We sent one of our maintenance men in to secure a house in Federal Way yesterday.  We finally got the squatter out and didn’t want her (or her boyfriend) or his friends) to return.  But when our guy opened the front door and took one step inside he was viciously attacked by fleas!

OK, ‘vicious’ might be a little strong to use with fleas.  But the little guys came after his ankles, hair and any other exposed part of his body like a starving man at the buffet line!  So our guy never got the house secured.  The fleas wouldn’t let him.  There might as well have been a Doberman Pincer standing guard.

Instead he fired off several flea bombs and vowed to come back today and take another shot at the locks.  The irony is the fleas picked a fight with the wrong guy.  Our guy used to do pest control.  That means he will win!!

The dumpster arrives tomorrow to begin the clean out and clean up of the place — it is a mess!  Hopefully the guys will be able to do their work unfettered.  But even so, I am pretty sure we have not seen the last of the fleas.  I am confident there are eggs in there incubating that will require multiple bomb treatments.

What was weird was that only a week earlier we had walked through the house without any issues.  Then the owner spent the past week picking through some of the stuff looking for valuables.  She must have disturbed something because a week later the fleas had taken over and claimed the house as their own!!

Peter Nelson is President of Full Service Property Management.  For more information on his company, visit www.fullservicepm.com.

A not-so-funny story — lesson to learn.

Property management provides a wide assortment of whacky, weird, funny, outrageous, sublime, and — this time — sobering stories.

This is the story of a 35-year-old tenant dying of lupus.  Thirty five years old!  She is on life support and when her father arrives in Seattle today they will pull the plug.  She leaves behind an 8-year-old boy.  Tragic.

So what is lupus.  I had to look it up.  It is a disease of the autoimmune system and can affect one or more organs at random.  It is difficult to detect.  This woman had been battling it since she was 13.  Sometime later today she will lose that battle.

Let us use this proud mama’s battle as a firm reminder of our priorities in life.  All my life I have valued time over money.  You can always make more money.  But you cannot make more time.  So spend it wisely…with the ones you love and the ones who matter the most.

Brandishing the knife!

Wild story — the names have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty!).

Auntie Jane flies out to Seattle to kick her niece Meghan out of the house that she owns but Meghan has been squatting in.  She shows up to the front door, knocks, then tries the doorbell  No answer.  But there are not one but two cars in the driveway.  Hmmmm.

So she jimmies a back door lock and lets herself into the house.  It is a split level home and she rambles around downstairs and no one is home.  She goes upstairs but there is still no one up there to greet her.  So she goes into the kitchen and grabs a knife.  You know the kind I am talking about — one of those big, long, shiny ones!  She walks down the hall with the knife peeking into each of the rooms as she goes.  Still no one.

At the end of the hall the door to the master bedroom is locked.  Knocking would be too easy.  She kicks the door down!  Brandishing the kitchen knife in one hand she takes a step inside the bedroom and peers into the closet.  Her niece is standing in the closet buck naked whle a man is standing in the middle of the room with nothing on but some boxer shorts with his back to the door!!  He won’t even not turn around and look auntie in the face.

Still brandishing the knife, the auntie explains to Meghan (and her beau) it is time to leave the house!!  The niece, a little terrified at the events that just occurred and still noticing the knife shining in the aunt’s hand is in full agreement!

Now that’s what I call: 1) getting a person’s attention, and; 2) takin’ care of business!!  Of course, we could never get away with something like that.  (And no way did we ever advise auntie to go in that direction!)  But hearing the story just made me laugh.  I could only imagine the stark terror of little niece going from a situation of rolling on the floor with her boyfriend to standing in a closet buck naked looking at a crazed auntie with a knife in her hand!!  The image is priceless!

Halloween in July!

Took my son out into the woods near Cougar Mountain to get the keys from a tenant and take over possession of the house after we had given them a 20-day notice to vacate.  This place was out in the boonies, but we ended up entering an upscale community.  We wind around some streets and find a thin, steep, uphill driveway and go up it and park at the top of the driveway with a burned out Beetle and 2 other cars of dubious distinction.

At the top is a large cedar home with 2 garage doors, and a 2nd story entrance around the corner in the front of the house.  There is lots of trash lying around and off in the woods and I am thinking “Is this our huose?”  To make matters worse, the front stairway leading up to the front door is missing the first 6-8 steps and the whole thing looks like it is one good storm away from turning into kindling!!  I look at my son with a very questionable look and proceed around the rest of the house for a look.

On the back side of the house is a 2nd story deck — probably off the kitchen or living room.  There are 2 4×4 posts along the outside edge holding the deck up.  (The rest of the deck is attached to the house.)  Only one of the 4×4 posts is canted at a huge angle!!  That deck wouldn’t be able to take the weight of a hummingbird!!

We had seen enough.  This was Halloween in July!  We scrambled back into the van and shot on down the driveway like it was a Grand Prix car race!  We were relieved to read the numbers on the mailbox and see we really wanted the house next door.  Whew!!