For many people, owning a home is a lifelong dream. If you’re a renter who’s considering making the leap, then you may be curious about how it’s different from renting. The following list helps you prepare for some of the changes so you know what to expect and can make the right decision for you and your family.
Maintenance becomes a priority
When you rent a home, your responsibilities regarding home maintenance is fairly low. You have to change the HVAC filters and take care of the lawn. Essentially, your goal is to take care of the home by making sure you don’t do any damage. When you are a homeowner, however, you have to do much more than change filters and mow. In the winter you have to get things ready for harsh conditions, and any damage that may occur during severe weather. In the spring you have to make sure you’re ready for rains and the potential damage that water can cause roofs and foundations.
Renovating becomes a possibility
As a renter, you have to live with your home exactly the way it is, for good and bad. You can’t do anything other than move if you need more room, more cabinet space, or want carpet instead of tile. If you’re a homeowner, then you suddenly have options. You can change just about anything you want about your home, from adding more room to remodeling your entire interior completely. Of course, you also have to consider resale value resulting from any changes you make.
Insurance needs change
Most renters carry basic renter’s insurance to cover their possessions in case of theft, fire, or other covered loss. Sometimes renters may carry liability insurance as well. As a homeowner, however, you have to consider all sorts of issues related to loss, from floods and fires to burglaries and tornadoes. Additionally, many homeowners carry liability insurance to cover them in case someone injures themselves on their property. To make sure you have enough coverage, it is smart to talk to an insurance professional.
Rebates, tax credits, and more
Homeowners have tools available to them that can help them improve and update their home. There are rebate programs that help people install solar panels and home improvements. There are also some tax credits that homeowners can use to reduce their tax liability. These are only available to homeowners, making owning a home an attractive option.
While owning a home does come with more responsibilities, it’s a worthwhile endeavor, especially if you’re prepared for it. This list isn’t all inclusive, but it can help you see what you’re getting into when you take on the American dream of home ownership.