Renting: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Hi! I'm Jamie from the blog [kreyv]. Because of Mr. Hubs' medical schooling, residency, and fellowship, we have rented for nine of our eleven years of marriage. Here are my thoughts on the good, bad, and ugly.

I would say that my favorite thing about renting is not being responsible for major maintenance issues. If anything gives you problems or breaks, it's not your problem. At our current rental, the maintenance manager even prefers to change our light bulbs, so that the lighting fixtures don't break (which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world...more on that later)! Aside from maintenance, we love having a pool, fitness club, and clubhouse to use whenever we like.

We have found that most landlords/managers don't mind if you paint, which is a big relief, because chances are, I'm going to want to change the colors of the wall. Some places either charge you or ask that you repaint to the original color. However, if you are renting a private resident, many landlords will agree to let you change things at their expense. Our last rental was a single family home. We changed wall colors, bathroom vanities, light fixtures, and window coverings. Our landlord paid for all of it. We were able to make the home ours, and the landlord got free labor. Win win...for everyone except my husband who did all of the work!

My final "good" is that there's not a huge commitment with renting. We have lived in four different states that, prior to moving, we knew nothing about. Finding a home to buy when you only have a weekend to look is completely scary. Plus, we don't have to worry about leaving an unsold second home when we move again.


We are allowed to paint in our current rental, but here's the catch: we have to either repaint the entire thing, OR pay tons of money to have them repaint it. So, we've only painted the entry and the living room, and I just live with the ugly not my favorite paint in all of the other rooms.

I am obsessed with interior design and believe that paint color and lighting are both crucial elements to a good design, neither meet my expectations in our rental. We have no overhead lighting in our living room, which is common in rentals, and I hate it! I need light! We installed a track lighting in our living room, which helps, but isn't the same as good lighting. And, speaking of lighting, the light fixtures here are not one bit cute. But, when renting, you can't be too picky. I guess I'll live with the bad lighting in exchange for granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and good floors.

And finally, space and storage--or more accurately, the lack of. We are lucky to have walk-in closets in every room, which helps a ton, but we still don't have enough storage. It forces you to be very creative by adding shelves and exercising the art of organization.

Having a two year old adds some additional items to our wish list. I wish we had a yard. We are super close to lots of parks, but there's something to be said about a fenced in yard of your own. Besides the privacy, the worry of unknown dangers and strangers isn't such an issue. Other "uglies?" Knowing exactly what movie your neighbors are watching or what songs they are listening to, neighbors who add lawn ornaments, benches, and lighting to the teeny, tiny shared grass areas (we live in town homes), and people who drive around the parking lot as if it's a race track. 

I guess I could some up those last items by saying neighbors. Neighbors that are too close! Luckily, our immediate neighbors are wonderful. Thank goodness!

For now, the good outweighs the bad. I think that regardless of where you live, the important thing is that you make your house a home that reflects the people who live there.

Are you RENTING??

If you'd like to share, the good, the bad, the ugly of living in a rental, email me
your submission with 3-4 pictures of your apartment! Pls use the same format as above!



  1. I have been out of college for a year now, so I'm an expert on renting at the moment! After having rented for 4 years of school and my first year in the working world, I agree with your goods/bads/and uglies. The not being able to paint without crazy repainting expenses KILLS me! I gave in a painted 2 bedrooms in our 3-bedroom duplex, but am already cringing having to spend the money on repainting once our lease runs up. I also desperately with for a yard and to not be attached to my neighbors. I've found the renting our duplex is much better than renting a college apartment, though. Much quieter where we are at now and no one stomping on top of us!

  2. Jen, thanks so much for posting!

  3. I love your paintings! Let the haters hate! LOL

  4. Great job! You gave me an idea for shelving in my kitchen! :) Your place looks great, too.



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