Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The American Dream, maybe not!

I have always thought that we should own our home. When renting I knew I was paying for someone else’s house or trailer, we wanted to be paying on OUR home.

As an investment, Sherry and I bought a very pretty older trailer with a car port and a large storage area with a full basement for the laundry, a few years ago. It was eventually rented to ‘Gary ‘at the trailer’.  I say that because when something went wrong, leaks, plumbing, or power problems, he called.  His conversation ALWAYS without fail started, “Hello Mr. Darnell, this is Gary at the trailer.”

Gary A-T-T, never missed a rent payment, $375 a month. One day I was at the trailer and I asked Gary if he would like to own it. He said he sure would, but the banks would not loan him a dime.

I told him Sherry and I would finance it and his payments would be $275. Of course he jumped at it.  Our lawyer is a sweet lady named Vickie W. She read Gary the riot act (I felt sorry for him). She told him in no uncertain terms, if he did not make the payments I would repossess the trailer.

Gary went about his business and within 3 months he missed a house payment. He was never late for over a year at $375, now for some reason he could not muster the $275.

When a faucet started dripping, it continued. If an outlet ceased to work, he got an extension cord. When the trailer leaked he got a bucket. He could not and would not keep the house up.

Eventually we did repossess the trailer, still having a good relationship with Gary A.T.T. He moved to Florida and in a few months he passed away. I really did like him. We had a long talk after the repossession, he said he didn’t know owning could be so much of a hassle. Repairs and taxes need to be handled by someone else.

So I learned that NOT EVERYONE CAN OWN. It is even a shock to folks who finally pay off the house. Not realizing they have been paying $100-300 in escrow for their taxes while it was financed. Then at the end of the year they get a tax bill for $1200-$2000 and say, “How do I come up with that money?”  they had not planned and saved for their taxes. IT HURTS…

Owning does have it’s responsibilities. In the past week I have had to fix water leaks, roof leaks, electrical problems and appliance problems. Funny how they can all come at once. There is also an A/C problem yet to be fixed by a maintenance man, I cannot do A/C.

I enjoy owning, but it is a fact, everyone is not cut out to own.

Nite Shipslog


Some folk are cutout to handle rent, car payments and leases, I cannot.



When times were different!


Paula said...

I hear you talking on this subject. I agree some people just can not own a home. I really think some people don't understand what taxes are for or why they should have to pay them.

Jackie said...

Again...(and I am sorry to repeat myself, but it bears repeating: you are a wise man, and a gentleman. Wish there were more like you in this world.)
You and Sherry are role models, in my eyes. May God continue to bless you.
(I hope that all repairs are finished and all is fixed up real soon! I know that they will be. It's just the way it works.)
Hugs to you both,

Louis la Vache said...

What a great looking diner and collection of '50s cars!


I agree with you. Right now we need something much, much smaller in our old age. But my hubby is stubborn and won't agree while this place falls into disrepair.

betty said...

It truly is different owning as opposed to renting. Interesting too that Gary did find out that out himself and couldn't muster it to step up and be the owner rather than have the trailer get repossessed. I think if I was on my own, I'd rent over buying because it would be easy just to call the landlord when there was a problem with this or that. Kind of like I think I would lease a car for that very reason rather than have to figure out what could be wrong with the car/house and then get the right repair done.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Having always been a home owner, I cannot imagine renting, but it would be nice to have someone else foot the bills for repairs. There is always something. Big or small. You do seem to have more than your share right now. Thankfully all is running smoothly here right now.

shirl72 said...

We have always owned our homes.
At my present age happy where I live and have a Brother and Sherry to be there if I call. Couldn't be any luckier.

Chatty Crone said...

Jack there is a time to own and a time to rent. We would love to go into a smaller place - this is so much to upkeep and my husband is tired. But with the daughter and grandson here where would we go?

You really are a great guy - giving them a sweet deal. sandie