Monday, November 10, 2008

wwyd?

What would you do?

Okay. Major decision time, and I could use a little help.

I found a house here in Houston. The monthly rent is about $150 over what I wanted to pay, but I can swing it. It's not a new house, in fact, it's old (1940s, maybe), but it's in good condition. It's in a great area where the houses average about $500k (look for the shack nestled between two mini-mansions); it's on a lovely street. For the neighborhood, it's a bargain. The previous tenant wrote for the Houston Chronicle, so it's got good writing juju. It has almost everything I'm looking for -- it is a house, it has 2 bedrooms, central air and heat, a yard, a washer/dryer hookup, and pets are welcomed. There's one problem. It's carpeted, and I hate carpet with the fire of a thousand suns. Really, I do.

I once read an essay by Meghan Daum called "Carpet Is Mungers." (She talks about it here.) It's a part of an essay collection, a pretty good one at that, but the anti-carpet treatise is the piece that stuck with me most. Meghan's got her reasons for hating the shag of shame, and so do I. I just don't see carpet as my future, you know, where I'm going in life.

But I'm not yet where I'm going. I've got some credit issues to clean up (I don't need some rental management company digging too deep into my files, I tell you what), Schmin to think about in case he comes to stay with me, and personal safety to mind since I'll be living alone for a while. Shouldn't I be more than happy to sacrifice a hardwood floor in favor of having found a landlord who already likes me, and the rest of my criteria in place?

Please. Help me.

What would you do?

11 comments:

Holly said...

I share your love of hardwood floors, but I live in an apartment with carpet. I won't be here forever, so it's okay. I look forward to a future filled with beautiful flooring.

Christie said...

Carpet totally sucks. But if the landlord likes you and you can swing it, it might be worth it.

Ellen Bloom said...

Oh big deal. You can always lay down a fake linoleum or wood "rug" over the carpet in sections. If you like the house, the owner likes you, then go for it. You're not buying the place and you won't live there forever. IMHO

Elbee said...

I'd take it and replace the floor with nice linoleum or laminate flooring. You can start with the room where the carpet offends you most and work your way around as your funds become available. I grew up in an apartment, and my parents were always doing stuff to it, including replacing the ugly lino with NICE lino. Might the owner be willing to replace the carpetting?

Laurie Ann said...

I say go for it. You may be able to take a page from Laurie's book (Crazy Aunt Purl, not me) and rip up the carpet (with the landlord's permission, of course) yourself. Your Crazy is up to it, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

If you have to ask your internal siren may be telling you "No". That's the most important point to consider. Who wants to pay $150. more for what they really don't want?

j.kaori said...

My two cents --- go for it, because it seems that the positives outweigh the one negative (carpet)!

Carmell said...

1. its a rentel... therefore its not "your" so carpet is a give or take. you really can't be too picky in that department.
2. its a house. most if not all house will be carpeted...
3. ITS A HOUSE!!! i'd take a carpeted house over a crapped apartment with dumb too close for comfort neighbors any day!

i hope you take it... forget about the carpet. you may learn to love it!

Adrienne said...

Do what you feel comfy with. It IS a house....

woolanthropy said...

If there is hard woods under the carpet you can always offer to have them refinished at your expense.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you can or can't do with rentals in the USA but if there is a hardwood floor beneath the carpet, maybe the landlady will let you rip the carpets out, at least in the areas where it bothers you. Or, as others have suggested, cover it with fake wooden laminate, the type that looks like parquet and 'clicks' together.

How old are the water pipes which lead into the house? Have they been replaced in the last 20 or so years? With old houses you should check for those things. Have you checked around for mold? Mold poses more danger to your health than carpets.
What else can I offer: If you really want the place and the landlady wants to keep her carpets, rent some heavy equipment and roll up your sleeves and clean those carpets.

You could be walking the same path like Toni Morrison, you know!
Good luck.
Heather