Monday, July 30, 2012

Yes, I'm Still Here...

Greetings From A Lapsed Blogger,

I hope all of you are well and I appreciate the comments left here. In the last five weeks, there have been no more tropical storms and we've returned to our normal pattern of afternoon rains. With August nearly upon us, the rains should abate which will make the heat completely unbearable. For someone like me, who grew up very near the equator, the Florida heat should be a piece of cake but the older I become, the less tolerance I have for humidity. Unlike the beaches in California, which provide welcoming breezes, beaches here  offer a stifling reminder of why humans have adapted to air conditioning.

Aside from the weather, I have been able to catch up with friends, check that all of the felines in the house are happy and that their health issues are appropriately managed, take in a few films, pare down a couple of bills and look at several flats, all of which need more renovation than my budget will allow. Many are bank-owned and the asking prices are inflated. I am left wondering if the bankers live in such a rarefied world that they actually believe people will come, cash in hand, to pay more than a property is worth. The housing market here should be a buyer's paradise. However, I have seen the prices rise for single-family homes while flats like mine continue to decline in value. Add to that real estate professionals who now tell potential buyers that few mortgages are available for condominiums as cash is preferred.  I also wonder who has between forty and seventy thousand dollars sitting around for the taking in the present economy. The only thing I can conclude is that perhaps with the Republican National Convention here later in August, some wealthy folk desiring rental property may fall upon mold-ridden, outdated or filthy flats, transforming them into gems that command higher rents. This isn't likely with the glut in the rental market here, from what I can see. I am not seeking to be a landlord, but to live in whatever I purchase.

Unlike other prospective buyers, I require doorways wide enough for my twenty-six and one half-inch chair and a kitchen large enough to allow me to open the refrigerator while I am sitting in my chair. The narrow doors and L-shaped kitchens of the seventies and eighties just won't do. A contractor friend, who is also a licensed code inspector and realtor tells me I would be better off remodeling my present abode than starting over in another. He may be right, but I would like a bit more space, and to
live in a place that does not require me, because of the ignorance of its board, to consult an attorney regarding my right to accommodation and problems with curb cuts that are not compliant with current codes. Various contractors who have visited my home have noted that the outside curb cuts are ridiculous and ill-placed. They are also not easy to use. Additionally, where I and the resident pets are to stay while any renovation is undertaken, inside or out, is another matter entirely.

My upstairs neighbour, whom I've written about in a previous post, is to be evicted and has been served. Until this process is completed, however, I live with my doors locked and blinds drawn, avoiding going out when she is on the stairs or outside anywhere here. My flat has become prison-like and that more than anything else is contributing to my desire to leave. In truth, in this country, the mentally ill are allowed to live freely unless they commit crimes, a situation I find frustrating when my neighbour is so obviously in need of supervision since she self-medicates and causes problems for others.

No brilliant holiday plans are in the offing this year, though I did organise a party of twelve or so for my upcoming birthday. I hope we all enjoy our time together. I am grateful to have friends who enjoy spending time with me as well as each other and despite life's trials, it is a blessing to have another year to look forward to. I will try to write more consistently and answer comments or questions. Be well.

Until Next Time...