The Relocators: The Good, Bad & Ugly About Renting an Older Home

As you may have read from our blog, Mark and I have chosen to RENT a house in Beacon for about a year and half instead of buying a home right away. We chose this path because we wanted the ability to explore various parts of the Hudson Valley before committing to a specific town, village or city in which to settle down. We also chose to rent a home as opposed to renting an apartment in an apartment complex because we wanted the privacy that a home provides that an apartment complex cannot.

So…we are renting an older home, and with that comes some good, bad and a little bit of ugly.

The ‘Good’ About Renting an Older Home

Obviously an older home has charm and quaintness that an apartment complex or newer home can’t deliver. We are lucky to have hardwood floors, some interesting architectural details, a working fireplace, and huge yard to name just some of the things we gained by choosing the home we are renting.

But There’s Also Some ‘Bad’ & a Little Bit of ‘Ugly’


The fact is, we are RENTING an older home. Renting an older home forces us to deal with some things that are weird, inconvenient and just plain ugly…and we can’t fix or change these things because its not our home.

For example, there is a serious lack of electrical outlets in every room. In fact, the bathroom has NONE! The kitchen faces the same lack of electrical outlets as well as having older and outdated appliances, and not much cabinet or counter space.

Most of the closets have no light fixtures and the closets themselves are just plain weird. Many of the rooms are without overhead lights; couple that with very few electrical outlets and you can see we’ll be investing in a few extension cords.

Finally, with a tiny bathtub shoved up against a short wall in our only bathroom, we count ourselves lucky that neither of us are very tall.


A Surprising Advantage to Renting a Home

But there are some serious advantages to living in a rental home that is also an older home….particularly since we are interested in eventually PURCHASING an older home as opposed to new construction. Renting a home versus renting in an apartment complex gives us the opportunity to experience how all that stuff works in the basement, without actually being responsible for it.

Oil-based heaters, corn stoves, water conditioners, water softeners, water ionizers, septic tanks, and sump pumps are just some of the things we found in and around the homes we looked at during our search that we NEVER had to even think about dealing with in Brooklyn.

Renting a home, particularly an older home, provides us the opportunity to learn how these houses ‘work’ and what to look out for before we buy one of our own. It’s like a trial run…a “try before you buy” to see if we are capable of handling all these foreign mechanicals that are oh-so-common when you live in an older home in Upstate New York.

And so because of that, we’ll get a little creative and figure out solutions to some of the quirks we face, and we’ll learn to ignore the rest.

Read On, Reader...