We are struggling to know what to do. We went to view the house yesterday and it is nice — as nice a rental as I’ve seen in our price range so far: it’s fairly well-kept, the main areas are floored in hard wood (which is so much better in a rental than carpet), the windows are new, the street is quiet and residential, and it’s spacious enough.
But it’s a couple of hundred above our ideal budget — above the place we are staying in now — and with all the financial uncertainty we have at the moment (still getting to grips with the cost of living, still waiting to see how M’s hours and wages settle out, and if they take him off this department where he gets no overtime), we’re both a bit nervous about committing to that higher figure. And while we were hoping to get a six-month lease (standard in the UK) to just tide us over long enough to organise the mortgage, we weren’t surprised to find that no one wants to take on tenants for less than a year — but this place is actually requiring a minimum commitment of fourteen months, in order to catch the end-of-school moving season in 2009. Mmmmmm…. not so good.
So, M and I went round and round in circles last night. There are so many variables to consider. He didn’t like making such a long commitment, but I don’t like living some place that might be sold any minute…. I liked the neighbourhood, he didn’t like the hot water tank (rusted and leaking at the top)… I didn’t like the price of that place, but we both hate waiting for the phone to ring any minute with more potential buyers… Back and forth, back and forth… such a hard call to make.
In the end, M turned to me and said, “If we sign that lease, we’re committing ourselves to paying rent — dead money — for over a year. We’ll be into a five-figure sum by the time it’s done. And, to be honest, I think that will do me in. We’ve moved all this way — and made all these changes — and I didn’t do that so that we could rent another house that doesn’t belong to us, get locked in another lease! The house viewings have slowed down a bit, there’s been no news from the other people… The rent amount on this place is right for us, and we’re settled in here already… Let’s just slow things down a bit, stay here, and see what happens. We might only need a couple more months to get this mortgage sorted, and then we can move from here to someplace we’ve bought, someplace that belongs to us. That’s what we want. Let’s just slow it down a bit.”
It made sense to me and I agreed. We don’t want to be locked into a long lease when we’d come all this way so we could buy someplace. It might only take a few months to get the mortgage sorted, and then the rest of that lease would be dead time and complete waste of money. There hadn’t been any more showings and not a sound from the people who’d come round last week… I was so tired of second-guessing everything, so very tired of trying to cover every possibility. What M was saying suddenly made so much sense, and when I agreed, a wave of relief ran warm over me. Yes, let’s slow it down. Yes, let’s stay here, and see if we can ride it out. We went to bed, both feeling settled first time in over a week.
Today I got an email from the landlady. She’s received two offers on the house in two days — one buyer wanted to move in by mid-May. She’s turned them both down as they were “absolutely too low”. Her realtor has left her a message that they’ve both increased their offers, but not by enough. She hasn’t been able to speak to her realtor further as yet, so that’s all she knows.
And here’s what I know: that settled feeling has flown right out the window. We are going round in circles again, my stomach is in knots, and we just don’t know what to do.