It has come to that time in my yearly cycle. It is the time when my rental agreement is up for renewal and I start to think about all the joys and pains of where I currently live.
I only ever do twelve-month rental contracts, as it gives me the freedom to move on in a year if I really don’t like the place, but it also gives me the security of having a home for at least twelve months.
House hunting can be a great combination of seeing the most amazing places and immediately wanting to move in, but equally mixed with seeing some absolute dives and being so satisfied and vindicated by you current life choices.
When I moved into my current place, it had seen better days. The landlord had evicted the previous tenants and they were very much looking for someone to love their home again. I went for a viewing and they were completely open and honest about the reasons for the state the house was in. They knew that it would need a lot of elbow grease and offered me two options.
Either I could wait a month and they would get professionals in to clean, paint and repair the house back into a condition they would have been proud of, or I could move in straight away and we could come to an arrangement.
We started to talk and they were brilliantly open about what we could do. They just wanted their house to become a loved home again and this was exactly what I wanted too. So when I moved in, I wasn’t going to be paying any rent. Instead, I was to send all the receipts for anything I bought for the house, all my cleaning supplies, tools and any materials. They would cover the costs of all of it.
Then they said they would take £25 off my rent for every hour I worked on the house for the first two months. It was a nice offer, but they had done their maths. If I worked for an hour a day every month, then I would be living rent free.
I liked the idea, I liked the house and I liked the honest approach of the landlords. What more could I want?
So I went shopping and tackled the bathroom first. There wasn’t much wrong with it, but it needed a good going over. The first thing in my basket were sealant pens. It’s such a small thing to correct, but when you walk into a bathroom and see black mould around the edges of everything, you know it’s not been looked after. The sealant pens made an immediate impression. The black was gone and the white was back.
In truth, the impact this made for such a tiny amount of effort, really kicked me into life and I started to search for all the other easy jobs to do first. The painting and ceilings could wait. I was on the hunt for seals.