My House 9/21/20

News about Richard Bleil

Strange things happen to me. I mean, seriously, the things that happen to me just can’t be common experiences. I’ve already written about the chemical tanker truck that I crushed, the prostitute I took to prom and most recently about how I bought a vehicle that I am told has no drive shaft after driving it for work at a local garage.

I mean, seriously?!?

This week, another strange thing happened. Sadly, in the midst of dealing with my father’s death and inheritance red tape that just won’t let me get past it, my house sold. Sounds pretty normal, right? Are you kidding me? Something normal, in MY life???

Okay, back in 1999 I started my new job in South Dakota as an associate professor. The university town was (and is) painfully small, but I was really tired of moving, and incredibly tired of paying rent. So, I made the decision to find just the smallest house I can that had electricity, heat, water and a roof. The house I found was selling for $20,000 and would have been cheap at half the price. I bought it sight unseen figuring that for the monthly payment, even with insurance, maintenance, taxes and everything it would be cheaper than renting, and it was.

I paid it off fairly quickly, but then needed some start-up cash for my destined to fail business. Unfortunately, it was with loan sharks, and thirty years after taking it out, I owed more than the original loan amount even after making regular payments. And it was a serious dump. It should have been condemned years before I moved in, and thanks to my depression, I never did much to improve it. It’s not that I don’t have the skill, I just lacked the motivation. I moved out when I married, and we bought a new and much larger house half an hour away.

Well, THAT didn’t work out. And even though it drained my savings and retirement completely, I let her keep the house. No, not for her, but because she had four boys from her first marriage, so I let them keep it. Last I heard, her parents took the boys and sold the house. Very sad. Anyway, broke and jobless (which I wish I could blame her for, but I did let it happen), I moved back into that house after being vacant, like, literally vacant for two years. No, no upkeep then either; I was eating once every three days and what I was eating was old canned and expired meat (by years) that I had purchased as jokes. I managed to buy enough food for my dog, and seriously considered eating that, but for some really strange reason I elected to eat expired canned meat instead.

No, I don’t understand.

Eventually, I found a part-time job about an hour away, and moved into a really cheap motel to save on gas money. Yes, very cheap, like, prostitute home motel. While living there, I learned that prostitutes always look very nice as they leave, but not nearly so nice as they return.

This is about the time that a former student of mine asked me if she could buy the house. It was worth far less than what I had pay for it by then. I warned her it was in terrible shape, but she assured me she wasn’t concerned. So, we came up with this plan. It was a rent-to-own situation, but without a written contract. I agreed to let her make any changes she wanted to the house, and in return she agreed not to hold me responsible for any repairs in it. To protect her, knowing the shape of the house, we further agreed that she could walk away at any time, but I would owe nothing for any improvements she made.

Her father moved in with her from overseas who, apparently, is quite the contractor. And, yes, they improved it. And improved it. And improved it. Heck, I didn’t even realize they added onto the house, and as I understand it, it now has five bathrooms and two bedrooms. Although maybe I misunderstood that part.

So, I get a text from her telling me she’s closing on the house this week. Now, we have no written contract on this, I’m still paying on the loan so there’s a lien on the house, and the house is still in my name. And she’s selling it. This struck me as odd, since, after all, she still doesn’t own it.

Apparently, she’s making quite a tidy profit on the house that she doesn’t own. And frankly…I’m happy for her. Seriously. I have no idea how she did it, but she did. I actually had a plan to sell it to her anyway, and kind of surprise her with it. When my inheritance came in, the plan was to pay off that crooked loan company, contact my friend who is a Realtor in the town, and sell it to my “renter” for a dollar. It was meant to be a beautiful surprise, but she beat me to the punch.

Another friend of mine thinks I’m being really nice, but I’m not. My renter and her father put a LOT of work into it, and have been very patient with me since I never had the money to pay that house off in nearly the time that it should have been. I’m glad it’s working out for them, but it adds another bizarre and humorous story to my life, the story about how my renter sold my house out from under me.

It just doesn’t happen to normal people.

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