Life as a Renter

When we sold our house earlier this year, it had been almost 5 years since we were renters. It’s a bit of an adjustment, on some things, but carefree knowing we won’t have to pay out of pocket for anything that breaks.  Yay! But this place is new (5 years old) so it’s not like we are expecting much to happen.

We’re renting to save up money for a new downpayment on a house, and also to have the freedom to provide a 30 day notice, and book it out of here.  I would be too stressed worrying about our dream house going to someone else, because we couldn’t sell our condo.  It would seem like such a disappointment.  This current condo is working out well for us, despite a few things. But let’s focus on the positive first.

The Space

This condo is about 300 sq ft larger than our last condo.  Where is the space? Primarily Aubrey & Luke’s room.  Which is a blessing since it would have been very difficult squeezing another bed in Aubrey’s old room.  Her closet is slightly smaller, but in function, much bigger.  Why? Because at our old house she only had 1/2 of it for her things. The other 1/2 was used for my Bling Diva Designs supplies.  Now where is all that?  In the HUGE storage space under the stairs.  Having stairs has one perk – storage! We’re able to fit my supplies, plus the baby items we’re not using for Luke.

Our closet went from a traditional 2 door sliding to a full walk in closet.  I love it.  We have so much space in there and we even joked about having Luke sleep in there for the  first few months.  Don’t worry, we didn’t.

Our kitchen/dining space before was 1 spot.  Now it’s spread into 2 areas.  Our table fits perfectly and I like the separation from where we’re cooking.  We have a bit more counter space, but it could be an optical illusion as we put a lot of things in storage that used to be on the counter.

Our bathroom also got larger.  We went from a tiny 1 sink vanity with 3 drawers and 1/2 cabinet underneath to double sink vanity, PLENTY of space between them, 2 double cabinets and 5 drawers.  Awesome. One drawer has nothing but 3 bandanas.  I don’t know why the ended up there.


While our last place was right next to a cross-valley connector, our current condo is next to some of our favorite restaurants.  Although, truth be told, we’re not there often since we’re saving money and living on a budget.  But, we do splurge now and then so we don’t go crazy and it’s nice to be a block away from those.  While we don’t have the access like before, we’re not spending a ton more time in the car getting to places.


The complex we live in has a great little kid park that is a 5 minute (toddler) walk.  It’s too hot right now, but when we first moved in we went almost every day.  The way I see it, when Fall arrives, Aubrey will think it’s a brand new place to explore. SCORE!


Now, for the not so great things…


We do not have one.  We have a small balcony off our bedroom but that’s it.  We store our BBQ grille in the garage and wheel it out when we want to use it. Not a huge pain, but it would have been nice to have a tiny spot of our own that Aubrey could explore without major supervision.  She loved examining the leaves and flowers of our previous outdoor patio.


Our garage is slightly narrower than our last one which means you better pull in the right spot, or someone will have trouble getting in or out.  I’ve got mine down, but if Jon drives my car – he’s usually off a bit.  I don’t dare park his car cuz I’m afraid I’ll cream the side of it pulling in.  It’s an awkward turn.


We don’t want to put much on the walls for a few reasons.  One – we’d have to patch when we leave.  We don’t have any paint for this place, so we could lose some of our deposit for that.  We have hung 3 large paintings my grandfather did downstairs.  But upstairs – all the walls are currently empty.  We are going to put up a few lightweight things using 3M stuff that won’t leave a residue.  Just waiting on something for Luke to arrive.  Two – Jon doesn’t want us to make this place feel too much like a home.  He doesn’t want us so comfortable we slack on our goals and end up staying here longer than we plan.  I completely agree. But it is sad to see white everywhere!


You must ask permission for ANYTHING.  Which is fine, because it’s not our house.  But I had to ask if we could install ceiling fans in the pre-existing wiring.

So, countdown is on till we move again.  We’re hoping for spring.  Unless we win the lotto.  Which is very difficult as we don’t play it. ha ha!


We’re learning we do NOT like hardwood laminate.  We’re paranoid of spilling anything on it!


We have definitely realized we want a 1 story and will put that on our must list.  This up/down/up/down business is exhausting.

What do you love or hate about renting??


  1. says

    Renting is kind of odd. These are really interesting thoughts!

    I’m in an apartment right now, and it’s not too bad. We painted and hung everything since we knew we would be here 2+ years. Yes, we’ll have to put it all back, but I could not look at white and no pictures for that long. What I dislike the most is not having a garage at all. And even if we got one, it would not be attached. And we have zero balcony/patio at all. Really miss being able to go outside.

    At least renting is just temporary! Good luck getting into a house 🙂

    • says

      Thanks for reading & commenting! We thought we’d just be here a year and we’ve already flown through 6 months. But re-evaluating our savings for the new house – looks like we might be looking more at late spring/early summer (so more like 18 months). I love how 3M has a LOT of tools for renters with their hang up thingies. They’re awesome!

  2. says

    I also hated all the white walls when we were renting. Even though we didn’t hang anything, they still charged us to repaint – I assume all the toddler handprints or something? It was bogus, we were only there 3-4 months. If you don’t like laminate, what flooring do you want? Carpet would get filthy with two little ones and wood is even more sensitive – so I guess tile? Or stained concrete, which is trendy right now. I agree about the laminate, BTW – I hate that Lexi scratches it up. She drags her stuff across it and I can just hear the scraping, and it shows up really well on the dark wood. Given the choice I would probably stick with laminate, but a light wood that doesn’t show all the scratches and every strand of cat hair.

    • says

      My aunt & uncle (and cousin) got this awesome tile that looks like wood. They have them in planks and when you’re looking at it – you can’t tell. It’s so triply. So we’d probably do that. But I miss having carpet everywhere because it hides cat hair LOL

  3. Marissa says

    Our next house will also be a single story. I refuse to move unless it is….as our next move will be a pretty permanent one! But as you know, single story homes are harder to come by especially in southern Cali!

  4. says

    We were very close to being in the same position when we sold our condo earlier this year, but fortunately found our house just in time. Our condo was second story, and we knew that we didn’t want to do stairs with a baby and pets, so our new house is a ranch with a finished basement. Baby isn’t here yet, but I think we made the right choice for us! Wishing you guys the best…

  5. says

    We rent, and will probably have to for a while. Even though I’d like our own house one day, I’m actually content with renting, because anything that goes wrong is someone else’s responsibility! It’s nice not worrying if an appliance breaks or we need a plumber.

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