Welcome back to part two of our series on transitioning from apartments to houses. Here we will show you what to look out for and what things to expect when it comes to buying a home, at least what makes it different from renting that is. Last article we talked about dealing HOAs (Homeowners Associations), buying appliances, finances, and the size of a house versus the size of an apartment. Today we are going to cover a few more things that will help to get you ready for homeownership. When you can, never go into something this big without doing research. There are lots of things you need to know before you can be a homeowner. Many laws and conditions that apply to you that didn’t apply to you as a renter. Again, this is not an all-inclusive list of things you need to know so be sure to contact your real estate agents to find out all the new responsibilities you have.
#5 Maintaining your home is now all on you
When you lived in an apartment you were in charge of the day to day maintenance of the house and basic repairs and all big repairs and maintenance were the responsibility of the landlord. If the pipes burst or electrical work needed to be done you just had to call the landlord and they would fix it up for you. However, when you buy a home you are instantly put in charge of the maintenance of your own home. That means if a toilet breaks at 2 am or if a water heater fizzles out, that is your job to fix or replace. You will have to arrange for a repair person; you will need to pay for the fix. Not to mention you will have to take care of all the outside maintenance as well. You see, in an apartment, you didn’t have to worry about raking leaves or mowing the law or anything like that, the landlord arranged for it to be done. When you own your home you will have to either do that yourself or pay someone to do it for you. This includes shoveling your driveway and sidewalk in the winter and so on and so forth.
#6 As a homeowner, you have to take into account parking
In an apartment you usually are given one or two park spots per unit, sometimes they are even assigned. However, with a house, if you don’t have a driveway or a garage you are going to have to fight for space on the street or in a parking garage. This isn’t always that big of a deal but it can sometimes be an issue for people. Not to mention the fact that some HOAs will have a restriction on how many cars can be parked in front of your home at any given time.
#7 Pests are a problem for homeowners too
Just like with the major maintenance that was taken care of by your landlord in an apartment, pest control was another thing they would take care of. However, as a homeowner, any insects, rodents, or any other pests will become your responsibility. Just like with repairs, you will have to talk to an exterminator and pay for them to come and rid your house of pests. This can be a much larger deal than it sounds. If left unchecked, pests can destroy your home. Take the initiative and inspect your own home regularly and if you even think you see something that could mean pests have arrived, call an expert and have them take care of it.
#8 Security and home protection is another major responsibility
Last on our list is security. Now this includes a bunch of different things. For instance, you need to keep your home secure thieves and vandals, but you also need to keep it safe from natural disasters like flooding, fires, and so on. Homeowner’s not only need to do this for the sake of securing housing for themselves in the long term but also because if preparations are not made by the homeowner themselves, no one else will.
To protect their property from thieves, vandals, and burglars, the best thing a homeowner can do is to invest in some home security education as well as some basic security devices. There isn’t enough time to cover the education portion of home security, so be sure to talk with a professional on the best habits and practices that will keep you and your home the safest.
When it comes to the security systems, however, protecting a home can cost anywhere from $25 to thousands of dollars depending on the gear a person buys. One can find cameras, alarms, motion sensors, and so on for a variety of prices on just about any online shopping website or at any department store. However, there is also the possibility of buying a dog or some other sort of animal to guard the home but there is a lot more responsibility, upkeep, and training involved in this option than just buying gear.
Keeping your home safe from natural disasters is another big responsibility. There isn’t time to get into the minutia of the topic, but the best thing to do is to, again, talk with a professional about floods, fires, blizzards, earthquakes, and so on. Speaking with a professional means you will have the latest information on home protection topics and know the best thing for your area of the world.
Well, we have come to the end of our series on making the transition between an apartment and a house and there are still dozens of things we didn’t have the time to cover. If you want to know more about the responsibilities of a homeowner, or how to become a homeowner, give us a call right away. Our trained and friendly real estate agents are ready and willing to help you out with anything or any questions you may have. So don’t hesitate to call. You can also email us by clicking the “Contact” button under the “About Us” drop down menu on the top of the page.