Last weekend, we saw an ad for a "nice modular home". We drove out, and looked at the house. It was a mess. It did not matter how nice the house might look, it had no yard. It was situated in a gravel parking lot. I immediately said no. The house looked horrendous but it wouldn't matter, it was a parking lot. We turned around to leave and saw a group of men working on another home. We saw a "For Rent" sign so we stopped and walked through. The workmen assured us they were repairing the home and it was for rent.
I called the number and told the owner we were interested in THIS home after the work was done. On Monday, we put a deposit on the home. Friday, he told us "it's ready to go." There was niggling doubts that bloomed into harsh reality when we saw what this man considered to be "ready to go."
It had not been cleaned. There was still a hole in the floor of the guest bathroom. The walls were furry with grease and dust. Our stomachs sunk to our toes. We had just paid the utility deposits and several were now functioning. It was going to be a HUGE undertaking. The rent was $200 lower than we currently pay so we decided okay, this is not up to our standard but the payoff is that we will be 5 miles from our church. We can be active and minister to our church. But that hole had to be repaired.
The next day, we bought a fridge, we bought professional cleaning supplies and made plans to dive in. But the niggling doubts about this home and that landlord were not going away. It was late, around 10 pm when my husband on a lark looked up our landlord on google. It was with deepening horror that we started reading "testimonials" about how bad this man was as a landlord. We read one story about a broken AC unit that he refused to repair in a home with a hole in the guest bathroom floor. My husband and I looked at each other in horror. We gulped and began to think...this is not good. A few moments later my husband exclaimed and our world turned upside down. I won't give gory details, but a search through our state court record revealed this man was not only a bad landlord but he was a dangerous man with an extensive criminal past. Extensive! Not an isolated event, but 4 pages of charges, convictions and incarcerations.
It was incredibly and profoundly clear to this person...a flashing neon light yelling "HEY STUPID! This is not MY plan!" The only thing the Lord could have done next was to wrap the home in crime tape.
The Lord protected this stupid person who had ignored the doubts because I wanted so bad to live closer to my church family. A friend blessed me this morning by pointing out that God STOPPED us from this mistake. It means He has something better in store. I'm waiting for the next neon sign.
Now to attempt to get all those deposits returned. Oh yay!
In the meantime, my current landlady is counting her blessings. She is elated that we aren't moving now.