So I’ve been caught in that cold snap that the Midwest seems to have been caught in for the last week or so. I figured I’d share some of the benefits of being a renter in such an enviroment.
Problems that Arose
To start with let’s talk about some of the issues that arose during the cold snap and the results.
The first one to hit was obviously the snow, I have to clear that myself. In theory, depending on where I’m renting that could have been part of my rental agreement. Otherwise I could have paid someone, but I don’t have much to clear. Just my sidewalk and enough of my lawn to get my car out.
I also have to keep the house fairly warm and keep at least a trickle running to help keep the pipes from freezing. Despite all of this, I still ran into some issues with frozen pipes. But I just called maintenance out and it was taken care of within a few hours.
Probably the biggest thing for me, other than having to wade through the snow when I walked places was the garage door.
The Garage Door
While we won’t go into all of the details on the Herculean task to get my car out of my garage. But we will talk about the garage door. After coming back from getting groceries, I tried to close my garage door only to find that it wouldn’t close. Once the maintenance crew got out, they determined that I had lost the cord and their suggestion was a replacement door. This means at least one spring is probably bad. This has also caused the door to become stuck in a partially open position.
My theory is that the spring was already getting weak and then when it got cold that lowered the overall strength of the material even more and it was unable to continue to operate. That or it caused the door to warp slightly and get off balance which then put too much force onto the spring.
Luckily, as I’m a tenant, it’s not much of my problem. While I have to deal with the immediate inconvenience of a garage door that doesn’t close, I don’t have to deal too much with the figuring out how to solve it. I don’t have to shell out the cost for a replacement, although according to a quick google search it will probably only run approximately $2,000 (source). Overall, I barely have to coordinate the maintenance or installation either.
If I owned the home, I would be on the hook for all of this. While there are other benefits from homeownership, I do think this is definitely a plus of renting.
Wrapping it up
Overall with the issues I had because of this hopefully brief cold snap, at least at my house. Were fairly easy to deal with due to the fact that I was a renter. While they were a headache at the time, I didn’t have additional headaches.
Now this would not be enough for me to suggest being a renter over the long term, I’m still paying for the maintenance even if it’s just that I’m theoretically paying more than a mortgage on a similar house. For me renting still just a method to lower expenses now when I’m not at a permanent location, why pay those additional fees and the current high mortgage rates when I’m not sure if I’ll be in this area 5 years down the line.