Homeownership is a dream that many Americans have. Although it can be one of the biggest investments you will ever make, the benefits of owning a home often outweigh the costs. First, it gives you a place to call your own. Second, it is an investment rather than a purchase, since you can earn equity by paying down your mortgage and making a profit off of future sales to pay for the next house. Third, you have a place to bring your friends, family, and guests into to relax, build your relationships, and escape from the world.
There are plenty of positives as well as negatives. It is an expensive structure, so repairs and maintenance will be needed. Being a great homeowner might mean something different to everyone. Here are a few ideas for maximizing your home and being an amazing owner.
Be Proactive with Maintenance
Your home is filled with many complex systems, from plumbing to electricity to heating. These systems can go through normal wear and tear, to the point where they no longer work as efficiently as they used to. Sometimes, these things can break completely. The best way to respond to maintenance issues is to be proactive before they become serious. Make sure that wiring and pipes are up to date with an inspection from a professional. Take note of the recommendations that are made by the inspector so that you can address their concerns early. Ignoring a small problem now leads to a bigger problem later. The more you can keep these systems running smoothly by being proactive, the lower your maintenance costs will be.
When Issues Arise, Address Them Quickly
From slow drainage in a shower to funny smells that are new, there are plenty of signs to watch out for that will indicate something has gone wrong in your home. If you notice a water stain growing in a corner of the room but cannot find the source, you better call a water restoration professional quickly to assess the damage and make repairs. Is the dryer making a funny sound? Get in touch with someone who can ensure that it is working properly and won’t start a fire. If there is a draft from a window during the cold months, figure out a way to seal it so your heating bill does not climb higher. Being a good homeowner means taking care of your house and all the systems within quickly.
Make Improvements for Yourself or Future Sale
When you move into a home, it is probably not 100% matched to your preferences. Maybe there is some painting to be done or some areas in disrepair. Part of the joy of owning a home is being able to make improvements that either suit your taste or boost the resale value for your next move. Whether you want to renovate or remodel, which are indeed two different things, improving your home will benefit you now and down the road should you choose to sell.
Invite Others in
Maybe you are not a fan of hosting big events with 30 adults at your place, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot invite others into your home. Having people over is a great way to improve your relationships, both with family and friends. A home is a comfortable setting where games can be played, conversations can be had, and good food can be served. Open up your home to others and don’t be afraid to show off any fun features in the house that people will enjoy. Inviting others can also have a positive effect on your mental health since it will foster stronger relationships with those you care about.
If Possible, Pay Down the Principal Early
The vast majority of homeowners take out a loan to pay for a house. This means that every month, you are paying toward the principal amount of the loan as well as interest. These loans could have terms as long as 30 years depending on what type you agreed to. If you have the funds to pay a little more than your regular monthly payment, then this can go toward the principal on the loan, potentially shortening the length of the term that you will be making payments. Or, you can make a lump-sum payment each year. Paying down the principal has many advantages, so consider paying a little extra now to save you a lot more money later.
What Makes a Better Homeowner?
At the end of the day, you can be whatever type of homeowner you like. Everyone may have a different definition of what great homeownership looks like. For you, it could mean being proactive with maintenance, responding quickly to repair needs, or renovating. Maybe you want to turn your home into a hosting site where you can invite others into your life. Perhaps you want to invest in your future by paying down the principal. All of these tips can help you become a better homeowner and get more of this experience.