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Posts tagged with: rental home

My Landlord wants to Sell Our House


I got a call this week from our landlord of two years. He has been a fantastic landlord. The minute I have reported anything amiss, he arranges for it to be fixed. Our A/C has gone out 3 times. He’s replaced the hot water heater. He’s repaired a hole in the roof. And he’s replaced the exterior wall of the laundry room that was rotting.

He has let us paint inside and out. Let me landscape as I desired. Has said nothing about the extra car in the driveway since History Buff moved in. I couldn’t ask for a better landlord.

Are You Ready to Buy?

But he is older. And he is ready to get out of the properly management business. And he has been since we moved in here.

This week his question was, “are you ready to buy your house?”

Umm, awkward silence. As I go into panic mode that we will once again face housing issues. And we are so happy here in our small home, with our small yard.

But thank goodness, he is not looking for us to move out. But he does want to sell this home (he’s been selling off most of his homes to his renters it seems.)

Needless to say, I haven’t even thought of buying a home. I am very happy having someone else pay for all the repairs. But I am going to have to put some thought into this.

And yes, I can hear the collective gasp from the BAD community as I mention this, even through the internet.

The Emotional Side of Things

Now the thought of buying, this particular house, is rolling around in my head. Coupled with the thought of having to move again if he decides to sell and I don’t buy.

Princess, Gymnast and I have moved almost 10 times since my marriage failed 12 years ago. I do not want to move again…until I move into the home I will die in. I’m very much over moving.

Rental homes are very hard to come by here. And they are all OLD. Even this one was built in the 50s and hasn’t been updated since. So finding another house here may be really hard. And I have promised Princess we will not move (out of this area) until she graduated high school…two years from this coming May.

The Numbers Side of Things

I asked the landlord what he was looking to get for this house…$89,000. (I know he purchased it for $25,000 12ish years ago from looking at the property records.) And that seems really high to me based on location and condition of the house.

Again, built in the 50s, no updates. It’s 3 good sized bedrooms (well, 2 good sized bedrooms,) large living room (we’ve got it split in two to be a fourth bedroom and living room,) 1 1/2 baths (all original,) and a large eat in kitchen (also all original.) It’s still got a fuse box. There’s no ventilation in the full bath so the ceiling is always moldy. (We have to wipe it down with bleach every couple of weeks.) The driveway is cracking. And so on…you get the point.

So I think there’s some negotiating room…IF I thought about buying.

The bottom line is that this could be my forever home. It’s small enough for me to manage on my own when the kids leave. It’s one story which is my MUST HAVE in a forever home. And the other changes I would want made…I could do over time – add a dishwasher, add an ice maker, add a disposal and so on.

I’m not considering buying this house right now. But later on in the year…maybe. And I would love to hear the BAD communities thoughts on this.

Where should I be in my debt journey to even consider this? What other things should I take into account? What other questions would you ask?

Three years, Six moves – we are home.


My marriage failed six years ago this summer.  You can read that story on my personal blog if you are curious, but it does not belong here.  At the time, my business was just two years old and I did not make enough to support us. We ended up moving in with my parents.

Now if you have ever moved in with your parents after being independent for over 10 years, you can imagine how hard that was.  Of course, I was grateful to them, but it was hard.  Over the next few months I worked hard at my business and was able to begin pulling in a full time work load and salary.  I found a rental house.

The kids and I moved out in November that year. We had been with my parents for five months. I loved my new house. It was a rental, but I could choose to buy it if I liked down the road, I had five acres, in the middle of nowhere, the kids could play outside, it was perfect. In the meantime, my husband did a spousal buy out of our marital home, which he kept by choice, and I was able to buy some new furniture to get started in my new life. One month later, it fell apart.

The owners who had moved states away, lost the job they had moved for and asked if they could have their house back. Of course, I gave it back. But I didn’t have anywhere to go.  I went back to my husband. I just felt that maybe it was God’s way of telling me that I needed to give my marriage another chance.

Six months later it was his dad who told him to get his hands off me. I was leaving and this time, really for good. I moved into yet another rental house and signed an 18 month lease, hoping that would give us time to settle a divorce. At 12 months into the lease, while the kids and I were away at a family reunion, my landlords came in, packed up some of my belongings, painted the walls and did some repairs and called to tell me that I would need to live in a staged home while they attempted to sell it. (Oh, and did I mention that right before I left town, I mentioned to them that I may want to extend my lease.)

Now living in a staged home would not be a problem if I was single with no kids. But as an entrepreneur who worked from home, homeschooled her two kids (then 4 and 5,) and had just gotten certified as  foster family (with their permission to bring other kids into the home,) this was overwhelming.  I told them that this would not work for me and I moved out.

The problem was, I had nowhere to go.  All this back and forth, two failed rentals and no savings to put toward a purchase (and my divorce was still not final.)  I sold or donated most everything big, put everything in a POD and the three of us became homeless.

My dad stepped in then. He saw me trying. I was completely independent and self sufficient. He offered to help me get into a home, purchase a home, give us some stability. The kids and I traveled for about 3 months as nomads, which was actually a lot of fun as we found the perfect home. That was 3 1/2 years ago now. We are home.

But now I need to get my home in my name.  I’ve been paying the rent, the taxes, the insurance, but my dad put a sizable amount of money down so I didn’t have to pay PMI, but my name is not on the title or the financing. As far as I have been able to tell, this will be just like any other purchase. If anyone knows of any other way, I would LOVE to hear about it.

Needless to say, without a significant down payment, which I don’ t have, and stellar credit, which I don’t have, but am working on, my payment is going to go up.  I HAVE to get this debt journey in firm hand, because the clock is ticking on this goal for both myself and my dad.  As he says, he didn’t want to be my landlord, just my dad, and he’s perfectly right.

So this is yet another motivator and a place where ANY guidance or suggestions you might have would be so greatly appreciated.

Two things I want to be clear on:
First, purchasing my house will only come to fruition when I’ve got a firm handle on my debt load, hopefully within months of paying it off.
Second, moving so often is very expensive, but I was blessed that in both cases where my rental fell through the landlords were gracious enough to give me my full deposit in a very quick time frame and the first one even moved me out themselves.