“There is a small trust at the local town bank. You only get it if you—”
“Are in the town.” I finish his thought. “Yeah, I got it.”
“Mr. Abernathy, I have a job… here in Boston. I run this publishing house. As small as it may be, it still needs my attention. I don’t know that I can just skip off to Texas. What happens if I choose not to do anything with the house?”
“It stays tied up in litigation. In the event that you never take possession or leave it to anyone, it will eventually be auctioned off. Any proceeds from said auction will be given to a local charity.”
He hands me another piece of paper. “Here’s an estimate of what the house is worth as is. And here’s a projection of what it could be worth if it’s fixed up.”
“Holy shit!” I exclaim, impressed by the number. “Why are you showing me these numbers if I can’t sell it?”
“To give you an idea of what you could get if you rented it out.”
He then shows me the amount that is in the trust. He wasn’t lying when he called it small.
“Mr. Abernathy, I don’t like to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I don’t know that this will be enough to hire a team to do all of this work.”
“If you decide to take possession, I can get you in touch with the local handyman.”
He nods. “He’s a retired Navy SEAL. Now, he does odd construction work around town. He works for cheap but does a good job.”
“Guess you’ve thought of everything, huh?”
He gives me a weak smile. “Just trying to help, ma’am.”
I think for a moment, but my mind is too frazzled. I don't even get offended by the 'ma'am.'
Sighing, I say, “I’m sorry. This is just a lot to take in.”
“I understand. How about you take the evening to think about it? My flight isn’t until noon tomorrow. I’ll stop back by first thing in the morning.”
“Okay, that will be fine. Thank you.”
We say our goodbyes with a quick handshake, and Mr. Abernathy is out the door with his briefcase and trench coat.
I sit back down in my desk chair and try to process everything. I’m quickly interrupted, though, when Danielle pokes her head back in.
“Your one o’clock is here.”
Guess processing will have to wait.
Ishimmyinthehot water, trying to get comfortable—which is no easy feat in this small bathtub. I swear this thing was not made for someone with any type of curves.
But it’s the best I’ve got, and all the decision making I have to do requires candles, bubbles, and wine.
I spent the better part of the afternoon researching everything that I could about this entire situation. I learned that Maple Oaks is an extremely small town that barely even warrants its own map dot. But from the photos, it looks cute—in a quaint sort of way.
In the area, I could make a decent chunk of change on a rental the size of my recent inheritance. But honestly, what the hell do I know about being a landlord? And how hard would that be living all the way across the country?
I guess I could hire a local company to help me manage the property and tenants, but that would eat into my profits.