Ed is standing by to answer all your VA loan questions! Request a Private Call with Ed
Nine Reasons Owning a Home Sucks?
Nine Minute Read
Written by Ed Andrews III on July 25th, 2020
Buying a house can be scary stuff. If you’re trying to figure out if you’re ready for this responsibility stay tuned. These are the top nine challenges of owning a home.

1. Property Taxes

When you own a property you’ll be responsible for the taxes levied against the property by the local taxing authority. It’s often hard to decipher what we are getting for our federal tax dollars, but your local property taxes will cover the cost of fire department, police, public schools, county hospitals, etc.

So out of the two I hate paying the property taxes less, but it’s still an added expense for you. Granted if you’re currently renting your landlord is likely including the cost of taxes in your rent, but for most new homeowners this will feel like a new added expense.

2. Homeowner's Insurance

You’ll definitely want your property to be insured against inclement weather, fire, and other hazards. If you have a mortgage on the property you will be required to insure the home. If you pick a home in an area that is prone to natural disasters, you may find your home insurance costs to be quite expensive.

The age of your property, age of the roof, credit ranking, etc can all impact your insurance rates. Similar to property taxes if you are currently renting the landlord is likely including the cost of insuring the property in your monthly rent. However, this will likely be a larger expense when you a buy a home.

Landlords only insure their property. When you insure your own home you’ll have coverage for the homes’ contents, and insuring contents will drive up the cost of insurance.

Depending on where you buy a home you may also be required to purchase a flood insurance policy. Be mindful of whether or not the property you are planning to purchase is in a flood zone. Flood policies are an added expense that will drive up the cost of your monthly payment.

3. HOA (Home Owner's Association) Fees

The park is gorgeous, the foliage is well maintained, and the community pool comes in handy on those hot summer days. All those great amenities of your neighborhood come at a personal cost to you in the form of HOA dues.

Most are paid annually or bi-annually. If you live in a condominium you may have a monthly HOA bill. Typically, the monthly HOA bill at a condo covers some of the cost of insuring the property. Condo owners typically only have to insure their property from the interior walls in.

 
Pay attention to the HOA fees for the community you’re buying in. This is generally not included in your payment. It’s an additional check that you have to write. Find out what the HOA provides. Make sure you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.

Although this payment isn’t included in your monthly payment, it still has to be paid. HOAs have the power to charge exorbitant fees, and even place liens against your property if the dues aren’t paid.

4. Relocation Becomes More Difficult

When you’re renting you can move as soon as your lease ends. In some cases you can pay a fee and break your lease without damaging your credit ranking. When you own the home you have to decide what will happen with your property when you leave.

Are you going to sell it? Are you going to transition the home to rental property? Timing becomes far more delicate when you are a homeowner. If you’re selling your property do you need the proceeds from the sale to buy your next home? How soon does the buyer want you out of the house, and when will you get the keys to your new home.

If you’re renting the home, how far is it from where you’re moving? Can you manage the property yourself, or will you need to hire a property management company? There’s a lot more layers to consider when trying to relocate from a home that you currently own.

5. Roof Expenses 

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!! Our what’s more likely is a hail storm or tropical force winds have damaged several of the shingles on your roof. Roof issues can get real costly, real fast.

Here’s the deal if some shingles blow off, or some nails raise that make your roof vulnerable to leaks you may not realize it until it starts raining. Once water starts entering your home that’s where the damage can quickly escalate.

 
This is why roof age is such a huge consideration when insurance companies compile a quote for you. A home with a newer roof means you’ll likely won't have to replace it soon, and you’ll save on your homeowner’s insurance.

Understand that if a storm rolls through and damages your roof, your insurance company will pay to repair or replace it. However, you will have a deductible. Home insurance deductibles are usually 1-2% of the total coverage for the property.

So if your home is insured for $250,000 and your deductible is 1% that means having your insurance company buy you a new roof is going to cost you $2,500 out of your pocket. That can be a big check to have to write out of the blue.

6. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) 

Probably the next biggest repair expense after roofs is HVAC. But I would argue even though roofs are more expensive, HVAC is effectively more expensive for homeowners. Odds are if you need a new roof it because it was damaged by inclement weather. That means even though you’ll have to write a check for your deductible, you’ll still get help paying for the roof.

With HVAC however you’ll typically be responsible for replacing it. Most people replace their HVAC systems because they go out over time, not because they are damaged by weather. Depending on how much of the system you are replacing this can cost in excess of $15,000.

