7 Things You Didn’t Know About Being a Homeowner

For many, becoming a homeowner is more than just a lifelong goal, it is achieving a major milestone, symbolizing stability and reaching a measure of financial independence. However, seeing your name on the deed is just the tip of the iceberg. So as you make your own-the-world strut to the front door, here are seven things about being a homeowner which might surprise you. 

1. The Costs of Maintenance and Repairs

When people calculate homeownership costs, they usually take into account a mortgage, taxes, and insurance. But they often underestimate the expenditures on ongoing maintenance and repair. To be on the safe side, you can plan for 1% to 3% of your home’s purchase price each year for maintenance and repairs. This covers everything from fixing a leaky faucet to replacing the roof. 

2. Home Upgrades Don’t Always Boost Value

While updating a kitchen or installing a bathroom may increase the value of your home, others may not. Expensive, exotic tastes in remodeling may not appeal to potential buyers, and your house could become a hard sell. This is when you may want to reach out to a real estate agent for guidance. A realtor who is familiar with the local market can help you decide which tasks will help you increase the worth of your property. 

3. Your Relationship with Neighbors 

How you get along with your neighbors can greatly influence how enjoyable life is at home. Like with any relationship, it takes effort–on both sides. Having someone next door who can lend you an extra tool or watch your house while you’re on vacation are great examples of having a positive relationship with a neighbor–but it can go south, too. A barking dog at 3 a.m., or a blast of wall-reverberating stereo noise, can result in tension and in extreme cases, litigation. If you want good neighbors, you have to also try being one yourself.

4. Property Taxes Can Increase

Property taxes are calculated based on your home’s value, which can rise over time. This means that even if your mortgage payments remain the same, you may still see an increase in property taxes. Once again, it’s important to seek advice from a knowledgeable real estate agent to help you understand the tax implications in different areas before you pull the trigger on making a purchase.

5. Freedom to Personalize Your Space

One of the best things about owning a home is the ability to make it genuinely yours. You can paint your walls, change the floor, or even alter your house’s layout to your preference. Unlike renting, where restrictions often apply, homeowners can reshape their living space into whatever they want it to be, true reflections of who they are.

6. A New Source of (Passive) Income

Owning a home can also mean extra money if you have the space to spare. You can rent out a basement, garage, or single room (if not the entire house) to tenants, or convert your home into an Airbnb. The profits you make can go towards your mortgage or other maintenance costs. However, it’s important to check if you’re allowed to rent rooms out in your area before proceeding.

7. A Sense of Community

One of the biggest perks of owning a home is feeling more connected to your community compared to renting. Being part of a neighborhood can lead to bonds with neighbors, active participation in local events and a genuine commitment to community matters.

Being a homeowner definitely has its share of surprises. If you’re new to it, reaching out to your real estate agent or Realtor could be a smart move. They’re a resource for the ins and outs of homeownership–from maintenance costs, to getting involved in the community, they can offer insights that make the experience smoother and more enjoyable.

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