You can’t buy happiness … but you can rent it

These days, whenever I drive past Home Hardware, I throw my head back and laugh.

You see, I am now a renter.

Yup, most of my adult life, I have owned a home (well, the bank and I did) and, so, most of my adult life I have always needed to buy top soil or rakes or baseboards or wheelbarrows or, or, or, or …

There is always some project going on that requires … stuff. Either something needs to be repaired or moved or cleaned or replaced or, or, or, or …

Not anymore. I am a renter now. We decided to sell our house when the selling was good and this now requires us to live the lives of renters for a spell.

I used to hate renting: writing those cheques every month and not having anything to show for it (other than a dry head for one month). But, maybe it’s because of my age, I now see it differently. I now write those four-figure cheques each month for the privilege of picking up the phone and saying, “Yo, the toilet is backed up. Come and fix it.”

Hmm, actually, as I re-read Page 2 of our seven-page Rental Agreement, I see that it is my job to repair plugged toilets … and sinks and drains.

What else? I see here that I need to adjust weather stripping myself, change light bulbs and tighten hinge screws.

Well, I may be a renter, but I’m not dead. I can do this. At least the list of things I am responsible for are not endless … it only takes up three pages of the seven-page agreement.

At least the landlord has obligations, too. Let’s see, these include, #5(a), Quiet Enjoyment. That’s it. There is no (b) and no #6. OK, make that “obligation” (no “s”).

Still, it is a pretty sweet life when you don’t have to mow the lawn. And this isn’t because there is full-service lawn care, but, it is because we have no lawn. You see, the City of Whitehorse decided not to require landowners to landscape in Copper Ridge. So, why would a landlord put in a lawn that may or may not be cared for?

It’s crazy. It makes me want to write a letter … until I realize that my rent will probably go up $100 each month to cover the extra costs of installation and maintenance.

There is only thing I can do to feel better about this situation. Buy a house? No way, have you seen the price of houses these days.

No, no … I’m going to drive by Home Hardware again.

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