Rental Roller Coaster

I flew down to Charlotte on Sunday morning with a single purpose in mind: to rent out my condo, so I could breathe a sigh of relief for at least another year. The resulting four days and nights of ups and downs have been a roller coaster of WTF.

It looks like we may be nearing the end of the ride, however.

Within a few hours of landing, I showed the apartment to a young couple who both worked at the bank. They seemed to like it, but wanted to check out a few other places — until I introduced them to the upstairs neighbors and they saw the apartment layout with furniture in it.

They were sold, and excitedly walked down the street to get some lunch so they could make a decision on a full stomach. They came back two hours later, having walked around and explored their new neighborhood, and were ready to go. They just had to go to their current apartment complex the next day and break the news that they were moving.

That is, until the young woman in the couple excitedly told her teammates that she was moving, and they convinced her that she’d be raped and murdered walking home through this neighborhood. (To be fair, I don’t know that they used those exact words — I was told something like “not comfortable with you walking home in that area” — but raped-and-murdered makes for a better story.)

As anyone who lives in this neighborhood (nevermind the neighbors she met from this very building) can attest, this neighborhood is as safe as any other to walk down. Sure, if it’s late at night I’m more likely to walk on a main road to get home than to traipse through someone’s back yard, but I think that’s a prudent choice in any neighborhood. And readers who know me personally will attest, I’m neither tough nor the least bit intimidating.

Still, once someone has it in their heads that they’re not comfortable, no amount of facts or reasoning is going to change their mind… And besides, I had already been practicing my “this isn’t an apartment complex, you’re going to have to do some basic adult things for yourself, like changing air filters and light bulbs and using a plunger when necessary” speech to her, because I had already gotten the impression that she was going to be high-maintenance. So ultimately, it was probably a good thing that she bailed.

That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t in a real snit about it for three days, mind you. To have seemingly solved my problem in the first few hours on the ground was a huge relief, and to have my hopes dashed for a legitimately silly reason was frustrating. But, moving on.

The night she broke the news to me, I was drowning my sorrows ($1.99 at a time, thanks Monday nights at Brixx!) with a series of friends, and shared my tale of woe with one in particular… Who then asked me for more details about my place, confiding that she had to tell her apartment complex this week whether they’d be renewing their lease or not.

Two nights later, she’s over at my empty apartment giving it one final look before saying she’d take it.

Yes, it appears that my crazy rental saga may be coming to an end… I’ve got a pair of reliable, responsible people moving in to my home for at least a year and probably longer. They’re clearly not going to be high maintenance tenants given our early discussions about what’s important to them and what isn’t. I suspect they will probably get along with the neighbors well, but won’t be throwing frat keggers and tearing up my place while pissing off everyone around them.

In short, I think they’ll be a great fit for the home, the building, and the neighborhood. And they’ll take good care of the home I’ve lived in the longest in my adult life.

Now, did I mention that my tenant at the other condo is moving out at the end of October? Next…

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