The 20 Things No One Tells You About Owning a Home
Now that you’ve got a house, the responsibility of maintaining it kicks in.
Making big changes
“Live in your home for 12 to 18 months before undertaking any major renovations such as additions or knocking down walls. What you initially think you want may change after you’ve lived there for a while.” – Fran Carpentier. Get the real scoop on which home improvements are really worth the investment—you might pause before adding a pool.
When you have a specific house in mind, think about potential developments. For example: If the home is near a busy road, will there be an expansion in the near future? If there is a lot of open space around the home, will more homes be built in the area soon? If there are several homes for sale in the neighborhood, are they selling quickly and who’s moving in? It may be difficult to find concrete information about future developments. Read city council, county commissioners and planning, and zoning agendas and minutes for the location you’re looking at to get an idea. Also, keep in mind the potential resale value of your future home because no one knows what the future holds and you may need to sell earlier than you imagined.
Buyers remorse is inevitable
There’s almost no way for a new homeowner to completely avoid buyer’s remorse. The little pitfalls that come with buying a home can be stressful and drive you crazy. The good news is that it’s all worth it! For all of its challenges, homeownership can be mentally and financially rewarding. No matter how stressful it gets, don’t forget that you’re not alone!
Schools are important
Even if you don’t have kids yet or don’t plan on having kids ever, schools in the neighborhood are important to consider when buying a home. A good school district can help maintain home values and boost resale opportunities. It usually brings with it higher taxes, which go partially to the school district. Do your research to determine if buying in a good school district is worth it for your household. There are plenty of other mistakes first-time homebuyers call their biggest regrets.
How to live in a construction zone
This is a problem especially common for members of the DIY community. No matter how much experience you have working on small projects or working on other people’s homes, the first time you begin a major project on your own home, you’ll have to deal with sleeping and eating in a construction zone. You may think this is no big deal, but everyone has their own line where the mess is “too much.” And if you have a spouse, then it’s pretty much a guarantee that your line is different from theirs!
Gutters only need cleaning
No matter what the season, clogged gutters can lead to damage since they cannot drain properly. In the spring, clean out all those leaves and other debris that came down during the winter and early spring. Clean them once again in the fall.
Don’t make mountains from mole hills
A house is a major purchase, and any residential building is filled with hundreds of spots where something might have less than perfect finish. Sooner or later, you’re going to find an issue that has slipped past you, your realtor, and your home inspector. If your first reaction is to panic, don’t worry: that’s a perfectly natural reaction. But take a deep breath, step back and really examine the issue. Is the issue as serious as the DIY nightmares discussed earlier? Or is it as minor as a stuck deadbolt? It’s understandable (and maybe unavoidable) to be worried about your new home, and most homeowners will have an “oh, no!” moment or two after moving in. The trick is to have a reaction that’s in proportion to the problem. And in the meantime, here’s how to fix that stuck deadbolt!
Caulk your windows
Leaky windows are one of the biggest sources of energy loss in a typical home. If you don’t want to cover your entire window, a quick, low-cost solution is to seal the gaps with removable caulk. A $4.50 tube seals five 3 x 5-ft. windows.
Wrong size home
Nearly 20 percent of millennial buyers and 20 percent of Generation X buyers said they regretted they didn’t buy a bigger house, according to a NerdWallet survey.