I would expect replacing any major component (condenser unit, air handler, furnace, ductwork, etc) to cost at least a couple thousand dollars. HVAC repairs are often costly, unexpected, and urgent. When it’s July in Texas and your A/C goes out, you can’t wait a few weeks until you get your bonus check to replace it.

You typically need it done asap, because it doesn’t take long for the temperature in the home to become unbearable. So I would highly advise inquiring about the age of the HVAC system when buying a home. Definitely pay close attention to your home inspector’s comments on the performance of the system when he examines it.

7. Home Maintenance 

It’s impossible to name everything that could go wrong with your home. Electrical systems, plumbing, wood destroying insects, mold, etc are all potential causes of costly repairs. The best way to avoid costly repairs is to be diligent in maintaining the property.

Simple things like installing a $5 faucet cover on outside water fixtures during freezing temperatures can help prevent a costly plumbing repair. Taking care of your home will help you avoid writing unexpected large checks. But naturally maintenance comes at a financial cost as well (albeit far cheaper than repairs).

If you’re currently renting these will be expenses that you aren’t accustomed to. Saving money to buy a home is inescapable, but what’s equally important but less discussed is the importance of saving money to maintain a home.

8. That Damned Yard 

Look…unless you’re one of those weird people that enjoys purely miserable experiences, mowing sucks. Depending on where you live it’s a skillion degrees in the summer, and after 10 days or so most people’s yard needs a trim.

You can buy your own tools to upkeep your yard, or you can pay a yard service to come out and take care of it. Personally, I consider a yard service indispensable. I have better things to do like count my beard hairs, dust actual dust particles, or even watch the grass grow that my yard guys so skillfully trim. Anything is a better use of my time than pushing a lawnmower.

 
Whatever your preference know there’s a cost that comes with it. Investing in a mower, weed eater, shrub trimmer, etc can be expensive when you first move in your home. You may have just written a large check at closing, or swiped your card for a big purchase at a furniture store.

In addition to keeping it mowed, if you don’t weed treat and fertilize you’ll be quickly overrun with weeds. Your neighbors won’t appreciate that. Companies that provide this kind of service can cost you upwards of $50 a month, so if you don’t want to do it yourself it’s something you need to budget for.

9. Neighbors

When you’re renting an apartment there’s lots of turnover with tenants. If you have a troublesome neighbor, they could very well be gone when their lease is up. Or perhaps you’ll be moving on when your lease ends. The movement of tenants makes neighborly feuds in a rental environment less prolonged.

But if you buy a home and get off on the wrong foot with your neighbors, that could be a source of stress for you for years to come. In most metropolitan areas homeowners live in their homes for about eight years.

 
So be mindful of that when meeting the folks next door. You’ll want to foster strong relationships that make them more considerate of your sleep when their dog starts barking at night, or less likely to call the police when your music is a little too loud.

When I moved into my home current home, my second night here as I was preparing for bed I heard loud music emanating from my next door neighbor. I was instantly filled with a sense of relief. 

Because I knew as noisy as they were being, odds are they would never complain about the noise coming from my side of the fence. When it comes to little annoyances by your neighbors sometimes instead of asking them to cease and desist, it’s better to look at these annoyances as social capital that you can cash in at a later date.

The challenges of homeownership may seem daunting, but at the end of the day they're still a million times better than throwing your money away on rent. Nearly everyone's retirement plan should include owning your home. Besides that the benefits far outweigh the challenges.

So now that I’ve given you some insight on what it’s like to be a homeowner you may be asking, what the process of buying a home with a VA loan entails. So be sure to watch my video “How to Get a VA Home Loan” where I’m going to be covering that in detail. 
All Your Information is Protected When You Sign Up
About VA Loans With Ed
VA Loans With Ed was created by a veteran for veterans. This is the premier source for veterans to learn everything they need to know about the VA loan, and get the most out of the benefit they earned.

About the Author:
Ed Andrews III

Ed Andrews III is a mortgage loan officer, and U.S. veteran of the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars. He is an expert on VA home loans, and dedicated to helping veterans achieve home-ownership.
Related Articles & Videos
Learn more about the VA home loan
If you have questions I'm here to answer. Schedule a call with me.
If you're ready to take the next step in becoming a homeowner this is where you start.
Share Us on Social

F.V.B.V. - FOR VETERANS BY VETERANS

VA Loans With Ed - Nulli Secundus - NMLS #156853
Powered By: Cardinal Financial Company Limited Partnership
1600 W 7th St, Suite 401, Fort Worth, TX 76102 - (682) 429-3443 - ed@edandrewsiii.com

VA Loans With Ed - Copyright 2020 - All Rights Reserved