Big decisions

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, I can get a really small 1-BR place a few blocks from where I'll be working and within walking distance to a lot so I would be in a very convenient location and saving a few hundred dollars a month. This would be a short term lease so I could move into a better, bigger place before difficult child is released next summer. However, then I'd have to pay for another move, deposits, etc and pay for the little furniture I will have purchased by then to be moved. Apparently, it wouldn't be a good idea to stay in that neighborhood after difficult child is released even if I found a bigger place there. The houses are nice but the sd isn't a good one for a teen, particularly for a difficult child.

    Then, I found a great deal on a single family home that is about 4-5 miles from where I'll be working, has all relatively new appliances, is beautiful on the inside. They agreed to come down on rent to meet the higher end of my range. It has 2 bedrooms so there would be no need to pay for another move next year. It is in the better sd. If I sign a 2-year lease, I don't have to pay a deposit which would compensate for saving money monthly and I could use my deposit money to start getting furniture. I could sign a 1-year lease with a deposit but then I could only save a very little each month.

    I asked boss his opinion. He's concerned about what happens if the company's contract with higher ups doesn't get extended after next year. Me too but I figure I sol if that happens no matter what. Now boss is sounding more conservative than me. It really must have been his wife behind the idea of hurrying and renting their place to me. He and I have both kind of agreed that it would just be too sticky.

    A PO doing a home visit would sure prefer to see that house than me in a tiny 1-BR telling them I;'ll move before difficult child gets out. Oh- the house has a fenced in yard and I hate leash walking on a regular basis. Plus it has a wife and I hate washing dishes but I could live with it if I had to.

    Is it so bad if I sign a two year lease (which also locks them into not raising rent for that long) and if something did happen and I couldn't stay that long, I find someone to take over it?
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    As someone in the real-estate development and rental business, I'm not big on long-term residential leases (commercial is a whole different ballgame). You need to make sure the lease allows for sublet. We don't allow sublets on any of our properties because of the background checks and such.

  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Boy, with the work contract so iffy next year, I wouldn't go for the 2 year lease. I agree with your boss on that one.

    It makes sense to pick the house over the apt for the reasons you listed, but I'd opt for a one year lease.

  4. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I would speak to the people with the 2 year lease option without deposit. I'd say I don't at all intend to leave before lease expires, however with this economy I want to cover bases in case of lay offs or something unforseen as of today that could crop up. Ask if they can add a clause that you give 2 months notice in lieu of completing the lease ONLY in the event of unexpected job loss. It can't hurt to ask. Also, what happens there if you ARE in a lease and give notice before hand? Here in Canada usually what happens is you are liable if it stands empty BUT it is the landlords responsability to advertise the rental and show it in good faith to try to rent it out. I've never been unable to get out of a lease so long as the landlord has 2 months notice, they have ALWAYS been rented for a easy turnover.
    Personally I think I'd take the risk. 2 years isn't a crazy long commitment and the financial part seems good. It is terrific you could avoid a rental deposit and get some furniture and terrific that they have lowered the rent to accomodate you. It sounds like they are covering their butts with a lease, but their flexibility to get you to rent it sounds like they are good people. Maybe not even mention my first paragraph if you are willing to take a leap of faith. What if your job is secure in 2 years and you lived in a small place for x length of time, repaid all those costs to move once again for difficult child, and the job is perfectly stable and you missed a good place? What if you are rushed with a release time for difficult child and haven't found a bigger and suitable place you can afford? See, it could work both ways in terms of worrying. Worrying is a vicious cycle.
    For me, I think if I was in your shoes I'd take that leap of faith. Also, if you would have been squirreling away funds for a move from a 1 bedroom to a larger place, you could stash funds to help you if something gosh forbid did happen at work. To help you cover rent while you pound pavement for a new position.
    And truly, with foreclosure etc your credit must have some dings right now. If worse comes to worse you could use credit counselling about a broken lease if dire times came upon you.
    Ultimately its up to you. I say go with your gut, it rarely steers anyone wrong. I say weigh your personal pros and cons and use that along with your gut and just leap. I believe things are falling into place for you and I believe you will make whatever the right choice is for you. (((hugs)))
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    OK, I just got back from driving around the neighborhood where the house is- I don't worry at all about the other neighborhood. The house is next to a market/deli so I went in to see what kind of loitering might be going on on a Sat. night. I know it might be worse after 8:30 pm but I didn't want to go that late without checking more into it. Anyway, other than one man standing a while next to a pay phone and one man coming in who was dressed in a way that might appear to be a pimp, everything else looked ok. There is a church/Christian school behind the house. The neighborhood wasn't noisy and I saw parents with young kids walking around their yards or going from car to house.

