We moved 34 whopping feet to our newest rental home, all because of inaccurate information from our landlord.
Credit: Big Stock PhotoMaybe you have moved across the neighborhood, or even just down the same street, but have you moved less than 50 feet away to a new home? Well, we have. And it was the weirdest move ever. We still get funny looks when we find a new place where we have to update our address. Learn from our bad first choice and do your best to mimic our good second choice.
Why We Had to Move
We asked all the right questions about the home initially. During the application process, I grilled the property manager about the foreclosure status and if the note was free and clear of any liens. I also confirmed that the house that had been in foreclosure the year earlier was now out of it and not looking to go back into the same status anytime soon. What I did not ask was if the owner had filed bankruptcy. The owner of the house had indeed declared herself bankrupt and that put all foreclosures in process on hold, which is why her property showed she was no longer in danger of foreclosure when we investigated the title. Even though we asked almost every question possible, we still needed to move if we wanted a stable home that we would not be required to move from.
Other reasons we knew we needed to move was the lack of responsiveness of our landlords and other lies by omission. We asked explicitly upon applying to rent the home about the status of the community center dues. Our children wanted to use the pool facilities in our very hot summer months and the community center’s pool was a huge draw for us to the home. Of course, the property manager said the dues were up to date, but could not look us in the eye when he said so. We did not ask for any sort of confirmation of this, blinded by the great rental rate and the house with the perfect layout for our family of four. Do not let the perfect home blind you from the facts like we did.
At one point, the property management changed hands. By this time we were very suspicious of all the circumstances surrounding the home and its status so we asked for a new lease that explicitly stated we would have access to the community center. The new lease would apply to the new property manager instead of the old one. We also requested copies of the credentials of the new property manager. In our state, you have to be licensed to be a property manager. The new contact was not licensed and was trying to negotiate between the owner and the banks that had foreclosed. We waited months for our new lease and were eventually told the delay was due to a family emergency. By the time they were ready to give us the new lease, we had found a better rental.
How We Found Our New Home
Halloween night my husband and children were out trick or treating in our neighborhood. I just so happened to see our neighbor who lived directly across our little court as she was dealing with some boxes in the garage. We tend to be homebodies, meaning we don’t spend a lot of time outside socializing, so we knew the neighbor but only in passing. Turns out she was moving to another home one town away and needed a tenant. Her home she was renting out was the same layout as our current rental, just mirrored. We loved the layout, but the yard was tiny and not at all attractive, and the home had no upgrades to be seen. Her home was beautiful inside with warmer colors and upgrades like granite kitchen counter tops and beautiful landscaping in the slightly larger backyard. It was a bit more per month, but moving into her rental would allow us to use the community center she paid dues on, while the other rental we wanted out of wasn’t allowed the same benefits because our landlord there hadn’t paid the community center dues in over a year. Within a couple of days, we had signed a new lease and started prepping for the weirdest move ever.
We had a nice open dialog with our new property owner about that status of the home and she was helpful and open about why she was moving. All we missed from our first rental transaction was there with this second one because our new landlord was kind, helpful and forthcoming. We felt it through her demeanor and her inflection. The biggest lesson we learned here was to go with our guts because our guts told us she was a good person who would treat us well as tenants as long as we were respectful of her property. We did not get that gut feeling with the first rental experience and paid the price for it.
Moving all of 34 Feet Away
My husband is funny and loves to know random details, so he measured the courtyard between our homes and it was 34 feet and 7.25 inches. We moved less than 40 feet away. Our address changed by two numbers. We figured at least we would save money renting a moving truck and the peripherals, but we did not really think about how tedious the move would be. See, we are the type of people who will put items in boxes and not look in them for months after moving. If we did not box everything to move it, instead just filling an open box, bringing it to the new house and unloading it, it took longer. Yes, you ended up with a better living scenario right off the bat, but you have to plan for a longer moving process overall.
The biggest benefit to this weird move was the process of setting up the kitchen. While not using multiple boxes you can stack and leave for months on end after you move is tough in bedrooms, in the kitchen it was perfection. I moved one cupboard at a time, and within two hours I had one kitchen empty and the other completely filled. Yes, I needed help for the top shelves but it was still done quickly and simply. We had a young man who was the son-in-law of a friend come help my husband with the heavy lifting for a few hours and had the home mostly moved into in the space of one day, though some of the larger items still needed some minimal re-assembly.