How Big of a Role Should Maintenance Play When Choosing Your First House?

simple apartment interior

You might ask: why should I worry about maintaining the house when I haven’t even moved in? Isn’t that jumping the gun too soon? Doesn’t that ruin the process of finding your dream home? In some cases, it does ruin the joy of finding your first home. But in many instances, ignoring the warning signs will lead you to regret ever stepping foot in the house.

Where are you at this point in your life? You are ready to buy a home. Are you single, newly married, or planning to rent out parts of the home for extra income? The truth is that even retirees who are settled into their lives don’t want to deal with costly and time-consuming home maintenance. That’s why many of them have started moving into retirement homes and communities. Although they don’t want to leave the homes they spend most of their lives in, the stress of having to take care of a home just catches up on them.

First-time home buyers always have to deal with this problem. They are too excited to make an offer for a property that they sometimes forget to consider how much time they would need to maintain a home. And it’s not just about time. It’s about money, too.

Sure, that house with a swimming pool in the backyard looks nice. You can even afford it since you have been promoted. Here’s the catch: who’s going to maintain it? Do you still have the extra money to call a pool cleaner? How about the cost of the chlorine and water? Many swimming pool owners end up wasting their money on a pool because they don’t even have the extra bucks a month to take care of it.

Check Your Lifestyle

woman looking outside

Do you work at home or do you go to the office each day? What time do you go home? Who cleans the house or manages the whole household? Be realistic about what you can do. Young families need to work more than eight hours every day. When the parents come home, that’s the only time they can spend with their kids, who are mostly left to the babysitter or their grandparents.

Will you always have time to deal with home maintenance problems? Are you willing to give up your weekends to fix the chimney, mow the lawn, or tend to the garden? You have to think twice before getting a house with an actual chimney, a pool, a yard, a basement, and an attic. While these amenities and features all look good, they also require a significant amount of maintenance time.

Be Pragmatic About Your Budget

Do you have the money to pay for a pool cleaner? How about a gardener? If you do not have time to garden, weeds will grow in your yard. Soon, your home will look unkempt and dilapidated. Surely, as someone who’s working hard to pay for their mortgage, you want your home to be in tip-top shape. That’s why you have to be realistic with what you can afford to maintain.

A garden looks good but it’s also expensive to keep. You do not only have to take time watering them, but you have to buy garden soil and fertilizers. When you do not have the time (either because of work or a planned vacation), you will need to pay someone to water the plants. So, as much as a garden looks great, consider not getting one if you do not have the time and money to maintain it.

Consider Future Plans

Are you planning to get married soon? Then, why are you choosing a single-room house? Where will your kids sleep when you start having them? Are they supposed to squeeze in with you on the bed? It is nice to have a bachelor or bachelorette pad, but this is impractical if you will soon settle down and start a family.

Your choice of a first home must symbolize where you are in your life. This isn’t something you can exchange for another house tomorrow or next week. When you make an offer for a home, you are committing to staying there probably forever. Make sure you look into your future. Have a forecast.

Home maintenance is a tricky subject to homeowners. While many see it as a necessary evil that they have to deal with, others’ take on it is more aggressive. They see it as a nuisance and as such, want nothing to do with it. Which side will you take? That’s a factor to consider when choosing a home.

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