Lessons learned from renting a townhouse

To some people, renting a townhouse means a place to live for a time. But for us, it provided a whole pile of life lessons. As we enjoy our last spring in this home, we’re reflecting on all the lessons we’ve learned from renting our townhouse.

Renting a townhouse was a sneak peak of home ownership

We didn't have to pay to fix our ice maker while renting our townhouse, but we did do the work ourselves!
Did you know the logic board for these darn ice makers go bad over time? We do. Good news – they are usually simple and cheap to replace!

Up until this home, we’ve only lived in apartment buildings where all maintenance was taken care of by management. While it’s a similar situation here, our landlords live across the country, so we’ve had to deal with a few more things on our own. We’ve had to do the work of home ownership (fixing and replacing things), but have been able to pass off the cost to our landlords.

We got to put our own touch on things

Renting our townhouse meant a LOT of work painting, but it turned out so great!
Renting our townhouse meant a LOT of work painting (do you SEE how hard to paint that corner is?!?), but it looks so great now!

This is the first place we knew we would be in for more than a year. So, we decided to put a lot more personal touches on our townhouse than in our previous apartments. We repainted EVERYTHING and hung up lots of pictures. It was fun to work out a style that was uniquely US!

It taught us to be appreciative

We always end up with neighbors that irritate us. ALWAYS. In our first apartment, it was downstairs neighbors whose smoke (in a smoke-free building) wafted in through our windows and vents. It was horrible. It made us count down the seconds until we could move out, even though 95% of our experience there was amazing.

In our second apartment, it was the same. We were in a smoke-free building, but our neighbor had lived there for longer than the policy had been in place, so they essentially grandfathered him in. We didn’t know this when we moved in, so between his smoking and our LOUD downstairs neighbors, we were frustrated and couldn’t wait to move out.

Renting the townhouse hasn’t been perfect, and we still have our fair share of neighbor complaints. They smoke (WHY do all of our neighbors always smoke?) and they are LOUD. Like, wake-us-up-in-the middle-of-the-night with slamming doors and running up and down the stairs loud. The list goes on and on, but since we knew we would be here for a much longer time, we learned to (mostly) let it go and find other things to enjoy, like the location and incredible views.

Renting a townhouse taught us patience

We have been go-go-go our entire relationship. We’re always moving from one thing to another and always looking forward to the next big thing.

With a view like this from the bedroom window, how could we NOT like renting this townhouse?
With a view like this from the bedroom window, how could we NOT like renting this townhouse?

It was hard to find contentment and gratitude when we were constantly moving (every year or more). We knew we needed to put down roots, even if we weren’t sure if we would stay here forever.

Our lease at our townhouse is a 2.5 year lease, unlike our 1 year leases at the previous apartments. It’s forced us to enjoy where we are at. This has spilled over into other areas of our lives as well! We’re still busy people, but we’re more intentional about slowing down and appreciating the little moments.

What’s next for the Osegards?

That’s a great question! We may or may not be able to continue renting our current townhouse, and we’re okay with that. We could see ourselves staying here another year if the owners decide not to sell the place. Or maybe we find a new place to rent, or decide if it’s time to start looking to buy. But whatever happens at the end of the year, we know that we are more prepared for the next place we live. And the experience has given us a great glimpse into how the two of us work together when it comes to owning a home, and what kinds of projects we would enjoy or not enjoy.