Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Conundrums in the Rental Game

House on the market? Check.
Nearly instantaneous offer? Check.
Set a close date for 5 weeks after offer? Check.
Next place to go? ... ummm, well...

So, we obviously went under contract much faster than expected, which threw us headlong into the game of "Find a Rental." It's a little like Labyrinth, or Risk, but with more pitfalls.

It turns out, the rental game is nothing like the buying game. Like nothing.

Customer service? Bah! Who really needs to return calls and/or emails on a timely basis anyway?

Updated listings? Phshaw! It is perfectly acceptable to leave your house up on Rent.com, House.com, or ForTheLoveOfGodPleaseDon'tLetThisBeAMethHouse.com for months after it was rented.

Availability for showings? I literally had someone tell me that they only show from 2:30-3:30. Not even kidding. Property Managers are obviously less concerned about a potential tenants ability to pay rent by going to their job, and much more concerned about their own convenience.

And the photos? Seriously, they aren't even worth looking at online because they are either inaccurate, or so poorly composed that you can't quite figure out what the room you're looking at is because 3/4 of the photo was the entrance door!

Even weirder? Some of the property managers have just given me the garage code and let me go over whenever to see the home. Mental note: if I ever own a rental property, never use a property manager. That worked for me, but what if I was a weirdo or something (no comments from the peanut gallery!)?

Not to mention the lightning quick pace that rentals go at. I'm pretty sure there are people filling out applications in their sleep, not ever having seen the house. I've been cancelled on 4 times (so far) for rentals that I have scheduled to see, and have called an additional 5 times on places that were already under contract within what I am pretty sure was minutes after the house was listed. That doesn't even include the numbers of property managers that haven't bothered to return my call.

I walked through one house cooing at it. It was a baby house! Just a tiny baby house!
Pretty sure I needed a tetanus shot after looking at one.
I was told by at least two owners that they had offers from people wanting to turn the house into a place to grow marijuana (Mental Note: Don't become a landlord).
In one home, a hyperactive, footie-pajama-clad 5-year-old showed me all around the house that they were "borrowing" and wanted me to inspect the inside of all of her dresser drawers.

Holy. cow. Finding something by the end of the week that we can move into by the end of the month feels a like competing in an Ironman while taking the MCAT...

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