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Old 08-22-2010, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I don't know where to begin.
My DH was unemployed for the better part of last year. We own a home that is 950 sqft. We owe right around 100K on it, after the housing market crashed, the houses on our block are going for 35-50K. Our credit took a dive during a home loan modification we took while he was unemployed. (even though we were never late).
We are due with #5 so that will make 7 of us, the 950sqft house way too small.
So we rented it out and are now renting another house for us from family.
The family wants the house we are in empty by March because they are selling it.
Our renters have stopped paying these last two months.
We just dumped a ton of money into our other house over the summer, new furnace, fence, ect... and I don't have the money to pay the mortgage on it if the tenants are not paying (we are only asking the amount of the mortgage, so there isn't much wiggle room there). As we have a new baby on the way, no vehicle to fit us right now, my 4 yr old is possibly going to need a 2nd open-heart surgery soon, anyways bad timing for our renters to pull this.
We've been looking at other houses to rent, so as not to wait until March, DH has a decent job now.
But what do I do with the other house now?
I can't afford to pay their rent and ours and all of our savings was dumped into it this summer. HELP

hearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gif A house full of girls, but for dad and one brother bikenew.gif
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:33 AM
 
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I would take whatever steps necessary to get the people out of your rental house and find new renters! Then start looking for another place for your family to rent if the house you own really can't work for you.

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Old 08-22-2010, 10:49 AM
 
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Your house can't work for you in a pinch, until you get back on your feet again? I'd get the renters out and move back in. It may not be very comfortable but it may make the most sense so you arent put in this position again. Renting is very risky, and especially with the economy right now I wouldnt risk putting yourself back in this situation again until you have savings built up to cover these things.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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Your house can't work for you in a pinch, until you get back on your feet again? I'd get the renters out and move back in. It may not be very comfortable but it may make the most sense so you arent put in this position again. Renting is very risky, and especially with the economy right now I wouldnt risk putting yourself back in this situation again until you have savings built up to cover these things.
This. ^^^^^

I know it might not be comfortable but it makes the most sense right now. There are lots of cool ideas online for living in small spaces.

Mama to DS 10/04, DD 12/06, and DD 11/09 my baby
Missing DS 10/08
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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Your house can't work for you in a pinch, until you get back on your feet again? I'd get the renters out and move back in. It may not be very comfortable but it may make the most sense so you arent put in this position again. Renting is very risky, and especially with the economy right now I wouldnt risk putting yourself back in this situation again until you have savings built up to cover these things.
Yes, this is what I was thinking.
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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950 s.f. is totally do-able, even for a large group such as your family. I would suggest thinking outside of the box as far as room arrangements go. Depending on the layout, it might make sense to turn the living room into the kids' room, or whatnot. You could post on the decluttering forum for ideas on how to set everything up, there's been lots of situations like yours on. You might be surprised how well you all can fit into the house.

If you were renting from your family and they are now going to sell it, might you get some of the money you put into it back? Like, if you bought a new furnace for the other house, that's not fair. You're not benefitting from it because it's not your house. Typically if you're renting it's the owner's responsibility, no?
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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It sounds like you're going to have to kick out your tenets and squeeze into the 950sq ft house for awhile
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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I agree. I'd start the process of getting rid of the tenants *now* and prepare to move in. Are you sure they're even there? I know of people who've just walked out & left the keys to rental properties rather than officially break the lease. If that's the case, move back in now. If not, find out the process for eviction and how long it takes. I think in our state it's 60 days, but I know it can be as much as 6 MONTHS in some states.

As for covering the mortgage + rent while you're working on getting the tenants out, can you work a deal from the other end? Can you explain what's happened to the family member from whom you're renting and reduce your rent, even if you make it up later?

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Old 08-22-2010, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone!
Lots of good ideas.
And just to clear it up, the money was dumped into the home we own, that the tenants are in. We spent a lot of money fixing the family house we are currently living in, but certainly not compared to the other.
The biggest issue I had with us fitting back in the small one, is that there is no storage, no basement, no attic, a garage, but not appropriate for storing kids stuff, I used to have to throw out a ton of stored things every year from the garage due to water damage.
I think for now, we've decided that a next step is to try and work with our tenants. Getting partial payments for a few months is better than nothing, that is if their intentions are good. And we should be able to cover a little bit of a difference, but just not whole payments. So we'll see how this all plays out.
And yes the tenants are there still, my mom lives in the neighborhood and drove by yesterday and saw the kids looking out the front window. I don't think they seem ready to leave, although that would make things a lot easier.

hearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gif A house full of girls, but for dad and one brother bikenew.gif
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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Thanks everyone!
Lots of good ideas.
And just to clear it up, the money was dumped into the home we own, that the tenants are in. We spent a lot of money fixing the family house we are currently living in, but certainly not compared to the other.
The biggest issue I had with us fitting back in the small one, is that there is no storage, no basement, no attic, a garage, but not appropriate for storing kids stuff, I used to have to throw out a ton of stored things every year from the garage due to water damage.
I think for now, we've decided that a next step is to try and work with our tenants. Getting partial payments for a few months is better than nothing, that is if their intentions are good. And we should be able to cover a little bit of a difference, but just not whole payments. So we'll see how this all plays out.
And yes the tenants are there still, my mom lives in the neighborhood and drove by yesterday and saw the kids looking out the front window. I don't think they seem ready to leave, although that would make things a lot easier.
PLEASE check your landlord & tenant laws before you do this. We had tenants in our basement apartment in our first house and we naively thought the same - that we should give them a chance to catch up. Instead, we found out that when you accept a lower rent you actually by law change the contract and it makes it much more difficult to get back to the original rent.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh boy Off to check on that
Wow, that could have been a disaster!

hearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gif A house full of girls, but for dad and one brother bikenew.gif
"Be careful how you speak to your children. One day it will become their inner voice." ~ Peggy O' Mara
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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As the pp said, do not ever take partial payements in rent. And don't take late payments either. Get them out, move in, and rent a storage space elsewhere. Even six months will put you in a better financial position.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:49 PM
 
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not appropriate for storing kids stuff, I used to have to throw out a ton of stored things every year from the garage due to water damage.
If stuff is stored in plastic bins then water shouldn't be able to damage it. I'd take the time to purge. You could buy a storeage shed to put things in too.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Get rid of your tenants. If they haven't even communicated with you about the rent and their intentions, they are just planning to stay there as long as they can, before you kick them out. They don't seem to have any plans to pay ever again and meanwhile, they might be damaging your house. The longer you wait, the worse they might damage it, I think.

Next, why does the garage get wet? Is there a leak in the roof? A while back, we have a leak in our room over our garage, and my DH bought some sort of clear sealer stuff at a hardware store (gallon for about $15?) and he painted it on the parts of the roof that were leaking and voila, it stopped the leak for well, over 2 years now. I agree that plastic boxes will also help with that.

You can always let the house go into foreclosure. If you truly can't pay for it, and your credit is already ruined, and you can't live in it (not sure why you bothered modifying in the first place), then it's time to cut your losses and try to actually make a plan for the future. I think it would be crappy to let the house go into foreclosure while you have tenants but by law, you can actually do that and the tenants will still legally have to pay you any rent agreed to via a lease (legal contract). But, I think it's much better for you to really truly pare down and make your house work for you and your family. If you choose to not pay your mortgage, then you will be able to afford a monthly storage unit to hold the rest of your most valuable stuff before you move. A foreclosure will likely take 12-24 months and during that time, you will need to save up so that you can plan for your future.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nothing in the garage leaks, it just got a new roof a few years ago and is insulated, but it's just general moisture, like clothing and carseats ect... get moldy.
I guess I need to find out what the advantage to moving back would be. Our credit is already trashed, so it wouldn't be saving that. I just see spending an awful lot of money to be back at square one, pay on two mortgages, moving expenses, court costs, and back in a house I can never sell.

hearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gif A house full of girls, but for dad and one brother bikenew.gif
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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This may not be the popular vote on this board but have you considered letting the 950sq ft house go back to the bank? and just starting over? Either try to sell it (I know you said it wont tell for near what you owe, if it will sell at all) or do a short sell - if you can, or just give the keys to the bank. Sometimes you do what you gotta go. Ya know. Kids and family come first. If you can find a secure rental for everyone and your 950sq ft is never gonna work then seriously consider it.
I would rather totally bottom out, (foreclosure) and start over then continue to struggle for years, and struggle with a house that I didnt like and was never going to work for me and my family.

Thats just my view and its probalby not the popular one on this board....

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Old 08-22-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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it's just general moisture, like clothing and carseats ect... get moldy.
It needs air circulation. It's easy to get a vent put into the roof of the garage.

