As I am trying to get myself motivated to clean my apartment, which I do rent, and would never buy something like this I was looking around online. I stumbled upon this article: http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=18246184>1=35000 and was rather offended by it. There are many reasons why I rent and to own would be foolish at this moment in my life. I dream of someday soon being a home owner but I can’t right now.
While I hope you will read the article yourself and comment and reflect on it how you wish to, I will recap it briefly for you; the article discusses how many communities are banning renters or have a cap on the percentage of rentals they allow within the community. It discusses how many homeowners are pleased with this because they see renters as “termites” or a nuisance. The article also mentions how renters don’t tend to care for the home they live in and that is harmful to the communities. It does bring up the point that having unoccupied homes is more detrimental to a homes value than renters are at this moment, but doesn’t present that point with much effort.
My thoughts on this article ranged from annoyance to irritation and beyond. To start with, I didn’t buy a home because I can’t afford one now. Yes, I pay $X a month in rent and would much rather pay that towards my own home and be able to claim a little more of my home for myself but I have very solid reasons for not buying right now. First off, I don’t have the down payment necessary to buy the kind of house I want. I am in the process of saving up for it and in the mean time I am not going to borrow that too for many many reasons. Secondly I don’t have 6-12 months worth of mortgage payments, utilities, and basic needs (such as food and gas) saved up. In the event that I lose my job, or my husband dies what would I do with a house I couldn’t pay for and bills I couldn’t take care of?
Another thing that irritated me about this article is that no, I don’t take care of the property. I don’t own it, I don’t have any say in it. The owners do, and should. I am currently living in an apartment that needs some help. My landlord painted prior to the tenant before me moving in and did a poor job. I have asked if I could repaint to brighten the place up and was told no. The carpet was poorly laid and I asked what we should do with the parts that are pulling up from the floor and was told to be careful (with a toddler? You kidding me? But ok.) I spent over 6 months trying to get them to fix a garbage disposal that was smelling foul and not working. We even purchased our own to replace it with and tried to ourselves but needed some tools (and a plumber) finally last week they fixed it by taking it out and forbidding us from installing our own. The reason? “we might put an underground sprinkler system in.” um….why? The lawn is about two car lengths by four. They have their own reasons though. Why should I invest in something that I can’t take with me? That I can’t show off my work for? And when I am willing am told not to.
I actually have moved a lot more than I would have liked to lately. We moved out of our first place after a year living there because there were registered sex and violent offenders living in the same building. With a child we were uncomfortable staying from the moment we found out. We never got our deposit back because we never asked for it. Jerks. The second place we lived we were told 11 months into our lease that we would be asked to leave by the 5th of the following month. We had no place to go. We were homeless for over 2 weeks while trying to find a place, and waiting for a place to clear out. Why were we forced to move? Because my landlord lost his home. He bought more than he could afford. (he was a realtor too! Should have known better!) We didn’t get our deposit back from there either because the carpet was poor quality and they had to replace it. We were the second people to move out of that place, the others moved out but had oriental rugs over the whole place. We looked at the other two units and their carpets did the same but did the landlord care? Nope. We have been in the place we are in now since. While I am not thrilled with how dark it is, how poorly up kept is has been, or how energy inefficient it is, I am not moving again until we find an amazing place, we move out of town, or we buy our own place.
I just wish people understood some of the problems with renting, with not being able to do what you want in your own place.