November 8, 2013 by phicks2012
It doesn’t take great artistic talent to engage in house painting, but it does often take the ability to climb and balance on an unstable ladder while dodging wasps, wielding brushes and rollers, and dealing with extremes in weather.
The other day we finished painting all of the trim on the fronts of two duplexes in a nice, servicable shade of chocolate brown — front doors, porch posts, shutters, and a strip of trim under the eaves. We still have to repaint the back doors and trim the same color, and after that we have to do some repairs on the porch ceilings, paint those (a different, lighter color) before somehow getting our hands on a taller ladder to repaint the eaves and the siding under the vees of the roofs (also in the lighter color). I’m not a painter by trade, nor do I play one on TV, but Jason and I have been getting a LOT accomplished over the past year, and now with the painting getting done the places are looking better all the time. Of course, they sort of HAD to.
My former property manager (who shall go nameless although I might refer to him by a number of colorful and unflattering epithets), despite what he was telling me and charging me for, was not exactly maintaining these units (yeah, right!) any more than he was renting them to good tenants (apparently anything with a pulse was fine with him), communicating with me (don’t even get me STARTED on that), or collecting and/or delivering the rent. I had to fire him last November out of pure self-preservation, and because I’d already discovered early on that I wasn’t emotionally tough enough to do the job myself I had to find someone else (who’s doing a far better job of it, thank God!).
She screens potential renters, collects rent, handles evictions and garnishments, does paperwork, and acts as a go-between, but for the past year, with Jason’s invaluable assistance, I’ve been busily repairing and renovating the units myself. It’s amazing what you can manage, even on a tight budget and with limited expertise, if you have to. The units are now all, thankfully and no thanks at ALL to my former property mis-manager, rented to people who all seem to be good tenants, and by spring we hope to have all of the exterior painting done, and to have started on some additional interior upgrades.
We’re part of an apparent movement to flip the neighborhood, and it’s giving me a real sense of accomplishment to do so. I like seeing the whole look of the places improve, and knowing I’m making a difference.
It will also, however, be nice to start seeing more income than outgo! Wish me luck!