one while i still work full time off the farm.

We got rid of the rental properties the first year we were married. Too much trouble for us given our other commitments. I dont know how you do it all.

We just learned yesterday that my youngest uncle is terminally ill and has less than a year. Family is just devastated. He is only 15 years older than me. Has me doing some serious thinking about how i want to spend the next phase of my life.

I love my work and will likely retire from there in 7 years. Since that takes up 50+ hours a week, my challenge is to simplify everything so i can spend my free time doing what we love best.....grandkids, travel, church, and the "gentle" parts of our farm......gardens, orchard, the "homestead"....

Quite a few things have served as a wake up call to me the past few months, not the least of which was your daughter's untimely death. Life is so short and precious.

I hope your plan for a special haven comes together...you sure deserve it after all you have been through to make it happen.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Another day shot to bits....

You know, we had agreed to work on Jenna's house, and allow her to take over a bigger and more modern one on Mike's place...before her passing.  I had dreams of being there, if not everyday, at least often; to see her reach her potential as a wife and mother.   She was just starting to move in that direction. 

 

We have spent the time to get things  at the house to a good point thus far, while waiting for my painting friends to return.  While that house is not very distant from this one, it is so different in so many ways...the topography there is extremely hilly, even for that region...This place is flat, and just plain ugly by comparison, to me. 

 

It has surprised me in a way to see Mike take as active an interest in the getaway as he has now.  He turned his back on that whole farm to a very great extent when his father died, the year after we bought this farm in 1994.  My place is, due to the mining, a wasteland.   One small part of it - 25 acres - is untouched, but it would take a lot of work to get that one homesteaded.  Mike's farm is largely intact,  so we have a headstart there. 

 

Lots of damage and loss, time needed to heal so many hurts. 

 

I cannot tell you the degree of peace I feel when I go there.  No transfer trucks in the lane, no faxes and phones ringing, no hunters on the horizon every fall and winter.  It is just secluded and mostly silent there.  I stood in the yard last week, and simply gazed at the moon, before the intruders interrupted my solitude. 

 

A for making commitment to a vacation home, I was able to find a really good book on amazon, on the way to work a second home into your life...not as an investment, or the typical treatise on finding the property and getting it financed.  This one explained how to manage the lifestyle of having a place away from your main residence. 

 

My aunt and uncle had done this for decades, keeping a home here in NC, at Lake Gaston.  I remember that my uncle left his business in Va to run in his sons' hands every Wednesday, and took the day to drive to the lake, work on the yard and just be by himself there.   Like you, it seemed to be more trouble to me then...but, I get it now.  It's just having that break from what you do everyday, only an hour and a half from home. 

 Too much further, and you make it there so seldom.  Too much closer, and you are not going to have any variety from where you live now.  You know how excited you were to have the RV back up and running?  It's that, without the campground reservation. 

 

 

Work and play aren't really all that different...just how you regard each one makes you mindful of the shift in sentiment.  I may be drenched with sweat, sunburned and exhausted after an afternoon digging and building flower beds there, but it is restorative. 

 

I think Jenna's passing was a message to us, too...to treasure each other more...to take some time to live, not just earn a living. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Another day shot to bits....

It's funny, but I can actually recall the more distant in time stuff, than what happened last year.  I remember what my first car cost, and what my last car cost, but very few in between. 

 

Evidently, I could remember enough for her to feel that I was me.  I got the PIN for the account, and a simpler one for Verizon to use, to peek under the freeze. 

 

The phoen company technician called a littel while ago, to say he was on the place, heading to the house to get a connection.  I haven't heard back, so I have a feeling they have some underground cable to repair or replace....wondering if we will get the alarms installed this week....

 

The utilities have to serve eery household in VA...and telephone service is a governed utility, so i know they have to supply the service, if I am willing to pay the bill.  Don't know the timeframe they have to meet, though.  Hope I do not have to find out....

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Senior Contributor

Re: Another day shot to bits....

