We are no longer renters.

Over the weekend Girl Ninja and I packed up our tiny little 700sqft apartment rental and threw all our stuff in a storage unit. We take possession of our house on Wednesday at 9pm, but leave at 3am the next morning to take 50 high school kids to summer camp for a week. What’s more,  24hrs after we get back from Malibu British Columbia we hop on a plane for a two week trip to Europe.

So even though we get the keys to our pad on Wednesday, we won’t actually be in the house for another month. We wished we could have closed a day or two earlier so we could have avoided the storage unit issue, but the sellers were unwilling to budge. Note to future self, don’t offer a close date the night before a significant life event.

We were super sad moving out of our rental. In fact here is a picture documenting our sadness as we checked out of our apartment (note Girl Ninja’s amazing carpet lines!)…


I think we are particularly fond of renting for one primary reason: we have always made friends with our landlords.

While the amenities offered at a large apartment complex are great, we just couldn’t give up the benefits of having a personal relationship with your landlord. For example, our landlords love us so much they gave us back our full security deposit… before we even began moving out! How awesome is that!? I bet ya a million dollars no large rental complex would do that!

So while we close this chapter of life we look forward to opening a new one. I can say with confidence renting doesn’t suck, hopefully the same will be true for home ownership.

When you were a renter did you prefer the big apartment complexes or renting from a single owner? Have any renting horror stories (we don’t)? Those of you that own, do you ever miss the freeing feeling of knowing you can move whenever you want?

14 thoughts on “We are no longer renters.”

  1. Taking 50 hormonal high school kids to camp sounds challenging and more than a little crazy and I hope you are being well paid for it.

    Have the locksmith rekey all of the locks on the day you take possession so your house sitter can enter and be assured no one else will.

  2. Congrats on your brand new home!

    When I rented, I have always rented from a single renter and had a good experience. I took good care of their homes and I always got back the Security Deposit.

    I purchased my apartment back in early 2004 (all paid up) and I love living in it. I do not want to move since I have moved many times in the past. Now, I am a landlady and I am hoping my rental apartment will be taken care of too.

  3. When I was a renter, I typically lived in larger buildings; the one time I rented a basement apt was THE WORST experience of my life… absolutely horrible. The 45 year old guy had a hobby “band” … if I never hear “Up On The Roof” again in my lifetime, I’ll be a happy camper. I had to call the cops on him because he once opened up the door to my unit and threw in leaves that had collected in my entrance around the back. Didn’t knock or anything; just opened the door and threw in the leaves. Cops had a chat with him; we had a very strained relationship after that. His 25 year old wife was a lovely; he was a jerk. She told me they were going away on Dec. 31, leaving mid-morning and not coming back until the next day… I moved out like a theif in the night as soon as their car pulled away!

    I lived there under a year… felt like a lifetime!

  4. I forgot to add: If one of your destinations in your trip to Europe includes Istanbul, let me know. I can make recommendations.

  5. Ninja!!!

    Congratulations on the purchase of your first home. May you have many happy memories there.

    Sometimes I do miss renting, but only when I get nostalgic for the bachelor lifestyle (which is very rare).

    Enjoy your trip!


  6. Wow…congratulations on moving to your new home…its an envious milestone 🙂 May you indeed have awesome memories there as Ryo said.

    Am still a renter, not a bad experience so far. I prefer renting at large apartment complexes. I mean, while having a personal friendship with the landlord is great, if it does get strained, living there would be a nightmare!
    Have a wonderful trip!

  7. I do NOT miss renting. For years we moved every 8 months for some stupid landlord issue or another. The university I attended bought the first building we lived in together a few weeks after we moved in. They filled in the pool, “trimmed” all the landscaping that gave us any privacy on our balcony, and made our lives miserable enough to make us want to leave (i.e., noisy, dirty, ongoing renovations), because they couldn’t kick us out (due to our lease). The next guy wouldn’t replace our fridge, even though all our food was smelling off after a few hours in it. Then he kicked us out because he was getting a divorce and needed somewhere to live. Next we had the world’s nastiest dude as a landlord. I’m fairly certain he was taking advantage of the young men he brought over from 3rd world countries to be his “assistants”, he never repaired the laundry machines, he threatened to call my boss and tell him I was a horrible human being when we had a disagreement about the heat in the building (as in, he didn’t want to turn the heat on until a month later even though the temps at night were freezing). These are just the highlights. Life is so much better now that we have our own home, no one can tell us what to do and no one can tell us when to leave, so long as we pay our bills!

    Enjoy home ownership you two-I’m sure it will be an adventure, but a good one 🙂

  8. Congrats on your new home! May living there bring you much happiness.

    I rented from large apartment complexes minus one place in college. I don’t recall any bad experiences with either. I don’t miss the thin walls of an apartment complex though!

    I often dream of renting again. I don’t know why. Maybe now that I’m hitting my mid-life (crisis?) I don’t feel like committing to one home anymore. I haven’t decided what to do about it yet.

  9. My pro-home ownership tidbit: I love the fact that no one lives on the other side of the walls, above us, or below us.

    Also, no one can enter my house without my permission (minus police officers and firemen).

  10. The one year I rented was horrible. I ended up with cockroaches! This was supposed to be a nice place too.

  11. We will be renters for a few more years until my next position is determined.

    We have always rented from large complexes in the past, and found it to be extremely convenient. The only problem is that when the annual rent increases come, there is nothing the local staff can do to reduce it. The rates come from corporate.

    So we decided to try renting a single-family house… What a nightmare. Every house we saw was already off the market by the time we contacted the leasing agent. We finally found one, and the slimy leasing agent wanted me to drop off a $200 application fee at 2PM on a work day, or else he was going to lease it to someone else. So, I leave work, go get $200 out of the ATM, and by the time I got to the meeting place (a Waffle House…) he had gotten angry and left because I took longer to get there than he would have liked.

    I will probably never rent from a single owner again after this experience. I will pay the extra money for less hassle from an apartment complex.

    This is all in Houston, by the way.

  12. Don’t be sad, you should be looking forward to the new house. BTW, you can make friends with your neighbors and your friendly mortgage holder (bank). Best of luck.

  13. Have any renting horror stories (we don’t)?

    Back in the early 80s when I was still teaching college in NJ, I rented a downstairs apartment and the old fart above me obviously rented the upstairs. One of his things was playing a little Hammond organ he owned. (Keep in mind please that I’ve had some training as a classical pianist.) This guy would set an automatic bass rhythm a-going, always the same one, and then he tried to play the melody with his right hand. He could never keep his right hand coordinated with his bass pattern, so his right hand was always falling behind. To this day I can still hear that bass rhythm in my mind whenever I feel like torturing myself.

    This guy was a piece of work. One afternoon his wife apparently complained of feeling cold and, instead of calling for an ambulance immediately, he tried to “help” her for 45 minutes. Needless to say, she died. Way to go, neighbor.

    Oh – and then there was the super of the building where I rented for a year before buying my own apartment. People were literally afraid of him. I remember him yelling to one poor old lady whose language he apparently disapproved of: “Hey, watch your f***ing mouth, for Chrissake.” That’s the kind of guy he was.

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