Thankfully, the furor over storage unit foreclosures has died down to a dull roar. Perhaps we are all tired of listening to annoying Dave on Storage Wars!
During the height of the recession, our facility was receiving a few calls each week from people interested in buying foreclosed storage units. The TCL TV show Storage Wars wetted their appetite for “riches waiting to be found.”
What Storage Wars does not portray is reality: that being the vast majority of tenants stay current with their storage rent, especially if their unit has value.
I've been in the industry for nearly 20 years and find that most units sell for $100 to $300. This is a far cry from the $1200 to $2500 routinely bid on Storage Wars.
The moral of the story? Pay your bill, then one will not have the worry of foreclosure.
Praise for Self Storage by Gayle Brandeis:
“A novel of passion and consequence, identity and accountability. I love the narrator, her children, her wild ride, and this truly American story of getting mad and getting wise.”
In the storage business, the contents of a foreclosed unit are auctioned off when a tenant fails to pay rent. Occasionally, a unit contains nothing of value as we experienced recently. This unit contained a partial pool table, an unusual buffet table with parts missing, a broken metal desk, and a vintage 1903 upright piano painted green sans wheels.
The regal piano with its ornate exterior and strong, melodious sound won my heart. If I did not already own a piano, it would be gracing my living room.
Not knowing the value (if any) of the piano, I contacted a piano technician who gave me a quick 2 minute appraisal. The first words out of his mouth were, “I don't even consider (buying) a piano that has been painted.” He ascertained that this piano had been worked on at one time and, with a good tune-up, still had some life left in it. He suggested I place an ad on Craigslist for $200 OBO. I did, but didn't receive even one inquiry.
Our good friend Phil offered to take it. I assumed that he would dismantle it, making a bit of cash off its scrap value.
But no, a man after my own heart who allows sentimentality to govern his actions, he left the piano in the back of his truck, parked in his driveway, with a large sign saying, “Free to a good home”.
And this is where the story gets good.
A sheriff drove by, read the sign, and stopped to inquire about the particulars. He excitedly phoned his good friend who just so happens to be the music teacher at Rochester High School which just so happens to need a piano. Soon the music teacher arrived on scene and began playing the piano in the back of Phil's truck. Before long, Phil and the piano are heading to the high school followed by the sheriff and music teacher.
This lovely, 100+ year old piano will continue sharing its lovely tones for years to come.
Accidents happen. It's good to have insurance coverage.
Should there be a break-in at a storage facility or, worse yet, a natural disaster that causes damage to units, said facility's insurance will not cover the contents of a tenant's unit.
Should tenant have a homeowner or renter's policy, it's very important to check with one's insurance agent to ensure one's possessions are covered when being stored. Many such policies offer coverage for only 30 days.
Most facilities offer a storage insurance policy which tenants can purchase to cover costs associated with loss of unit content. Please consult with the manager of your facility for details.