    My boss is recommending now that I take my time and not rush. We're exactly opposite now they we were last night. LOL! I did speak to the rep renting out the house again and discussed just what you said MM. She said she should have told me that the first mos rent was free instead of the deposit being waived because our state law says if I need to break a lease and I call and tell her I can't stay in the house for 2 years because I'm losing the job, I would owe her one mos rent but there would be no further recourse as long as I worked with her allowing her to show other people the place.

    My boss has a unique personality I am finding, and I sure don't want to tick him off and I do think he makes some valid points to weigh. on the other hand, he has made a couple of remarks that lead me to think he is too cut & dry in some ways. For instance, when I brought up that maybe I could find a military person who was past the party stage and living in the barracks to house sit and take care of the dogs when I have to be out of town more than a couple of days, he strongly reacted that it would be just way too risky to trust someone in the military to do that. Now I am a vet and we did that sort of stuff all the time and as long as it was someone past the partying phase, there was no problem. We were grateful to have a break from the barracks and cook in a real kitchen, etc. We did it for free a lot of times just to be able to stay in a real home. I think my boss is either overly-cautious or stereotypes too much- I'm not sure which yet. He had a brief melt-down moment today when his wife suggested something about a sd and he flipped and cursed and said he wouldn't be able to stand it and he's been a teen boy. Let's just say all was quiet for a few mins after that. But he probably had a valid point- he's just very voiceful about it and I'm not sure it's that black & white yet.

    But I will sleep on it, check the paper tomorrow to see if there's anything else I want to look at. Boss then left a VM that I could get a 2BR place in the neighborhood near the base that he's encouraging me to live in and it is $50 less per mo than the house. This is where we aren't communicating well. If I live in that neighborhood, which is nice but has a bad sd, I need to be able to save enough money to move in less than a year to a different neighborhood so I can't go to the top of my budget for that area. And the move would cost more because I would have started accummulating some things again by then. Maybe it's just still too much culture shock for me to think of going back to a rental situation where it's multi-family and I have to leash walk and have no wife after 16+ years of home ownership. I don't mind doing it for 6 mos but not if every penny I saved has to be spent moving to another place in 6 mos. I figure why bother.

    It appears on the house that this rep is trying every way she can to help the owner get it rented out. I specualte that this might be an owner who lived in it herself and might be facing mortgage problems so she's trying to rent it out quickly. The realtor said the reason she has had problems trying to get someone to rent it is because it only has one bathroom. Since difficult child won't even be there for the majority of this upcoming year, I don't care about that and that will be the least of our worries once he's released. It's beautiful on the inside and the bedrooms are huge which I think works well for a teen especially if there's no family room. It has a with-D in it so that saves me money.

    Some people around here are just really nice and bending over backwards to get places rented out. If the rep convinces me that the owner would really be ok with me only staying a year and giving me a break over costs to get in, I will do it unless I see something better tomorrow Monday. I have a carload full of stuff and a storage bin full of stuff 2 hours away and I only want to move it once more in the near future. And my dogs want off the leash.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    And yes, the bankruptcy and being unemployed the previous 18+ mos plus having dogs are issues.
  7. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Okay, so let me see if I get this correctly. There is a 2 bedroom apartment for a savings of $50 per month, would work well now but require a move when difficult child returned to get proper SD. There is 1 bedroom apartment that also works well but requires a move when difficult child returns for a better SD. This house rental is at the higher end of what you wanted but in your price range. The house would need a 2 year lease but would give you free first month rent therefore freeing money for the deposit (basically the same as no deposit, just symantics, but symantics that work IN your favor because if you have to break lease the only problem is the deposit is forfeited). The house is in the right SD so you would not require another move. Let me know if I read something wrong, giving advice can be tough without also screwing up how I read things.

    If I'm reading it right, no part of me would hesitate a second to take the house. It's available quickly, saves you all that cash for a hotel, gets you settled right away. Allows you to not stress the bosses implication that you should be "keeping up appearances" regarding where you live. You could have a yard for the dogs and could start rebuilding furnishings and prepare a room over time for difficult child etc.

