News, notes, and gossip surrounding the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte
Sep 3, 2012
10:53 AMThe DNC In The CLT
I've Rented Out My House For The DNC
One Charlottean's by-the-minute perspective on the preparations behind renting out her house for the DNC
So I’ve rented my house out for the DNC. Yep, I’m one of those. Don’t judge. When you’ve recently opened up your first grad school loan statement, you don’t turn up your nose at any opportunities to make a little side cash.
Where will I stay, you ask? Well, the reason any of this works out in the first place is because the house I grew up in near Matthews is vacant while my family tends to a house in the corn belt. They’re graciously letting my tabby Roxy and me set up shop for the week.
I’ve learned that preparing to rent out a house is no easy feat. I’ve done a lot to get ready for this, and it all started a few months ago with listing my house online. I didn’t expect to hear from anyone, but I thought I’d try. It actually goes back to last summer when I was living in London, and someone suggested I look up short-term housing on airbnb.com. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a site where you list your home with pictures and pricing as sort of a by-the-night bed and breakfast spot, and people who are swinging through your town can place bids on your house for certain nights and stay with a local. So when I read all the hype about all of Charlotte’s hotels being filled with delegates, I thought, why not? Then, a bite. A guy named "Ray" and his "three colleagues from Boston" were interested in the house, placed a bid, and voila, I was homeless.
Don’t worry. I sufficiently stalked him online and found out that he went to Harvard, looked highly respectable, and started his own website. Or, he just created that page on LinkedIn to scam people like me.
After much anticipation, yesterday was the day. Here’s a snapshot of how my day played out:
9:06 a.m. Decide to get out of bed. Don’t judge. Throw the sheets in the washer so they’re nice and clean for the visiting Bostonians. “You’re going to let strangers sleep in your bed?” people have asked. What are sheets, like $30? Worst case scenario, I’ll hit up Marshalls for some new sheets with my DNC money.
10:07 Try to pack up a beyond-reluctant Roxy in my Camry and head over to our home for the week. She’s not having this—she knows that cat carrier = vet and refuses to get in. I just put in her the car and hope for the best. Hmm, probably illegal. But it’s only three miles. Cue “cat car noise.” Car echoes with the loud legato of what a cow trying to push out a calf probably sounds like.
10:14 Put Roxy in the house, unload her litter box, food bowls, food, etc. and get her space all set up. She’s less than thrilled with what I'm calling "our adventure."
10:47 Last-minute Wal-Mart run. Realize I totally forgot to buy extra paper towels and toilet paper … which is pretty much the first thing a normal person would think to buy for renters. My first thought? Wine. I hooked them up with a bottle of Biltmore Century Red. So now they’ll have an eight-pack of super absorbent select-a-size to clean up the red wine they’ll probably spill all over my house.
11:24 Sweep, Swiffer, Wet Jet … repeat
12:07 p.m. Cram extra clothes and knickknacks lying around into box in closet … no time to go through it all now.
1:47 Head over to other house to check on Roxy. She’s fine (She meowed). [She could actually be saying, “I don’t know what I did in another life to be stuck with you—carting me all around town like this.”] No, I think if she could talk, we’d for sure be back on speaking terms.
2:02 Unload the packed car—brought over my clothes for the week and some pasta, etc.
2:32 Feeling stressed and pressed for time. Decide showering is a good plan. Probably shouldn’t greet guests in running shorts, a sweaty T-shirt, no make-up, and un-brushed hair. They should arrive in a couple hours.
2:44 Shower screams and whines at me for a couple minutes in manner of Roxy earlier—no one has used this water in weeks.
2:55 Decide to put on kind of nice clothes. Not sure why I should care what these people think of me, but it feels kind of like a blind date. Contemplate running back home to open bottle of Biltmore. No.
3:07 Beyond starving. Have eaten an egg and an English muffin all day. Head up to Bruegger’s for quick sustenance. Takes sandwich maker approximately 10 minutes to slap some turkey on a Honey Whole Wheat bagel. Does he not know I’m in a hurry?!
3:15 Run through Harris Teeter for some necessities for the week at the new place.
5:37 Back at home for the week, groceries are unloaded, feeling totally drained. On way back to my house to wait for my buddies from Boston, stop in Starbucks for a little pick-me-up half-caff. I really hope they show up. And don’t look scary.
5:58 A text! “Stuck in traffic, be there in 30 -- Ray” He exists! He’s on the way!
6:25 Ray and his wife pull up in a red SUV rental and I show them around the place. They seem really cool, normal, and excited about the week. Ray tells me “I’m right” about how close my house is to town. I’m glad he confirmed that for me. Feel relieved.
Now, I wait. In less than a week, I’ll find out if my house is still standing.