We don't live in the house... never have, not likely ever will. The house belonged to Bill's grandfather back in the '50s. Grandpa John passed away in the 1970's and his widow lived there until her passing 9 or so years ago. She'd remarried, and became a widow again during those years.
Bill & I were back in Farmington, NM in late 2004, and Bill, being the genealogist that he is, was doing research getting his family tree up to date. His grandfather's wife had been rather reclusive in her last years and although we'd heard that she'd died, she had requested that no obituary be printed in the newspaper. We tracked her down through the funeral home that had the arrangements... and they provided us with the lawyer who handled her affairs.
Turned out she'd left everything to the Salvation Army, with the instructions her home was to be sold and the profits also go to charity. The lawyer still had her ashes in an urn in his office... said he was waiting to see if any relatives showed up before taking care of them. We asked if we could have her interred at the local cemetery and we'd provide a headstone. Well... apparently he was to take care of those things and she had provided the funds in her will for just that. This has since been taken care of.
Then... what about the house? She'd had it kept up quite well and it happened that we were in the market for a rental, so we bought the house.... it never had to go on the market... we bought it as an investment to be used as a rental.
I think we've owned it since 2005... always had a Rental Property Manager take care of it. We hadn't even seen it since 2009 so when we arrived in Farmington a couple of weeks ago and drove past we were appalled at how trashy it had become. The same couple has rented it since 2007 and either they just aren't high maintenance folks or the agency was negligent, and a lot of things have been allowed to deteriorate in that time.
Among other things, the fascia board needed scraped and painted. One section needed replaced.
We found a man who is one of those independent "handyman" guys... he's painting this week.
Bill replaced the bad fascia... Jimmy, the handyman will paint it and put it up.
The house still has those old single pane windows. We are looking into replacing them with double pane, energy efficient windows. There are some landscaping issues... dead shrubs in front... lots of weeds coming up through the concrete. Many "lawns" here are really just decorative gravel. But they still need to look okay. There are some other issues... garage door opener, one of the bathrooms needs some work.
It's kind of embarrassing to come back and find that the house you "entrusted" to the rental agency looks like the kind of house you'd never want to live next door to.
Today we "took our house back" from that agency and found another that we think we can trust to tell us when things need fixed. It's so much easier (and cheaper in the long run) to fix things when they first start to go bad rather than wait until it becomes a crisis.
This is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with attached garage and a big, fenced in backyard. I think before too long it will look nice again and even Grandpa John would be happy to live there.
And... the next time we come back to Farmington we won't cringe when we see how it looks.
That's All For Today!