There's a major inventory supply issue causing many would-be homeowners to be renters or stay in their parents' homes. Real estate costs are rising due to the lack of supply, causing many homes to be out-of-reach of first-time homebuyers.
It's a growing problem, but you might not be ready to be a homeowner.
Owning a home comes with a lot of variables, and there is a lot that people don't tell you about owning a home.
1. You Need to Set Aside Money for Home Repairs
If you live in a newer home, the number of repairs you need to do may be minimal in the first few years. Homes that are 10+ years old will need to have more frequent repairs to keep them "up to snuff."
An issue is that 57 million people have zero in savings. The statistic is much higher for people that have $500 or less in their savings account.
If a major repair is needed, you need to have money set aside to fix the issue. The Balance recommends setting aside 1% of your home's cost for annual repairs. This means $1,000 for a $100,000 home.
You might not use all of this money for repairs annually, but if an emergency repair is needed or you need a costly mainline camera inspection, you'll be happy to have money set aside.
2. You Can't Do Anything You Want
I imagined that I could do anything I wanted to when I owned my own home. I can stomp on the floor, and I can choose the ugliest décor without needing anyone's permission. But you can't just do anything you want. You can't:
- Knock down weight-bearing walls on accident
- Add an addition without a permit
- Violate zoning laws in any way
You can often have additions put on your home, add windows and fireplaces, or have the entire home remodeled. The issue occurs when you try and avoid all of the legal aspects involved. You need to make sure any additions or major structural changes in the home are within zoning laws.
You don't want to have to knock down an addition because you didn't get a permit or violated the law.
3. Homes Can Have Secrets
I love older homes. I recently stayed in a home from 1878, and it was beautiful. Everything about the home was charming, and I bet it has a lot of secrets, too. Older homes may not have all of the information disclosed because homeowners don't know about their home's secrets.
A prime example of this could be seen on an ABC News interview.
The homeowner was told from a neighbor that they believed there was a "basement under your basement." The homeowner's basement started to have more issues as the home was rented out.
The owner had to make repairs and always kept the neighbor's story in the back of her mind. She started to look through newspaper clippings and found that a home close by found a room that they thought was part of the Underground Railroad.
The space, found 14 feet deep, was 6 – 8 feet wide and 15 feet long.
Who knows? Your home may be hiding secrets from the past, too.