I’m going to become a “homeowner”. Well, I’m thinking about it and planning for it. It probably won’t happen quickly – decisiveness is not one of my strengths. I’m equal parts excited and completely freaked out. The idea of that much financial commitment…it’s doing my head in a bit.
There are advantages to renting – I’ve really enjoyed having enough money to feed and clothe me the past few years. I’m probably about to say goodbye to that… And when you have housemates, like I do, well, that can be a built in drinking-tv watching-dinner making-going for a walk-buddy right there.
I’ve never had a really terrible house sharing experience – no crazy stalkers getting into my underwear drawer, no one labelling their eggs or anything like that. In fact overall it’s been a positive experience, but the time has come for this 30-something pretending she’s still a 20-something to take the next step in life (OMG I’m just like Carrie Bradshaw!).
There will be several wonderful advantages to not being a renter/housesharer anymore. Here’s my top five!
1. Not having to deal with real estate agents. I know – I won’t be able to avoid them in the house buying process – but when they’re trying to sell you stuff they’re polite and helpful and will do anything they can for you. Lease agents are a whole different ball game. Tenants seemed to be viewed with the utmost suspicion – it’s like they think we’re all transient crack-addicted gypsies who plan to burn the rental property to the ground the minute we get the keys. And forget about asking them to arrange for something to be fixed in a hurry. All that will get you is attitude.
2. Everything will be just as I left it. It kind of amazes me the lack of respect people can have for other people’s stuff sometimes. I’ll never forget the internalised fury I felt when I came downstairs and saw my flatmate’s dinner plate he’d just finished eating from resting on my closed MacBook on the coffee table, like it was some kind of $2,000 placemat.
3. Oh hi, flatmate’s girl/boyfriend. Do you live here now? It seems that you do. I mean, you’re here every day…and every (single) night. All weekend too. There’s your car in my driveway, your food in my fridge, your clothes in my washing machine. There you are, on my couch (all weekend), watching my tv. You’re a lovely person and all. It just, you’re not actually paying me any rent…because you don’t live here…so go home. Please.
4. Remember that Friends episode where Mr Heckles dies and they go and clean out his apartment and Rachel finds a tacky lamp and loves it and Monica hates it and doesn’t want it in the apartment? I have a confession. In that scenario, I’m Monica. I don’t want to be Monica.
5. The never-ending uncertainty. The longest I’ve stayed at a place was three years but eventually the rent keeps going up and for either that reason, or another, you have to move. And moving sucks. I don’t know if I want to be tied down to one house for more than three years but I want to have the freedom to make that decision on my own. Sounds a bit control-freakish doesn’t it? After a decade of renting and sharing I’m not apologising for that!
Now…to find myself a place that’s bigger than shoebox. Because that’s all I seem to be able to afford.