Free At Last! I’m Done With Home Repairs!

Until Something Else Breaks Down

Articles, Family, Featured, Investments

Buying, owning, and maintaining a home is not for the faint of heart, and with the real estate market in recovery many buyers are taking that leap.

I recall the bliss-filled days of being an aspiring home owner: visiting multiple open houses, imagining our things in the space, making offers, waiting with bated breath for responses, and then finally the fateful day when a seller said yes, followed by another bliss and stress-filled escrow period. The most magical moment of it all was when our agent handed us the keys. You might expect me to say that it all went downhill from there – but it’s been more of a rollercoaster.

What you must know about home ownership is that the work of maintaining a home NEVER dies. As soon as one project is completed, it’s time to tackle the next one. For us in the last year it’s been wasps’ nests, stove and dishwasher repairs, a leak in the ceiling from an upstairs bathroom, and most recently a termite swarm. On the plus side, we’ve got unstoppable central heat and air, a new washer/dryer, a new refrigerator, and a underwent a backyard renovation. Nonetheless, the to-do list keeps growing: the exterior of the house needs painting, the driveway and garage are in need of repair, the front yard needs landscaping, we could use new kitchen cabinets, and our bedroom furniture has seen its best days.

So why buy a home if it’s a constant project? I believe for us it’s the opportunity to make the place we live a representation of who we are. From the paint colors to the choice of art on the walls, it’s a showcase of who we are as a family. And, of course, it’s an investment in ourselves. For almost every improvement we make, we see a return on that investment. Also, being a homeowner forces the “do-it-yourself” home repair person lurking within us all to come out the closet. You can save thousands of dollars doing small projects such as painting, staining, or even building some of the improvements in your house. Of course any major work should be left to a professional unless you don’t mind paying for it twice!

Last week we visited an open house on our street that was for a home that hadn’t been on the market in over 60 years. It was a house with “wow” factor: beautiful wood floors, a step-down living room, grand doorways, crown moulding, a beautifully landscaped backyard and a hefty price tag. Everyone oohed and aahed as they walked through the house and after we left, Chris and I discussed how inspired we were to keep ticking away at our “to-do” list. We sat in front of the house with a neighbor for almost 10 minutes discussing how gorgeous that house was. It was proof in both its condition and asking price of what is earned when taking on the task of maintaining your home.

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