Home ownership is something that most of us will or want to aspire towards sometime in our life. For me, that happened in 2008. The joy and agony of finding a home was like a dream come true. I learned some valuable lessons along the way that I wish I had known ahead of time. I hope my tips can help you with better preparing yourself for making that tough decision: to purchase a home or not. Here are my top 5 lessons learned.
Decide if you want a newer home or one that has a few miles on it. This should be an obvious decision and one that I wish I had thought through much better at the time. I decided to purchase an older home with some miles on it but mostly in decent shape. This home was about 15 years old and did not need any up front maintenance; however, in the long run it may have not been the best option for me. There was a lot of ongoing maintenance that the house needed that I did not predict; such as, replacing the hot water heater amongst other things. Just remember to be sure to inspect everything before purchasing or have someone you trust to do that for you. For me, a recently built home would have been a better option but for others this may be a perfect fit. Think about the type of person you are and which options would be less stressful for you.
Lawn maintenance is always something to take into consideration. The home I purchased had a rather large yard and while I enjoyed the space for planting my flowers, it posed a challenge with maintaining a manicured lawn. I hired someone to do the bulk of the work for me due to attempting to maintain it myself was more back breaking work than I thought it would be.
Put some thought into the type of community you wish to live in. In a townhome community you will be connected to your neighbors. I rented a town home before purchasing my own home so I knew that I did not want to live in a community of this type. For some this may be the exact type of community you want but do the research carefully to consider this. A townhome community or community of this type does not allow some people the flexibility of having all of the amenities one may want in a home and it is often ran by a home owners association.
Consider the cost of keeping up termite and pest control. Most home owners keep a contract for yearly inspection with a termite company. This is important if you intend to ever sell your home in the future. The costs will range according to the company you decide to go with but it is a valuable service in order to ensure that your home does not fall prey to termites and pests. They can ruin the foundation of your home and this is especially true for an older home.
Finally, consider keeping a home warranty policy in case of major repairs. I decided to get a warranty at the request of my dad who had one on his home. A home warranty can help with payment in an event should a major repair arise. Most of these companies will require that you call ahead and schedule a repair and they will send someone from within their network to come to your home to perform the maintenance. A Google of home warranty companies can help you in deciding which one has the most affordable rates.
I hope these lessons I learned from being a home owner will help you to consider some things before purchasing your own home. In the end I found that homeownership has its pluses and minuses; in any event the choice is yours. Happy house hunting!