Renting vs Owning

It has been a great 2011 so far – my husband and I just entered an agreement to purchase the condo we have been renting for the last 2 years.Although it is a joyous occasion and I expect congratulations and champagne from all of you, it is quite telling that we are already in our ‘homeowner’ mindset.There is a stark difference between the mindset of a renter vs that of an owner.

Take these scenarios, for example:

Renter: Wow, that light is SO off center.I can’t believe they didn’t measure it out and hang it correctly the first time!If this was my place, I’d HAVE to fix that – it would bother me waaaay too much to leave it like that.

Owner: Ugh.Hmm, maybe it isn’t as bad as I thought.Maybe I can get a bigger medallion to make it APPEAR to be in the center?No, that won’t work.Well…there goes $300 to fix it.

Renter: Someone didn’t finish their paint job…guess they did it themselves.That’s what happens when you don’t hire a professional or have ridiculously high standards like me!If it was my place, I’d have taken a tiny paintbrush to every nook and cranny to make sure it was done PERFECTLY.

Owner: hmm…maybe no one even notices the little inconsistencies.I wonder if I could just pat on some of this nail polish – it LOOKS like the same color.No WAY I’d hire a painter; I can do it myself any day and save $100!Now to pencil that into my extremely busy calendar…

Renter: mirrors!? Lol, what is this, a gym? Come on, it isn’t the 70’s anymore – time for some nice drywall and paint!Who would leave this up, honestly!

Owner: well, the mirrors DO add light to the room and make it feel MUCH larger.It looks like a very difficult job to remove them…I wonder if I couldn’t just add some drywall on TOP and make it look better…Nothing some good decorating can’t fix!

I feel like we’ve had an upper hand by living in the unit before we offered to purchase it.We are well aware of repairs and upgrades needed, so the fear of the unknown isn’t something we have to deal with, necessarily.However, as knowledgeable as we may be, there are still certain ‘phases’ that every new homeowner goes through – regardless of how prepared you think you are.

Step 1: Desire.

ooooh, that’s a nice place! I can just see relaxing on that big porch with a glass of wine…hmm, we could open up that wall to make the kitchen flow into the den area…Maybe we should…put in an offer!

Step 2: “The Offer & The Call”

This is so nerve wracking!What if our offer wasn’t high enough? What if there are other buyers!?Maybe I should call them back and offer more money…I hope our number wasn’t insulting.Why haven’t they responded yet – it’s been 8 hours!! OMG what if they don’t accept and we have to live on the streets!?


They accepted the offer!!! Yaaaaay! The house is OURS! Yaaaaay!!!

Step 3: The honeymoon & The dose of reality

Congratulations to meee! Let’s celebrate! Open the champagne!! What do you mean I shouldn’t drink too much – what meeting tomorrow morning with a loan officer? Wait, you mean I have to spend the next few weeks doing paperwork instead of picking out new fabrics for the living room??…They found WHAT during the inspection!? Who will pay for that!? Ugh…just tell me where to sign and let’s get it over with. *sniff* no one told me how much this was ACTUALLY going to cost.

Step 4: The long commitment of sacrifice

Well, there goes another mortgage payment; seems like I pay that every week! So much for my shoe fund – responsibility calls in the form of A/C and chimney inspections! I guess the vacation can wait, too…I suppose we do have to live SOMEWHERE.

Step 5: Bewilderment and Doubt

But where did the money go?! I must have shelled out at least $10,000 on repairs over the past year and everything looks the same! Why can’t it be like HGTV? Maybe living on the streets wouldn’t be so bad after all…at least I wouldn’t have to keep fixing that leaky sink!Maybe we should…sell.

Step 6: Plotting

Haha, if I just put up this curtain, no one will notice the huge hole in the wall!Let the next sucker deal with the appliances – bargain basement upgrades for me! I just have to make the place nice enough to get rid of it!!

Step 7: Doom & Gloom

Why won’t anyone buy my house!?! I don’t care if the market says it’s only worth half of what we paid for it, I FEEL that it’s worth more!! Why can’t anyone empathize! We’ll never be able to sell; we’ll be stuck living in this hole forever!My children will never have their own bedrooms and I’ll forever be stuck working at a dining room table for my office.*tears*

Step 8: Relief

Thank God! We don’t have to deal with that money pit again!!! Poor souls who bought it won’t know what hit them!Now to see about that house I noticed for sale in the neighborhood nearby…it did have a lovely front porch…I could just see myself relaxing there with a glass of wine…

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