The short story?
We no longer have renters. :##
The long story?
Our property manager emailed us saying that they didn’t go for the five-month lease…which I assumed meant they signed the six-month lease. Except Tom had texted me to say the renters had walked out. Huh? WALKED OUT? What?
I was livid—how could someone screw up something so simple as “The owners were wondering if you’d sign a five month lease? No? Okay, here, sign the one for six months.” But at the time, I didn’t know I didn’t have the whole story. Very unfortunate, because I spent a good hour or two being so upset and stressed that I couldn’t breathe and wanted to vomit.
Come to find out, it was probably for the best. When Tom finally had time to tell me the whole story, he said that our PM had asked them if they’d sign the lesser lease, explaining that we were moving back and that would work better for us. They apparently freaked out a bit because (are you ready for this?) they were planning on extending (renewing) their lease at the end of the six months! WHAT?!? Yeah, exactly.
So the slimy sneaky rat bastards had low-balled us because they likely knew we were desperate (and/or they were cheap) and planned on hopefully sneaking a full year (or more) lease by us, eventually hoping that we’d agree to the same rent because we wouldn’t want to deal with the hassle of kicking them out and finding new tenants. And their plan was suddenly foiled because we were actually coming back to the house! So they beat feet to another rental house where the PM there called our PM to ask why they didn’t take our house. So hopefully they get screwed out of that house, too—or at least can’t pull the same scam.
So we decided to just pull the house from the rental market and suck up the 3.5 months rent until we move back there. Yes, it’s a crap load of money, but what can we do? No one is going to sign a 3.5 or 4 month lease. We don’t want to sign a 6-month lease because then we’d have to find somewhere else to live for a short time (or have Tom live on base alone and us come down later, while still paying rent in Michigan). We could hope for a year lease, but then we’d still have to find somewhere to rent—which seems silly since we have a house there. Ugh. We did leave the house on the sale market, just in case…but we’re not holding out hope.
In the meantime, we have to worry about our homeowner’s insurance…because we lose our current insurance on March 15 if we don’t have tenants. The house is officially (and legally) considered VACANT and those policies are quite expensive—and not generally written by our current insurance company. Of course, right? I have been told that there is a difference between VACANT and UNOCCUPIED (which would be like a vacation home) and we are hoping that maybe we can zip down with a Uhaul and dump some furniture in the house and promise to have neighbors check on it weekly until we get there. If that won’t fly, we will likely have to contact Wells Fargo and they will give us a temporary insurance policy to protect their asset.
So, we’ll be flat broke in a few months…but at least we’ll have our own house back. Not that I’m completely thrilled about that (layout wise it’s not the house I wanted to have kids in) but we do have our great neighbors and great friends.
And maybe somewhere along the line we’ll catch a break.