I have never owned a home and do not plan to own one in the near future. It might be something that is possible someday, but right now it’s just not a part of my reality. So I rent: apartments and houses. Something people who rent run into, especially if they also have the honor of being poor or heavily debt laden, is the issue of renewal. Rent raises at renewal can cause the need for relocation and all the costs that come with it: moving, deposits, etc. The money is not the only stressor, the clock ticking down until you have to make that move again makes settling in very difficult.
Ever since I left the state of my birth, I have had one year leases. Even when I’ve been able to afford to renew (which has only been twice) it has been this one year period and the rent was so low that the hike was still affordable. But even when the money wasn’t a concern, that countdown clock ticked in the back of my mind. Did I need to get banker boxes? Should I save up for a new deposit? When should I start looking for a new place? Anyone that has moved even once knows that it takes months to get everything unpacked. I have 6 banker boxes sitting next to me right now that haven’t been sorted or looked through and we moved to this rental house in 2015. I know, LOL.
Last year we decided to renew here. When we first moved here it was because the rental house we were in was going to be sold instead of rented so our lease wasn’t renewed. Last year we had to decide to renew or not, and so I did what I knew – a one year renewal. And so the circle of life started again, and this month my moving senses started tingling: do I stay or do I go?
For the first time in eleven years I have been in the same job for two years and heading into a third without any present danger of being laid off or asked to leave (knocks on everything wooden nearby). My SO is in his 5th year with the same employer, no end in sight. I work from home, he has a 20 minute commute from our current location. So we did something I have never done: we renewed on a TWO year lease, locking in our rent through May of 2019.
Two years without fear. Two years of steady rent cost. Two more summers with my pool and fenced in backyard. Two years to be settled in the same place. This feels like a fucking luxury and my mind hasn’t really grasped it yet. I can still feel the tightness that comes with running another lap on the rent track. I hope that goes away so I can enjoy this new situation. I’m going to go through some boxes this weekend, clear out more space, get rid of things I don’t need to hold onto “just in case.” I’m going to throw out banker boxes.
Sure we might have to move in two years. But we might stay here again too. Why does this seem like such an important and significant step? It’s just a lease. It feels like a sign that things are getting better though, but I’m superstitious enough to wait and see.