Right now Chris and I are facing a decision. We need to decide fairly soon whether to renew our lease or not. Despite its problems, we love the house we're in. I'm not necessarily looking forward to another winter in it, but we learned a lot of things last winter that hopefully we can apply earlier this year and save ourselves from suffering through such freezing indoor temperatures again.
Having spent three summers working at my mom's real estate company during high school and college, I have fallen in love with older houses that have a lot of character. I sometimes drive by old, cute houses and think how wonderful it would be to own one of them. However, in a real estate office, you're typically seeing many of the properties at their best, so you just don't realize or see all the things that can go wrong along with their age.
I (we) have seen and learned so much through this house. Things to watch out for (flooding basements with no sump pumps and upstairs showers that leak into the kitchen below), insulation issues, bursting water lines, heating issues, recognizing water damage, dealing with insect problems arising from doors and windows that don't shut/open properly, broken dishwashers, broken dryers, old and outdated electrical wiring, and countless other things - but I don't want to bore you. We don't necessarily know how to fix all of these things on our own, but we do know much more than we did before living here, and we know how to recognize some small problems before they escalate into major issues. Through this house I have learned much about what to look for and avoid if we ever decide to buy an older house in the future.
But regardless of the longrun benefits, learning experiences, and decent rent price, we're a little at a loss because we don't know what our future holds right now. We've gotten a lot of questions about our plans for next year, and for now we're staying put. But, we're just not ready to resign our lease! We know that's not what our landlord wants to hear (he wants us to stay), but we're going to see how long we can hold out. We'll update everyone if anything changes, but I wanted to keep you in the loop as we've been getting so many questions about it lately!