Home ownership should never be entered into lightly. Buying a home is one of the most important decisions a person can make in their lifetime. I have always possessed a natural instinct to own a home and to make it a special place. Having been a property owner for 10 years, first having purchased in 2003, I have learned a lot of lessons about being a responsible homeowner. Below are five of the most important things for homeowners to consider.
Maintenance Dues: Pay Them on Time!
Maintenance dues are mandatory. A failure to pay these dues can result in legal action being taken against the homeowner, including but not limited to a lawsuit, being placed in collections, the reduction of one’s credit score, and a loss of community privileges. Dues should be paid in a timely manner and in full. Allocate enough money to pay on time every time.
Building Permit Requirement
If you are considering upgrading some part of your home, find out if you need a building permit. Permits can be obtained in local government agencies (the departments vary according to each county’s governing laws) and may take weeks or months to be approved. A failure to follow the guidelines mandated by a county or city government can result in penalties. Upgrading one’s kitchen, flooring, roofing, or bathrooms can be a wonderful way to augment the value of a home and to help a homeowner feel a greater sense of comfort with their property. Follow the rules and be smart!
Problems With Neighbors
Unless a homeowner has purchased a significant-size property, it is likely he/she will have neighbors. Some will be friendly and courteous and others will be meddlesome and/or difficult to get along with. A homeowner does not need to be overly gregarious with his neighbors, but it never hurts to project an air of sociability and approachability. People live their own lives and prefer not to be troubled while at home. Respect your neighbors and understand that if they become upset with you, living in your home can feel less comfortable than would otherwise be the case. Try to anticipate or resolve situations before they become litigious.
Problems With Homeowners Associations
Many homeowners associations are difficult to deal with. This means that the so-called HOA members from each community can be intrusive. The best way to stave off any complaints is to regularly (or as often as your schedule will allow) attend board meetings. Be an active participant in your community. Let your voice be heard in the most polite and reasonable of terms.
Know thy mortgage rate! It has often been the case, and unfortunately so, that home buyers have not carefully examined or understood the terms of their mortgage. This can result in buyers not knowing the ins and outs of their private mortgage insurance and mortgage insurance rates. Put aside the amount of your mortgage payment every month and include a nice cushion in case of late fees or unexpected interruptions in paychecks. Paying your mortgage in a timely manner and understanding the overall cost of home ownership is absolutely critical to enjoying being a successful property owner.