Parts Of Home Ownership Nobody Is Prepared For
Buying your first home is so exciting. After years of being at the mercy of your landlord’s whims, never being allowed to make the renovations you want, having to wait for weeks until your landlord’s preferred plumber/exterminator/repairman was available to fix a problem that was interfering with your daily life, and all the other terrors of renting, isn’t it great to have some say in things? No more fear that your landlord will hike up that rent out of nowhere. No more dealing with sharing a thin wall with loud neighbors. When you have your own home—that you own—you feel like you can finally exhale. That being said, home ownership is a big responsibility. Freedom always tends to come with responsibility so, that’s to be expected. But some parts of it nobody really is prepared for. Here are parts of homeownership that may surprise you.
There is always something broken
The house is literally never “done.” There is always a shutter that needs to be replaced, some weathering strips that need to be refreshed, a light fixture that needs repairs, or some weird growth on a wall that has to be inspected. At any given moment, on any given day, you have it in the back of your mind that you need to get that thing fixed.
Nobody will take care of it but you
You can’t call a landlord to fix it. You are the landlord. You have to research plumbers and repair professionals in your area. And that research, plus waiting on hold with customer service and making the appointment, can eat up half a day.
Simple fixes are very expensive
Even tiny fixes are expensive. Rather mild plumbing issues can easily cost $300 to fix. If anything major has to happen, you may be facing several thousands of dollars. When you buy a home, consider these costs, too. And put aside $5,000 for first-year repairs. You may not need that money, but you’ll be glad to have it if you do.
There isn’t always time to compare prices
You do have the luxury to get quotes from different plumbers, renovators etc. But you don’t always have the time. Sometimes, you need something fixed right now just so you can do basic things like shower and cook food. Sometimes the first available company gets the job.
You’ll be so focused on the actual house that you’ll probably neglect the outside of it at first. Then you’ll realize you have a weed issue, a rodent problem, and plants that require special care. You’ll do some of this yourself, but some things must be outsourced.
The services you didn’t know you’d need
It will feel like every week, you’ll become aware of a new service you didn’t know you needed. There were likely things your old landlord handled for you, that you didn’t even realize he handled. Now they’re your problem.
The inundation of service offers
When you buy a new home, you become a target for all of the local home care companies. Every day you’ll get someone knocking on your door, just letting you know that they provide landscaping/repairs/pool cleaning to your neighbors, and could do the same for you.
Homeowner’s association fees
Those homeowner’s association fees will get you. They can range from $200 to $400 per month. So, when calculating what you’ll pay monthly, add that to your mortgage payments. You can also add the mental stress that comes from realizing that you actually kind of care about the decisions that the homeowners association makes.
The lost sleep over it all
For the first few months, you will lose sleep over your home. You’ll stay up at night, worried about all the things that are going wrong and could go wrong. But, eventually, you get used to it. It’s like having a pet, or your first child. The worries become routine.
All homeowners suffer buyer’s remorse. The ones who say they don’t are lying. So don’t think you’ve made a huge mistake just because that remorse creeps in. You did your research. You looked around forever and got the best deal you could. Now you have a house. Let the rest go.
You can do whatever you want
Onto the fun stuff! You can finally do whatever you want! You can choose how the landscaping looks. You can make renovations that will improve the value of your home and you’ll directly benefit from that. You can add a pool (well, maybe—check with the city on that).
Societal respect goes through the roof
Just wait and see how people respect you when you say you own a home. And wait and see how shocked people are—it seems like everybody rents these days, so when you say you own your home, people take notice.
You’re finally building memories
You feel like you can finally put down roots. You aren’t a transient here. You can really build a home here, with traditions. That’s a very full, warm feeling.
Oh yeah and you get tax breaks! When you’re a homeowner, there are tax breaks that will cover interest increases, should your home loan go up. First-time homeowners can even sometimes get up to 20 or 30 percent of the interest they pay on their loans, back in tax deductions.
A feeling of stability
You finally feel stable. You own your property. That’s nothing to sneeze at. You own a major asset. Nobody can evict you. You have collateral for other loans. You really have a lot more to work with than you did before.