Our house has brand new copper pipes, new kitchen cabinets, a new marble kitchen counter, a new dishwasher, a new washing machine, new, modern electrical bells and whistles... and it's still not complete, meaning we get to live in a marginally functional construction site for the next several days.
*sigh* Let's hope it all works out for the best, and ends soon.
All this makes me think that there's no such thing as a "good" landlord, by definition.
Given that the average home mortgage in the Silicon Valley area is over $4000 a month, renting makes sense for many people. And really, in some ways it's hard to complain, as our current landlord has been pretty much hassle-free for years, in large part because the landlord made it very clear that he wanted to be a "hands off" landlord in the first place. They got money, we got privacy, we took care of the little things, and everything was copacetic.
As far as temperment, our landlord is a former Deadhead groupie... and yet, somehow, something has changed it seems. His formerly relaxed attitude has become an uncomfortable blend of "hands-on" low-budget DIY mixed with micromanagerial tendencies, and an almost aspergers-like level of compulsive workaholism. For some unknown reason, we appear to have become his new hobby.
The combined effect is very disturbing. We wish it would stop. We do hope that it actually will stop one day. It started a few months ago with a few outdoor projects, some gardening, etc. and it hasn't stopped yet. IT. JUST. HASN'T. STOPPED!
The other thing about all this that is very disturbing is the motivation involved behind all this work. You see, we're *USED* to getting screwed over by landlords. Getting screwed over by landlords isn't something to take too personally. It's just business. It's what they do... especially around here, where rental vacancy rates are lower than just about every other place in the country, and where real estate speculators have had one big, copiously lubricated orgy for the past several decades. So, when the landlord starts actually fixing up your place, what are the logical conclusions you can draw? Maybe they're fixing up to sell... or maybe they're going to fix a few things then jack up your rent a couple hundred bucks a month.
Well, selling isn't very likely in this marketplace. Maybe we will get a higher rent soon. Not sure. But I think the problem runs deeper than that.
Our landlord clearly has a lot more time on his hands. Maybe he got laid off. In any event, he seems incapable of relaxing and spending some quality time with his family, presumably because he's keenly aware that he's ALREADY starting to drive them crazy. And so, he's found himself a new hobby. Us.
I've seen this thing before. When my dad -- a typical type A personality -- got laid off once, he decided to start spending a lot of his discretionary time baking bread. And you know... it was pretty good bread too, for the first several loaves. And then it became too much bread. I didn't eat that much bread. Couldn't use that much bread. He started giving it to neighbors, until they couldn't use any more bread, and started giving him oddly appologetic looks, thinking -- quite rightly -- that he was starting to behave kinda scary. Too much damn bread.
Maybe the landlord is having a midlife crisis. I seemed to get the message from his wife that he's being a bit obsessed and should really leave us poor tennants alone. But I also sense that maybe she doesn't want to deal with trying to entertain him either, and is unwilling to throw herself on that particular hand grenade for our benefit. His kids also seem a bit tired of being "drafted" to come over here and help out with all his various projects. The thought occurred to me that he could be fixing up the place to give to one of his kids to use, who is college age... but I don't think so anymore. He actually does seem to be concerned about how we, the tennants, would like the place to be.
How would we like the place to be?! Peaceful. Sans landlord. No more random unexpected visits. And yet, I *hope* he doesn't think he's doing all of this for our benefit. Really, I do.
Let's hope it all ends soon. Really. Any second now, thanks. I'm looking forward to a blissful year or two of being absolutely ignored again.