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I guess I need to find out what the advantage to moving back would be. Our credit is already trashed, so it wouldn't be saving that. I just see spending an awful lot of money to be back at square one, pay on two mortgages, moving expenses, court costs, and back in a house I can never sell.
why would you be paying on 2 mortgages, is one of those the home loan modification?

the advantage is as long as you're paying the mortgage(s) nobody can kick you out. Right now you're being kicked out. What if you can't find someone to rent the place? Then you're still paying that mortgage & rent somewhere else, what is the benefit there?
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:49 PM
 
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Nothing in the garage leaks, it just got a new roof a few years ago and is insulated, but it's just general moisture, like clothing and carseats ect... get moldy.
I guess I need to find out what the advantage to moving back would be. Our credit is already trashed, so it wouldn't be saving that. I just see spending an awful lot of money to be back at square one, pay on two mortgages, moving expenses, court costs, and back in a house I can never sell.
If you stay in your house, you don't have to pay a second mortgage. There is no more risk that something bad is going to happen to the house that would require you to fix it immediately and possibly be a huge dollar amount (because you're still responsible for repairs and whatnot) in addition to paying a mortgage on a second home (or rent) where you live. There is no more risk that your tenants will not pay rent, which leaves you paying a 2nd mortgage. Stay in the smaller house until things improve - your savings are sufficient to cover any major household repairs and mortgage payments incase your tenants don't pay, etc. Buy a storage shed or even rent a unit, renting a storage unit is cheaper than a 2nd rent payment and everything should remain dry and safe.

I have a family of 6 living in an 800 sq. ft. house - we're due with our 5th baby any day now. You have to get creative with space, but it's doable, especially in a pinch.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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It sounds like you want to be done with the house. If so, try to sell or let the bank take it.

Personally I would move back in and make due. Bunkbeds, bookshelves and storage totes will take you a long way Maybe the market will recover and you can sell in a few years.

I assume the house would be 2br, if so put the new baby in a mini crib or PNP in your room and do 2 sets of bunkbeds in the other room. If there is a dining room you can line the walls in bookshelves (the short ones) and put the cloth baskets in them to store stuff. Get a higher bed frame for your bed and you can use the underneath for storage (i bought a metal frame from walmart for $99 that I just put my matress on so no box spring and I can fit multiple 18 gallon totes under the bed) You can use storage ottomans in the LR. Have a yard sale to declutter, if you dont need it now, then you don't need it. Space Bags to store opposite season clothes....you get the idea...

Oh and there are many small house threads on the outside board

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Old 08-22-2010, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The tenants are IN the smaller house.
So what I'm saying is I would have to pay MY rent and the mortgage on THAT house, since they are not paying, this is what I can not afford to do.
Am I missing something about moving back that involves only paying on one of the houses? I can't stop paying rent on the house I am currently living in as long as I am living here. And I have to live here until that one is empty, and I don't know how long this will take.

hearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gif A house full of girls, but for dad and one brother bikenew.gif
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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The tenants are IN the smaller house.
So what I'm saying is I would have to pay MY rent and the mortgage on THAT house, since they are not paying, this is what I can not afford to do.
Am I missing something about moving back that involves only paying on one of the houses? I can't stop paying rent on the house I am currently living in as long as I am living here. And I have to live here until that one is empty, and I don't know how long this will take.
I understand completely. You need to evict then tenants for non-payment if you want to move back to the smaller house. If you dont want the smaller house then just let it foreclose as I said above (this is probably what I would do in your situation since your credit is cr@p anyway) and start over. You may want to try for a free consult with a real estate atty just to see for sure where you stand.

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Old 08-23-2010, 02:06 AM
 
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The tenants are IN the smaller house.
So what I'm saying is I would have to pay MY rent and the mortgage on THAT house, since they are not paying, this is what I can not afford to do.
Am I missing something about moving back that involves only paying on one of the houses? I can't stop paying rent on the house I am currently living in as long as I am living here. And I have to live here until that one is empty, and I don't know how long this will take.
Okay. I wasn't sure what you were referring to when you mentioned paying 2 mortgages.

your tenants haven't paid in 2months so start the eviction process tomorrow. The longer you wait the longer you will have to pay rent & mortgage. The longer you wait the less likely you're going to see ANY money out of them. If they could have paid the would have but it isn't your fault that they aren't paying so why give them a break on rent?

I still think your best bet is to move back to the small house. If you can make the payments on it going back there is your security that you won't become homeless. If you let the house go & it destroys your credit even more landlords may decide you're too much of a risk to rent to. Keeping the small house & making sure the payments are made on time you are in the process of rebuilding your credit.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:01 AM
 
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A foreclosure will likely take 12-24 months and during that time, you will need to save up so that you can plan for your future.
Just FYI--this may be true in Michigan, but it's not true everywhere. Where I live, foreclosures are incredibly easy for the bank. They typically happen when someone is 60-90 days late on the mortgage (as in, that's when the house goes up for auction at the courthouse). It's a very quick process here.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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This may not be the popular vote on this board but have you considered letting the 950sq ft house go back to the bank? and just starting over? Either try to sell it (I know you said it wont tell for near what you owe, if it will sell at all) or do a short sell - if you can, or just give the keys to the bank. Sometimes you do what you gotta go.
I am pretty anti-bankruptcy unless there are *dire* circumstances. The OP's situation isn't dire. She and her husband made choices that led to this point. They modified a mortgage on a house that they knew wouldn't work for them. Now they just want to figure out how to get out of it, and frankly, that mentality disturbs me.

