Oh, to be a renter. No! I didn't just say that. I never want to rent any domicile ever again. I fucking loathed every second we had to rent. It's just that owning a house is really damned hard on the pocketbook.
It's like owning a car, see. I know quite a lot of people who don't have a car and they squeal with envy when they see my shiny black hotness. BUT - they don't see my scheduled maintenance bills and payments and $2000 winter tires and insurance and gas and registration and....$$$ I always tell them it's a money pit and if mass transit was better in this town I'd switch in a minute. I bet it costs half of my paycheque just to own and maintain our one car. It's that sad (both the paycheque and the expense).
Yes, owning a house is like that, but much more satisfying. There is none of the frustration that comes at the end of the car's life when you find out it's worth nothing. BUT - one day you smell something funny. You turn to your husband and say, "Do you smell something funny?" "Nope," he says, not having your bloodhound nose. An hour later he smells it. Experience sends us to the furnace room.
Our furnace is the original one in our 26-year-old house. There was a crack in the heat exchanger when we bought it. Our home inspector told us we could get another four years out of it, six years ago. We've been waiting for it to conk out. When we opened the furnace panel, we could see that the edges of the crack were white-hot. "It's time," we said.
That funny smell is going to wind up costing us $4500. We do get a 95% efficient furnace out of it, though, with a two-stage motor that actually keeps the house at an even temp and will lessen our gas and power bills. I won't be sorry to see the back of that old, inefficient, polluting and underperforming piece of crap that leaves my living room ice-cold. We also get to claim it on our income taxes next year.
And I will be toastier than ever by next Wednesday!!!