Drop-in Landlord

landlordThere are both pros and cons to renting. When things need replacing or fixed you can count on your landlord to make the financial sacrifice. Also, you can move anywhere you choose, with proper notice, without having to wait for the sale of your house. The key word here is house. That is one downside to renting. You never have a home.

A home is a place to call your own. It is a place that you can walk into every day with the comfort of knowing that it is yours and yours alone. Renting doesn’t give you this. A landlord can come and go as they want, any time they want and you really have no say over the matter.

This morning, an elderly gentleman was making his way up the sidewalk towards our house. With a quick ring of the doorbell, I went to open the door for him. Meet Mr. Landlord. He drops in unannounced each year to drop off a calendar. This may seem like a sweet gesture, but in reality it is merely a tactic he uses to spy out the land.

Each time he drops in, the scenario plays out the same. As I open the door, immediately his foot steps past the door frame. At this point there are only two choices. Either I hold my ground and make him push past me, or I move back to allow him in. He’s elderly and he owns the place, so I always choose the latter. He cracks me up every time, because he doesn’t try to be slick about it at all. He’s here to inspect the place and I better move, or else. However, even with his serious, no-play demeanor he really is a very nice man.

Due to the nice upkeep of the house and the raving reviews we get from our neighbors, we’ve been fortunate to pass his drop-in test each year. This is especially a good thing since we haven’t renewed our lease in almost 2 years. He either trusts us and sees no real need for it, or just doesn’t remember. Either way, we can technically move at the drop of a hat. Even so, we still wouldn’t without giving proper notice, as that would be extremely rude. On the same note, he has every right to make us move at any given moment, so we try to stay mentally prepared for that just in case.

Each time he does his drop-in visit, he pleads ever so kindly for us to buy the house. Today, he said that he would give us a very good deal on the place. He emphasized the word “very” multiple times. I’m not sure what that very good deal would be, because I didn’t ask and he didn’t specify. He’s getting up there in years and I’m sure he’s thinking of the future and his impending passing. There are a few reasons why we don’t take him up on this offer and the reasons are almost entirely my own.

It’s a townhome. It’s a nice one and in a beautiful, quiet area, but it’s a townhome nonetheless. Townhomes are great when you don’t care to have a yard and you don’t mind sharing a wall with your neighbor. However, I do mind these things. If I’m going to buy a house it has to have a yard. I need my own private space to relax and to call my own. A fenced in patio just doesn’t cut it. Plus, I don’t want to share a wall with anyone. Our neighbors are two older ladies and they are wonderful, always looking out for each other and for us. We all exchange keys when we leave on trips and we’ve built a nice relationship with them. But, a wall is a wall and I want my wall to myself.

Buying a house is a big commitment and it should be done with a lot of careful consideration. Frankly, I don’t want to live here forever. I want a home on a nice piece of land, away from the city where I can see the stars and hear the birds sing in the morning. Finding that around here is impossible, unless we move 20 miles away which can’t happen right now.

I know Mr. Landlord wants us to buy, but I’m afraid he’s going to have to find another buyer. His sense of urgency to sell may mean that we will be looking for a new place in the coming months. Time will tell. In the meantime, we’ll happily use his handy calendar until he drops in again.

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