I enjoy reading posts like this because I own a house with my boyfriend but sometimes I can’t find a way to relate to a lot of the content since I’m younger than most homeowners. My boyfriend and I are both 20 years old and we lived in one apartment before choosing to purchase a home. Being young and living with a boyfriend/girlfriend can already be stressful and a bit difficult at first. Now that we have been in our first house for a while(8 months) I am more comfortable with the changes responsibilities. Here is a list of 4 things to learn before buying your first home young.
1. Bills Come Before Anything
Most people my age have a job, but will that job pay the bills? If you live with your family then I would start saving each month to see what amount you can put aside just for monthly bills. If you live in an apartment then you’re probably used to paying bills so add up the amount that you pay each month for bills. The number one thing that will never change is the fact that paying the bills is a MUST for owning a home. If you can’t pay the bills then you can’t own a home, it’s that simple.
2. Owning a Home Equals Owning All The Problems
So maybe you have enough money to pay bills and be comfortable. The next thing to know is that when you own a home, you are responsible for any and everything that can go wrong. When you live in an apartment, for example, the landlord will fix the leaky faucet or the A/C when it breaks. When you buy a house, all of the things that can go wrong become your problem! Just a couple months ago our dishwasher broke, guess who had to buy a new one to replace it… That’s right, we did! Now I know that most of you already know this and you’ve considered it, I did too. Even though I knew that fact, it became real when we moved. I realized how scary it is to think that you’re really on your own! So before buying a house, consider what can go wrong and how you could fix it.
3. Having an Emergency Fund Will Save Your Butt Later On
Let’s say one of these examples happens to you… You get fired, your dog gets sick, or your car breaks down. Sucks right? Well things like that happen very often to people. Pretend something like that happened to you today, do you have an emergency savings jar handy? Believe it or not, having an emergency fund is something you’ll need as long as you live. It’s best to start this money jar as soon as possible instead of waiting until something goes wrong. Wouldn’t you rather have an emergency fund and be prepared for anything rather than being in trouble when something does happen?
4. Maintenance Is Your New Best Friend
This isn’t always a big deal when you live in an apartment since the outside, most of the time, is maintained by the landlords. Leaks, mold, insects, rodents, and huge dead trees leaning towards your house are all great examples of the maintenance you’ll have to learn to take care of. Apartments require you to maintain the inside but they will still fix major issues. When you own a house, you are the one that keeps the environment healthy and safe. We own a light colored house so pressure washing, scrubbing, etc. are monthly things we do. When it gets cold, we have to pay extra attention to our pipes so they don’t bust while we’re at work. When there’s a lot of rain or a storm, we have to move things and prepare for any damage. Have you ever heard or termites? Yes, they are a real thing and they can destroy your home. Just keeping up with the maintenance to keep bugs away is a lot sometimes. Make sure you know how to maintain your home and consider the cost of it. Just walk around the home section in a store, that stuff isn’t cheap!
Whether you’re in an apartment or still with the parents, it’s never too early to learn about the things that every homeowner has to deal with. Remember, even though you might know these things, it’s a whole different ball game when it becomes real and there’s no hiding from it. Owning a home, no matter what age you are, is a crazy and great experience… Just make sure you’re prepared for what’s included.
Last little thing to learn before buying a house young, breathe! Life is full of craziness and you’re definitely not alone.