Our family (minus the cat) as drawn by Aaron.
We have an amazing apartment. ANYONE would feel lucky to live in a rent-controlled, large two bedroom, two bathroom, upper unit with a balcony, and some pretty sweet views. And we do! The problem is… my parents own the building. So as much as this feels like “our place” it still feels like I’m living at my parents house. And they’re giving us a sweet deal on rent — seriously, they could be getting SO MUCH MORE for this space — so not only does it feels like we’re living at their house, but also on their dime.
When I moved into the building 10 years ago, I thought “this is temporary.” I refused to become one of the “lifers” that live in this building until they die in this building — held hostage in their gilded cage of rent control in a lovely neighborhood. But, despite my best intentions, that’s exactly where Aaron and I have ended up. We know that there’s NO WAY IN HELL that we’ll ever have a place as nice as this. If we could pick up this exact apartment and plop it down on a piece of our very own property, it would be our dream home.
Since it’s such an amazing space and a great deal, I thought that we would have no problem holding out for a a few more years until I saved up enough money for a down payment. But as the years go by, I become more and more restless and eager to move on to something that’s very much all ours and more enjoyable for our pets, while I watch the savings sloooowly increase to numbers that aren’t anywhere to close to what we’d need for our own place.
So, we’ve made the tough call to give up our home ownership dreams (at least for the near future) and pursue the dream of home rentalship. I dove in with high hopes — surely I could find a detached home with a yard and a garage with at least one bedroom that accepts all pets regardless of size and breed. See, I was giving up an entire room and bathroom, CLEARLY I’d find something for, oh let’s say DOUBLE our rent now, at the worst.
My dreams were instantly dashed. I discovered THAT dream costs $2000-$3000 a month. Our budget is more $1600 at the absolute tip-top give-up-everything-you-love-MOST. It’s now clear that we’ll be looking at smaller apartments that MIGHT have a private patio, if we’re lucky, but we’ll have to hope they don’t recognize that Jackson is part pitbull.
So therein lies the dilemma. We know we need to break out of our gilded cage or risk becoming mooching lifers, as our dogs age and eventually have to be carried up and down both sets of stairs. But to leave means downgrading on size, location, and amenities all while paying more to a complete stranger to do so.
What say you internets: Do you think we’re crazy to think about leaving? Do you think we’re crazy to stay in our parents’ building? Do you… happen to have a home to rent to a nice, animal-loving couple?