Last Updated on June 28, 2023
The months and years after you purchase your first home are often filled with little life lessons you pick up as you go. Before long, you’ll have some stories to tell and wisdom to pass on, but until you reach the point of seasoned homeowner, you’ll have to rely on borrowed wisdom from experienced homeowners.
In working with our fair share of first time homebuyers over the years, here’s what we’ve found are the biggest surprises for new homeowners.
A beautiful yard takes work
Sure, your yard might be lush and green when you moved in, but without work, it won’t stay that way, unfortunately. If you’ve been gifted with a green thumb, maintaining your yard will likely be a piece of cake, but for those with black thumbs, the skill of caring for a yard will have to be learned.
From mowing, to edging and even raking up every last leaf in the fall, make sure to properly allocate time to devote towards yard work. If yard work just isn’t your thing, don’t forget to budget in for a landscape company to help you maintain it.
As a side note, chat with your neighbors to find out how to handle yard debris, fall leaves and other lawn-related items. Pickup varies location by location and how it must be set out on the curb also changes depending on city or county regulations.
Your home won’t look like a designer lives there overnight
Just like Rome, your new home won’t come together in a day. You’ll want to purchase new furniture, buy things you’ve never needed before like a lawn mower, and perhaps even renovate a few areas of the home. Just keep in mind, these things take time.
Rather than feeling like you must tackle everything at once, make a priority list and budget accordingly. Enjoy the process of slowly transforming your house into a home.
Appliances will fail
You can plan on it, over the course of the time you’ll live in your home, something–whether it’s major or minor– will fail. Don’t let this catch you off guard. Go ahead and set aside 1-4% of your home’s total purchase price for major repairs each year.
Get ahead of the game by purchasing a home warranty. A home warranty typically covers items like your home’s essential systems and appliances, including air conditioning, kitchen appliances, fire and burglar alarms, the plumbing system, etc.
Related reading: What’s a home warranty and should you get one
Renovation can be fun, yet challenging
Revamping your space to fit your style or simply bring it to the current decade is exciting, but it’s not without challenges. If you’re planning on purchasing a fixer upper, it’s a good idea to get a rough idea of how much things might cost before you fully commit.
Lean on your realtor and resources like this to help you gauge how much you might need to fully renovate a space. There’s nothing worse than buying a fixer upper only to find out you don’t have enough savings to truly fix it up!