3 Little-Known Challenges of Being a Homeowner

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  • Owning a home has lots of benefits.
  • There are also some less obvious drawbacks you might encounter.
  • Consider the possibility that your property taxes will go up, note how much maintenance you'll be responsible for, and accept that you may be limited in what jobs you can take because you'd have to sell your home to move.

You don't want to gloss over these.

You'll often hear that owning a home has a lot of benefits. And that's definitely true.

When you own a home, you get to build equity in an asset whose value can increase over time. You might spend $300,000 on a home whose value increases to $600,000 by the time your mortgage is paid off. At that point, you'd have the potential to walk away with a huge profit.

Plus, when you own a home, you don't have to follow a landlord's rules. That means you can do whatever you want with your space (as long as it doesn't violate zoning laws) and bring home 15 dogs if you so desire.

But owning a home also comes with its share of challenges. And some of them may be less obvious than others.

For example, it's clear that owning a home means having to pay for extra things, like homeowners insurance and repairs. But here are some lesser-known obstacles you might encounter.

1. Rising property taxes

Most people know that buying a home means taking on the financial burden of property taxes. But you may not realize how often property taxes can climb. In some areas, homes are assessed once a year, and each time your property undergoes an assessment, your tax bill has the potential to rise. That could make your home a lot more difficult to afford.

2. The time it takes to do maintenance

When prospective home buyers think about having to do home maintenance, they tend to focus on the financial aspect. But you may not realize just how time-consuming upkeep on a home can be.

For example, if you own a house with a yard, you might have to spend $500 on a lawn mower every few years. That's bad enough. But don't forget that your lawn mower won't operate itself. You may end up needing to carve out an hour or more per week to tackle your lawn maintenance. And that's just one of many items that need to be taken care of when you own a home.

3. Being limited with job opportunities

When you own a home, it can take time to sell it. And it's also important to sell at the right time. You don't want to list your home when the real estate market is down, as that could cause you to lose money.

Now you may be thinking, "Fine, I'll just stay put during times when home values aren't great." But what if you're offered a great job in another part of the country? Owning a home could make it so you're unable to jump on a fabulous offer. On the other hand, if you're a renter with a few months left on your lease, you might be able to find someone to take over your lease or pay a modest fee to get out of it.

Look at the big picture

Owning a home can definitely be rewarding. But it can also be challenging. Make sure you understand the pitfalls you might encounter if you become a homeowner.

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