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Grateful that I Rent

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I was reminded this past week, once again, how grateful I am that I still rent. After two days in the mid-80s, I broke down and turned on the air conditioning a couple of nights ago in order to sleep without sweating. It immediately started blowing.

I wandered around the house turning off the fans and closing all the windows and doors. Then I went to bed.

Two hours later, I woke up sweating! I checked the A/C control unit and it was 80+ in the house and the setting was set to 75. Ugh!

I turned it off and went back to bed, knowing I would literally sweat the night away.

When I woke up the next morning, before I called my landlord, I decided to give it one more try. I switch the A/C on and then walked out back to see if the unit was running. It was humming, but the fan on top was completely still. I hit it and it started right up!

The A/C guys have me those directions the last time they were here. And they have been here every single summer since we lived here. (We’ve been here 3 years last month.)

I did go ahead and call our landlord and let him know that we now have a “manual start” A/C unit. He said that if it happens again to let him know and he will get someone out here. I was just glad it started. The last couple of 80+ degree weather days have been much more pleasant with A/C.

But what I was really grateful for was that I do not have to worry for one second the cost of fixing or worse replacing our A/C unit! And that is worth it’s weight in gold. Here’s to renting for the foreseeable future!

On a side note, Princess and I  sat down and worked out that when she graduates next year, this will be the longest we have ever lived in any one house since her dad and I split 13 years ago. We have moved 9 times in those 13 years.


9 Comments

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    I hesitated to write this because rent vs own is not one size fits all. It’s good you don’t have this expense, however, in some ways this should make you uneasy. Your landlord has expressed a desire to sell in the past and the fact that he may have expenses that could cost him thousands( a new AC unit)may increase the chances that he chooses selling over continuing to rent the property and having to pour money into something he will not be keeping. Personally, I always found the debate between costs associated with owning and renting a bit disingenuous. I am where I am for the foreseeable future which means owning makes sense(it costs money to sell or buy a home since there are items like closing costs so if your intent is to move in 5 to 7 years it makes no sense to take out a mortgage.)My home requires upkeep which can be expensive but I don’t have to worry about rent increases annually and I budget for the upkeep the way I budget for everything else(I recently paid $4700 for a new metal roof with money I saved for the last few years.) I don’t need permission to make changes to something I own unless it is something that town code requires a permit for. Lastly, the money I spend each month is going into an asset that either I or our heirs will benefit from. So while it is great that you don’t have to dole out money for a roof or AC unit when you leave this home you will get zero back of the hundreds you paid to live there. My home will likely be paid for by retirement age(our payoff date for a 30 year loan would have payoff at age 65 although I am paying more to our principal with the goal of paying it off in 20 years or less)decreasing the sum I will pay for housing at a time where we (My spouse and I)lose earning potential. A person renting is left at the mercy of the rental market for their lifetime. For me, ownership makes sense.

    • Reply Hope |

      My, maybe 10 year plan, would be to build a house. That’s been my dream/goal for decades. It has certainly evolved over time and shrunk as the kids have gotten older and I started removing them in my head from that part of my life…as far as living with me.

      My problem is I can’t see my home as a investment. it’s a home. And my dad is constantly on me for that. I have designed my build for me, to my likes, not for the resell value. But on the flip side, for the most part, I will be able to build it myself and am planning on doing that so will never have a large mortgage or mortgage at all if I am patient enough.

      I just have to decide where my “forever” will be…and that could literally take forever.

  • Reply Lisa |

    I also appreciated certain parts of renting. If the fridge died (when it was supplied), landlord. Leak? Landlord. Heater? Landlord.

    • Reply Hope |

      yes, yes and yes! And thankfully, we have a pretty responsive landlord when it comes to “living” issues. The bigger stuff, no so much, but immediate needs, he takes care of right away.

  • Reply SHanna |

    totally curious, though none of my business..I totally get where you are coming from, not having to worry about the expensive repairs. But would you ever want to own a home as an investment yourself? I know you are a free spirit and don’t seem to want to be tied down living somewhere yourself long term. But would you ever consider buying a house as a rental eventually as an investment if the rent covered all your expenses?

    • Reply Hope |

      I actually want to build a home. That’s my LONG term dream. Something I have dreamed about for decades. I actually have a whole scrapbook on it. It’s completely designed and drawn to spec (done by me over the years.) The home I want to build is quite small (not a tiny house) so definitely not a family home. In my dreams, it’s in the country, small, fenced yard for dogs and operates as a home base for me while I travel. Travel is also one of my dreams.

      But as for being a landlord someday…no way. One I don’t want to be responsible for someone else’s home or tied to any particular area. But more importantly, I am way too much of an empath/softie and having had such horrendous experiences with housing and having to move so much, I would be more likely to give it away vs it being an investment.. By give it away, I mean help another single mom out…not actually give the house away. Therefore, it would not be a good “business” for me.

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    A house can be an investment and a home Hope(even the land you build it in has value and floor plans can be redesigned, they have a whole network dedicated to discussing this stuff, hgtv). It can be a place the kids can come back to when it’s time to celebrate, a place to turn to when storms abound. However, before you can take that financial step you have to deal with your student loans and the car. Have you done any researching beyond the scrapbook? You don’t want your debt to income above 30% and you should be prepared to spend 1-4% on maintenance. Have you settled on a state to look in yet or region? It seems like you have spent a good portion of time in SE with the exception of Texas, is that where you prefer?

    • Reply Hope |

      I have done extensive research and know the ends and outs of mortgages from traditional sources, USDA, NACA, etc. I also have pricing and reviews on appliances, technical details based on county code. If I could go back again, I might consider a minor in architecture or design of some sort as I truly have loved designing this house. It’s been through multiple and significant iterations as time has passed and the family dynamic that will occupy it has changed.
      But like you said, I need to be on much more solid financial ground in regards to my debt. Plus, I truly have no idea where I would want to build. So it continues to be a dream and one that I truly enjoy working on.
      And until the kids are gone, it’s not even practical to consider since it truly will be built for a couple versus a couple and kids. Although, I have considered building a couple of tiny houses/container houses on the property for the kids to visit or stay a bit longer.

  • Reply Patrick |

    Here in MN, A/C is considered a luxury amenity, and therefore the landlord has no obligation to fix it, nor can you escrow your rent until it’s fixed. Heat, gas, power, water, fridge, stove, plumbing – sure (within 14 days); microwave, A/C, cable, internet – nope.

    So around here, if the landloard chooses to fix it good. Chooses to fix it timely, great. Just bet that he won’t pay extra for weekend or late-night service appointments.

So, what do you think ?