Last weekend I went to my rental house to bring the new lease to my tenants. I went inside and she invited me to look around. While we were in the hallway I heard a "chirp", the tell-tale sound of a smoke detector with a dying battery. I stared at the smoke detector to make sure that was what it was. Of course, it didn't chirp but I heard another chirp from the living room. I went over there. Then I heard another chirp from one of the bedrooms. I asked her if they have been chirping long and she said that she hadn't noticed it. She thought the chirping was coming from one of her kids video games. These are smoke detectors which are hard wired to the electric system but they still have a battery back-up. So, as the responsible landlord, I ran to the store for some 9V batteries and bought 8 of them for $24 (ouch).
While at the hardware store, I heard the clerks talking about a hot water heater shower head that some customers had brought in. They had purchased it for $20 in Mexico (it was Italian made) and were buying electrical tape and an extension cord. I guess they are pretty common there. I am always interested in new ways to provide the basic comforts of life so I asked them about it and they let me look at it. All of the clerks were very leery of it saying it looked dangerous with the wires so close to the water supply. Later when I went home I looked it up on the internet and found this article about one man's experience with them. Sounds like they can be "shocking" sometimes.
I considered this self-heating shower head as an option if I add a bathroom in my mobile home but then I decided that the $200 point of use heater from Home depot would be more practical since I want hot water for a shower, and 2 sinks. Plus, I can just plug in the point of use heater and won't have to mess with any wiring or grounding issues. I still think the shower head is an interesting idea though. I love learning how other people tackle the same problems in other countries and come up with different ideas.
Anyway, after delivering the batteries, I was leaving my rental house and the neighbor asked me if I had any more houses for rent. That got me thinking about the house that is for sale two doors down. It is selling for the very low price of $89k. If I had the money it would be very tempting. As I drove home I was trying to think up ways to scrounge 30% for a down payment as is typically required for investment property. In reality, I don't like being a landlord because it is expensive and stressful at times. I certainly don't need another rental house. I looked the house up on the web and it said it was under contract so, whew, I can stop thinking about raiding my 401k or taking a home equity loan to buy another rental house. I want less stress in my life, not more!