The difference between military home owners and military renters is simple. It can be found in how well the employees at Lowe’s know you and how much money you have left over every month.
There are pros and cons to both. I feel the pros of homeownership more when we are renting. I warmly recall the pros of renting while we are homeowners.
I’ve made a fun little list on how different similar experiences can feel, depending on whose name is on the title of the house you are currently occupying.Renter: We know exactly what we were going to pay month-to-month (for a year, at least).
Home owner: We know exactly what we are going to pay on mortgage every single month--- for the next thirty years.
Renter: If the sink starts leaking, we call the property manager.
Home owner: If the sink starts leaking, I awaken the property manager (also known as the large fellow I share a bed with).
Renter: If the kitchen is ugly, we learn to live with it.
Home owner: If the kitchen is ugly, we hire someone to redo it, or we redo it ourselves.
Renter: If we have to immediately move or transfer, all we must do is pick up the phone to alert the property manager.
Home owner: If we have to immediately move or transfer, we call the realtor, a landscaper, a contractor, and bury a statue of Saint Joseph in the front yard.
Renter: If property values rise in my neighborhood, I would cringe and standby for a hike in rental costs.
Home owner: If property values rise in my neighborhood, I smile as I think about the increased equity of my house.
Renter: If I want to go out to Macy’s to buy a new lipstick, I get in my Jeep and do so.
Home owner: If I want to go out to Macy’s to buy a new lipstick, I look at our budget, calculate the money we will have left over after bills, and then plan on buying the lipstick…in two weeks’ time.
Renter: I excitedly await tax season. We anticipate getting a decent return.
Home owner: I excitedly await tax season. We anticipate getting a GREAT return. (Hello, tax deductions!)
Renter: I happily deposit our tax return money into a savings account.
Home owner: I happily deposit our tax return money into a savings account…and then pull it out for something house-related.
Renter: I pin awesome things onto my “For the Home” board on Pinterest and dream of having them…someday.
Home owner: I pin awesome things onto my “For the Home” board on Pinterest and plan on having them…in a few months.
Renter: I watch our neighbors come and go. For the most part, they were renters, too.
Home owner: I greet our neighbors and find that they are the same people week after week, month after month, and year after year.
Right now we are in a “home owner” phase. We’d planned on it being permanent, but plans are always subject to change.
However, the longer we do this, the more we learn to embrace the good moments, and accept that the uncomfortable moments are only temporary. What’s more, the memories of both will be lifelong ones, which for me makes a good trade-off.
Cyndia Rios-Myers is a Navy wife, Navy veteran, stay-at-home-mom, and a homeschooling parent.