Losing a roommate… and the rental check to go with it

August 8th marks the day of a new era for me… the day my Roommate officially is out of my house that I purchased back in September 2011.  Some may think that doing that was crazy of me and that it’s nice to have a bulk of the monthly payment on my house paid for, but here is why I had to have him move out.

When I bought my house, as I showed in my fixed monthly expense post, it was in September 2011.  I traveled quite a bit when I first moved in and never had a chance to “settle” into my house, decorate and organize the inside the way I wanted and I had all of these “visions” when I first moved in.  Visions such as “oh this would be a great office area to focus, work on projects, stock analyses” or “oh my basement – put the comfortable couch in there, a nice screen to watch movies and bring people together, it would be great!” – all of a sudden didn’t happen.  These visions never happened when November 2011 occurred.

November 2011 was my 5 year reunion for high school and my classmate had talked to me about her older brother moving to my area for work and was looking for a place to live in that area.  I thought, okay – my payment is roughly $800/month, with him at $400 it would cut my cost in half!  How amazing is that?  $4,800 coming in, not too shabby. Cut my utilities in half?  Sure, would love that!  Now her brother is about 3 years older than we are, so I also figured – perfect, he’s a professional, more mature, clean, knows how to be social, etc.  Also – he could watch the house while I was away?  Secured feeling there.

June 2012 – 6 months in.  Wow.  He was the messiest kid I have ever met.  He had clothes all over the place (family room, kitchen), never did dishes, stacked plates on both sides of the sink, and this smell..  Gosh this smell.  Regardless, after 6 months I learned he was not the clean person I thought an upper 20 professional would be.  I increased the price by $15 to go with the increase in property taxes I had, along with all the cleaning I did.  Thought okay, maybe this would help, an extra $180 a year would make it better… or so I thought.

April 2013 – 1 year and 4 months in.  All of a sudden I realized much more.  He smelled, he wasn’t clean, but given this – we just did not gel socially either.  Just different lifestyles on all fronts and I was not happy.  This was the point I realized that I truly wanted the place to myself.  A few months later in June 2013 – I increased the price another $50 – for all of the work that I was doing at the house – the costs of unclogging drains from his balding hair that was causing the issue, the hair everywhere, his girlfriend practically living there and essentially – me feeling like the house wasn’t even mine.  I really couldn’t take it anymore at this point.  I had to fix draining issues, which cost me a lot of money and my quality of life at my house was deteriorating.  I am never home and when I was – I didn’t want to be there.  I know this sounds sad/worse than it is, but it was very difficult.  Even after conversations with keeping the house clean, the fact that she lived there, the constant work that he witnessed I was doing – changed nothing from his end.  Something was wrong from that aspect with him, I decided – it is best for me to not associate any further, but for an extra $600/year, maybe it will be better and he’ll learn that if he fixes these things/issues of his own – it’ll get better or he’ll face another increase..

February 2014 – 2 years and 2 months in.  I sat down in the middle of busy season and simply asked him to leave by April 15th.  April 15th then dragged into May, which I then increased the price another $35/month.  The price was now at $500/month or estimated at $6K per year.  On my house – that’s a very high “yield” as my house is roughly worth between $100-$110K depending on the week and the website.  As of the end of June – this would be essentially 4.5 months or 135 days since I’ve asked him to leave.  $5oo per month – think about the cost of living this amount covers!  I couldn’t rationalize it any further.  Luckily – he found a new place and is moving out August 8th, my house will be mine, A G A I N.

One thing I’ve learned – is if you are getting/receiving money for being in a situation that does not fit your lifestyle, does not make your quality of life at a point where you want it – then there is really no price tag on it.  You can apply this to work, side jobs, friends, aka anything you spend your money on.  This made me more calm in that – money is not everything, at all.  I was lucky enough to have someone pay me to live in my house – but he could be paying me twice as much – still not worth it.  The same method will go to my current position at some point I feel – where – I may just walk away from it all –  and even if they try to lure me with more money – sometimes no dollar is high enough to do something that simply doesn’t make you happy or is in line with your passions.  I turned down a $6k income stream for quality of living in a place that is my own.  It’s hard to stomach/swallow that, but for me – it’s been really easy.  Also – if I go back/dive into rental properties further – I will now be doing thorough methods of background checking, questionnaires and trials with individuals before even considering someone.  I hope that everyone does take a second/day/weekend to assess their life and ask – is my time and money being used to make myself happy and to give the world the best of who you are?  It’s not an easy question – one that I haven’t found the answer yet.  Anyone else have instances of this?  Have you stopped doing something, spending money on X, quit a job or leave someone – that just didn’t make you happy?  Please share, as I would love to hear.  Thanks again for stopping on by and hearing about a moment of my life.

-Lanny

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13 thoughts on “Losing a roommate… and the rental check to go with it

  1. Yeah, living with roommates can be tough. Especially if their lifestyle doesn’t fit with yours. The extra is nice, but adjusting your lifestyle might not be worth the trouble. Are you considering finding another roommate?

