Recently, my secondary residence has been broken into twice within the last several weeks. For anyone who has not experienced this unique feeling……………….it sucks some hard ass. I had two gun safes there but they were undisturbed. They did however take the dolly, rope and support stand I used to get those safes into the house to start with. After some reflection and “other stuff” I’m convinced that they were just some kids and not hardened criminals.
The ultimate solution is to rent out my second home and have them there to keep an eye on the place, and more importantly, make the place look lived in.
That’s why the bastards struck. All the coppers I’ve talked to have told me that garages and out-buildings are fair game to the meth heads who will steal anything not nailed down. But they won’t enter your home because they’re afraid of getting shot. Well, my summer home does not look lived in. Even people I trust, only know my one of my adresses.
So I’m becoming a land lord…………yippee.
I have always resisted the idea of renting it out because:
1. I didn’t need to in order to survive financially.
2. I value my privacy more than most men value their crotch nuggets.
3. I didn’t want to deal with the responsibility, both legally and morally.
4. I really did live half the year in one place and half in the other. It’s a long story.
Pretty boring post so far, huh?
Well, my new tenet is a convicted felon………………..for burglary. He screwed up when he was 18 years old and served 18 months in prison for it. His mother is also my neighbor. I’ve had run ins with him in the past for trespassing and being a bit disrespectful of my property. But, truth be told, he was walking across this property 16 years before I bought the place. I never wanted to be the mad man on the hill yelling at the next generation for trespassing because I was yelled at for the same when I was his age. All that changed when he was convicted of burglary. I had a talk with him when he got out and let him know in no uncertain terms that if he ever set foot on my property again, the police response would be the least of his worries. He told me then that he was starting fresh and wanted to just live a normal life with normal stuff. I didn’t believe him for a second. To me, he was pure evil. He was the reason I finally got my CCW permit after my buddy bugged for 5 years to get one.
Now 4 years have gone by and I always reevaluate my conceptions when needed. He’s 22 years old and homeless. No normal business will hire him because of his felony conviction and his mother has kicked him out of the house for growing weed in her home. Fair enough, it’s her home, not his.
So here I am.
1. He says he wants to start over.
2. He still has a support network from his mother who lives directly across the street. He can’t live there but she still gives him a raft of shit for being a douche-bag.
3. Despite that, he has alternated living/”staying” with his mom while trying to find a job. Time for the fledgling to fly.
4. I had a very long talk with him and his girl friend about decency, honor and community.
He grew up here, long before I showed up. People in my community prefer to lop off body parts in lieu of calling the non-existent police force. Being a new-comer, I had a decision to make.
Do I give this guy a second chance or shun him?
First instinct is to shun him, his entire family and any celestial connections. But I actually like the guy.
UPDATE: First and foremost, I appreciate the brute honesty in everyones' comments. I feel like a need to clarify a bit.
I've already lived next door to my renter for 10 years. He's either going to rent from me, or park a camper trailer in his mom's driveway which is directly across the street from my driveway. His opportunity to rip me off has never nor will ever change in the short term. He still goes to moms for food so I'm living next to him either way.
Of course I moved the damn gun safes.
I actually don't care if he gets a job right away because we've worked out a deal of labor for reduced or total rent, depending on the level of labor. I grew up in a community that valued the bartering system and so does the one I currently live in.
The house and yard need extensive work done and he's more than handy as witnessed how he has fixed up his mom's house/yard in the past. The deal already was that when staying with mom, yard duties and fix-it jobs were his rent. He's simply doing the exact same thing he's accustomed to for me now.
I figure that if I can get 4 hours of work out of him and his girlfriend each day, which is more than reasonable, I will get $2400 worth of work done every month considering I would have to pay someone $10/hour to do it otherwise. Right now, the house is just sitting there getting old. I'd rather have it do something for me.
In addition, the town I live in only has about 300 people. We know each other. We're aquainted. I was forced with the decision of tossing him to the garbage heap or trying to instill in him the values and morals I was raised with. Yes, he's a pet project of mine.
I have plenty of projects around the place and I've even hired him before for odd jobs.
It's a win for him and a win for me. As far as him using my home for illicit purposes, that's not very likely...............because I'm his neighbor, and I do look after my property.
Much as our adversaries love to think we say, life is black and white. I marvel at shades of gray every single day. I'm going to give him a chance to redeem himself. And if my plan falls to darkness, I will blame only myself. Not others, not video games nor movies.
If my trust is unwarranted, y'all will be the first to know......stay tuned.
The inner cities can't do this on a meaningful level. But when living in a town of only 300, yes we can.
I may be a fool, but crossing me will give you nightmares when you're older and wiser.
I still win.