    You know what I would do? I would not talk about this stuff with your new boss at all. Polite answers, short and sweet and not rude at all, just lacking substance. He seems to have flip flopped and his advice conflicts. Also, I wouldn't want him to know too much about my personal life and whatnot. especially this early in a new job. I'd try to be super friendly, yet small talk type friendly, and otherwise just very professional. He seems to be honest that his offer of a rental unit could have strained things or been weird. I'd follow that tactic.

    Other than leaving boss out of it, I'd do what your gut says. I guess maybe I'm way off base, but I can't see it costing you any more to pay higher rent for say the next year in a house over an apartment if in another 12 months you have to go through all of this hunting again, pay moving truck, change utilities and pay deposits again etc. Unless there is a MAJOR savings to go to a smaller space, I really think the house sounds ideal. I also noticed that you mentioned the nice parts of the house, gave details but the apartments you didn't comment too much on. That is screaming to me "She reallllly likes the house".

    Given that they are ensuring you DO have an out if needed from the lease, I'd run (not walk) tomorrow and sign it, fork over the money, and move in asap and just start being able to settle in and set up house after such a long journey.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yep- you got all that right and that's exactly how I'm thinking. The fact that the house has a with-D in it already saves me money. I checked and it's only 3 miles from where I work. difficult child might have to walk 1/2 mile on occasion to get to a bus stop. He can handle it. I'll sleep on it- the boss said take my time and look again tomorrow. I will. But if I don't see anything better, I'm running with this as long as there's no major issue in the lease about what happens if I need to break it. First of all, I figure the greater odds are that I won't need to break it. This company has had their contract renewed for years and if they don't get it renewed next year, my first approach would be to find another job around here.

    The 1-BR...well there were two I look at. One had the BR between the LR and the kitchen. The other had the with-D between the BR and the BR closet. No wife, no yard, etc. Boss likes these historic neighborhoods where you are close to town and can walk to everything, etc. and have nice looking buildings. I do too- honestly. But he has no kids or pets. All his money can and does go to a nice home in an area like that and he desn't need to worry about what kind of sd it has or a PO breathing down his neck about whether or not this is suitable housing.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Plus, I'm keeping in mind that the lease locks them into that amount of rent. She seems to be a little desparate right now and willing to accept a lower rent so I can get in there and she can get it rented out. None of us know what the economy will be like next year. If it's good, chances are I'll be able to stay and she would prefer I leave so she can get more rent per month for it.
  10. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Have you asked for a copy of the lease so you can go over in detail what it says vrs what the rep is saying, cause once your signature is on the dotted line, trying to fight is going to be pretty much an effort in futility.

    But I am with Suz, I would only go for the one year - a lot can happen in a year

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Nope- I haven't asked yet but I think it is a good idea. I need to get some sleep. Right now I feel brain dead. On one hand I want to take my time. on the other hand, I don't want to end up wasting money or opportunity for waiting too long. I don't have the energy to keep moving all this stuff around but it's all I can salvage so I don't want to lose it. I'll mull it over. Even tomorrow- I'm battling between spending the day checking the newspaper and looking at more places or unloading the car, driving back to get another load here out of the storage bin, and seeing difficult child.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would take the house if you can get it. The wife sold I am assuming I know where you are going too. North or South? Should be okay either way. I agree on the social platitudes with boss. Also, look for furniture on freecycle. You can get some nice stuff on there for free. Dont go spending money you dont have if you dont need to do it. You would be amazed at what people will give away.
  13. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    most leases in our state are standard and follow our state's residential landlord and tenant act. I would, if you truly feel his person has not been able to rent the house, offer a year's lease with a waived security deposit. The only snag might be the dogs. I don't know any local landlords that don't charge an additional pet deposit. Not sure what this person is referring to about our state law saying you can get out of your lease if you loose your job - that's not true.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The way she worded it the second time is that 1st month's rent would be free with a 2 yr lease. If I had to break the lease I would forfeit the deposit and owe that month's rent to them. There would be no further aaction if I worked with her to find a new tenant. I don't know what the lease has in writing, that's just what she said. I've seen leases in the past that said the person would owe the amount of rent times the number of months left on the lease, which of course can be thousands of dollars. I don't know if that's the standard lease agreement or not.

    I've only seen 3 new things listed this morning and they all got eliminated pretty quickly- 2 were way out of price range and 1 was on the fourth floor, steps only. I fall and break my neck getting 2 dogs on leashes up and down that many steps.

