Owning your own home can be a little stressful, but you love the thought of having a piece of land and a structure to call your own. Unlike renting (even renting a home), there are many elements of owning a home that you have to be prepared for before you dive in. Even if you think you are ready for all of the bills that need to be paid and the repairs that need to be done, there may be many things you aren't taking into consideration. With the thought of all the major elements of your home that you have to maintain as well as the costly repairs that are incorporated into home ownership, you may be feeling that owning your own home isn't nearly as wonderful as it sounds.
However, home ownership is a great way to build your credit, root your family, and even make money, even if there are things for which you need to be prepared. There are many pros and cons to owning a home, and after weighing them out, you have decided that owning is right for you and your family. If you think you're ready to own your own home, take this home ownership quiz to see if you have what it takes.
The three most common heat sources for homes are gas, electric, and propane. The majority of communal homes (condos) will use electric heat sources to avoid issues with carbon monoxide and fire.
Generally, the buyer is responsible for the down payment. The down payment is paid to the lending company for the loan.
The first thing you should do if you notice your water heater leaking is turn off the water source. Next, assess the damage, and call your insurance company if there is extensive water damage. If you have a home warranty company, make sure you contact them to see if they cover repairs or replacements.
In general, if your furnace makes a sound when it kicks on, this is normal. The fan motor is working to distribute the warm air. However, if the flames of your furnace are yellow or orange, it isn't burning hot enough, and you should have it serviced or inspected.
If your home is at risk of freezing pipes, be sure to insulate the exposed pipes in the colder areas of your home. Additionally, if your home is prone to freezing pipes, you can keep a running drip of hot water in the sinks throughout your home to ensure they remain thawed.
If you have pressed wood counter tops that are a little older, you may notice areas that are swelling. This means that it is taking on water. Be sure to clean the area thoroughly to avoid mold damage, and consider sealing it or replacing it.
It is important to detach your hose from the spigot in the winter and put it in a place that is less likely to freeze. Keeping your hose attached to the spigot can lead to frozen water expanding into the spigot, freezing, and bursting the pipe.
If your outlet isn't holding plugs, it is imperative that you change the outlet. If you are uncomfortable with electricity, contact a professional right away and inspect the rest of the outlets in your home.
Settling cracks are common in new and old houses. The ground under your home is sturdy, but it still shifts. As your home settles, it does so unevenly, and this can cause cracks. Keep an eye on the crack and test the floor above the crack (if possible). If you have major concerns, contact a professional.
Light bulbs go out all the time, no matter how expensive they are. Make sure you have spare light bulbs on hand at all times, just in case one goes out when you need it the most.
Many bathrooms and kitchens have tile floors and walls. Ceramic tile is easy to clean, but grout isn't as easy to keep clean and it is prone to mold damage. However, grout is the best way to keep tiles in place.
Home warranty companies cover a lot of different aspects of your home, including major appliances. It is always smart to get a warranty when you purchase a home.
Your insurance company should cover any damage to your roof that is not considered normal wear and tear. Most good home warranty companies will cover all of the major appliances in your home.
Depending on what area of the country you live in, replacing your home's air filter is necessary. Make sure you purchase quality filters, because they will last longer and keep your home cleaner.
Your air filter can generally be found near an air source. This means your furnace (which blows air around your home) and air conditioners are the most common places to find air filters, but you can also find them near air ducts.
Water softeners use salt to help remove calcium and magnesium ions from your water. These ions make your water hard and can cause buildup in your sinks, showers, and toilets.
It is important to clean all areas of your home. You may find that some areas don't need to be cleaned as frequently as others, but all of them should be cleaned at least once every six months. During flue season, it is important to clean your doorknobs; however, you may find that you only need to clean your oven as often.
While it may seem silly to clean something that cleans other things, cleaning your washing machine is important for maintenance. At least once a month, run an empty cycle, or set your washing machine to the self-cleaning setting.
It is important to pay your mortgage every month. Even if you go paperless, your online account with your lender should have a mortgage statement for you monthly.
In general, homeowners don't have to pay for parking permits for their residences. However, there are some cities that require parking permits for street parking to reduce space issues.
The foundation is an essential part of your home. If you notice cracks in your foundation, contact a professional for an inspection. You may find that you also have water damage or structural issues.
When water starts seeping through your drywall and paint, you have a major problem. This can come from any number of places, including leaking pipes or a hole in your roof. Call a professional immediately to find the source of the water, and repair the problem.
Your furnace collects dust when it isn't being used. The first time you use your furnace, this dust will burn off and make your house smell a little weird. Check your vents for black smoke and keep an eye on your furnace. If the smell goes away, you're fine. If the smell persists, consider calling an HVAC company for service.
If your backyard slants toward your foundation, you should consider building it up or evening it out. Improper surface grading can lead to many problems with your foundation. Water damage to areas of your home can be a costly repair.
Blowing a fuse isn't a very big deal. It simply means that too much energy was being used on the same fuse. Consider plugging your appliances in different areas of the home to ensure you don't over run your electrical currents.
Your breaker box can generally be found in one of the many utility areas of your home. The most common places where you may find it are in the basement or the garage.
Finding the right homeowner's insurance for your home can be difficult. However, when you call for quotes, make sure you ask about all of the possible discounts they may offer for which you qualify.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a program that began in the 1930s and has helped millions of home buyers secure loans for new homes. While many FHA loans go to first-time homeowners, they are also available to veterans, the disabled, the elderly, and low-income families.
FHA, VA, and Conventional loans are great ways for those who cannot afford to purchase a home outright to get started. VA loans are generally for veterans. FHA loans are reserved for first-time homeowners and low-income families, while conventional loans require a higher credit score.
While dryer fires are a common cause of house fires, cleaning your dryer vent at least once a year is a great way to prevent them. Additionally, in winter, always inspect the dryer exhaust on the exterior of your home to ensure that it isn't blocked by snow.
The buyer is responsible for turning on his or her own utilities, unless otherwise stated in the contract. Once they go to closing, it is important for the buyer to call all the utility companies right away to start service.
Crawl spaces are generally used to help homeowners and utility workers access the inner workings of their homes. While basements do offer this, a basement is considerably larger and offers the homeowner additional storage or the opportunity to finish the basement into a living area.
While bread machines can be rather large, they are not considered large appliances. Large appliances are generally items that have stationary settings in your home and cannot be re-positioned without changing electrical wiring or cabinet placement.
Good fences make good neighbors, but when it comes to costly repairs of a fence, your neighbor may not be so good to you anymore. If this happens, look up state laws regarding fencing and learn more about what rights you have.
Your zip code helps the USPS and other package delivery services identify where to send your package. In general, this is the first part of the address they look at to figure out where the envelope or package is going.