Hi there. Usually the Monday morning question is from Mrs. 1500, but today Mr. 1500 is asking the question, Would you buy Dead Harold’s house?
But first, let’s look back at last week’s answers to the question, Do you save or spend your coins? I used to save my coins, then take them into the bank (which tells you how long ago I was saving coins) for a surprise windfall. I say surprise, because I didn’t count them before I took them in.
Alicia from Financial Diffraction questioned the accuracy of the counting machines. I have wondered that, too. I think at one point, they would run the coins through, then take them out and run them again, just to double check. But that memory is pretty hazy, maybe I just made it up?
CJ from The Great Jolly Hoombah says taking the coins in to be counted is an event in the Hoombah house, and the money can only be spent on fun. I have heard of people who fund their vacations this way.
Ashley over at Saving Money in Your Twenties saves it in an actual pig, then rolls it and has it deposited directly into her savings account. Nice idea, too.
Most of the rest of you use credit cards for almost any transaction. Right now, we are spending wads of money at Home Depot, conveniently located just over the river, and racking up tons of points for our trip to Hawaii next winter. The plane trip should be free, thanks to our British Airways cards, and the hotel should be free, if the Hyatt doesn’t change their rewards programs. (Thanks, Richmond Savers, for the travel hacking tips!) I almost never have real cash in my wallet, and yesterday when I needed to buy a bottle of water, I had to scrounge around trying to find enough coins.
OK, now I turn you over to Mr. 1500, who wants to know: Would you buy Dead Harold’s house?
Harold was my neighbor, but now he is dead. I want to buy his house. But there is a problem…
Let me fill you in first
Mrs. 1500 and I love the little street we live on. It’s out of the way and a dead end, so not much traffic. The kids can ride their bikes and we don’t have to worry. Also, we are close to the bike trail and open space where we take frequent walks.
We like our street so much that we’re considering buying other homes here. We’d fix-n-flip em’ or maybe rent them out.
My favorite house on our street is the last one on the left. It’s a little brick ranch with a walk-out basement that backs up to the open space. Harold lived there.
Being new neighbors and wanting to fit in, I had tried to talk to Harold a couple times. My friendly gestures were always met with a sneer and a grunt. Harold wasn’t social. Harold was an angry person. Fine, I figured that I’d just leave him alone.
Harold Moves On
Back in August on one of our walks, Mrs. 1500 observed that there were newspapers accumulating on Harold’s driveway. I dismissed it as Harold forgetting to cancel his paper while he was on vacation.
A couple weeks later, I was going for a walk myself when I noticed a strange van in front of Harold’s home. There were men in uniforms taking a bunch of garbage bags out of Harold’s home and loading them into the van. Hmmmm, what was going on? I thought they were asbestos abatement people. I was wrong.
A short time later, I was talking to a neighbor. Out of the blue, she goes, “Did you hear what happened to Harold?!?”
Me: Ummmm, no?
Neighbor: He’s dead. A friend discovered his body. He had apparently been dead for at least 10 days before they found him.
It all made sense now. The newspapers, the strange van being filled with garbage bags by men in Hazmat suits. But it got worse. There were rumors that Harold committed suicide*. Sigh.
I still want to buy Harold’s house, but now, the house has a history/stigma. We like our own home well enough to stay there, so if we bought Harold’s, it would be a rental for at least a bit. Would people want to rent it though? I would be upfront with them about what happened. If I didn’t, the renters would find out from the neighbors. Also, I believe in honesty and transparency. I’d rather lay out all my of cards than be deceitful.
So I’m curious, do people care about this type of thing? I almost don’t. I don’t believe in ghosts and am not superstitious, but a lot of people are. Even though I’m not scared of bumps in the night, if I bought the home, I really wouldn’t want to know exactly where Harold passed on. So Reader, would you care? If so, why? If not, why not?
*All personal finance stuff aside, if Harold actually did end his own life, that is absolutely terrible. I did try to be his friend. Maybe I could have tried just a little harder though? The thought that goes through my mind is this: maybe if we had just brought him a plate of cookies or something, it would have made the difference. Who knows. Harold, I hope you have your peace.
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