By the time anyone reads this, Cate and I should own a small percentage of our very own house. With that in mind I provide the following list of things I will not miss about renting:
1. Flushing money down the toilet. Not long ago, I figured out how much money I have spent on rent since I got my first apartment in college. It is a lot. It is almost enough to buy the house we will own part of after tomorrow. This is depressing.
2. Waiting for someone else to fix problems. I like to fix things myself. Specifically, I like to get things done right-freaking-now. This does not happen in apartments.
3. Sharing neighbors. When a table “falls over” (read: is knocked down by the drunken idiot who lives upstairs) at 3 am, you will know.
4. Not being able to change things. You need permission to paint. You need permission to plant a garden. You need permission, in some places, to hang a freaking picture. This is because it is not your house. It is someone else’s, and you are borrowing it.
5. Landlords. I have had a landlord take two months to fix a leaky roof, shut off the heat for the whole building without telling anyone, shut off the heat as a coercive measure, tell me I would get my deposit back and then withhold it. There’s more, but you get the idea.
6. The security deposit. See above. I have never trashed an apartment, but rarely have I gotten my deposit back. I think security means that landlords can feel secure knowing they have an extra month’s rent in the bank.
7. Weird utilities. In the new house we will have central air and heat. This has happened to me exactly twice in the 12 years since I moved out of my parents’ house. Both times were for abbreviated stays. I am very happy to say farewell to forever to window units, radiators, and winterizing plastic.
8. Instability. This is the biggest one, I think. For a long time, I liked the idea that I could just pick up and go somewhere else more or less whenever I wanted. Maybe I am getting older, but I am tired of that. I am tired of packing and unpacking and acclimating. I am ready to sit still for a bit. There are things I want to do that do not involve moving. I am excited to do them.