Coming Out Of The Closet

We’ve been renters our whole married life, for about six years.

We’ve lived in closets and old ramshackle houses that had probably not been approved by the fire marshall. And definitely not approved of by my mother.

But now we’re buying a house! We have enough credit (whatever that is) in the world that a bank actually trusts us for up to 120,00 buckeroos! I feel so adult now that I’m in debt. Or maybe just like a dolt.

Either way, there are some things I’ll never miss about renting and things that I’ll miss a lot.

Pros of Renting:

- When something breaks, you can call maintenance and they’ll come over within 12-14 business days and fix it but not really. BUT at least you don’t have to pay for the parts. Unless it’s the blinds.

- You can bribe the maintenance men with cookies and brownies and jalapeño poppers so that they come to your house first. It works, and is well worth it.

With a house, there are no maintenance men to bribe, only Michael. And he takes cookies and jalapeño poppers whether he’s fixed the toilet seat or not. I’m going to have to figure out a new method of bribery.

- Just because there’s a stain on the carpet, it doesn’t mean it’s yours. With a house, all the stains on the carpet are your fault.

- You’re surrounded by people 24/7. The nosy ones know all about you. The sweet ones ask all about you. And the good ones never ask anything about you. You know things about each other that could be blackmail in a high-school horror movie. And most people treat you with a kind of tentative friendliness. Or pretend you aren’t there.

- The stairs. Stairs are good exercise.

- It’s so small you can vacuum the whole house without change electrical outlets.

- It’s so small it only takes 1 hr to deep clean it and 3 hrs to Spring clean in.

 

Cons of Renting:

- When something breaks, you call maintenance and they won’t come over for another 12-14 business days. And then they’ll fix it, but not really. However, they can be bribed with baked goods.

- The squeaking mattress you hear in the dead of night isn’t yours.

- Hauling groceries from car to apartment. Too much exercise is bad for you.

- You have to walk all the way to the Office to hand over rent money. Walking is good for you, but sheesh, it hurts like the dickens to not only give over more than half your paycheck, but to walk it there yourself.

- The panties and used rubber outside your doorstep isn’t yours.

- You have to sweep off your porch every morning before the kids wake up.

- Anytime your child throws a screaming fit you have to call out the window, “I’m not even touching them.”

- When someone cooks something that smells exceptionally awesome, your dinner tastes lame.

Do you own or rent?

What’s your apartment pet peeve? 

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26 Comments

  1. Congrats on the house, Ellie! How exciting! Yeah, we’ve had out apartment/condo nightmares, for sure. There was a passive-aggressive alcoholic guy who lived in the apt below us. Whenever he was pissed off about something and wanted to punish us, he would blast his stereo to its maximum volume, lock the door, and leave.

    We could hear people cough, the messages left on their answering machines, lots of bed thumping (if you know what I mean), and the “laps” run over our heads at 7am on Sunday mornings by the toddler upstairs. It was like clockwork.

    On the other hand, we met some fab people, too – folks who chatted with us, helped us out, and even shared a cat with us (long, funny story). Cat-sharing seems to happen to us a lot, btw, it’s too cute!

    Enjoy your new digs. Try not to worry about the debt: it’s the American dream! ;)

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 15, 2012

      oh my word that doesn’t just sound passive aggressive, it just sounds aggressive! When you have a good neighbor it’s really really good, and it’s really reallly bad when you live near someone bad.

      Reply
  2. And then there is the parking at rentals and apartments! Great piece Ellie. As always you mix humor with insight.

    Reply
  3. Great post, Ellie Ann! Huge congrats on your house news—very exciting. :)

    Hubby and I rent part of a duplex. For now, it makes the most sense. My biggest pet peeve is the lack of total privacy. We share a courtyard-style backyard, walk through another’s property to get to our cars and it just doesn’t feel totally ours. We also have street parking, which has made my car into a dartboard for other cars a few times.

    I’m so grateful to have a safe, happy place, though. Our rent is fixed and utilities are included, which are huge pluses. What’s inside makes the home, right? Best of luck with your next!

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 15, 2012

      Can’t lay out on the porch in your skivvies, can ya? But the fixed rent and utilities sounds great!

      Reply
  4. Congrats on leaving the renting world! The thing I hate most about renting in NYC is that when you look at apartments, they give you no time to decide if you want it. They threaten you that you only have a a day or two to let them know if you’re going to get it or they will move on. So sometimes, you’re like, “I’ll take it,” just so you don’t miss out on it and then later you find all these problems with the apartment. Not fair.

