Before buying our current home, my husband and I rented a nice one bedroom apartment not far from where we currently live. Though we had major lack of storage (for us, a normal person with regular hobbies probably would have been just fine), we loved that apartment. We were the youngest tenants by probably 50 years (no joke) and our evenings usually consisted of my husband going next door at least once to turn the television on for our 87 year old neighbour whose son insisted she get a fancy flat screen TV so she could actually see the screen with her aging eyes.
While we were living in the apartment every day we would dream about homeownership. Owning something. Being able to paint the walls. Something to call our own and start our lives in. In hindsight I feel like I was being brainwashed by advertising because though I’m glad we have a home for our family, renting really wasn’t that bad.
I already wrote about why you absolutely need tenants insurance and our experience with dealing with a massive flood in our apartment. I cannot even imagine the headache of dealing with a flood in our house. Our house. Not a rental unit you don’t care as much about. While dealing with the flood was a headache, I knew everything would get fixed, I mean obviously the landlords wouldn’t not fix it, it was their building! Just like I’d be freaking out if property I owned was damaged. The stress of the ”what if’s” can be overwhelming sometimes when you own a home.
My husband and I recently made a detailed, prioritizing list about what we need to get done around the house. Some things are small like replace a door knob but some are bigger like replace flooring and new front door. Big bucks. Though I love being able to do basically whatever I want to my home and really personalize it, I miss the days of being able to call the landlord and have them deal with a problem, like a broken door. The peace of mind that comes with living in a rental unit (assuming you have responsible landlords) is a great feeling. I’d gladly replace the feeling of financial stresses related homeownership with it any day!
Finally, though our money is now going into an appreciating asset and we’re gaining equity, I can guarantee if we were as financially responsible as we are today when we were renting, we’d have a lot more money in the bank and likely be debt free. I have no way of guaranteeing this but I’d like to think if we had learned the financial lessons we did just 18 months ago while we were renting, we’d have significantly more money. Our rent was about $500 less than our current mortgage (though if we had a kid while renting would have needed to get a larger place) and our utilities were significantly less with both heat and hot water being included in our rent. Even upgrading to a larger two bedroom unit in our old building would give us over $500 more per month than our current bills.
Some days I wish we were still renting for all the reasons listed above but most of the time I love our home. I love our yard and the fun time we have in it. I love my clothesline and use it almost daily in the warmer months. I love that we can do whatever we want to it and that even though we need to pay for a new front door I will buy what I want 🙂