OP, if you evict the tenants, you move back in - one mortgage. Purge. Live a minimalist life. You can make it work.

Even if you let the house go, what will happen? Many, many landlords and complex managers check credit. A foreclosure isn't good. I know in my area, you'd be stuck in less-than-ideal apartments for a while. With 5 kids, that wouldn't leave you with tons of options.

What will you do in the future? Will you try to buy another house? How will you save the down payment? Do you have any assets?

Letting the bank take the house will mean ramifications for your family. I'm not talking about financial or credit scores, but you will have to find a place to live longer-term since obviously you're being kicked out of the current place.

To me, you aren't in a pickle. The answer is pretty simple, even if it's not the most desirable.

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Old 08-23-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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I am pretty anti-bankruptcy unless there are *dire* circumstances. The OP's situation isn't dire. She and her husband made choices that led to this point. They modified a mortgage on a house that they knew wouldn't work for them. Now they just want to figure out how to get out of it, and frankly, that mentality disturbs me.

OP, if you evict the tenants, you move back in - one mortgage. Purge. Live a minimalist life. You can make it work.

Even if you let the house go, what will happen? Many, many landlords and complex managers check credit. A foreclosure isn't good. I know in my area, you'd be stuck in less-than-ideal apartments for a while. With 5 kids, that wouldn't leave you with tons of options.

What will you do in the future? Will you try to buy another house? How will you save the down payment? Do you have any assets?

Letting the bank take the house will mean ramifications for your family. I'm not talking about financial or credit scores, but you will have to find a place to live longer-term since obviously you're being kicked out of the current place.

To me, you aren't in a pickle. The answer is pretty simple, even if it's not the most desirable.
I could not agree more.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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I also vote for moving into the smaller home- it seems o be the most logical approach- and you can absolutely make it work even with a large family- check out some of the smaller space threads as there are great ideas and inspiration there.

We live in a similar-sized place with no basement and less than ideal storage. The way we make it work with three kids is by purging excess and choosing what stays in the house. I'm waiting for my youngest to start walking so I can ditch a lot of the 'baby holding' stuff taking up the living room space. That's my sole frustration at this point.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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Do you have a lease on the house you are renting from family? Would they expect you to keep paying for the rest of the lease even if you go back to your house?

Either way you need to get the tenants out NOW. You are not in a position to be offering free housing to anyone. Personally, I would not have let it get to a 2nd month of non-payment. You need to either get them out so you can move back in or get them out and find someone else to rent it.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:19 PM
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evicting for non-payment can be hard in some areas. I'd give them notice that you want to move back in, that's a far easier route to take in my area anyway. And I think short-term you either have to turn the house over to the bank and walk away from it or move back in and deal with its size/no yard issues.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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I would do one of two things:

1. Evict the current tenants of your 950 sf home and move back in... make it work with bunk beds, a new storage shed or renting a storage unit nearby, and lots of movable storage solutions. It is totally do-able to live this way, although maybe not ideal. When I was a teenager, my best friend's mom lived in a one bedroom apartment with her, her DH, his 2 kids (high schooler and middle school aged), my BFF, and occasionally my BFF's 2 brothers. So that was 5 and sometimes 7 people in a one bedroom apartment! The adults were in the bedroom, they converted the dining area into the teenager's bedroom with bunkbeds, and used a hideaway bed for the younger girl. When the brothers came for the weekend one slept on the couch and the other slept on an air mattress on the floor. -- you could do bunkbeds, hideaway beds and futons to make this work. Adults and baby in your bedroom, 3 or 4 kids in the other bedroom, or someone gets the living room with a futon.

2. Cut your losses in this terrible market and short sale. We had to short sale 2 properties due to DH's job loss, and don't regret it for a second. Our credit is already shot because of missing payments that we couldn't afford when DH was only getting unemployment, and it's better than bankruptcy and foreclosure. That way you are free to move on, and rent a place that fits your needs better than the small house.

Good Luck!

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Old 08-23-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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I'd move back to the smaller house you own. I'd call the tenant and offer to forgive the last two months rent if they are out by the end of the month and leave the place in good, clean condition. Make sure they know that if they leave it messy you will pursue the back rent in court. That is how I got rid of horrible renters.
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