Monday, October 18, 2004

Pro's and Con's of Living Through a House Sale... The Renter's View

So for the second time in just over a year I have found myself smack dab in the middle of a sale of the house that I am currently renting.

Boo I say!

The first time it happened I had the most amazing apartment with an even a more amazing landlord! A gorgeous 2 bedroom, with hardwood and ceramic through out. The upper level of a yellow brick house on the cusp of Wortley Village and downtown, here in London. It's huge windows, and tall ceilings flooded the apartment with joyous daylight all day long. It was a gorgeous house, a totally positive experience and the one that got away, so to speak! How you ask? All due to a horrible experience with the new owners and the real estate agents!! A full 5 star performance so to speak. The new owners wanted to move their daughter into our apartment and we had to evacuate the premise within 60 days.

After a very stressful moving experience we found our current residence. Not my first choice since we now have 2/3rds the space, 1/10th the character and a garage at our disposal for storage off the things that used to fill the character of our beautiful, sadly missed, spacious apartment. Pro... 100 bucks less in rent. Con... moving in a hurry when it's not on your terms

Now this smaller albeit more convenient ( situated smack dab in the middle of downtown's gorgeous old house district) has been put up for sale as well!

Joy, Bliss, and Happiness!!

So being proactive(aka jumping the gun) we give our 60 days notice in order to circumvent the presumed rocky road ahead. To my surprise the experience has been somewhat easier to live with. Even though my perception of real estate agents has only mildly improved. The biggest advantage is that now that the house is being sold it has to be inspected and brought up to various regulation standards. So in the past 8 days we have had the fix it guy, the electrician, the fire marshal and the rental agency here 4 or 5 times. Pro... everything is getting fixed! Con... Coming home from an 9 hour day and having a "guest"!

So what wisdom do I have to share with other renters? Well my top 5 things would be...
  1. When renting from a rental agency and it is in the off season from the student housing rushes in early spring and at the very early fall you can really negotiate a price for rent. We got our apartment for $300 less than the previous tenants paid!
  2. Don't Jump the gun and give notice, you may regret it when you find that your living accommodations become improved with the sale.
  3. Be proactive and set guidelines with the realestate agents for viewing times, in accordance with the landlord and tenant act in you city. There are very specific guidelines that licensed real estate agents and landlords/property managers must adhere to. Contrary to what several of the agents that I have dealt with so rudely ignored.
  4. Appreciate what you have while you have it, before you know it your gorgeous sunlight kissed surroundings may rudely be replaced with a dungenous shade stricken substitute.
  5. When a house is being sold it is usually conditional to house inspections from various compliance industries, electrical, fire, by law, etc... use this as you opportunity to get lagging repairs completed by your landlord!
So from this point on, you can choose to use this advise to your advantage or so choose to forget it as soon as you are done reading it. The choice is yours. But... all I ask is,
~If you ever think about becoming a real estate agent, or you are currently a licensed member of this lucrative profession, take a holistic approach to the sale of you rental properties... Don't forget about the tenants. Sure we may not be contributing to your next BMW payment, but we are human beings and we can make the property that you want to sell a less than positive experience! Don't forget that we live there 24/7 and that is a ridiculous amount of time to create a really disgusting environment for potential buyers to unknowingly walk into!
Would you want to purchase a house that looks like an excerpt from the movie Seven?

Nuff said.


1 comment:

Kristine said...

I miss that house as well Leanne. I loved my living room with the fireplace in the wall, and the tall ceilings, my humungous kitchen, and the washer and dryer, oh!! I weep for that apartment. Do you think we could buy that house and then live there again? lol