Nice to rent, not to buy
December 7, 2007 11:57 AM   Subscribe

If asked directly, I will tell the owners I do not intend to buy the property I live in, but they are 'hinting' and I have a lot of time left in the to avoid "isn't this place great!?" small talk?

(Anon b/c it is a tiny town)
We rent, with option to buy, an older house which the landlords lived in for a long time. It was up for sale forever, but never sold. It is in ok shape-- there are major design and replacement issues which render the house annoying. But it was our only option after we got new jobs.

They seem unaware or do not want to deal with some of the flaws—before we moved in, they chose to needlessly fix some strange elements of the house while they ignored some basic things which would have made life a lot easier. My guess is they do not want to put money into the house but still feel they need to ‘improve’ it somehow—it is just the efforts are misguided.

So, often they will say things to me like “Isn’t the house great? We used to love it” or “How are you settling in?”—“Fine, thank you”—“Great to hear you are settling so well!” I do not want them to think we do not care about the house. It is someone else’s property and we are careful with someone else’s property. But, I do not want to give them false hope for selling. How do I deflect these attempts to talk about how great the house is without offending or causing concern?
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I wish I could afford to buy it! It's really too bad.
posted by sondrialiac at 12:02 PM on December 7, 2007

Additionally, if you would buy it if they made certain improvements, let them know specifically what those improvements are.
posted by sondrialiac at 12:04 PM on December 7, 2007

Tell them that you do, indeed, like the house, and then segue into the list of things that you would like them, as landlords, to fix. They probably will like talking about that even less than you like talking about buying the house.
posted by The World Famous at 12:06 PM on December 7, 2007 [3 favorites]

Well with an option to buy, aren't they giving you a rent credit toward a down payment? That is usually how something like that works so they may very well think you are interested in the house. I'd tell them flat out you are not interested so they can re-list it if necessary. Most states will honor an existing lease so a new buyer would normally inherit your tenancy. That new person could elect to kick you out when your lease expires. Anyway, tell them in case they really do need to sell so they can stop hoping you'll cave in and be a little more proactive.
posted by 45moore45 at 12:52 PM on December 7, 2007

Mention that you would like to own a home one day. Then, when they say, "how about this house?" respond, "No, I always had my heart set on X" where X is something that the house doesn't have and could never have. Like proximity to your family, remoteness to your family, bus line, a large yard, a small yard, a separate studio to rent out, that you would never purchase before marriage, etc.

Or, read this book: People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts. Previously recommended here and here.
posted by about_time at 5:56 AM on December 8, 2007

Definitely let them know you're not going to be buying the house.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 1:32 PM on December 8, 2007

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