The other day I was having one of those, “I wish I could escape to a tropical haven, kick back and drown in the breasts of exotic women” kind of mood. I don’t really want to reflect and have a Ricky Lake moment because unfortunately, the source of me wanting to escape actually reads my blog. Regardless, it was just one of those thoughts that didn’t really hold much substance. You know, like, when you breakup with a longterm partner and feel like suicide is the only solution to cure the pain. Moments like that pass, and in hindsight you’re left wondering why the fuck you were being such a chump. I didn’t really want to go anywhere, I was just having a bad day and consequently indulging in self-pity. HOWEVER…
It made me realise how limited my lifestyle options really are by being a Landlord. Even if I really wanted to spontaneously escape and drive off into the sunset; I really, really couldn’t. I’m not only pinned down by a mortgage, but mortgages, and soul-killing tenants. I could get a letting agent to handle my affairs, but what’s the point? They’ll do a shit job and charge way too much. I’ll probably end up losing money, and the responsibility will ultimately still be on my shoulders. I’d rather sell up. But how long would that take? In this current market, most likely a lifetime.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret the decisions I’ve made; I love my lifestyle and I love being a bitter Landlord. But what if I woke up one day and decided my life sucked and things needed to change, how easy would it be to make those changes? Not very.
If anyone is pondering on the thoughts of becoming a landlord, I urge you to consider the following
- Once you’re tied into a mortgage and get tenants moved in, picking up and leaving becomes extremely difficult. I’m not saying it can’t be done, I’m just saying it requires a lot of organisation if it is to be done- and that’s no fun at all.
- Even wild, youthful travel expeditions become out of reach. Last year my friends went traveling around Thailand for 4 months, which is something I really wanted to be involved with. Unfortunately, it just didn’t seem feasible with all my dumb overshadowing landlord responsibilities and shit. It turned out that I missed out on a blinder of an experience. While they bragged about sleeping with multitudes of loose Thai women, I got to brag about paying my mortgages, evicting a tenant and building equity. Cool!
- When I go on holidays, I have to inform my tenants, and organise a temporary point of contact (usually my mum). So if anything goes tits-up during my absence, she’ll take action and rectify the situation. Even organising cover and informing my tenants of my holidays feels like a restriction on my life. Whilst it’s only a small restriction, I still wouldn’t mind being able to leave for a few weeks without making any arrangements. Unfortunately, it’s just not an option.
I know i’m probably making it all sound a lot more dramatic than it usually is. But whilst the grass is always greener on the otherwise, I may as well clutch at straws.
On a final note, before taking on the responsibility of becoming a Landlord, perhaps it might be an idea to make sure you sow your wild oats before hand.