I was a renter for years.
As nice a house as it was, and as fantastic as the landlords were, renting plain old stunk. I’m a country girl. I love the freedom of rural living, and of making decisions about my own home.
Alas, renting was my only option at the time.
If you’re stuck in a rental situation too, you are familiar with its limitations.
Basically, it lacks everything we love – security, control, and money.
Renting Lacks Security
Somewhere, in the back of your mind, you know you could be asked to leave at any time. It could be an overly sensitive neighbor’s complaints that send you packing. A banking error could cause your rent to be late. Maybe the building owner wants to sell, and you’ll have to buy or leave. Either way, the possibility is always there that you could lose the place.
Renting Lacks Control
There is a whole lot you do not control. You might be stuck with yellow walls or pink bathroom fixtures. You might not be able to put up a garden shed in the yard, or even a garden. Maybe the lease even specifies the use of only neutral colored curtains. Renovations? Forget it. Rentals are more of a take-me-as-I-am arrangement.
Renting Has Zero Money Power
Kiss your payments goodbye. Sure, you might get yard and property maintenance for the price, but you’ll never see a return on that investment. You’ll never be able to resell your apartment for more than you paid. You’ll never financially benefit from improving the place. That money’s gone.
Home ownership doesn’t have these limitations.
The banker does not ever want to wrench you out of your house.
You choose wall colors, whether or not to dig up a garden, and where to park in the driveway. Heck, you can even PAVE the driveway if you feel like it. There is so much freedom in owning!
But We Can’t All Buy Right Away!
I know. Truly. If you’re stuck renting for now though, rent wisely. Be the awesomest tenant that landlord has ever seen. It will get you a stellar reference (just in case), and who knows – you might even enjoy a perk or two as a result.
I remember one time, I had a great landlord, and was a good little tenant myself. I paid on time, and did not complain. Ever. If a bulb burned out, or the furnace filter needed replacing, I did not call them. I just replaced it. I didn’t think it was anything but normal actually.
Then the landlord, after buying more properties and experiencing other kinds of tenants, told me how much they appreciated me. “We’ve been spoiled having you as our tenant” they said. As conversation turned to other things, we began discussing some of the beautiful stones made at his workplace. “Which do you like?” he asked. I was stunned, not sure why he was asking. I pointed one out, and he said something about, “It’s yours” Before I knew it, he arranged to build a firepit in my backyard, just to show his appreciation for me. It was gorgeous.
Still, when I moved, I could not take it with me.
Now, in our own home, I can replace floors, improve the windows, and make it into the kind of rural retreat this country girl adores.
What kind of home improvements would you make if you could?