Things that scare me about home ownership

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cat in a boxI have only just started saving for a house, but already I’m beginning to imagine how nice it’ll be to not work out of a bedroom and to have enough space to take that kitchen cart out of storage. (Speaking of which, I totally forgot what we even have down there; it’s like a Noah’s Ark of duplicate cutlery and coffee pots.) It’ll also be wonderful to see Buster romp around in something other than our tiny living room space.

I have been following a lot of your blogs for ages and I see you doing projects, deck expansions, and renovations and as exciting as that must be, it also makes me freak out. Am I really ready for home ownership? Here are some things that kind of terrify me about the idea:

If it has four legs and it is not a dog or a cat, I’m up shit’s creek. I remember when we first moved to this apartment and had a drink in our “backyard” (parking space, whatever). A skunk appeared out of nowhere and started skunking around behind Bryan. Naturally, I got up and started flailing my arms and running around like a banshee because I am an asshole. “JESUS CHRIST!” Bryan yelled before he got up and dragged me to the top of the driveway. Note to self: this does not scare away skunks and we are lucky we weren’t sprayed.

The suburbs come with cute backyard animals like bunnies and chipmunks, but what if I come across one of those centipedes or a bear in the backyard??

Other things that scare me:

How in the hell am I going to take care of an entire house? I can barely keep up with the maintenance on 700 square feet. I just finally got on top of changing my humidifier filter regularly, and now I should expect to change out the HVAC filter (or is it called a furnace??) regularly. I may be getting in over my head.

I am not crafty. Or fancy (from LA to Tokyo…) With the exception of haphazardly banging nails into walls, I’m not really sure I’d be much help setting up the joint.

Exactly how much of a nest egg is one expected to keep in the event that a hot water heater goes or the roof needs to be replaced?

I like to take vacations and worry that home ownership will seriously stifle my wanderlust.


These are just a few things that scare me off—but only for a moment or two. When I weigh the pros of not having to seek approval by our condo board for every foster animal we bring home, sunbathing in a backyard without having the neighbors think I’m crazy, or having an extra room to storm off in when I need to be left alone (it’s kind of hard to make a dramatic exit when you’re going from the living room to the bedroom), I realize that this is an ambitious goal I am excited to save for.

Have you purchased a home? What are some things I should know?

17 Comments… add one
Jolene August 7, 2014, 9:50 AM

A pergola is just a fancy way of saying Arbor or something to sit under haha.

I’ve lived in an apartment for years and when I moved into my husbands home it was a bit overwhelming at first…..granted he takes care of the outside while I take care of the inside but still I have to split up my cleaning days into 2 days because i’m not spending my whole day cleaning!!

I loved the fact that my furkids finally had a yard to run in and could be leash free. They just love their yard!

as far as seeing other country critters ….well, I’ve seen snakes (ick) and there was a huge coyote that stayed behind our fence for a couple weeks 2 years ago during winter, but now …. we have raccoons and they are the cutest things ever. My husband often tells me that I’m easily entertained, which is true. I enjoy watching them eat bread and bananas ….etc…. (behind my fence of course).

here are a few posts that I did when I first moved to the country….


This will make you laugh, if the others haven’t. I was so paranoid about finding some strange critter….

Hope you have a great weekend!

Monika August 7, 2014, 11:07 AM

We’ve only ever lived in apartments but with 2 energetic boys, the next step is a house. I’ve been thinking the same thoughts. Why don’t you try a town house first? Maybe even rent one to warm up to it a bit? Ps. How exciting!

Tamara August 7, 2014, 11:11 AM

You’re speaking my language.. and I am a home owner!
Honestly, the adjustment was terribly hard. I don’t think we were ready, AT ALL, financially or emotionally. And I was six weeks pregnant and pretty much repulsed by EVERYTHING. so there was that too.
I’m not even remotely crafty or handy.
My poor husband has to do a lot. He lives for it, though. He’s a project man. I have my own tasks – like child rearing, meal prep, photography, writing, entertainment, etc.
Sometimes I help in the garden, but I get bored and hot after five minutes!
If I can do it, you can do it!

Karen Peterson August 7, 2014, 12:07 PM

haha! I am totally with you! I’m scared to own a house for so many reasons. Plus I like to spend my money on other things and don’t want to have to blow months of savings when the roof springs a leak.

My Inner Chick August 7, 2014, 4:00 PM

–scary at first, but you’ll love having your own home, Charlotte.
And you can have your own reading/ writing room!
PS. I’m reading The Rosie Project at the moment. Check it out. It’s a KICK. xxx

Krysten August 7, 2014, 4:01 PM

Seriously. We rent our house from my folks but 9 months out of the year they expect us to keep the house from falling down. It’s WORK. I mean, cleaning leaves out of the gutters? Making sure the water to the outside hoses are off so they don’t freeze? Removin snow OURSELVES? What?