    I'll go drive around a bit and look at the two places again and check the newspaper to see if I see anything else. I doubt much new will be there tomorrow that isn't showing up today. I'm thinking a little more conservative this morning but still weighing things. I just have to be honest with myself about which place I'll feel most comfortable in all areas- lifestyle required, finances, etc.
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    In our area, the leases that I have seen include a clause allowing you OUT of the lease if you can prove that you are being transferred as part of your job. Here, there are a lot of renters because of a military base AND a government people are being transferred in and out all the time. That may not be the case in your area, though...

    FYI--We signed a two-year lease because rental properties are at a premium here. It was our way of "locking-in" our rent cost for the next two years.

    Of course, we also know that we have two years until husband's job contract needs to be renewed.
  16. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DF, we have a large number of military bases in this state. Part of the RLTA here includes a clause, for military only, that if they are being transferred over 35 miles away they can be released from the term of their lease. Other than that, if the tenant wants out they are responsible for the balance of the rent until the term of the lease is up.

    k, I would be cautious about anything "said". You can't prove words if you are standing in front of a judge and the lease says "no sublets" no "early termination". Trust me.

    k, go online and you will find a pdf booklet that clearly states the landlord/tennant laws for the state. Make sure they know upfront about the dogs.

  17. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Ah-a! So in your area, the transfer clause applies to military only. That's very important to consider...

    I have to agree with Sharon. Get it in writing!
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Sounds like good advice all around!
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was going to say the same thing as Sharon. I have seen with my own eyes MANY of the apts up around the bases near Jamie offering "free" move in's. Basically its a free first month's rent because they know that living allowances are going to be paying the rent. Amazing how many of the apartments are all utilities included for almost the exact amount of the Actually it works out quite well for all. They do have the military clause in them too.

    Other than in military towns I havent seen the free move in's.
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well you all know how my life goes- never as planned and things change daily. LOL! I drove around this morning to get a paper to check ads- only one listed that had potential and I had to leave a VM for a company. So I drove to look at both my options and thru each of those neighborhoods again and had just about decided to do as boss suggested and just get the tiny 1 BR. But I was really wishing I had an "in between" option.

    Then my phone rang- it was the guy with the pet friendly place that I spoke to last Thurs and it sounded perfect but they turned around and said nope- someone who looked at it last week just called and told them they would take it. Anyway, they never showed up with the deposit like they committed to so he's done waiting on them. He asked if I wanted to see it still. I looked at it and it's in between. I am waiting on him to get back to me to see if he'll do an 11 mo lease.

    Here's the deal with this one- rent is in between the first two options- that's ok- utilities will run in between as well. It's 2 BR but not as big as the house (this is a duplex) but will accommodate difficult child upon hiis return to me. It has a wife, with-D, and a koi-ie fenced yard but it will do for the most part and say once a day, I can take dogs for leash walk down the street. I don't mind that- it's leashwalking EVERY time they need to "tinkle" that gets old real quick with me. It's in a bad sd so I would want to move before school starts- however- I won't be on a 6 or 9 mo lease in a 1-BR place, requiring me to move BEFORE difficult child is released. So difficult child can help me and this time, difficult child and I will be moving up, assuming things go well, instead of to worse conditions like we were facing this past summer. It will give me about a month for me to see how difficult child is doing this time- if he's going to try or not. This is all going by his projected release date which can change if he doesn't do well in there but I will have those answers and can make decisions based on that next summer.

    If I get the 1-BR, then move to a good sd/area that has 2 BR which will surely cost more, then difficult child comes home and isn't even trying again, I would resent having just signed another lease when he'll no doubt be recommitted in no time again.

    IOW, if difficult child is trying next summer and the job is going well, we can make that move together right before school starts. If he isn't and we're headed for the revolving door again, I'll just extend the lease with the landlord and stay in this one. The PO will have no issue because it's a 2 BR place. It's 1/2- 1 mile from work so hopefully boss will be happy. (This is the place that supposedly has an inexpensive pet-sitter down the street.)

    Also, with an eleven mo lease it carries me thru this job and we will know by then if the contract is going to be extended. That might make everyone happy and more comfortable.

    I only told landlord I wanted an 11 mo lease because of job contract issue and wanting time to research high school before committing to living there the following year. I told him I have a son who will be coming to live with me at the end of next summer but didn't tell him he's a difficult child. He's discussing it with his wife and supposed to call me back.

    He's allowing me to pay 1/2 the deposit at move-in and the other half next month.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010