In the UK, a lot of us feel a great pressure to get onto the property ladder. I’m not sure what it is exactly about our country that makes us so different from the rest of the world. I have only come to realise recently that in a lot of other countries it is completely normal and acceptable to rent, sometimes it is even preferred. However, over here in good old Great Britain it does sometimes feel that if you haven’t got a mortgage then you are unsuccessful! Shocking, I know!
With this in mind, I thought I’d just spend a few moments talking about why I don’t mind renting a house right now, even though we’ve owned in the past.
Back in 2007 my hubby and I bought our first house. It wasn’t something that we had thought long and hard about to be honest. We did know that we wanted to buy at some point, and so when the opportunity came about to take our first step onto the property ladder, we took it. We were both excited and a little bit daunted as moving day arrived.
The house that we bought needed absolutely everything doing to it. And I mean everything! From replacing all of the electrics to knocking down walls, it really was a huge job that we had taken on. And I will hold my hands up and say that I was totally unprepared for the amount of mess, stress and hidden surprises that were about to come my way.
There are obviously different ways that you can tackle a big project like this. Some may take up a family members offer to live with them while the big jobs are being done on the house. Others may be in a position where they can rent a separate property until the new house is habitable. Unfortunately, we didn’t have either of those options available to us. So we just had to live amongst the building work and try our best to stay positive.
Trying to stay positive and not becoming overwhelmed by the constant mess was difficult, especially for me. I can’t relax unless I have a clean and tidy home, silly I know. It wasn’t just the mess though, the never ending list of things to pay for wasn’t great either. We just never had a point during the whole process where something didn’t need our urgent attention and money.
We did eventually come to a point where most of the work had been done. But even though this was great, I felt a huge pressure to make sure that every inch of every room was completely immaculate. I just couldn’t shake off the pressure that if I owned this house and if I had spent a lot of money doing it up, then every aspect of it had to be perfect. I had done enough waiting, so now I just wanted my house finished to the highest standard that we could afford!
As you can tell, I was struggling with the pressure that comes with owning your own home. I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I probably could have. So when the time came to move on and sell our house, there was a mix of emotions. I was excited about the thought of moving and leaving the pressure that I was putting on myself behind, but I was also going to miss the house. We had put so much time and effort into it that it felt strange to say goodbye.
Making the transition to renting
We have been renting for a few years now, and I am really enjoying it. We had good reasons for deciding to rent a home for a while and I’ll talk about these some more in a future post. I can understand the pros and cons to both renting and owning your home. There are times when I wish that I could change just a couple of the fixtures and fittings in our rented house, for example. But then I also like the fact that I no longer have the pressure of needing every single aspect of the house to be perfect.
Overall I feel really happy with our home. It had just been renovated before we moved in, so everything is nice, modern and clean. It is also nice to know that if we ever wanted to move house again, it would be a pretty simple task compared to the long and stressful process of buying and selling a house.
Best of all though, I no longer feel the stress that I felt when I owned my home. Of course, I will always be house proud and I love interior design. But now, I don’t need to worry about what everybody thinks of the slightly too modern fireplace, or the carpet that is a slightly darker neutral colour than I would have picked. It is a wonderful home, it’s not perfect, but I don’t feel the pressure to make it 100% perfect anymore. Me and the kids love pottering around with the gardening and making the house pretty, and as a family we have never been happier.
Would I buy again?
Am I against buying a house again? No, I’m not. I would buy again, but with a greater knowledge of what it really entails. I have learned from my first property not to buy a house that needs everything doing to it unless I have other accommodation in place. And I would also buy with the knowledge that nothing will ever be perfect.
For now though, I am more than happy to stay renting. The stress free feeling that it gives you is great. I don’t need to worry about the roof or the boiler needing replacing. I can just enjoy life and leave the stressing to the landlord.
What do you like about renting your home?