The American Dream?

For some, home ownership is the fulfillment of the “American Dream”. For me, a single
woman, it is pretty much a nightmare. I am a homeowner. My best friend lives in an apartment. I pay a mortgage; she pays rent.

When the grass around my abode needs cut, I drag myself to the shed, pull out the lawnmower, and dutifully mow my grass. She hasn’t mowed grass in years.  I am responsible for all the yard work, something she hasn’t worried about since she sold her house. The maintenance crew is wonderful where she lives.

While mowing my lawn after work the other day, I noticed that my fence needs some repair. I will have to get up early on my next day off, go to the local home improvement store, and spend the remainder of my precious day fixing my fence. I hope that I will be able to pick up a few hours overtime to afford this repair. When my best friend notices something amiss outside her apartment building, she calls her wonderful maintenance crew, and the repair doesn’t cost her a dime in extra rent.

My central air quit working, and I am saving money to get it fixed next year. Thankfully, this has been a mild summer.

My best friend’s air was “sounding funny,” so she called the office, and one of the magnificent maintenance crew was there in no time. This was also included in her rent.  Her house is nice and cool; I have two window units, so I have two nice and cool rooms…

On Saturday evenings, I am puttering around in my yard, weeding, trimming hedges, whatever needs to be done. My best friend is partying with her apartment dwelling neighbors.

There is a pool in her complex, a place where she spends most of her spare time. I am a homeowner; I spend my spare time keeping my home in working order.  If I had a pool in my backyard, its upkeep would be my responsibility. Pools take a lot of time, a commodity that I have very little of.

When my walls need painting, I buy the paint and do the work myself. She picks up her phone, and, you guessed it, calls maintenance.

I could go on forever, but you get my point…

I don’t have a high paying job, and it barely covers the bills. When I work overtime, so that I can afford to buy the things necessary for the upkeep of my home, I don’t have time to do the work.  If it rains on my days off, I just get further behind on my outside tasks.

Winter isn’t much different. Last year, I forked over a tidy sum to have my furnace repaired. It was nice not being cold, but I could have used that money on much better things.

There is a myriad of things that need to be done to keep a house in good working order. I’ve had to call electricians, plumbers, roofers, etc., and I’ve had to pay every one of them.  She calls maintenance, and the cost is included in her monthly rent.

Last night, after a particularly stressful day, I was mowing my lawn for the second time this week.  It wasn’t too hot outside, and the breeze was nice. After I was finished, I went online to check out Facebook. My home owning friends were discussing how they wished it would quit raining so much, they all had so much to do outside. Their plans for the weekend included putting on a new roof, fixing windows, remodeling bathrooms, etc.

My apartment dwelling friends were all at the pool, happily discussing all the great times they are going to have in the upcoming weekends!

I woke up this morning to find a puddle of water on my kitchen floor. My refrigerator broke sometime during the night, and now I will have to take time off work to replace it. I figure I will have to work about eighty hours of overtime to replace the money that I am going to lose in wages, and the expense of a new appliance.

I am calling a realtor as soon as I get the spare time!

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