As a hands on landlord with lots of great tenants, it’s hard not to get involved, in fact, it’s virtually impossible. We’re always around and about, gardening, doing odd jobs, getting stuff from the cellars so it’s easy to see tenants on a regular basis and get to know them a little. To tell you the truth, I like knowing a little about who lives in the apartments we’ve spent so much time on.
When I first started doing B2L, tenants were mostly in marketing, sales and IT, moving in and on in short periods, buying houses after renting for six months or so. Then the credit crunch hit and things radically changed, we’ve now mainly doctors, teachers, social workers & media peeps and tenancies are lasting much longer. It seemed that our 20 to 30 somethings were happy partying, shopping and holidaying. Pensions schmensions.
However lives aren’t just dictated by money, work and socialising, though often it feels like they are, especially for people in their twenties and increasingly thirties with no ties or real responsibilities. In my 20’s I was entirely self-absorbed, building a business during the week and partying hard at weekends, without a care for family needs and no children to think of. Everyone’s going to live forever when you’re young, so you only need to think about yourself.
And then you get, yup, can you see it coming…. the Wake-up Call. It’s a phrase I’ve heard in the last week from two different tenants, both of whom are going through those bolt from the blue periods that change your perspective on life and make you look closely at yours. That realisation that it’s your turn to be a grown up. It happened to me in my early 30’s when I suddenly realised that it was just me against the world with no safety net, a broken down relationship and change of career direction with no family to fall back on meant I’d to buckle down and build something up, hence the B2L.
My two tenants are both lovely people dealing with very sad situations, the type which make us realise that nothing is forever and we only get one chance at this precious thing we call life. These things inevitably start happening when you get older and they do make you take stock, whether that means you decide to settle down, stop splashing the cash, spend more time with family or just start preparing for a future which has always seemed so far away.
They may not have realised it but both tenants used the phrase positively, as though the tragic circumstances in which they found themselves had given them an opportunity to choose to live their lives in a more grown up, more responsible way, a less selfish way. From bad can always come some good, they say, though it may not feel like it at the time. I wish them both well and hope there’s happiness just round the corner. I can’t send that round in a package, like I can with cupcakes, unfortunately 😦