May 12, 2014

Things They Don't Tell You When Buying a House

Four years ago today we became home owners.

It took a long time for this to happen. I was afraid to own a home for many years. I really liked the convenience of rentals in that we weren't responsible for problems that arose. Also, the housing market was doing so well for so long that we really couldn't afford what homes were costing.

Then the market tanked. President Obama's response was to offer a first time home buyer's tax rebate to the tune of $8,000.

So my husband was all, "Um, Jen, maybe we could buy a house now?"

I didn't have a leg to stand on with my arguments against it at that point.

I very timidly replied, Okay....", and we were off and running.

But there are things no one tells you. Things I guess you're just supposed to learn by going through the process....?

Well I think this tight-lipped, "Oh they'll figure it out," business is for the birds. So I'm here to help!

1. How many hoops there are to jump through - they fall short of asking for blood samples, but it quite literally feels like you're selling your soul to the devil.

2. How much paperwork is involved - your hand will cramp and your own name will sound foreign to you by the time you are done signing on the dotted LINES.

3. Painting is a lot harder than it looks.

4. If you have a gas stove, perhaps a utility company other than the one that supplies your electricity is providing the gas, and maybe you should find that out before you've been living in the house for several months.

5. Speaking of utilities, you should know that the city will have no qualms with turning off your water the VERY FIRST TIME you are late making your payment.

6. You will need to obtain things like, say, a lawnmower, which you may have never needed to own before buying a house, because if you don't keep your grass maintained, the HOA will make threats.

7. HOAs (Home Owners Associations) are a marginally necessary evil that will make you feel bullied from time to time.

8. The day after you spend your first night in your new home you will begin receiving offers in the mail to refinance.

My tone here might sound a bit cheeky, but I'm totally serious. For reals. These are things I did not know and that took me by surprise.

Also, your roof might develop a small leak that your contractor uncle can't figure out and you might become host to a bird family inside a small vent on the side of your house. You'll maybe feel both honored that the birds chose your house, but also concerned.

I'm just saying.

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