Monday, June 1, 2009

Marginal Existence

It appears that our renters are perfectly reasonable. They are originally from Connecticut and have lived in North Carolina for twelve years. The family has three children but two will be at college and the youngest will attend Friend's School. The husband works in the Baltimore /DC area and they like Baltimore and want to rent for a year. The contract is for July 1, but the renters are fine with starting July 15 and accommodating us. I wanted to meet them but they are not around for another two weeks. I have to be sure that they will be respectful and take care of the house. Of course talking on the telephone will not reassure me entirely. Both Eric and I are so eager to move forward with the house and with the move, that it is very compelling to accept this contract. I am advised however to make the effort and make sure that the renters are responsible and reliable. I am not sure how to do that without meeting them. Actually I am not sure how to do any of this. How can I possibly be sure that this will work out? How extensive will the real estate agent/company investigation be? How does one proceed with this?

This is all about trust. Strangers will live in our house; what an odd thought. We have no idea what will happen. We have to trust the real estate agent (I don't!) and that the renters will take care of the house as if it was their own. What does that mean? What if they don't take care of their own house? What if they don't pay the rent? Eric seems much more relaxed about it. Is this where I need to just back off and trust? I am not sure I can do that. If anything goes wrong with the house I will hold Eric responsible. My friends in California had many stories about horrible renters, from non-paying ones to those who burned down the house! I guess if it burns down, at least our piles of stuff are not going to be destroyed. Or would I rather everything disappear? There is no doubt that our empty house is far more attractive. It is stunning that we have packed so much away; there is still so much not yet packed and the house is full!

I have a feeling that we will go through with this contract. I am taking the latter part of the week off to move things forward. In the end, I am not sure what I can do to feel confident about renting the house. I m relieved that we are not selling it and that we have a home to return to in a year.

I have been talking to more peripheral people in my life about our move to Ecuador and the reaction has been consistently 'shock and awe". Generally the response is that we are crazy to be leaving everything behind, including our home and my medical practices, to live marginally in a third world country, taking our daughter out of all her activities, uncertain about everything about our lives in this new environment. Most of the questions I am asked make me realize how little I really know about Ecuador or what to expect.

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