    • Thanks for your post Living At Home!

      It was tough, a learning experience and the extra change wasn’t too bad. I would consider another roommate, however, my diligence and knowledge of the person will be extremely critical. My lifestyle and personality will have to mesh more – I am all about different personalities – as long as it doesn’t drive me insane haha. Thanks for stopping by, I’ll make a post if I receive a new one!

      -Lanny

  2. HI Lanny,

    Congratulations on gaining your house and freedom back – you’ve definitely done the right thing! There’s no way to value how much the additional stress was costing you in terms of health and happiness. As you say, some things have a cost that can’t be measured or valued.

    I’ve not had quite the same experiences – I quit working in Germany as I’d reached a plateau and wasn’t really gaining anything more from living and working there. Last year I moved from Alabama to Michigan to be with my girlfriend though in this case I gained financially (no more monthly flights, shared expenses etc).

    Your point about making the most of your time / money to give the world the best of who you are is the central theme in the book “Your Money or Your Life”; there are many such examples in the book. So that might be worth a read if you haven’t come across it already.

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Best wishes,
    – DL

    • Div Life,

      Thanks for the congrats on this! I do feel like I’m doing the right thing and the money literally was/is an after thought. Happiness/Stress levels > money, that’s for sure.

      You easily made a financially savvy move going to Michigan, just as you said, no flights, lower cost of living maybe?, etc..

      I need to read that book – I’ll see if it’s at the Library and see what prices are on amazon.

      Thank you again for knowing how it feels. I appreciate the post, talk soon!

      -Lanny

  3. Yikes! Reminds me a little of having a college roommate when I lived in the dorms. He would leave Mountain Dew bottles full of chewing tobacco spit sitting around the room. One day, he accidentally kicked one over and spilled his nasty chew spit all over the floor. Some people are just plain nasty and have no idea.

    Regards,
    Dear Dividend

    • Dear Dividend,

      Yikes is right! That’s nasty – mountain dew bottles with the spit sitting there? What happens when you have someone over that isn’t used to seeing that? It’s just disrespectful! I am sorry you went through that – hopefully you’re in a much better situation now, as I can’t wait for mine. Talk soon and thanks for stopping by!

      -Lanny

  4. Lanny,

    Sounds like you made the right choice, my friend.

    It’s a shame that life needs to be quantified with money all the time. But I’m with you on certain situations not being worth the money. I could have easily stayed at my job in Florida making a comfortable $50k+ income, but it just wasn’t worth it to me anymore. I wasn’t happy, I missed my family, and I was working way, way, way too much. I was happy to work my butt off to get myself into a certain financial position, but it just wasn’t worth it anymore. They could have doubled the income and I probably would have still left. Money isn’t everything, but life is.

    I hope the loss of income doesn’t hurt you too much. But I’m sure the qualitative increase in quality of life will more than offset the quantitative loss of money.

    Best wishes!

    • DM,

      Phew – it was a “swallow my pride and see if it changes” type atmosphere for the bulk of a year or so. So happy that time’s are moving on and it’ll be back to my house, my way, for now, at least. Exactly – you could have stayed, stress levels would have been higher and for what? Money? Think about all of those hours, the constant “grind” – when you could be spending those hours on true passions and life. DM – dammit, reading my post – I should consider pulling “out” of the business career path. We’ll see. I have a lot to evaluate here in the next few months.

      Here is to quality of life and sound business investing! Thanks again DM.

      -Lanny

  5. You definitely made the right decision….I can’t imagine living every day like that. It sucks to lose the extra income, but there are more important factors to consider in a situation like this.

    PS – I like what you guys have going on over here and have nominated you for a Liebster Award, if you’re interested.

  6. One thing I’ve learned – is if you are getting/receiving money for being in a situation that does not fit your lifestyle, does not make your quality of life at a point where you want it – then there is really no price tag on it.

    Best quote i have ever heard this year. I am currently doing military service and fyi, people in my country are forced to be in the military for 2 years(although we never had any real wars). Some young guys see the cash that comes with being a military officer as enticing, and go ahead and sign on, leading miserable lives as they are bonded for 4-6 years.

    I had thought of signing on as well, but it did not really suit me. I dont really like the outdoors and felt much better to have some freedom than to always be under the fear of being scolded by superiors.(Military life can sometimes be brutal)

    Anyway great quote and keep up the good work!

  7. Hey Lanny,

    Ever thought about renting out a room in your house for a few days here and there or even for a month via Airbnb? I use that service fairly often. The last time was for a month long conference near Washington DC. I think I ended up paying $964 for the month, which was much, much cheaper than getting a hotel for the same length of time. A win-win for both of us. I haven’t used it from the hosting standpoint but you’d be able to pick only certain days that the room would be available. You also can read reviews of the people who inquire about your place and have final say over whether you’d accept their request.

    Scott

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