Owning a home is part of the American dream. Though that dream can sometimes be a nightmare when you have to worry about all the upkeep and unexpected repairs. This is happening to me with a simple leak turning into having the shower fully renovated, tiles and all. The expenses are exorbitant but the hassle and stress are even more upsetting. As in my experience, it is causing me to be stuck at home to watch the contractors and thus cancel all my other appointments. This would be even worse for someone who had a full-time job and no flexibility. Also, trying to get tiles or parts can be a pain since things get discontinued and you often don’t know where the original parts were purchased. This results in either an even bigger, more costly project or trying to match things in someway that is not ideal. Both options have their downside. The latter leaves you feeling uneasy and worrying that your renovation won’t have a wow factor after all that money and time and could work against you during resale.
These days owning a house is not as simple a goal as it was for our parents generation. The baby boomers all strove to buy a house for the family and as an investment and tax shelter. Nowadays, the investment part of purchasing is not so great thanks to the real estate crisis and the dip in home prices. The tax shelter part is also at risk since many politicians have discussed the idea of eliminating the mortgage interest deduction at some point. Though this may not happen it is still a risk so that benefit is not secure.
I guess there is still a sense of satisfaction in having ownership of something. We still like feeling that we are not ‘throwing away’ thousands of dollars each month on rent and it is adding up to something we can get a return on someday. Well, I guess we have to feel happy in a home and not go in over our budget and hope that the money pit will not suck us in!