Hi, my name is J. and I’m a serial renter…

Is it a disease?

I’ve been renting apartments for nearly ten years now. When does it stop? Geez, my credit isn’t anywhere near the problem I’ve recently discovered. The problem is that I can’t commit. However I don’t think that is the case everywhere in my life. I commit to my work, my drive and my goals. But I just can’t take hold of the idea of settling into a permanent home. I end up saying stuff like, “What if I one day land a job in New York?” Or, “What if I get ballsy enough to drop everything and take up residence in London?” Silly thoughts, actually.

For me the result of serial renting has amounted to collecting and then evaluating. I’ve got crap for just about every room of a real home — all crammed into a measly multi-family establishment. By the time I’ve jumped on to the next place I sit around evaluating what to throw out again. That’s most of the battle. Stuff I got from people I don’t even talk to anymore are the first things I want to get rid of but then I get all sentimental and say maybe I should keep it. Then end up deciding against it because it’s super sad to hold on to things. Constant moving seems to be an exercise of therapy, that’s for sure.

And in fact my serial renting may have something to be said for my idea of relationships. I think I’ve always liked the idea of a relationship but when it comes down to it, I don’t think I could commit fully. I don’t mean cheating. I mean making sacrifices. Married people always say that stuff about marriage being a sacrifice. Fact remains, I like concentrating on just me. Is this vicious, vain circle?

The pros of both settling into a home and settling into a relationship are there. Having a home means no longer having to constantly move. Being your own boss of where you dwell. Having a completely committed relationship means your compromises can bring you closer to your mate.

Both have cons as well, however. Having a home means when there is something broken in the home, you have to hire someone to fix it. Having a completely committed relationship means when something is broken, it’s completely up to you to fix it. Then hire someone if you can’t!

Ok. I’ve confessed. Where are the refreshments? I was told I would get coffee and cookies at this meeting.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Being a home owner opens a whole new world. Especially if its a property that has a steady rise in equity. If you’re consistenly employed and locked into a good job I would do what I could to get into a place.(once the rates come back down) Theres nothing saying you have to stay in that place for 30 years. If I sold my place now, the price I get will cover the note I took a loan on 10 years ago. But then again this is Hawaii. You can sell a cracker box for 1/2 a mill. Still, its all relevant no matter where you are.
    Something to think about. (I fix all my own shit except for electrical)


  2. J –

    You will know when you are ready to settle down into a house – if ever.

    There is alot of freedom to not owning a home. You are not obligated to do yard work or clean out the gutters. You can enjoy your time traveling or taking little road trips, or evenings out with friends. When your garbage disposal breaks in ayour apartment, you don’t have to fix it. Same is true of the furnace or air conditioner.

    I have finally settled down. I don’t own the house (my somewhat other half does) but I am shelling out thousands for landscaping and renovations like it were (because although my name isnt on the deed – yet… its my house too). But we are constantly dumping money into this money pit.

    From a finanical, long term investment, the house is the way to go… but only if and when it fits your lifestyle.

    Don’t sweat it girl.



  3. Buy the house, J! Seriously.
    I can’t stay one place for long either. I’m going on 5 years here in NC and it’s a record.
    I buy houses. If you get one in a development with a property manager, they will take care of finding renters for you when you decide it’s time to fly.
    Or just sell it.
    My experience is that my mortgages are half or less what the rental value is. And every dollar you pay towards the mortgage is still yours, in equity. Much better than paying someone else’s mortgage.


  4. Hi AJ!

    I’m with Bagel of Everything in this. I found it was a whole lot easier to buy a house than rent one. The thought of moving is not appealing to me at all. I did want to say though that taking up residence in London doesn’t sound like too far out an option – why not? Young, smart, intelligent and carefree … have fun, take risks!

    Peace, commitment and fun.

    ~ RS ~


  5. Well I’ve decided that this last apartment is THE LAST ONE. Moving sucks butt. And I just can’t do this kind of move again into yet ANOTHER apartment. These past two days really put things in perspective. So after I’m done here, I’m going to get after a house. Hopefully my undiagnosed ADD won’t kick in and I change my mind! All good points here. Thanks for the advice.

    Bagel…you really have something there because five years isn’t forever I guess. And I can always try to sell.


  6. favorited this one, bro


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