This past year without the college rental has been AWESOME. I can barely describe how nice it's been to have that albatross off our shoulders. To no longer worry about the condition of the place, getting the rent in on time, getting renters for a year, about the appliances and if they were about to die...the list goes on and on.
Our old renters were scheduled to move out this summer, which meant months of showings and trying to get new tenants signed for the coming year. And it would also mean that mid-June to mid-July we'd be pulling duty at the rental getting it into top shape for the coming year. Even with good renters there is work to do after move out.
Having these four weeks back means we get to work on our own renovations, and enjoy the summer too because we're not up against a hard and fast deadline of Mid-July for move it. So instead of burning ourselves out on an intense burst of four weeks worth of annoying work, we can keep our pace going on at the Wee house. I always felt like when the work was done and the renters moved in that it was like waking up completely and realizing that you've slept a month away with a horrible dream.
Since I wasn't going to burn vacation time working on the place, we were mainly weekend and after work warriors. Sure we could have hired a contractor to get the work done for us, but that cost would have put our measly profit margin deep into the red for the year.
The first six months after selling, it was a lot like normal when we didn't get calls from 57. As the new year approached we'd mention how nice it was to not have to worrying about a random call saying the heat wasn't working, or have getting a water bill that show the equivalent of an Olympic sized swimming pool getting filled. January and February is also when we start the search for new tenants, usually culminating in a few stress filled months until the contract was signed. There was none of that stress this year. We lalalala'd our way through the spring, happy as can be because it was no longer our responsibility and we couldn't give two shits about who does or doesn't sign the rental contract.
When the middle of June hit this year, and we didn't have to load up for a long weekend of work over there in 57, but instead got to work on the Wee house, well that was just as fabulous. Certainly we didn't need to do the work every year, and by this point we'd done so many renovations on the place that it shouldn't need major work this year, but still the knowledge that it wouldn't be us scrubbing up random DNA off every surface was fanfrickingtastic.
Selling the place when we did was completely worth it for us and is a decision that we haven't regretted for a second this past year. After all the whine I've done about the place, you still always wonder if you're letting go of your investment at the right time. Sort of like selling stocks. Sure I wish we sold in 2007. So do a lot of people. You live and learn, and I'm just glad that we crunched the numbers and realized it was time to let the place at a below rock bottom price. I can't even say it hurt to go below rock bottom, because it would have hurt more to hold on to the place for another year.
Would we go back into the rental game and become landlords again? Maybe. I've learned to never say never with all this house business. Owning and managing a full time rental is never as easy as people make it out to be, but I do realize that people can, and do, make a nice income from owning a rental. If we ever do become landlords again at least I'll go into it with a real view of what it can really be like sometimes.
(Yes, we still have the beach condo which we rent out during the summer. But that is so different than dealing with a full time renter that I don't count it as the same thing)