You’ve worked and saved for a while now, and your efforts have finally been rewarded. Congratulations, you’re officially a homeowner! Finally getting to own your own home can be an amazing feeling. That said, owning a home is different from renting a place to live. There are a few new responsibilities you’ll need to get used to.
Paying Multiple Bills
Sure, you probably paid for at least some of the utilities you used as a renter. There are some new bills you’ll need to keep track of now that you’re a homeowner though, in addition to paying the full cost of all of your utilities. One of those is your property taxes, which you’ll need to pay annually. Calculating your property taxes in Seattle requires you to know the assessed value of your property and the tax levy rate. Other bills will have rental equivalents you may be more familiar with. Your mortgage is the homeowner’s equivalent of your monthly rent, while homeowners insurance is parallel to renters insurance.
Taking Care of Home Repairs
As a renter, your landlord or property manager was responsible for handling most repairs. As a homeowner, that responsibility now falls to you. You’ll need to find, hire, and pay for the services of home repair professionals, unless you elect to handle them yourself. Unless they’re basic repairs or you have the necessary tools and training, it’s probably best to let the pros handle it. You can find home repair services on sites like Angie’s List and Houzz.
Exterior Property Care
Having your own private yard is one of the perks of being a homeowner, but that yard also comes with some maintenance needs. You’ll be responsible for properly mowing your lawn, fertilizing it, watering it, aerating it, and keeping it free of weeds and disease. Alternatively, you could pay a lawn care service to handle all of that for you. During the winter months, you’ll be responsible for snow removal as well. If the snowfall is light enough, you may be able to get away with letting the sun melt it away. Otherwise, you’ll need to break out the snow shovel or snowblower or pay someone to clear your walks and driveways for you.
Becoming a homeowner comes with new responsibilities you’ll have to get accustomed to. There will be new bills to keep track of and pay. You’re also now solely responsible to make sure that home repairs and the exterior portions of your property are properly cared for. It’s a lot of work, but that’s part of the price you pay to become a homeowner.
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