Dear PoPville – Held Hostage by the American Dream

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

“Dear PoPville,

Held Hostage by the American Dream, Home Ownership

I can’t be the only one this has happened to so I’m writing to get advice and to find out what others have done in similar situations. I have a rental property that I formally lived in (bought in 2003) and had to move from due to family issues. I bought another house (in 2008) that I currently live in and I have been renting out the original house since then, mostly at a loss, since it’s been upside down in the current market.

The first tenants were great and I was happy despite the loss. Those tenants moved for work. The tenants that live in the rental house now, haven’t been as easy or pleasant. Additionally, in this market the rent continues to cover the mortgage less and less so that I’m losing more and more. I’ve also hired a prop manager and so I’m losing, still, more. I’m pretty unhappy with the prop manager anyway. So the situation is that the tenants are difficult, the property manager is inefficient enough so that I’m still dealing with the rental house almost every day, and with the diminishing rental income the mortgage is no where near getting paid for without me personally subsidizing it every month.

At this point, I am losing a significant amount of money each month (and sanity) and trying to figure out what to do with this rental property – a short sale seems so unlikely and long term, especially with these tenants in the house. If the tenants are out of the house (ideal for selling), then how can I afford both mortgages, does that mean foreclosure for sure? Everyone talks about stopping the payment of the mortgage to the rental house but that seems like a road once started you can’t change.

I’ve tried several recommends on attorneys to get guidance but have gotten no where. Very few will return calls and so many are either title attorneys or landlord/tenant attorneys. They really have no practical experience with “investment” (hardly my idea of the word) properties. Any of the short sale attorneys I see online and one I’ve talked to personally seem to be bankruptcy attorneys and so far seem to push that – which is not where I’m hoping to go. Who can I talk to without paying $300/hr to find out if I believe in the attorney or not. Who else out there has gone through this? It feels like I’ll have to jump off and learn the hard way since I can’t get any decent answers up front.”

Recent Stories

Thanks to JP for sending:

photo by CTB in DC Ed. Note: If this was you, please email [email protected] so I can put you in touch with OP. “Dear PoPville, Breaking from my usual work…

If you have any animal/pet photos you’d like to share please send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com with ‘Animal Fix’ in the title and say the name of your pet and…

14th and U Street, NW From markets & more: “We are reopening 9-1 this Sat June 3 Look forward to seeing all our customers at the corner of 14th and…

Cherry Blossom Healing Arts is Washington DC’s best acupuncture and herbal medicine clinic. Located in Woodley Park, DC, we practice integrative medicine and take a personalized approach to your healthcare needs. We have helped thousands of busy Washingtonians improve their health and quality of life through treatment in our clinic.

Cherry Blossom Healing Arts is delighted to announce Xudong Wang is joining our team as an associate acupuncturist and herbalist. She utilizes all modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) including acupuncture, herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, TCM food therapy, and wellness planning to address a wide variety of health concerns. She is accepting new patients and you can schedule online with her by clicking here.

You deserve to feel better! We are here to support and guide you on your way to vibrant health. We also accept insurance and are open 7 days per week.

Submit your own Announcement here.

The Emma’s Torch Brunch Club, Summer 2023

Ready to experience the magic?

Enjoy a prix-fixe menu, family style. And the food? It’s oh-so-good while doing good.

The mouth-watering dishes will be made by our 3rd cohort of DC-area students, who will showcase their culinary skills and gain

Neighbor to Neighbor Day

Learn, serve, and celebrate! Join A Wider Circle for Neighbor to Neighbor Day: a day of learning opportunities (including a panel discussion featuring WAMU’s Michael King and Morgan Baskin), special volunteer projects, plus carnival games, arts and crafts, delicious food


Subscribe to our mailing list