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to outright own!

Akaleistar August 7, 2014, 6:26 PM

I dream of owning my own home, but there are so many complications! It will happen one day though 🙂

Heather August 7, 2014, 11:10 PM

My husband and I got a house because we knew we wanted kids and we also ended up with a dog. If we didn’t want those things an apartment or condo/townhouse would of been fine. It is a lot of work and money to maintain a house but I can’t imagine having my twin toddlers in an upstairs apartment. The people under us would want to kill us because of the noise and racket beginning at 6:30am… and you can agree on that! It also is nice to have guests over for BBQ’s, holidays and to stay over. Privacy is nice!

My advice in looking for a house is to find a place where the taxes are low and a house that doesn’t need a lot of work. Yes, anything can happen anytime but if the appliances are pretty new at least you might not have to worry about that for awhile. Smaller is better too. When you see a house with 4 bathrooms and a big yard and long driveway you are probably first thinking “awesome’. NOOOO: picture you or your significant other cleaning those bathrooms, mowing that lawn and shoveling that driveway! It is a lot of work and time but I grew up in a house and want my children to for now!

If you think a townhouse would work but are afraid your pets wont have a good life, look into towns that are close to a dog park. Montville near me has an awesome dog park. And don’t worry about feeling money is down the drain for renting. There are times I wish I was renting because even though we are paying off our mortgage, we pay taxes, home insurance, flood insurance, utilities every month… where with rent usually that is included. I know people that can’t even afford a house given to them for free from a family member because the other extras are too expensive.

I guess the last thing I wanted to say about buying a house is don’t be afraid that you are not handy. That is how people learn, and I am sure friends and neighbors will help out. Most couples in my parents generation got married and bought a house in their 20’s so if they could do it, YOU CAN TOO!

Sorry if my thoughts are all over the places. I gave pos and negs to both sides so it is really up to you and what is good for you. It doesn’t hurt to save for now and in a year or two see where you want to go!

Alison August 8, 2014, 4:27 AM

I would LOVE to have a house with a backyard. Then the kids can PLAY OUTSIDE. We do own our current apartment, and it’s definitely less maintenance than a house would be. But that’s what the men are for! (the hard core stuff)

You can do it!

Rachel Cotterill August 8, 2014, 5:27 AM

At least you’re thinking about this in advance! I had no idea how much I needed to worry about home ownership until I owned a house. And an old one, at that. (Our roof is leaking….)

Sorry, I know what I’m supposed to say is “it’ll be fine” — and it will — but I’m still taken aback by how much responsibility I have! xoxo

Brian August 9, 2014, 1:38 AM

I’ve owned my home for over 5 years now. One thing is for certain, beats the crap out of renting.

Rachel G August 9, 2014, 6:32 PM

At this point in my life, I actually can’t imagine ever, ever owning a house. So much commitment to one thing! But I do think bears in backyards are fairly rare. Though there were black bear sightings about 10 minutes from where I used to live in Michigan…

Mrs. Match August 9, 2014, 11:30 PM

We had a black widow’s nest in our yard when we first moved in. I’m deathly afraid of spiders, but I’ve learned to smash those mothafers and move on! You’ll do great in a home! Plus, when it’s yours, all of a sudden things like pergolas and deck projects just excite you. I can’t explain it, but you’ll see what I mean.
There’s something so satisfying about owning your own place. Plus, home insurance is there for the big accidents. I think you can still travel, but you may find you want to do more nesting than you used to. I’m excited for this new chapter in your lives!

Susie (The Esthetic Goddess) August 10, 2014, 6:34 PM

Lol! Charlotte, you will be just find no matter what kind of home owner you are. If there is something you can’t do just google it! If you still can’t do it….that what a handyman is for!

Adrian August 11, 2014, 11:48 PM

I’ve purchased lots of homes and my son and daughter-in-law are saving up for theirs. It’s not so much different than apartment living, other than being bigger, and having more freedom. I do recommend leaving the purchase to professionals. Have a good realtor (not just someone’s friend or cousin) who will do a very thorough and professional job. And definitely get a good home inspection to guard against any hidden problems like termites. It doesn’t matter if it’s Pinterest-worthy as long as it’s a comfortable and welcoming home. #SITSharefest

Jin Ai August 12, 2014, 12:26 PM

Having a house WITH a front or back area where the kids can play outside really rocks. I think I’d go nuts if we didn’t have that option. True, the cleaning does make me want to pull my eyelashes out sometimes but overall I am so glad we have this place. Thumbs up for this new chapter coming your way!

Jeanette August 23, 2014, 12:53 PM

We bought our house this june. It’s a house with two apartments, and we have rented one apartment for 7 years. Now we got the chance to buy it and so we did:)
We had saved for a house and we started looking last summer. We still have girl in the other one, but now we have a extra income with her rentmoney. We want her to stay for one year and then we want start renovate the house.

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