By The Pocket Your Pounds Team | Published June 9, 2021
Growing up, we are taught that saving to buy a home is the ticket to “happily ever after.” Most people work towards this goal without knowing whether or not it’s the right investment for them. Owning a home has a lot of pros, but it also has a fair amount of cons. Before taking the plunge, it’s important to learn the ins and outs of home ownership.
The results are in! These are the five worst things about owning a home. Familiarize yourself with these items to ensure that you are not caught off guard when you decide to buy.
1. Houses are a Money Pit
Many prospective buyers have tunnel vision when buying a house, only looking at the price tag of the mortgage, with little idea of the hidden costs that await.
Classic “closing costs” include:
Stamp duty tax
And the list goes on....
Your water heater is never going to cost you anything when you rent. But if you own your own home, it’s on you to replace it. That goes for every other appliance or physical structure in your home. You're completely on the hook for maintaining, repairing, and upgrading it.
2. Houses Require a Big Time Investment
A house is a big responsibility that requires a lot of care and attention—especially if you want to maintain its value over time.
Once you cross the T’s and dot the I’s, the maintenance begins and never ends.
Washing the siding
Maintaining the roof
Cleaning the gutters
Changing HVAC filters
Fixing driveway cracks
Flushing the water heater
The list could probably go on forever, but these are some common tasks. On top of these, you should be prepared to remedy any emergency situations, such as a pipes bursting.
If you get satisfaction from working on your house, fantastic! But for many, the obligation of maintaining a property means less time and energy for travel, hobbies/passions, or pursuing important business goals.
3. Paying Utilities
Nothing in this world is certain, except for death and taxes. If you’re a homeowner, “paying bills” will also fall under this list of unavoidable life events. Month after month, more paperwork needs to be sorted in order to power up your home and make it livable for you and your family.
Unfortunately for homeowners, utility providers have a monopoly on the market. For too long, they have been charging unreasonable prices for basic utility services. New options have been sprouting up that put the customer in the driver's seat and take back control of their monthly utility spend.
Companies like Look After My Bills (L.A.M.B.), offer a free service that makes it effortless to switch over utilities to green energy suppliers. 7/10 people have switched to renewable energy companies, and members save an average of £262 a year. Signing up for their service takes mere moments, and they auto-switch you to providers with reputations for outstanding customer service. Just sit back and watch as the L.A.M.B. algorithm sets you up with the best company and the best deal.
4. Mobility is Limited
There’s a lot of talk about how important it is to own your own home. And how the best time to buy was yesterday. If you are someone who is quite nomadic and enjoys moving around frequently, it would be prudent to think deeply about if owning is right for you.
For those in their 20s or 30s, career mobility is arguably more important than owning a home. Homes are an act of permanence. If you’re still searching for the perfect career or want to travel the world, rushing into a mortgage can prevent you from exploring such opportunities.
Even in a strong housing market, it’s generally easier to get out of a lease than it is to sell a home. Selling can take months, and doing it from a distant city can be complicated if you have to move quickly to accept a job offer. This can also leave you paying for both houses simultaneously.
A typical mortgage is 20-30 years, so unless you plan on settling for a while, it may not be the best idea for you.
5. The Real Estate Bubble Could Pop at Any Minute
Home prices in the U.K. have experienced the fastest annual growth since October 2014, jumping 8.6% to £250,000, says the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Separate figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) showed that double the number of homes were sold this March compared to the year prior.As with any investment, there are always risks involved. Only time will tell what the future holds for the housing bubble. If you are financially secure and can handle the ebb and flow of the housing market, then owning could be a savvy move for you. Generally speaking, homes tend to gain value over time and are considered a “safe” investment. Hopefully we don’t see a repeat of the 2008 market crash, but anything is possible!
Owning a home isn’t for everyone, but if you arm yourself with the right information, it can make the experience a lot more enjoyable for you. Preparation is the key to success.
Some of the items on this list are unavoidable but not all of them. L.A.M.B. is a company that helps put the homeowner or tenant back in control, saving them both time and money. Its mission is to reach out to everyone getting ripped off on their energy bills and help to stop them from needlessly paying steep supplier loyalty taxes.
How Look After My Bills works to save you money:
It takes two minutes to sign up, then you’ll never have to worry about your energy bills ever again.
They put advanced algorithms to work and find you a great money-saving deal. You do nothing.
They’ll let you know that they’ve found a deal and switch you, taking care of everything: All of the suppliers that they work with have been meticulously reviewed and are continually monitored for customer satisfaction levels.
When that deal ends they’ll switch you again to the least expensive rate, you still don’t need to do anything.