Old Rental, New Idea

Traffic was incredible this afternoon. I was headed back from depositing my check and getting an iced americano from work and had to take side roads to avoid the backups on the more major Broad Ripple thoroughfares. I ended up turning on to a street we used to live on a few years ago. It was the last place Kate lived with us and the first place Cavan lived with us. Coincidentally, the house is for sale.

I called Charlie to give him the gossip and he immediately wanted to know for how much the house was selling. We took bets on what our old landlord might be asking for it. I estimated somewhere around $210k, mostly because he’s a greedy bastard who charged us entirely too much to rent the house, considering his lack of attention when we had problems. Charlie’s guess was really high, closer to $300k. I though that was ridiculous.

When I got home I settled in for an exhaustive search on Mibor but was surprised to find it within my first modifiers. I was right on the price. In fact, it was less than my guess. So much so that if the house is for sale when our lease is up here (not for another two years), we’d probably try and buy it. We’d have to save a hefty downpayment and make a lower offer than they’d want, but, hey — if it’s still for sale in two years they’ll want to get rid of it!

It’s actually a pretty cool place, mostly the deck and the backyard. It has nice kitchen cabinets that are really big, but a small kitchen. It has a dishwasher, two fireplaces (we never used the one in the basement), nice appliances, newer bathroom fixtures. There’s a completely finished basement with a good laundry room, a full bath, a living area, and a bedroom with a big closet. Upstairs there are two other bedrooms (technically), but one of them you have to walk through to get to the breezeway and garage. I remember it was a massive pain in the ass to rake the leaves, and the windows needed replaced because we lost a lot of heat and air. Our utility bills were pretty crazy there.

All told, the main thing I didn’t like about it was the landlord Mike who, coincidentally, is my step-cousin. He’s the nephew of an uncle by marriage. Let’s see if you can follow this: my dad’s sister Mary married Mike’s uncle Bill a few months before Charlie and I got married (this is her fourth marriage). Bill’s sister is our former landlord Mike’s mom. The only way we even discovered the relation was at my family’s get-together when Charlie and I were talking about the house we rented. Bill was asking questions and it came out his nephew was the owner. Of course, Mike could have cared less and acted like an asshole anyway, keeping about 80% of our deposit. Most of that was both his and Kate’s faults; if she’d just called the guy to tell him that some of the damage in the basement wasn’t her doing, he might have given back more.

It’s probably too much space for just me and Charlie, but I wouldn’t mind checking in to it in a year or so and seeing if it’s still available. I’d love to stay in this place, but there’s no point renting for the rest of my life if we intend to settle in Indy, and I’d prefer not to own half of a double with a really small yard . . . Then again, if this landlord made the offer and did some updates, I’d probably consider that, as well.

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