I can hardly remember last month some days; there's no way I'd remember 20 yrs other than we probably weren't in as good of shape financially.  That outfit sounds like they must have a plan to make you pull your hair out. 

 

Don't know how you do it, Kay.  I'm sure this must be helping you get through your grief.  In our area rentals seem to just attract clients who wouldn't take care of the place.  Which is why sold FIL's house instead of renting it. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Another day shot to bits....

We aren't going to try and find our tenants, or deal  with them in a business sense at all, from here on out.  I have the problem of having been a teacher, which tends to force you into looking for the redeeming qualities in every student...my outlook is way too optimistic for being in the landlord business. 

 

My agent is very professional, and those will be her headaches from now on...for a very acceptable percentage of the rental income.  The only thing she asked me to do was give her adequate time to find the right tenants for homes a mile down a country lane.  (Fortunately, we aren't on a "got to have the rent or miss a loan payment" basis that some investors in rentals have to meet.)

 

Not everyone is suited for that remote a living arrangement.  I know...I lived there for almost 20 years, and it is very quiet. 

 

I am hoping for perhaps a retired couple, or a young couple that wants to get off the fast track., or nature lovers. This is the kind of place where you can keep chickens in the old smokehouse, or a horse in the backyard.  A person with an affinity for fishing or viewing wildlife or birding will be in Heaven there.  You can garden to your heart's content, if you can beat the rabbits to your bounty. 

 

I think those right people are out there, and my girl Suzy will find them for us.  One of the three sets of tenants will be our parttime neighbors, when we go to enjoy Jenna's house for our downtime.  If they can't get along with me one day a week, they will have to move along.  I am not even sure that I want them to know I am anything but another tenant...that may be the best way to work it.  Once some people think they know you personally, they feel freer to take liberties with you in your business. 

 

The only other person I know well enough to talk about renting with happens to be SIL's best friend's mom.  That boy was killed in a wreck about two months before Jenna passed.  I bumped into her in town yesterday afternoon, and we swapped some war stories from landlording. 

 

The real truth boils down to this:No good deed goes unpunished.  People who fall on hard times and have trouble making the rent will resent you and begrudge you the money they know they owe you forever.  You cannot take on the whole world to raise...which is the giant mistake I made in years just passed. 

 

If these three houses weren't in the middle of 280 acres of family farmland, they would have been on the market a long time ago.  With them and Jenna's rental house in NC, we will have a decent addition to our retirement income. 

 

There is not anyone else on the deeds to these, so we don't have to cash out or buy someone else out.  The rental market is white-hot in that part of Va now, with a huge expansion to an already massive military installation (Fort Lee, the HQ of the Quartermaster Corps of the entire US Army.) and two new amazon order fulfillment centers. 

 

Jenna's house in NC is a 20-minute drive out of Raleigh. which is still fairly well employed, as a center or commerce and government.   That tenant has a seventh grader that she wants to keep in the school district...which ought to keep her higly motivated to stay put for at least six more years.  If not, an agent there tells me she can rent it again tomorrow. 

 

We have to start thinking in these terms now.  If we sold the our houses for their full fair market value, the interest, at current rates, wouldn't keep the lights on here.  (The houses will produce income at a rate equivalent to returns on three million dollars in the bank, today.) 

 

These four rents will make our utilities at both of our homes, health insurance, food, fuel, and virtually all other basic necessities.  I guess that's worth some effort and aggravation. 

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Another day shot to bits....

Sounds like your plans are coming along where you want them although it may take some time to find the right people to rent the houses. I am glad you are finding a peaceful setting to relax and enjoy the area again. I think you will be driving there often. We all need a change of scenery now and then.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Another day shot to bits....

Just hope that it won't be TOO quiet. Mind can do some irrational things when it's allowed to think too much. Glad to hear that you are journaling. Good way to get your thoughts out and organized. I agree with you about acting like another renter. Much easier to keep your privacy than when everyone knows that you are the owner.  Enjoy your time and the differences between there and NC.

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