What I did and didn’t say when advertising our house for rent

What I did say… lovely three-story historic Victorian home for rent, 12 month lease, excellent location near universities X, Y, and Z, Very family friendly in the [Fancy Grade School] school district, 1/2 block from the [Cool Urban Hipster] Park and its twice-weekly farmer’s market and many festivals, 3000 square foot house including 2.5 baths, 6 bedrooms, and several multi-purpose rooms. washer/dryer, dishwasher, small yard, terrific neighbors, block parties, some furnishings available, flexible start date, 12 month lease, near shops, restaurants, bike share and public transportation…

What I didn’t say…

This place was built in the 1890’s people!! There is no updated kitchen or recently remodeled bathroom. We spent a bunch of money on things you will never notice or appreciate like the sewer line, front porch roof, and water heater! There are unpredictable ceiling leaks depending on the various combinations of snow fall, snow melt, and rain. It’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer!  No central heat or a/c!  Parking is becoming scarce as nearby apartment buildings are finalized, and it’s getting worse.  If there’s a chair in a parking space, be aware that you may be harassed or possibly shot for parking there, especially when there is snow. This ain’t the suburbs!  You want a garage, you have to rent one!  We had at least 5 bikes stolen since we have lived here, plus more than one stroller. Occasionally, I find a homeless person sleeping on our porch.

I give up on gardening every year because the mosquitos get so bad in the tiny back yard. We do have a great view of our neighbors’ yards, and we appreciate their gardening efforts and feel sorta bad that they have a great view of our neglected, junk-strewn yard. As for front yard gardening, consider dog poop because it will be part of whatever you plant. About block parties, we haven’t had one for about three years. My husband might be block captain but I’m really not sure, its kind if a slacker block for that kind of thing.

Our dishwasher technically does work, but we hardly use it because it doesn’t really get the dishes clean. The on-demand hot water heater seems to stop after a few minutes before it gets going again, so good luck with that. There are probably toys from my teenager’s babyhood stuck I places that we missed. We really haven’t cleaned since we moved back in about 8 years ago. Before that, we rented to students and also a heavy metal band (friends of Mr. Fantastic; not as bad as it sounds, but still).  Before that, we lived here about 4 years with another family who had 3 kids and you can still see traces of wall finger painting by them as well as some permanent marker on the staircase. Which reminds me – the twins fingerpainted on their bedroom wall once when they were supposed to be napping – in poop. We cleaned it but…ewwwww.

The washer and dryer work OK as long as the washer hose is in the sink. It frequently falls out and pours water all over the basement floor, soaking anything you have stored there.  We don’t think the sewer line will back up and flood the basement again, so water from the washer is really not too bad in comparison anyway. Unfortunately, we are storing our things on the shelves down there so you may indeed be storing things on the floor.  I’m sure it will be fine. By the way, did I mention we will be in southeast Asia for a good part of your 12month lease? so good luck getting a hold of us! Happily, we have friends looking out for the place, so don’t think you can get away without paying the rent! See how great that works out?

We will clean up a lot and repaint some walls but when the walls look nice, the woodwork just looks that much worse.  It is like 120 years old after all. If you want a gutted, modernized place, our house is not for you. Oh, yeah, be ready for park festivals and college kid parties, both are clearly audible from the house. People are friendly, as in their kids will be coming by trick-or-treating at Halloween and trying to sell you lemonade, girl scout cookies, etc. all year. Also, there are sometimes scammers that come to the door lying about a neighbor in a car accident and needing cash, that kind of thing. But I’m sure you know about urban living.

Yeah, I probably shouldn’t say most of that…

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