Last week was very rainy for us since we’re on the edge of the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Tuesday, as I was getting ready to leave work, I got a call from The Hubby (who gets home a little earlier than I do).
He said: “Hey, do you remember that part of the roof that leaked that one time?”
To which I replied: “Which one?”
This is the joy of home ownership.
We knew what we were getting into.
We knew when we bought our house that it was a “starter home.”
It’s big enough for the two of us (plus Big Dog and Little Dog), but we’ll definitely need to upgrade once we decide to start a family.
It had most of the big things in working order (furnace, plumbing, electrical, etc.), but lots of other big (and little) things we knew were going to need addressing in the near future. Like the cracking driveway, and the old rattly windows…and the roof.
We made it 3 years before we spotted the first leak, which is actually pretty impressive since I think there are like 4 layers of old roof up there, and none of them are in good condition. It happened in our kitchen, and it leaked through the cabinets above the stove before drip, drip, dripping slowly onto the stove itself. One morning after a big storm, I went out to make some coffee and noticed that the burners were swimming in little pools of water.
It actually didn’t really phase me. Things like this happen in our home a lot, now more than before. It seems the longer we live here, the more things break, and slowly our list of things to fix grows longer and longer.
We (thought) we knew what we were getting into.
At first, the random roof leak only happened once in a while, when it had been especially rainy, so we figured it was (hopefully) just one lose roof tile that got blown the wrong way in the wind so that rain got under it. I say “hopefully” because we’re in the process of building a “new roof” fund (next big item on our fix list), but we can’t really do much about it except cross our fingers until we have enough saved up.
Since then, other leaks have sprung up at random times when it’s really rainy, some of them only to be seen once and never to occur again (knock on wood). This could be looked at optimistically, because it means there isn’t one huge leaky spot getting worse and worse that we have to address immediately because we can’t ignore it any longer. It could also be looked at pessimistically, because it means our roof is slowly becoming Swiss cheese and one day the whole thing might just blow off in a storm like the house in The Wizard of Oz.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
Owning vs. renting
We fell into the usual thinking when it comes to home ownership: We were newly married, and we decided it made more sense to start investing in a piece of property that was ours rather than having our money disappear to someone else each month in rent payments.
We got this house for a good price, and we figured we’d gradually fix its issues until we were ready to sell, at which point it would be worth more (it’s really not a bad little house, all things told) and we could move into a less leaky, less rattly-windowed house to start our family. That’s the way you do things, right?
But lately, as things keep leaking and rattling and breaking, I can’t help but wonder if we did it wrong. I know there’s a big debate out there in the PF sphere over whether home ownership is a sound investment or a bust, and everyone has their own opinion. Personally, I still think we did the right thing in the long run…but it can get hard to see that sometimes when your hubby calls to say “Hey, guess what broke now?” and you have to run through a list of half a dozen possible items you could easily see having broken. I’m all about DIY, but there’s only so much DIYing a person can do before they wonder if maybe they should have D-I-Didn’t.
Or maybe I’m just jealous of my friends who still rent, who get to call their landlord when something breaks and never have to worry about mowing a lawn or raking leaves.
How do you weigh in on the whole “owning vs. renting” debate?
photo credit: wwiwsky