Sunday, November 20, 2011

When I was young I never thought about owning property

When I was young I never thought about owning property. I was brought up in a broken working class family where money was tight. Somehow Dad still managed to buy a family home by being extremely frugal and not very picky. Interest rates were up around 20 percent, but property prices were rock bottom. For what he paid for the family home, I could afford two and pay them off in a couple of years if I was as frugal as Dad. That house was paid off quite a few years ago and is now worth a lot just for the land.

When it came time for me to buy, we are talking about a whole new situation. Interest rates were low and property prices were many times the average yearly salary. I bought a little apartment off the plan, lived in it for a little while and moved on. Soon after buying, I met R, the lady in my life, who also had a little apartment. Suddenly, we were a bit better off. Since then, we have used our capital to buy other things, but we still have the two places that helped us start it all.

Sounds ideal!

Here’s where you start to get into the less pleasant parts of being a property owner. When R bought her apartment, she got it for a good price. It is in a nice enough area, and is really easy to rent out. Unfortunately we have to rent it out regularly, because nobody told R about the psychotic neighbor before she bought the place. We have found out that at least two owners have sold because of this madman, and we’ve had four lots of tenants living there.

The guy downstairs is “not well”. He owns the place, as it was left to him by his father. He bashes the ceiling and walls and yells and screams. It seems that walking, cooking, going to the toilet and making any unexpected noises will set him off. It is nerve wracking living there and I don’t blame people for moving on.

The police have been involved many times, as has the council. We even called the man’s family (don’t ask how we found out who they were!), but nobody cares or wants to help. As he is a sick man, I would have hoped someone would want to intervene. He’s clearly not well and not happy.

I had heard that the only time he improved for any period of time was after someone assaulted him. He was bad at the time, and this person had simply had enough. He hit the madman. It should not have to come to this, but it worked and the entire block was peaceful and happy for a little while. The problem solver moved after a while, and things got worse again.

We need another solution, because I am not going to assault someone who is mentally unwell for short term gain.
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