In search of a unicorn

After roughly a week of renting our house back from the investors who bought it, Hubs and I were donezo. We thought we didn’t want the hassle of homeownership, but the hassle of home rentership felt waaaay worse in spite of our unusual and best possible situation:

Our landlords were easy going and good about giving us notice when they needed something.
We didn’t have to pay a deposit for our month and half of renting.
We didn’t have to pay pet rent or a pet deposit.
There was no limit on the number or size of pets we could have.
We didn’t have to sign a lease.
The house was in good repair and so we didn’t have to ask the landlords to do any maintenance.

Any rental situation we enter into will most likely be one that includes: a for real lease, a deposit and maybe a pet deposit, relying on someone else for maintenance, and restrictions on number/size of animals. (Obviously we aren’t going to sign a lease that doesn’t allow two cats and a big ole pup, BUT I would like to have the option to foster other big dogs or maybe get Tonks a brother). Combine that with the things that weren’t awesome about renting:

Our landlord showed the house at least 10 times to find another tenant for when we moved out (not as bad as having the house on the market, but still not our favorite. We worried about cats escaping and still had to figure out what to do with Tonks those days).
We will never see a single stitch of that six weeks of rent ever again.
Not being in control.

And we are now on the market to buy again. I know, I know! I am a flipflopper. But I think that this actually is the right step for us because once we had our house ready to sell, I loved living there. Hubs and his dad fixed the windows and they all worked and looked amazing. We paid painters and our bedroom went from overly sunny yellow to calming light green in a day. We did a deep clean right before we listed the house and it had never been cleaner. I loved entertaining there and being able to walk to work and to restaurants and parks. I loved not having to worry about moving for the five years we lived there, and even though it was expensive, in the end I am so thankful that we didn’t pay all the money we paid in mortgage principle and interest to a landlord.

Some lessons from this first round of homeownership:

No more HOAs please.
Paint before you move in (or pay someone else to do it).
Keep the house clean by hiring a cleaning person (this one I learned earlier on, and would apply to a rental, too, but it makes such a difference).
Don’t let things linger, like windows that need fixing to stay open. Get ‘er done and you’ll feel so.much.better.
We like to commit to a place for longer than a 12 month lease.

There’s not much on the market right now where we’d like to live in NC. In exchanging emails with our realtor, we’ve been pretty specific about our [high] standards. His latest response was to tell us that the type of house we’re looking for will be “hard to come by and might even be like hunting down a unicorn these days.” We’re not worried because we know the right house (unicorn) is out there.

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