Our landlady has asked us (nicely) to vacate her flat, so we are house hunting yet again. I worked out yesterday that I have been renting now for about 7 years of my life. And yes, I am aware that I could have paid off that groovy beach-front pad by now, but you know what? I have never had a massive deposit at my disposal OR the inclination to settle down in my own bachelorette pad. I think buying a place on my own would have been an admission of failure on my part (failure to settle down, find/marry a suitable bloke, etc. etc.) and would represent some kind of resignation to the single life. Which was too depressing to contemplate, y'know?
So now that I am happily attached, but finding my life at the mercy of the evil Landlady/Overlord once more, I am beginning to question the wisdom of continuing to rent.
I must admit though, house hunting is kind of fun at first - getting to peek in other people's homes and be consistently horrified by the dank, microscopic hovels that people (sorry, agents, sub-human) try to palm off as "compact and homely". I mean, who would be an estate agent? Yes, you get to drive a fancy car and wear a nice suit, but you might as well wear a badge saying "I sold my soul for an upscale apartment and a BMW". The words "slimy" and "estate agent" go together like Simon and Garfunkel.
The entertainment factor quickly evaporates though, with the growing realisation that you will have to live in a 5th floor sardine can or face a 30 minute walk to the tube station each way, every day. The most frustrating thing is seeing what looks like the perfect home, with a big "LET" sign in front of it. In London, you either have to be supersonic-quick, or prepared to wait in a hell of a long queue. Concerts sell out in minutes. Stella McCartney's collection at H&M was sold out within an hour of the store opening. Flats go up on gumtree.com and are let 20 minutes later. And if you want an avocado salad sandwich from Boots, you damn well better get in there before the hordes do, lady.