Renting, often gets a bad wrap. Especially renting at the ripe old age of 30ish with two kids and no particular desire to stop anytime soon. For us, there are so many advantages of renting. The luxury of being able to pick and choose our neighbourhood whenever we feel like a change, is probably the most attractive thing about renting. The lifestyle it enables us is simply too good to part with, at least just yet.
In some circles of friends we are in the absolute minority, with many questioning why anyone would even consider ‘throwing away’ hundreds of dollars each week to pay someone else’s mortgage. I can see that perspective, but I just don’t feel that way at all. Perhaps it is our tendency to err on the side of immaturity when it comes to adulting (I thought by now you were supposed to have some kind of grown up epiphany or something?..), but even as married folk with two small humans in tow, we happily prioritise the lifestyle that renting affords us over the security that owning would.
Of course, if we happened upon a situation where we could afford to buy a house in the suburbs where we choose to rent, we absolutely would love to own our own patch. But, that is not an option just yet so for the time being we will happily settle for living within someone else’s four walls.
As I sit here dreaming about how much I would love to build a deck on the back of this old place, while wondering why someone would ever decide to build a bathroom off their kitchen (#renterlife) I have compiled a list to remind myself of all the totally great things that I love about being on a lease
The Advantages Of Renting:
There is no denying, our current abode is a bit of a dump. We saw the listing in the very same street as my husband’s office and across the road from an epic cafe and couldn’t help but book an inspection. We had barely any expectation (the real estate picture included a beat up old mattress slung casually against the bricks just outside our front steps). However, the unexpected high ceilings, wooden floorboards and extra sunroom was laden with SO much decorating potential, and the location was just too good. During our inspection I couldn’t help but feel that even the agent was warning us against moving in next door to a pub, in front of a giant noisey construction site, above some very colourful neighbours and in a neighborhood that is far more known for its nightclubs and strip clubs than it is for raising two small children. But, we decided to give it a go, and as it happens we couldn’t love living right in the guts of this city any more if we tried. It may be the grubbiest house in the street, but having million dollar neighbours, and the friendliest barista friends a stones throw away, aint so bad. The ability to stroll down to the high street in a matter of minutes definitely balances out the wonky door frames and 70’s bathroom colour scheme.
With renting there are (practically) no strings. I don’t consider myself a commitment phobe generally. But for someone who can barely see the month out before rearranging all of the furniture in at least one room, the ability to opt in and out of apartment/house/granny flat/suburban/inner city/ living or pack up at the end of a lease and go write our next adventure, is pretty darn attractive.
It goes without saying that having a handyman on call to fix the shower door/light switch/blocked drain/dodgey lock is nice perk. Especially when you get lucky with a conscientious real estate agent who gets the job done quickly or, like me you are married to a beautiful but not all that practical husband who tends not to handyman on his own accord.
For some unknown reason we always gravitate towards old, lived in, character-full homes. I often look around and wonder what our four walls have seen (this current place definitely gives the vibe that it would have some seee-riii-ous sh*t). I like to think that once upon a time, before it became rental, this was a much loved family home. I imagine the kitchen busying with chatter and churning out many family dinners. However with all the character and charm of an old house often comes gaudy outdated bathroom tiles. And this, is the challenge. But it is a challenge I love. How many indoor plants will it take to detract from the beige lino in the kitchen?
For us, renting totally fits in with our life at this moment. I am unsure if eventually the home inspections, entry reports, arguments about bond refunds, need to seek permission to hang a picture/ rip up the garden / paint the fence will all get too annoying but for now, living in the worst house in the best street is a win win for this tiny family.