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 15, 2012

      Michael and I aren’t good about making quick decisions. We’d probably have a panic attack if someone told us that.

      Reply
  5. Congrats on the house! I’ve had my fill of apartments, and I hope and pray I never have to go back. Worse than the meal someone else is cooking that smells exceptional is the one they’re cooking that smells so awful your stomach refuses to accept even your yummy food. Oh, and if you play an instrument and want to practice, but the guy in the next apartment over works nights, he gets really angry :(

    Reply
    • I played trumpet and rented an apartment at the same time. Thankfully, my upstairs neighbor enjoyed my music.

      Reply
      • EllieAnn

         /  October 15, 2012

        Marcy–that’s right! Sometimes we’d enter our apartment and it’d smell so funky that we eventually bought an air purifier.
        I loved hearing the violin music my upstairs music played. I miss it.

        Reply
  6. Jordan

     /  October 15, 2012

    Great post, Ellie! I recently moved into the coolest apartment I’ve ever lived in. It’s a remodeled, late-1800′s firehouse one block off of Main St in a sleepy town by a bay inlet.

    It’s fantastic, but I just experienced my worst con this morning. I’m responsible for getting my trash and recycling cans from the little gated alcove into the street for pickup. Well, this morning I found our trash cans fashioned into a shelter with sleeping bags underneath, and…. a plastic bag of poopy. Luckily my new neighbor wasn’t home…

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 15, 2012

      Oy! Yuckkkk! What an unpleasant surprise.
      Apart from that, the remodeled firehouse sounds like a dream-apartment. Does it have a pole in the middle of it and everything?

      Reply
  7. Great post. We’ve “owned” for over a decade and love our house. Of course, we don’t really “own” it, yet, do we? However, we never lived in apartments. At least, when we rented, we were renting houses, so that wasn’t nearly as bad. The last house we rented, we rented directly from the owners, and they were great landlords!

    Reply
  8. Congratulations on buying your first home! We rented for the first 4 years of our marriage. Our building did not have an intercom system. Our unit had a lovely view of everything but the front door. As a result, one of us had to babysit said door whenever we were expecting a visitor. There’s nothing quite like waiting on a staircase for 3 hours for a furniture delivery.

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 15, 2012

      Wow. Waiting for that long is when having internet on your phone comes reeeealy handy.

      Reply
  9. Congrats on the new house! Once you decide you’re doin’ it, you’ll find your tolerance for renting goes waaaay down.

    Like I couldn’t stand listening to the people having sex upstairs anymore. I just wanted to kill them. ;-)

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 15, 2012

      hahaha! Yes, I’m experiencing that lowered tolerance level right now. During the last rainstorm, the roof leaked right on the clothes in our closet. :(

      Reply
      • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

         /  October 15, 2012

        Misery. I could tell you tales of the in-between time.

        But you will have your own.

        Happy hunting!

        Reply
  10. Congratulations! =) That is exciting!

    We’re on the lookout for a house, too, but we haven’t found one yet.

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 15, 2012

      Oh good luck! It’s an exciting process. Sometimes we’ll see a house that looked amazing in the pictures, but it just didn’t feel like home. Others looked bad on paper, but turned out great.

      Reply
  11. Congratulations on homeownership! I have found that bribes of alcohol or sex work really well on getting my husband to fix things around the house. That, or I threaten to call Javier, the super cute maintenance guy my neighbor uses for all her household needs. She’s a single lady, don’t ya know. ;)

    Home ownership rocks. Not only do you get to pay someone money to live in the house (the bank), but that money is still kind of yours (you get to keep the house at the end of the day). It’s win-win!

    Congrats again, you’ll love being a homeowner.

    Reply
  12. We owned a home before the economy crashed and had to file Chapter 7 because the bank wouldn’t work with us. We’re now renting and I feel it’s so much easier than a house. My wife and I both agree on the subject of buying a house again, Unless we can pay straight up for the whole thing, no mortgage, we’ll never do it again.

    we’re lucky we live a good neighborhood with decent schools, it’s a condo not an apartment. I’ll never live in apartment again. I agree with the things you said about renting, but we have good maintenance on our residence and we only have to wait a couple days for them to show up.

    When we were first together and lived in an apartment, it was completely different. Apartments are for single people and those without kids, it’s too hard to do anything in an apartment with those thin walls.

    Good luck on your home. My experience isn’t normal right now, banks are lending again.

    Reply
  13. Congratulations! Now the bumps you hear in the night can’t be blamed on the neighbors! (a little Halloween humor…)
    You will love being able to do what ever you want to improve your space and that’s the best part: It’s yours!

    Reply

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