Disheartened

unanswered-prayers-and-understandingI’m struggling financially. Several years ago I decided to turn my IRA into a real estate IRA. I was at a different place in my life and didn’t pray and wait to hear from God. Mistake number 1. I had bought a commercial piece of property in Tennessee. The theory behind all this was good. The problem is that you can’t always trust other people. I however, trust and apparently I shouldn’t do this all the time. Mistake number 2.

I found someone to rent the property and they opened a consignment type of store and made the place look nice by the way they set things up. Month number one, they complained about some kind of smell in the store and so we checked it out and reduced the rent. Month number something needed fixing around the outside of the property, so once again the rent was reduced. Month number 3 I was informed there was a leak in the roof, so I had that fixed and once again reduced the rent for the month. Month number 4 they said that it was flooded and the roof was raining down on the inside. At this point I had a friend who lived by go and check it out. It was not nearly as they had said. In fact, there really hadn’t been any issues. Apparently this particular person was known for doing this. Stating there are issues when there aren’t any and basically renting for free.

Guess what? When they realized I was on to this scheme, they packed up and left. Unbelievable. So now I have the expense of the property without any renter. I finally gave up and decided I needed to sell the place and buy something closer to home so that I could look in on it from time to time. I sold at a loss, because I needed out. I decided I would take a different approach and find something that I would like for retirement, but could rent out in the meantime. So, I looked for a cheap beachfront condo in Daytona. I actually found one… the buildings were okay, the unit itself needed work, but the property itself is beautiful when you get to the ocean side. Two pools, garden area with grills, brick paver patio area etc…

After speaking with the management company (who would rent the unit for me) I decided to go ahead and make the purchase. Did I mention that the management people were like a 1-stop shopping? The wife would do the front desk and reservations and the husband would take care of maintenance. In fact, the plan was for him to gut my unit and finish it for me and he said it would take 2-months. I figured great! It’s just a 1 bedroom unit with a living room, eat-in kitchen and 2 baths. I bought tile for the place, new cabinets and bathrooms, queen beds and bedroom set, plus the living room furniture with a pull-out couch. It could sleep six with no problems. Everything was going good, or so I thought. The monthly maintenance/HOA fee is $602, but it includes, electric, water and cable… everything you need.

Well, the progress didn’t go as planned. I was paying for the renovations in addition to the monthly HOA fees and the money I had in the IRA was quickly dwindling with no hope of renting the unit until it was fixed up. At this point I told them that I needed to rent the place because I couldn’t afford the fees without any income. So we rented it a little cheaper than we would if it were completely done, but something is better than nothing at this point.

Now we’re in probably at least six months, the unit isn’t 100% completed, but it’s at a point where I need to rent it anyway, because it’s costing way too much money. Two more months go by and I haven’t heard anything from the management company. So I call them. They inform me they were sending me a statement with a check. When I receive the statement it only shows that the unit was rented for a combination of 2 weeks for those 2 months. I call them to check on things and I get a really nice explanation and they ask me about renting it out for 3 months and I was like, yes, great! Then I didn’t hear from them and I kept calling and leaving messages.

At this point didn’t know what was going on and I didn’t have time to get over there and check everything out. I ended up calling the realtor who sold me the unit and told her I wanted to list it for sale and asked her if she would be kind enough to check things out. Within a couple of days I get a phone call from her and she’s at my unit. The 3-month lease actually did go through, however there were lots of things I wasn’t informed of. They actually had my unit rented out 80% of the time, but told me it wasn’t rented and pocketed the money. Needless to say, the management company ditched town and is who knows where. The kind older couple was grateful that I let them stay in their lease and thank God they didn’t pay everything up front, so I was able to manage a few more months.

That was probably 1.5 to 2 years ago and I’ve been trying to sell the unit ever since. It’s been a nightmare. Just a month two months ago we decided to take it off of the market for a month just so that it would look like a fresh listing. My realtor has no idea why it isn’t selling, because it looks great and it’s cheaper than other units which have sold. I think I’m being taught a VERY important lesson. And, of course there’s more. Just a month ago a realtor was going to show the unit but couldn’t get in. Somehow the lock was changed, but no one anywhere knows anything about it. So I had to pay a locksmith to change to lock so we could get it. Wait, it gets better. He opened the door and called me. He said it’s a disaster, mold everywhere. I am not an emotional person, but at this point I wanted to cry, however I didn’t, I was in shock.

Now we needed to do damage control and clean the place up AGAIN, in order to sell it. So I asked the new management guy and he couldn’t get his cleaners to take care of it, in fact, they would not even enter the unit. I ended up using a person recommended by my realtor because there wasn’t anything else I could do and I needed to do something. It was a few thousand dollars, which I had to borrow from my Dad because, basically, I’m broke now. To top it all off… here’s the kicker… everything had to be thrown away, otherwise the mold would grow back. Are you kidding me?! Here I am, with a clean and unfurnished unit now, trying desperately to sell it. I must say it looks great, but those HOA fees keep coming and everything is a struggle now.

I have been praying for a long time about this condo. A long time.

Three weeks after the mold disaster I received a contract on the unit. It wasn’t what I hoped for, but it was a contract and I accepted it because I just can’t afford the HOA any more.

On Wednesday of this week I heard the news. They cancelled the contract and once again I have to go through the whole process. I don’t know the reason or the why, but I trust God because I can’t see the overall big picture that He already knows.

Needless to say, I’m disheartened. However, I will not lose faith or hope and I will keep praying.

#faith  #hope  #God  #prayer

2 responses to “Disheartened

  1. Prayer and hope is all good, but you also need to be learning from your mistakes. It sounds like you keep putting money into things with an assumption you won’t have to supervise the operation of a business you back financially. In my experience, being an absentee landlord is quite risky. It’s not so much that trusting people is a bad impulse. But people are not impervious to temptation. If you make it easy to exploit your trust and steal from you, most will, including some who will regret doing it. You have to treat your investments like they are your children, and be actively involved in their growth and guidance.

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