5 Ways You Can Build A Good Relationship with your Home
Most people don’t think of living in a home as “Having a Relationship”, but it really is. Think about it. What part of your life, other than your family, has as much impact on how you feel as the home you live in. If you can’t be comfortable in your home, or especially if you can’t sleep well, you’ll be miserable. So, it’s important when you make choices about your home, to think about how this relationship is going to work.
1. Know what you’re looking for
It’s important to think about what you want in a home before you start looking. After all, if you get a home that really fits what you want (it’s even called your “dream home”), you can feel blessed. If it’s not, you can feel cursed. For some people there are small things, like the amount of light in the home, that can really impact their mood. You have to think about who you are, to be able to know what you’re looking for in a home- sounds like a relationship, doesn’t it?
If you’re able to handle some of the challenges an older home can present, maybe you’re a little more easy-going in the home/owner relationship. Or maybe you can’t think about moving into another person’s home and want all-new. Most good realtors will talk you through this and dig down into what your lifestyle is like and what kind of space, location, size etc will fit you. Think of your realtor as a matchmaker in this relationship.
By the way, if you’re house hunting and don’t have a realtor, think about getting one. A Buyer’s Realtor typically doesn’t cost the buyer anything- their fee comes out of the fees the seller pays. Having a good realtor guiding you through the process can really help.
Of course, what you can afford and your budget will factor in too. A mortgage broker can help you work through those pieces of the puzzle and may be able to provide options you hadn’t thought of. They typically won’t cost you either, as they get their fees from the lenders.
2. Take Some Time to Get to Know Your Home
Okay, I’m a Home Inspector so I’m obviously going to suggest you get a Home Inspection. But there’s a reason I really believe this. When you’re house hunting, you typically get a very short look at the house (a first date?). Maybe you get back in for a second look, but you don’t have a lot of time to get to know what you’re buying. If you think about this as developing a relationship, you begin to understand why it’s important. You’re going to live with this house. All of the little quirks and creaks will be there… every day of your life together. Some of these will be easily accepted. Others can be easily fixed. But taking the time to get to know the house and how it works, helps you avoid some big surprises.
Waking up one morning and finding out your partner is a…..well, you get the idea. Unpleasant surprises can break relationships and, as said above, you can end up feeling cursed by your choice in a home. It’s much better to find these things out early in the relationship so you can deal with them ahead of time, or at least prepare to deal with them before it becomes a crisis.
3. Make a Plan for Your Stuff
Many of us have a habit of acquiring “stuff”. But we don’t give much thought to where to put it or if we really need it. And then one day we look around us at all the stuff and find ourselves frustrated by it even to the point of hating our space because of it. Once again, we can think of this in terms of a relationship. When there are little issues building up in a relationship, you can’t just ignore it. You have to think about how you and your partner work best together and arrange your life to fit. If these “issues” are allowed to build up, you might need professional help. There’s a whole industry developing around decluttering and removing “things that don’t bring you joy”. But if you can think ahead about how you want your space to feel, how much stuff is allowed, or where to put the rest, it will make your life together easier.
4. A Relationship Needs TLC
If you love your home, give it the tender loving care it deserves. Buildings have needs too. Over time, weather, people living in it, even gravity will have an effect on the building. By giving your home a bit of support, it will continue to hold up its end of the relationship. But if you take it for granted, the systems that make up your home will eventually pay you back with heartache.
So, what are the things you need to do? Water is the enemy of building materials, so let’s start with how to protect the building from water. Regular inspection and repair of caulking, paint, and stain is a good place to start. Take a look at the roof and any sealants that have been used around chimneys or penetrations. On a well-done roof there shouldn’t be much, if any. But if there is, it will likely need periodic repair. Keep the landscape sloping away so that rain will run away from the building rather than pooling against it. Don’t allow too much vegetation near the walls of the house, and keep the eavestroughs and downspouts clear so that rainwater won’t overflow and pour back against the house. Give your heating/ air conditioning/ventilation systems regular service/cleaning so that they can operate most efficiently and extend their lives. Make sure all weather-stripping is in good repair, and window and door frames are clean so that they operate well and keep the warm or cool air on the right side of the walls.
5. Plan Ahead for the Big Changes
We all change, and so do our needs for a home. Well, guess what. Our homes change too. Time has a habit of doing that. Nothing is new forever. If you stay with your home long enough, you might reach a point where you want a change. Sometimes we reach that point and launch into a big repair or renovation without thinking it through. That’s where reality shows are born and relationships can really fall on hard times.
If you can think about the home and the possibilities for future changes along the way (even put aside some funds for “who knows what”), you can approach these times with a sense of adventure and creativity. If your vision is a big change, you can hire professionals to help you do it right …and avoid the pitfalls of a sloppy job.
Or maybe it really is time to move on. If you’re prepared, at least you’ll have some ideas (and extra funds?) to update your home and make parting company a little easier for both of you.
Buying a home is a big decision, and like a relationship, it’s one you’ll live with for a while. I hope these ideas can help you have a better, longer lasting relationship with your home.
If you enjoyed this post, you can find others like it at www.http://goldeyehi.ca/blog/
If you have any comments or would like us to address a question in a future blog post, please let us know https://www.goldeyehi.ca/Contact
Steven Schroeder is President of GoldEye Home Inspection, serving Guelph, Kitchener Waterloo, Cambridge and surrounding areas. For more information about GoldEye Home Inspection please visit www.goldeyehi.ca or give us a call at 226-314-2012.