Owning your first home can be both exciting and overwhelming. Avoiding some of these common home ownership myths can save you time, money, and protect your home value.
Only Homes In Warm Climates Need Roof Vents
Yes, roof vents do suck hot, humid air up and out through the roof. That act is called ventilation. Which is why you need roof vents if you live in a colder climate.
Because ventilation pushes the warm away from your snow-covered roof and gutters. If warm air lingers under your roof, it could cause the snow to melt just enough to easily refreeze at night, melt again, refreeze (you get the picture) creating ice dams instead of pretty, fluffy snow on your roof.
And when those ice dams melt come spring, that water could funnel into your insulation and walls causing mold, mildew — and a busted bank account.
I Should Re-Up On My Home Warranty
A home warranty is like a $500 bottle of wine. If someone else pays for it, why not enjoy it?
And sellers often do offer them as an incentive to help buyers (especially first-timers who often have limited budgets) feel more secure about having financial help for any unexpected repairs.
If your seller tosses one into your deal, great. Use it. But when the warranty runs out, resist the temptation to continue it. Put the money into a home maintenance savings account instead.
Because home warranties aren’t cost-effective for homeowners to purchase themselves. The coverage is often limited, and warranty companies have oodles of red tape that can delay repairs for days, even weeks.
Mowing Grass Extra Short Means Mowing Less Often
Grass blades collect sunlight. Cut them too short and they can’t soak up enough to survive, which makes for brown, patchy grass and weeds galore. Which means you just killed your curb appeal, too.
Save the grass — and your home’s good looks — by cutting your lawn no more than one-third the length of the blades at each mowing. Overall, aim to keep the grass between two-and-a-half and three inches high.
I Can Remove a Tree or Paint My Mailbox Any Color
Before yelling “Timber!” or choosing paint colors, think about your neighbors. If you bought a condo, co-op, or a home in a neighborhood with an HOA (homeowners’ association) you may not actually have the right to do that — without your neighbors’ consent, that is.
What an HOA (or condo association or co-op board) may control is surprising. Things like pet ownership, outdoor clotheslines, or even (true story) parking in the driveway instead of your garage.
So check the rules. Because breaking them could cost you — by making you redo a remodel, or fining you.
But keep in mind that HOAs are there to protect your home value. They’ve got your back. Just stay in touch with the rules so you don’t make a costly mistake.
When The Pipes Clog, Pour In a Bottle of Drain Cleaner
While drain cleaners are quick and convenient, they can cause more (and bigger) problems than they fix. They don’t typically remove the entire clog, making it more likely to recur — and their caustic chemicals can wear away the insides of the pipes, causing leaks.
Instead, invest in a $15, manually-operated drain snake at the hardware store, or rent an electric one to clear bigger clogs. Then use screens to prevent food scraps and hair from getting in your pipes.
And keep everything but sewage and TP out of the toilets. Always.
I’ll Save Time And Money By Re-roofing Over Old Shingles
Re-roofing, or adding new shingles over existing roofing, may be cheaper than replacing the roof entirely.
But it’s not wise. A roof is like a cake of wooden sheathing beneath an icing of shingles. If the cake is spoiled, you can’t fix it (or even find out about it) by putting an extra layer of icing on top.
If there’s damage to your roof, get a new roof. Period.