DIY : Being a homeowner is absurd – John David Back – Medium
I recently bought a house in the Historic Prospect Hill neighborhood of downtown Cincinnati. I never really wanted to buy a house, particularly because it’s not a good financial investment by any stretch of the imagination. When your property taxes alone are almost as much as your old rent, there is no way to turn this into a financial win. Be that as it may, I now own a house, and it’s been an interesting journey to date.
I’ve rented apartments for the last 11 or 12 years, so all of this house stuff is new to me. I decided to put together a list of all the interesting things that have happened that I never dealt with before in my life. One day I’m going to look back on this, from bankruptcy court, and have a good laugh.
My adventures in home ownership thus far, abridged
- Bought a trowel for gardening
- Had the house sprayed for cockroaches
- Replaced several doorknobs of the Mortise variety
- Not understanding how a light fixture works and literally tearing it off the wall
- Changed a shower head
- Found a dead mouse and never told anyone about it
- Designed and ordered a large stained glass window
- Daydreamed dozens of ways to murder a raccoon
- Made a mortgage payment
- Begged a contractor to take more than 7,000 dollars to do one day’s worth of work
- Changed outlets for USB outlets — this is a cool one
- Hired a cleaning lady
- Took trash cans to the curb
- Jumped around on purpose and didn’t feel guilty at all
- Felt legitimately joyful about lawn furniture
- Made a spreadsheet of things to work on at home
- Did research on washers and dryers
- Bought WD-40
- Considered very seriously different kinds of light bulbs
- Thought more about murdering a raccoon
As you can see I am the prototypical home owner now. I am very, very suburban. I am domestic. I am the Tim the Tool Man Taylor of my generation. I could be on MTV Cribs.
When you have a house you are responsible for everything. The electric, the plumbing, the cleanliness, the air filters, the washer and dryer, the insurance, the roof, the windows, the smoke detectors, the door hinges, locking everything, checking if the basement is full of water or strangers, etc. The best part of renting is calling the landlord with problems and having them magically fixed. When you rent you never have to snake a drain or fix the fridge or mount your own TV. When you rent someone pays your water bill and fixes your water heater and waters the plants outside.
When you own a house if you want something done you do it yourself. And I realize now that sure, I can do these things, and sure, sometimes I plainly enjoy them. But it’s a trade off. The time I am spending spraying weeds and replacing sash cords in windows is time I would have previously spent reading or being at the park or playing piano or any other leisure activity.
Which is better? Up to you, dear reader!