Move/Buy/Sell/Apartment/Hotel

In the relatively small circle of folks that I talk to (along with those who I might not talk to, but still kinda know their business) there’s been a lot of thinking about, talking about, or actual “moving” going on. One cousin already moved from where he was, aunt and uncle are selling their original house now that they’ve moved into their “retirement” house, and then me and a couple other cousins are feeling just restless enough with our own situations that the thought of moving does pop up now and then. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Oh, and I almost forgot yet another cousin and her hubby who recently purchased their first place together on the edge of town.

Then there are other folks who are considering or planning to move, even though it might not have been in their original plans. Whether job situations change, family situations change, relationship situations change, or the neighborhood itself changes enough where folks just want out… yeah, it’s become a common topic among a whole bunch of us. 😟 Even a couple friends in NJ have been taking a “serious, but not that serious yet” look at other potential homes around their area. It’s like a seed has been planted in all of our brains. πŸ˜‹

I’m not gonna get into “all that” much more right now, other than expanding on the reason why I started this entry in the first place. πŸ™„πŸ˜ Now, this is something that I’ve heard of happening in bigger cities, but I wouldn’t have thought that my relatively small town would have been affected by it already. 🀨 But investors will swoop in and buy up all the “cool” apartment properties, do a little bit of renovating, and then rather than living in them or renting them out in a traditional manner – they use those properties as short term, almost “vacation-like” quasi-hotel type rentals. 😠

In particular I can see that this has happened to many of the downtown apartments that used to be available above businesses, retail, restaurants, etc. A few years ago you would see a couple of them become available every few months, but now the majority of what I see are listings by folks who rent them by the week, weekend, or even sometimes by the night. πŸ˜•Β And in a way, you can’t blame them. Why rent a place out for $900 a month when you could average $100 a night by renting it out as an AirBNB or similar-type destination for well-off folks who only come to town for a few nights? πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ“ˆπŸ€‘

It’s exactly what already-expensive rental markets in bigger cities are experiencing. Locals, who actually want a home, who want to rent via traditional terms, are priced out of the market by the influx of investors who buy up apartments for higher priced, short term rentals. 😯 I guess in some cities on the west coast, more than 50% of the apartment market has been gobbled up in that way – and the only thing that might be able to stop the practice is if local ordinances are put in place to prevent it. πŸ€” But, to me, short-term renters would probably sound appealing to a city council, since that type of traffic would also be the type that would be spending money while they’re staying in their nifty vintage loft, or at least more so than a regular monthly tenant probably would be.

But yeah, all of this rambling just comes from one evening of quickly browsing through a few different apartment search type sites – so I may be assuming too much without having done enough research. 😏 But after that hour or so of browsing, when the net result is “Well… that seems like some bullshit.” πŸ˜… it only makes sense that it would also end up here in the blog, eh?

I’m Sure Nobody Will Mind

File this one under “Things you can’t do a damn thing about, but we’ll let you think you can.”

I got a letter from the county… actually, I’m assuming everyone did… saying that the mandated property appraisal updates had been completed, along with stating the estimated value of my property from last year, the new estimated value for this year, and then a few dates and locations listed at the bottom for folks that have questions and want to talk to someone about any of it. πŸ™„πŸ˜ Heh… I have a feeling those are gonna be some loud, active meetings if people’s updated values were all in line with what mine was.

Now, I’m not sure when the last updates were, so there are things that could be taken into account in my area that you wouldn’t immediately think of, if it’s been like a decade or so. πŸ€” I live out of town, but close to the south end of the Lancaster bypass. Anyone living within a couple miles of me, we’ve probably all seen legitimate value increases because of the bypass. People who work in Columbus but want (or have) to live around Lancaster… this is probably where you’d wanna be. Because instead of driving through town on the old Rt 33, dealing with traffic, stop lights, etc – you jump on the bypass (at 70 mph) and in just a little more than 10 minutes you’re already in Carroll. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

So if that was part of the consideration, then okay… maybe I can see where y’all are coming from. But hell, wasn’t the bypass completed over ten years ago? I’m too lazy to look it up. But anyway… yeah, somehow, between 2018 and 2019, the value of my property and dwelling – for the purpose of taxation – went up $34,000. 😳 Thirty. Four. Thousand. Dollars.

I’m pretty sure that everyone getting one of these letters had the same mental response as me… thinking, “Umm, would you like to actually come into my house and see what it’s like? Can you show me which aging parts suddenly jumped up in value by tens of thousands of dollars?”Β And yeah, there’s all kinds of “this and that” discounts that get applied before they get down to the actual amount you’re taxed on, so it isn’t quite as bad as it sounds… but still. πŸ˜• It’s safe to say that people are gonna be pretty shocked across the board, and I bet a lot of them are gonna make sure they are heard, at one or all of those meetings.

And I hope nobody gets one of those letters and sits there pleased, thinking that they can now sell their house for however much more the county claims that it’s worth. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ It’s the opposite of that. Other than normal market fluctuations, this house would fetch the same price this year as it would have last year… and in fact, now that the property taxes will be even higher due to that higher appraisal, it could technically cause it to sell for less. Folks with much newer, nicer, or bigger dwellings than mine, or people who have multiple acres of land rather than the half-acre that I’ve got… whoo… I’d hate to see how much their values changed in the course of this one year. 😬😯

I’m not really complaining. I don’t have a whole hell of a lot to bitch about when it comes to how I ended up living here or the responsibilities that come along with it. It’s just sort of a shocking thing to get in the mail somewhat out of the blue. It was probably something that most people knew was coming, and I may have even heard about it myself and just forgot, but until you see the county’s numbers… heh…

Prepping to Prep

With all of the rain and warm weather, it’s getting to be about that time for mowing to start up again. I’ve already talked to my lawn d00d and got that all set up, but I still have to get out there and get things kinda cleaned up beforehand. I’ve got lots of plants that start growing before the first mowing even happens, plus the still-standing corpses of plants that grew and died last season… so I’m gonna do my best to get rid of all of that stuff, which will actually make the mowing that much easier for d00d’s mowing guys.

This work shouldn’t be too taxing, but I’m still planning on using the better part of a day to do it. Also today I’ve been gathering names and numbers for bush trimming services, so tomorrow I’ll be able to make some calls (hopefully) so I can get some estimates for the bushes around the house as well as the ones along the rear of the property. I hate spending money, but since I didn’t have anything done with them last year – I guess I can mentally take whatever it costs and divide it by two, telling myself that it was actually for service that covers two seasons of “bush stuff.”

Surprisingly, I got a decent night of sleep last night, so that’s gonna make today easier… half chill, half prepping for stuff that I need to do this coming week. I’ll be glad when all of the “outside stuff” has been handled though. It’s the same as the inside of the house… my brain just relaxes more easily when things are cleaned up and looking nice. And right now the outside of my property looks pretty rough.