Archive for July, 2009

Gabriola Island

And have I said that Gabriola Island, where we spent a relaxing week “away” with our son Scott, by kindness of Mary Charlotte, is a beautiful place?

Shore

Shore

more shore

more shore

also sky

also sky

and sun

and sun

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Tenants move in

So the new renters move in on our left. We do the walk through, count the nail holes, sign the lease agreement.

We find out that we know his cousin, and have worked with a close friend. Our neighbour to the right notices the move and  comes over to offer his dolly and his muscle power. My husband also pitches in. Their friends arrive with  young people to help. Turns out that their friends’ parents and my husbands’ parents were good friends. The day ends with the move-in pizza party being held at our place. I consult with my sheet of 17 Most Common Mistakes of Landlords.

1. “Not doing a thorough check on a tenant’s background and history.”  Huum- does consulting my mother-in-law and  Googling their internet footprint count?

2. “Renting to a relative, friend, or relative of a friend.”  Honestly, we didn’t know we had connections.

3. “Not getting everything in writing and signed by the tenant.”  Finally, a pass.

17. “Getting too friendly with residents. This is your business. Treat it that way.”  Humm again, we do seem to be heading in the wrong direction. But it was good fun and fellowship.

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Landlords and Tenants

We’re embarked on a new high learning curve.  We  acquired a mortgage on the other half of my folks’ duplex, on the bank’s understanding that it would be rented. It seemed a prudent use for my inheritance.

This week we advertised for tenants and, as an aside, discovered that Kijiji online is eating the Red Deer Advocate’s lunch.

We also entered into a new arena of trust relationships. You want to rent to someone who will neither trash your property, default on the rent, nor grate on your nerves.  How does one establish trust in a  total stranger?

Number one piece of advice given to us was that in the end it comes down to a “gut feeling.”  Okay I thought, so if I also tap into the Holy Spirit and look for his peace or inner check that should improve the odds.

“Rent with your head not with your heart.”  Sounds good, but it wouldn’t appear to be good business sense to rent to the foreigner (You’ll have 15 people living in the place before you know it.), or the poor (Check that they have sufficient income to pay regularly.) or any number of the least, the lost, and the nearly dead,  our pastor regularly advocates for.

One is invited to judge others, a dangerous occupation for a human.

I found out what triggered my red flags quickly enough. People who didn’t spontaneously take off their shoes before viewing, those who looked down critical noses at the property, those who pushed for more and more concession in areas initially non-negotiable, stories that changed. “She has a job at XYZ.” “Well, actually I’m working on my ticket and I will be applying for a job there.”  We’re a close knit family, I have a budget of $1300, and I want a longterm lease.” ” Well,  actually I’ve just left a bad relationship, social services is helping out, and do you mind if I install a security system?”

I realized that “My girlfriend and I” would not fly with me at all. I cannot be party to supporting a live-in arrangement that violates my moral standards.

Well, we’ve rented.  We consulted the Holy Spirit, and listened for inner-checks.  We made concessions to our ideal but not to our moral convictions.  If we didn’t rent to a stranger, widow, or the desperately poor,  I think we at least followed the injunction to “do good to those who are of the household of faith.”

I’m sure this is just the beginning of a saga.  Hopefully it will unfold to be a faith walk and a “God thing.”

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When they comes . . .

It’s like one of those picture puzzles. How many things can you find wrong with this email, including two words in the body that had my spam filter dancing in anxiety?
(some specifics reduced to dots for privacy purposes)

—– Original Message —–
From: Sr. Regina . . . . . . .
To: reg. . . . .@. . . . .
Sent: Saturday, July 25, 2009 8:53 AM
Subject: Urgent please.

Did you get my previous message,I sent you an email some hours ago, I had travelled to Nigeria for business purposes, Unfortunately for me all my money was stolen at the hotel where I lodged, I am so confused right now, I dont know what to do or where to go,I didn’t bring my phone here, I have access to only emails,Please can you send me $1500 today through Western union so I can return home, As soon as I get home I would refund it immediately.Here is the information you need to send the money to me.

Receivers Name: Regina . . . . . .

location/Address: 33 cole Street
Lagos , Nigeria ,23401

Use this as the text question and answer:

Text question:who is the receiver?
Text answer: Regina

As soon as you send the money please scan and send me a copy of the western union receipt or you just send me the mtcn number and the senders full information used when sending the money. I would be waiting.

thank you.
Regina

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Free Lunch

Being tired at the end of the day, sitting in the rocking chair, waiting for a last load out of the dryer, I decided to give a telemarketer my time.
He was calling for an agency that promotes child safety, and he wanted me to support this worthy cause by buying a book of coupons generously subscribed to by local Red Deer merchants.
The coupons would entitle me to free oil changes, tanning sessions, specialty coffees, and much much more.
Be generous and socially concerned and save myself tons of money at the same time.
Huum. ” Not only “Give to God what costs me nothing”, but in fact be significantly money ahead.
The marketer’s passion and knowledge of said charity was far less impressive than his conviction that I would get many valuable things “free.”
No coupons for Timmy’s. He didn’t know the chain.
Turns out his Vancouver base was Vancouver, Washington.
The bottom line was that coupon books cost $55.95.
After he hung up (they will eventually) a little internet surfing revealed that only 50 cents from each booklet would be funneled back to the in-house charity of these enterprising marketers.
It might be old-fashioned, but a something-for-nothing line should still raise red flags.

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Stumbling Steps

hannah 041

So- I can insert a picture. Cute kid, or what?

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