Living First-Time Homeowners Reveal The Biggest Mistakes They Made  

Bailey Benningfield
11.1k views 11 items

If you're a Millennial, owning a home may sound improbable given the current gig economy and undervaluation of labor by massive corporations and money-hungry CEOs. But should you, by some miracle, come into enough cash to purchase your very own humble abode, Reddit users have shared their home-owning horror stories so that perhaps you can avoid the same fate.

People have been surprised by more than just strange objects and unexpected inhabitants inside their homes - there's a lot of things to look out for when you purchase your very first house.

They Didn't Consider All Of The Little Expenses

From Redditor /u/jhairehmyah:

When I got a house, I severely underestimated the cost of bringing it to a "ready to live in" state.

I mean, when I moved it, it was ready to live in, of course, but little things like adding a light to a closet or installing a ceiling fan... it really added up. Plan ahead. The bigger TV for the bigger room is the last thing you need. Make a budget for your upgrades/repairs, and don't let yourself fall into the "I need this done at move in to be happy" mindset. A floor fan is just as sufficient as a ceiling fan for a few months.

When you live in a rental or an apartment, you tend to not have lots of things you need to own a house, like:

Ladder(s). Standing on a chair to change the smoke detector worked fine in the apartment, but in a house, roofs are often higher and you usually have more stuff to do up high because maintenance is on you. You'll need a good ladder, eventually.

Tools. Every project you take on will need a different tool. Get some basics at move in, but plan on getting some more with time.

Garden supplies. Hose, shovel, rake, pruning supplies. These add up.

Good news is a lot of this is easy to get used in fine condition. Pawn shops, garage sales, etc. Start looking now, before you move in. And be patient to maximize savings. A shovel will be $3 at a garage sale and $25 at Home Depot. A hedge trimmer could be $150 at Home Depot and $10 at a garage sale or $40 at a pawn shop. Take a friend/family member who is a homeowner to help you get these things. And rent tools when you can. 

They Didn't Change Their Locks

From Redditor /u/Knuckledraggr:

Change the locks in your house. Came home to a neighbor in my house a week after we moved in. The previous owners had let him have a spare key and never taken it back. After the police came and we made sure he hadn’t taken anything, I told him to never come back.

He has since proved himself to be a pretty decent neighbor but I will never ever ever ever ever trust him and we have a much beefier security system in place now.

They Didn't Think About Tree Maintenance

From Redditor /u/Kelcak:

Budget around 1k a year for tree maintenance. The cost of tree maintenance can go up significantly as they get taller, so something that may have cost 1k right now might cost 10k three years from now.

They Didn't Take Their Time With The Inspection

From Redditor /u/Hrekires:

The sellers really rushed us getting the inspection done, and I [wish] that I'd pushed back harder or been more prepared to threaten walking away.

Nothing catastrophic happened, but we ended up having to replace the entire furnace and chimney liner 2 months after moving in... our inspector suggested that we bring in a specialist to look at them, but the sellers were rushing the timeline.

If I were doing it again knowing what I know now, I would have either insisted or demanded a $5k credit to budget for replacing the furnace if they didn't want it to undergo inspection.