Saturday, July 30, 2011

Life of a Landlord

Well, the apartment is finally rented. Whew. It's difficult renting at this time. There are a lot of people looking, but nobody has any means to support themselves. We only actually had two people who came who had adequate resources, and one of those is now moving in. According to one temporarily-employed engineer who came to look, the unemployment rate in Elkhart County currently stands at 18%. That even after three visits from the president promising to help when the RV industry collapsed in 2008. The industry has never recovered and the little bit of activity that remained and the support industries that have had limited success since then are starting to lay off again--no doubt a result of the high fuel prices we have been having for the past few months. But, our long days of interviewing and screening applicants has finally ended and we again have all our apartments full. We never go long having anything empty, but this year has been difficult to find the right person for the apartment.

While I have been working on computer backups, lease tweaking and watching the "Dog Whisperer," Terry has been building new wood valances for the motorhome. We have finally decided to get rid of the day/night shades which continually break and require more frustration than they are worth for Terry to fix. The valances are currently wrapped and draped with fabric and while we liked it when we first moved in, we are a bit tired of the colors now. So we are doing what many have already done and that is to put in wood valances and add roll up day/night blinds. Many have gone to the MCD shades. We planned to do that and tried to set up an appointment this spring when we left Houston. The people were less than helpful in setting up an appointment and we ended up leaving Texas without doing anything. Once in Elkhart, we visited United Shade's retail outlet, Window Expressions, to see about getting better day/night shades. It turns out they are now manufacturing the roll-up blinds similar to the MCD, but the quality difference was remarkable. We had looked very closely at the MCD's and saw many frayed edges in the lightweight fabric and a lot of puckering where the bottom hem covered the handgrip. These defects are not present in the United Shade. In addition, the United Shade comes in colors and I ordered chestnut brown for the day shade and cream for the night shade. Terry ordered one day/night blind for one of the bedroom windows in order to establish the right size and fit for the valance. That one is finished and looks very nice. He has finished building the boxes for the remaining windows and will now work at finishing them. We will be ordering the remaining blinds on Monday.

Late Monday or early Tuesday we are headed out for a week or two into Michigan to escape the heat and humidity of northern Indiana.We enjoy Michigan and plan to do some sightseeing and relaxing perhaps along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. It will be good to hit the road again even if for just a short time. We have a busy winter ahead, with our son's wedding in Florida in November. In September we are flying to Florida for a bridal shower for our soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Megan, and ten days later we fly to Houston for Terry's six-month cancer checkup. Whew!

Till next time. . .


1 comment:

Alicia said...

Shade looks great and those valances, Terry did a great job. We are trying to help out the RV industry there in Elkhart, ordered a new A/C from there and having it put in on Wed. Stay cool, enjoy your side trip. We are headed to Madison for the FMCA rally.