Now that my tenants are gone from the house, we can talk. If I could wave some magic wand that turned back time, would I still purchase the farm, knowing what I do now about tenants? I have to say, yes. But no. Well… yes. Probably not.
One minute I’m mad as blazes at Mr. Tenant and Mrs. Tenant, then the next minute I feel sorry for them having to go through the humiliation of a foreclosure and leaving their home for decades. For being so desperately in debt that they cannot rise above it. For being so utterly and incomprehensibly lazy and irresponsible, for taking such huge risks with money that they lost it all. For being hoarders. For loving the farm so much that they can’t stop telling me about it, about its history, about how they fixed it up. For sitting by and letting it die a slow, agonizing death through neglect and rot and fallen trees and cat piss. For Mr. Tenant telling me, that of all the people who came through the place, that he knew I was the one who should buy it, and who would love it as much as he does, or did once. For lying to me every day, every minute, about every single thing.
If you are considering taking on a foreclosure property, think long and hard about whether or not you have the stomach to deal with tenants, and whether or not you should purchase an occupied or unoccupied property. Silver Spring Farm became owned by the bank back in 2009, and the owners became tenants. They gave up. I imagine that’s not uncommon. I keep my home fixed up because I own it, and I want to protect my investment. If someone came in and took my house from me, then “allowed me” to stay and pay them rent for the privilege, I honestly doubt I would do much to maintain things, either. I would never ever paint again, that’s for sure. I would clean the cat box, though, and maybe… vacuum and do the dishes. And not throw garbage in every room and I’m sure there would be no poo on the floors of all my closets.
Tenants can be easy, I’m sure, but I only hear the stories of the difficult, and sadly, I think
my tenants were one of that legion. They surely were a testament to my patience, though, and to my sanity – maybe not so much. There still is the detritus of their lives drifting about the place, like the pervasive, gritty ash from a volcano, that grates and scrapes and makes the skin raw. The barnyard is filled with derelict vehicles, lined up like rusty soldiers, awaiting rescue. A hulking wreck of a giant excavator sits next to the barn, its cab 10 feet in the air, rusting, and off its treads. It doesn’t run. How will it be taken away?
I let them back into the house yesterday, to pick up some of the things they had left behind during the move. I sat in the barn, watching them pack Mrs. Tenant’s Suburban full to the roof with what I would regard as garbage, and also an old Toyota full of all sorts of disgusting and dirty belongings, which Mr. Tenant then parked at the end of the line of soldier-wrecks, putting it in the queue for removal.
Mrs. Tenant drove away with her vanload of ick. After locking up the house, I left Mr. Tenant behind the barns welding his big car trailer back together. His success in that endeavor is my success!
The first 30-yard dumpster arrives on Friday.