Sunday, December 29, 2019

I Hate Being a Homeowner

Have I mentioned that I kind of hate home ownership? Well, maybe hate-love better describes my feelings. Either way, heavy emphasis on hate. I feel like that's an unpopular opinion, but I would much rather rent than buy. It's not even close. "But home-ownership builds equity... blah, blah, blah..." yeah, I don't care. But here we are, "homeowners" (parenthesis because the bank owns it much more than we do) and the experience is so not making me feel all warm and fuzzy.

I would like to take this opportunity, before I go on, to say that I actually do love our little house. This is the love part of my hate-love feelings. Our home is cozy and it's ours, we're pretty happy here and I like being able to do with it whatever we want without asking anyone's permission. I just hate the entire process of home-ownership.

I mean, buying a home is a horrible experience. The whole exercise of finding a house you like and can afford, then getting a home loan is the absolute worst. The amount of information they want is ridiculous. Oh, you had one overdraft for thirty-six cents a year and a half ago? We're going to need you to write the underwriter a letter explaining why you're such a failure. You have too many credit cards, your credit score isn't quite right, you don't make enough money... you now have to give us your entire financial history and then wait, on pins and needles, for a stranger to pass judgment on your worthiness to have a roof over your head. It. is. the. worst.

Then, when they decide you're worthy and you move into your new place, you're responsible for everything. When you rent, someone else is responsible for things that break. Got a roof leak? Yup, that's going to cost you $350. Your gutters need to be cleaned and repaired? That's gonna cost you $500+. Your sink is clogged up and you need a new garbage disposal (us, right this very second)? That's gonna be a pretty penny.

Home-ownership comes with a million little money-sucking costs. You have to get the yard up-kept, or you have to have a husband/child/person who will mow (mine won't and I can't). If you live somewhere cold, the snow becomes an expensive nuisance. There's mortgage, insurance, and taxes which are all expected expenses. But, then there's all the little unexpected things like a home warranty, which you have to pay monthly and then you also have to pay copays, and then there's only a 50/50 shot they'll cover whatever is wrong. And all the little fixes and "upgrades." It's all on you.

Yeah, I hate it. When we lived in an apartment and the pipes burst in the bathroom, our managers fixed it and sent a company to dry out the carpet, and it didn't cost us a thing. When the dishwasher died, they replaced it and it didn't cost us a thing. They sprayed for bugs, came in to inspect the smoke detectors every month for free, and all we had to do is pay our rent. It was so easy.

But, that was in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when renting was easy. Back when the rental contract prohibited you from burning candles, but you could smoke inside. When they allowed pets without charging pet rent or having a pet minimum. Now, if you rent, you can't smoke inside. This is fine by me, but not with Matt who is a throwback to the 90s south where everyone smoked inside. There're pet minimums, if they allow pets at all, and the pet deposits are ridiculous. Then they charge you pet rent, which is kind of the most absurd thing I've ever heard of. I mean, do they charge extra rent for people's kids? Of course not. But kids have the potential to do as much or more damage than pets.

But I digress. Right now, it's Sunday, it's snowing and we have two sinks half full of muck because our sinks won't drain. When I turn on the garbage disposal, water literally sprays out the back and all over the power plug for the garbage disposal. We're going to have to call a plumber in the morning and between the sinks and the disposal, I'm expecting a $500 bill. If we were renting right now, that bill would be on someone else. Sooooooo glad we're not renters. 😤 I'm taking this opportunity to blame Matt who insisted we buy a house, rather than rent, when moving to Utah. Thanks, honey.

Home Sweet Home, Winter 2015