Rental bliss


January 12, 2009 by 8junebugs

The issues that have cropped up since I moved into this building:

  1. A window has been cracked since the wind storms we got last summer. Maintenance has looked at it twice and fixed it not at all.
  2. As previously noted, the office added The Roomie to my lease without even speaking with me first.
  3. In November, the office issued an extra set of keys and a security pog (the thingy that gets you in the front door) to The Roomie’s boyfriend in exchange for a handwritten note from her. I recognize it’s not their job to police whether she and I had discussed this in advance, but that’s leaseholder-level access and it still pisses me off, especially after #2.
  4. The tub faucet in TinyPinkBathroom started to drip. A lot. Enough that it the accumulated drips reached about an inch and a half up the side after a night with the drain plugged. The solution: change the “stems,” resulting in reversed knobs, one of which takes both hands and half my body weight to turn.
  5. The Roomie scorched a ring on the kitchen counter, and we had it fixed. It took two calls to get maintenance to come back and fix the drywall and touch up the paint after the contractor was done, and they did a crappy job.
  6. Not unrelated, the bit of counter they fixed surrounds the sink, and things that used to fit between the sink and the wall no longer do. Also, there’s black crusty goo on the faucet and the hose for the spray nozzle doesn’t seem to coil properly anymore.
  7. Oh, when they came in to fix the counter, they tracked crusty white stuff on my carpet. I haven’t found a way to get it off yet.

The moral of the story, of course, is that you get what you pay for. I knew moving in that there were innumerable complaints about this building — and the management staff in particular — on every rental ranting site I could find. But I wanted to stay in my neighborhood and did not have the option of staying in my old building…somehow, the spouse with the most stuff to move ended up having to move it farther, but there’s something to be said for not running into your ex-husband in the laundry room.

(If you’d seen the basement laundry room in this building, you might ask why the chance of running into a serial rapist is more acceptable, and I would have to concede that point.)

As much as I love my home — the colors, all the space (1140 square feet plus the balcony, for those who asked recently), the proximity to everything I need (if not everyone) — I hate renting and I hate relying for my comfort and safety on people who don’t seem to take any pride in their work.

My ideal home: A spacious, puppy- and kid-friendly condo with a professional staff, lots of communal outdoor space, and amenities out the wazoo. I wouldn’t mind living in one of those buildings where you can buy the unit next door and remake the two spaces together, either.

I used to want a yard and a basement and a porch…like my childhood home, I suppose — country living, mosquitoes and all. I, like my mother, thought paying a mortgage and sharing a wall with Other People was just criminal.

But those were her needs, not mine. I need a metropolitan area far more than I need 100-year-old maples. I like having a container garden, but I don’t like raking leaves or mowing a lawn. I like having a parking space, but I don’t like paying someone to plow it out in the winter. I love having a pool, but I hate hate HATE pool maintenance.

I began my life as a country mouse, moved to the suburbs, and settled in a small city. Though this may not be my forever home (to quote animal rescue websites), I am five minutes from a major airport…seven, if you count parking. There’s a bus station at the bottom of my parking lot. I can walk to a butcher, a baker, and a cheesemonger (not that that does me any good :(). I can also walk to my bank, a post office, two drugstores, two grocery stores (one organic), a YMCA, half of my favorite restaurants, and several yoga, dance, and music studios. If I walk past all of that, I get to the home of very close friends and their puppy.

Call me crazy — or just a “city girl” — but all this cultural convenience is more attractive to me than a center-hall colonial. And I can see the Capitol from my house!

(You know what else I don’t like about center-hall colonials? All the cleaning. Seriously. Someone’s got to get the dustbunnies out of the guest-room valances, and it ain’t gonna be me.)

The things I don’t love about renting apartments and condos — the lowest common denominator design choices, the bad lighting — are (I think) easier to change when you’re in a community of owners.

I’m all about the DIY when it comes to accessories (quilts, curtains, whathaveyou), but I’m not a plumber, carpenter, electrician, or welder, and I highly doubt I’m going to marry one. And, much like my feet, my biggest financial investment deserves professional attention.

I will stay in this place for as long as it makes sense — my lease is up in June and I will decide then how long I should remain in this building. I’ve been such a pain in the ass that I’m sure they wouldn’t mind seeing me go…but it is my home. For now.


2 thoughts on “Rental bliss

  1. Amy says:

    You can see the capital from your house? Does that make you a congressperson?

  2. 8junebugs says:

    Yes! I wasn’t sure at first, but after this election cycle, I am convinced.

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