Are the “What-Ifs” of Homeownership Holding You Back?
What are you looking forward to when finally taking the plunge and purchasing your very first home?
- Breaking Ties from the High Cost of Renting
- Allowing More Space for your Growing Family
- Gaining a BIG Beautiful Backyard for the Kids and/or Pets
- Peace of Mind Knowing You Won’t get a Noise Complaint for Having Guests Over
- A Sense of Accomplishment for Making a Huge Financial Decision
So, what is it that’s holding you back?
Homeownership is very exciting; however, we do understand that the responsibilities that come with this decision can be intimidating. As homeowners ourselves, we’ve all had the same racing “what-ifs” run through our minds such as:
- What if the Air Conditioning goes out?
- What if a pipe were to burst?
- What if an appliance breaks down?
- What if there is damage caused from a flood or fire?
- What if this is more than I can handle?
All of these concerns are valid, and completely understandable for long-time renters/first-time buyers. These were definitely some of the concerns I had going into making the decision to move forward with buying a home.
What on Earth was I going to do if something went wrong, you know? You can’t just call up the company maintenance man and rest on the lease agreement to cover it — YOU are your own landlord now!
I remember the very first time something went wrong in my home. One second, my oven was working just fine, and the next – it wouldn’t even turn on. A brand-new oven, might I add.
Luckily, I had the home warranty that covered all my new appliances, and I just had to pay a small service fee for someone to stop by and check out what might be wrong with my oven.
It was unplugged.
Yes, you read that correctly.
My oven had come unplugged when I pulled out the baking pan drawer. My guess is that the drawer caught hold of the cord, and pulled it out of the socket.
$75 worth of pure embarrassment, BUT just think… It would have been the same amount to replace the appliance as well if it had been irreparable.
All of this to say… As a homeowner, yes – you do have major responsibilities, but this should not scare you from making your dream of homeownership come true! You are not alone in this responsibility but you will have a home warranty and home insurance to help. In addition, with routine preventative maintenance as well as an emergency fund – you will be well within your parameters to be a successful homeowner!
Now, let’s put all of your “what-ifs” at ease and discuss your homeowner protection options!
Remember the Warranty
Your first line of defense, especially when buying a new mobile home, is your warranty. Here at Braustin, our mobile homes come with 3 warranty options:
Standard Factory Warranty: (Included Feature at $0 Additional Charge)
- This feature includes 30-day cosmetic, 1-year structural, plumbing, and electrical plus 10-year A/C. Our helpful Housing Consultants can help fill you in on any further details within this option.
5 Year Extended Warranty: ($995 Added to the Overall Cost of the Home)
- In addition to the factory warranty, this extended warranty covers your plumbing, electrical, and appliances for 5 years. Our helpful Housing Consultants can help fill you in on any further details within this upgraded option.
5 Year Premium Extended Warranty: ($1295 Added to the Overall Cost of the Home)
- In addition to the factory warranty, this extended warranty covers your structural integrity, plumbing, electrical, and appliances for 5 years. Our helpful Housing Consultants can help fill you in on any further details within this upgraded option.
Warranties are made to serve our customers with assurance that if something were to go wrong with your factory-built mobile home there is a backup plan with coverage to protect you against unexpected expenses. This is not to be confused with insurance.
The next defense is your home insurance. I know the legal talk of an insurance contract really deters people from reading through it, so if that’s true for you, take some time to speak with your insurance agency about the specifics of the coverage you are purchasing.
Some important questions to ask the agency specialist would be about your concerns such as:
- Flood Coverage
- Hail Damage
- Tree Damage
- Water Leaks
- Fire Damage
Most sizable items will be covered in the policy due to lender requirements, but as a rule of thumb – more information is always better than less. Be sure to ask, and try not to assume. Insurance, by definition, should not be thought of as a risk. Remember, you are paying a premium in exchange for coverage and protection against unexpected expenses.
Now, unlike the malfunction of your water heater or natural disaster such as a hurricane, this part of home-ownership is one hundred and fifty percent within your control.
It’s called: Preventative Maintenance.
Just as you would care for your car with oil changes and tire rotations, your home has its own routine check-up needs as well. For some of you this may seem obvious, but for many people, especially first-time homeowners, they may be unaware of things that should be routinely inspected or replaced to prevent costly future damage.
Some routine maintenance items would be:
- Changing HVAC Filters
- Testing Smoke Alarms
- Resealing Windows & Doors
- Inspecting Water Features for any Leaks
- Replacing Expired Fire Extinguishers
This article has a great checklist for any and everything you might need to maintain on your home. There is nothing quite so satisfying as solving a problem before it happens, knowing you saved yourself and family the stress of major repairs.
Build an Emergency Fund
And even with all these lines of defense set up to guard your home investment, the nature of life means something will happen that you couldn’t have seen coming.
That’s usually how it goes right? At a time when you least expect it, unfortunately.
This is why we encourage every potential home buyer we work with to have a savings account set aside specifically for emergencies, one separate from rainy day funds, vacations, and other large purchases.
Having a savings of even $1,000 will mean if a problem arises you can’t take care of yourself, you will already have the funds to pay a professional. A small issue can steadily get worse without a small emergency fund to squash the problem right when it rears its ugly head.
Many people will think, “I already live paycheck to paycheck, how can I possibly save for this?”
This is a reality many of us find ourselves in, but I think if we get really honest about the extras we manage to find funds for, we could scrounge together a hundred dollars each month and have this kind of emergency fund built in less than a year.
Sometimes it is just a matter of resetting priorities for your long-term security.
Should I Rent or Own?
The benefits of owning a home – far outweigh the costs of maintaining it.
As a homeowner, I am able to improve my humble abode as I desire and reap the equity resulting from those improvements!
I remember as a renter, I would have to submit a request with images showing why I needed changes made or repairs done. There would be up to a 3-day window of a waiting period before I would even hear back if my request was approved or not. Now, if there is a problem, I can actively work towards a solution, on my time – nobody else’s.
Even more, an average renter will be losing, with no hope of return, between $8,000 and $12,000 per year – or more! In many cases, the loan payment for a comparable rental unit will be about the same or less per month.
For some renters, it’s a necessary situation as they work to build their credit and save for a down payment on their future home, and for others they rent because the cost is a trade-off they are willing to make to avoid responsibility for the inevitable repairs in the adventures of homeownership.
While it’s important to consider the maintenance aspect of owning a home, it is always a good idea to build up your emergency fund for unexpected circumstances. Whether you are looking into a mobile home or site-built home, just remember to put safeguards in place to protect one of your most valuable investments.
So that’s it: Are the What-Ifs Behind Homeownership Holding You Back? This blog has been revised to keep information and images previously shared, current. Follow the links in this page to read more information on each topic. We would love to chat with you or hear about your experience on our Facebook page or through our Contact Form.