Well, the termite guy came out to my house (in Phoenix), drilled a bunch of holes, filled them with poison, filled them again with poison and then sealed it up with mud. I mean, every time I've ever seen termite exterminators going out to a house, that is exactly what they do. The questionning is on my Facebook wall where several people said that if it doesn't cost $800 or thousands of dollars to deal with, it hasn't been dealt with.
Well, I'm not going to spend that kind of money on termites. I have found Craigslist to be a viable alternative to many pricey services where people do side work from their regular jobs or they are advertising their services for cheaper.
My problem is, my house is surrounded by a sea of hoarders and slobs. This is no exaggeration, not even slightly. I have been informed that the Hispanic neighbors have so much junk piled up now (I am not living there and therefore my calls to the city to come out and force these neighbors to deal with this crap is also gone) that it's several feet high all the way around the house. The bugs of various nature are coming from my neighbors. I really despise having to pay for these services to be done because my neighbors can't see fit to keep their properties clean. I am full tilt blown into cleaning up the current property I am at. And then, upgrading landscaping and curb appeal.
Whatever. It's just something I have had to live with, though I used to call the city out on all of them because it's against city ordinances, constitutes a health hazard, degrades the property values in the neighborhood and personally affects me because of their cats and the bugs coming over onto m property and also the animal poop loading up on their property that eventually the smell gets so strong, yup, another call to the city. Why do people live like this? It's a simple thing to just clean up. I'm not asking them to install nice landscaping as I did, I just want them to keep their properties clean as city ordinances require.
So, I have to have an exterminator come out TWICE a month now. I am only paying for one visit - I was going to cancel it because Mark said he would deal with it himself. But the exterminator lady said please keep the account and I'll come out twice a month and deal with this problem for the same price. Okay, I mean, it's 30 bucks per month, you really can't beat that, especially considering the scope of the problem there. It certainly isn't her fault that the bug problems on adjacent properties are so bad that the only way to deal with it is twice monthly visits.
Over to this side of the world, I spent about 9 hours yesterday doing cleanup outside. Now that their dog is gone, I can do that and not have to worry about it getting all trashed again within a few days. The previoius owners of this house had expended a great deal of time and money from what I could tell in upgrading the landscaping and eye appeal, but it had been let go and the wood used for many of the projects was completely rotten. I took all of it down and burned all of it. It burned into the night as I kept adding stuff as I found it.
There are trees that need to be cut down as well. They are trees that started growing long after the giant trees were planted. These "natural" trees - meaning they started with the droppings of seeds by the big trees - should never have been allowed to grow. They are growing at extreme angles and over the tops of structures and fencing. Bringing down such trees would require a professional with a crane. I can't do that, but I can cut off "offending branches" which are hanging down almost to the ground and also the ones that are hitting the roofs. I started that yesterday as well.
There is still alot of work to do. Moving dirt being the largest thing right now and I will do that instages. I don't need to wear myself out on weekends making the work week even that much more difficult. It's next to impossible to get anyone over here - as I have said before but lamenting now - to help do that kind of work. "Back in the day" you could hire neighborhood kids and they would work hard and not complain. Now, they start complaining before the work even starts. Why bother? I don't.
Now that I have the freedom to do what I want - I sort of had that before but now I'm running the place and I will pull the levers on what I think needs to be done - it's going to get greatly improved. It's more about the labor in getting things done than it is large amounts of money. For example, the walls are covered with algae. 2 to 4 feet up from the ground. It's ugly and it needs to come off. This week I am going to ask the manager if he will let me borrow it over a weekend. Others have done so with him so I expect him to say yes. Okay, I really don't expect him to say yes, there are huge double standards at that place now, but I'm going to ask anyway.
And, the next door neighbor has come around now. She found a boyfriend and didn't want the appearance of helping a neighbor who is also a single man. We got over that yesterday as I introduced myself to the man and we chatted about home improvement projects. She, the neighbor, pointed out the algae and I thought, yeah, that's pretty unsightly. After looking it up, it also appears it can eventually damage the brick by holding in moisture and eventually causing the brick to come apart. The entire house has either mold or on the vinyl parts, a huge amount of dirt accumulated. It would be a day long project, maybe an entire weekend, to deal with it.
They want $250 for a decent, gas-powered pressure washer and I am just not going to spend that kind of money on a house that i don't own and will get nothing back out of it. Well, excpeting that I have a nice place to live versus having to go somewhere else, start over and not know what kind of environment I'm going to end up in. Not to mention having a Great Dane, which is an obstacle trying to find places. I'm really considering staying in this area because of housing investment opportunities. I need to get one going and get my feet in the water. Eventually having 10 of them would provide a decent income on it's own.
I am going to spend some time today investigating the options that are available to people who want to get involved in such ventures. However, I want to get outside and do a limited amount of work today. Really, the pressure washer and the dirt moving are next on the list. Well that and cleanup on the north side of the house. Perhaps that is what i will start to tackle. They have accumulated a large amount of junk over there. I burned what was burnable from there yesterday but there are wet leaves piled up and it's very unsightly. Oh, and I still have trenching to dig, that is hard work though. Maybe I could do enought to get one more stick of pipe in at least. Well, now that I have loaded myself up with a list, I'll pick one and try to get it done and the rest can be taken up again next weekend.
Well, that was interesting. Reading some things. My room rental endeavors seem to be far more profitable than renting whole houses to individual families. When the landlords lives in the residence, it is unlikely that a bad tenant is going to get away with anything for very long. Damage, noise, nuisances? Goodbye. You're IN the house, you SEE what the people are doing, they are kept u nder check. Plus, you are renting the rooms at a higher rate than what would occur if you rent the whole house. I'm not against renting a house, I just know you incur less damage and loss with a live-ine landlord.
I dunno. Lots to ponder.
Oops, forgot about the lawn. The mower won't start and I don't have the right sized socket to remove the spark plug. Gonna have to go get one.
Time to get something done.
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