Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Summertime Blues

Well, your favorite Peasant's Fourth of July was a most
enjoyable holiday; it usually is, as I love to celebrate our
wonderful country's birthday each year and attend some
picnics, parties, and fireworks shows. I certainly did all
that again this year as well.

But I did receive a setback during my little break from
wielding my trusty Pitchfork: another home fell through.
I have been in the market for a new place to rent since
March, and although I have viewed several places, got
on some waiting lists, and have networked like mad, I
still have had no luck in finding a suitable rental to move
into. I was so sure that I would get a plain but comfortable
duplex at the end of June, but I was passed over in favor of
another on the "list". Other places, I didn't even have that
much success! One place in Elm Grove, a quaint, lovely
village near Wauwatosa where I presently reside, was
most appealing to me. After finding it on Craigslist I had
e-mailed the landlady to arrange a date and time to view
the place, and she got right back to me, having set it up
with one of the tenants there (the landlady lives in Chicago).
She told me in her e-letter that if I was ready to commit or
if I had any questions to e-mail her again. Wonderful.

Well, I e-mailed her with a question, just a simple one,
no big deal. I gave her my phone number as well. I heard
nothing from the woman over the next eight days, so I e-
mailed her my question again, with all else that I added in
my first e-letter. Five days passed, still no word. I e-mailed
her a third time; a few more days with stone silence. After
a fourth attempt was also blown off I gave up on the rental
in question. It was a beautiful place with many mature trees,
lush grass, and other attractive homes surrounding it, and
it was surprisingly affordable for its location; Elm Grove
is rather pricey to own or rent a home due to its almost
rural beauty and natural charm, but it has long been my
dream to live in the verdant village nearby where I grew
up in New Berlin and Brookfield.

Since then I have tossed a wider net; some landlords and
landladies have not even responded to my initial e-mail
inquiries. Others, after responding, then dropped away
when I tried to arrange meetings with them to see the rental
units. Now, I do realize that with rental homes the market
has transformed from being a renters' market to a landlord's
market, with many folks losing their houses via failure to
keep up their mortgage payments in this sagging economy,
and many of these people bought homes with mortgage
deals that they had should not have received in the first
place either from avaricious mortgage bankers or due to
regulations from our friends in D.C. mandating that some
mortgages be underwritten for people who would have a
snowflake's chance on a hot griddle to keep up the payments,
thereby triggering the real estate bust. And these beleaguered
souls have to go somewhere to live, so its apartments for
them, causing a surging demand for those, sending many to
the market for rooms to rent in houses. Then, naturally, the
demand for rooms surges as well. But this does not excuse
owners of rental properties from having the basic decency
and consideration to inform prospective tenants and lodgers
that they have been turned down. If it were a case of an owner
having had a vast number of responses to his ad announcing a
rental unit, then that's a different matter, as it would be a huge
 task to contact each of the hopefuls to inform them that they
weren't chosen, but I know for a fact that this was not at all
the case with at least a few of the rentals that I was up for.
So I'm still sitting among my mostly-packed up belongings,
still hunting for my next home. I shall set my sights on moving
there, wherever it will be at the end of July. But this is
having an stressful impact on my enjoyment of summer,
my favorite season. And I don't need this stress at anytime
of the year, to be sure.

Meanwhile, we shall still get together for our weekly visits to
traverse our nation's political and economic landscape, exam-
ining news items, praising those deserving of praise while
castigating those deserving of castigation. Today, I castigate
those who think that simply ending communication with pro-
spective renters is a sufficiently fair way of letting them know
that they have been rejected as tennants or lodgers. Is courtesy
too much work and bother to exercise in our society anymore?
I suppose that things like manners will soon become quaint
anachronisms relegated to history books and that books on
same will become museum exhibits. And that would be as
serious a blow to our country and our way of life as the
economic policies of the current presidential administration,
for our country will soon cease to exist as we know it.


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