As as a renter, you probably dream of the day when you can buy a home and all of the stress of being a tenant goes away. But you’ll quickly learn that being a homeowner comes with its own set of challenges. The question is, how can you mitigate some of this stress and enjoy your lifestyle?
What Causes Homeowner Stress?
When it comes to stress as a homeowner, it can usually be assigned to a few specific “buckets” or categories. The primary culprit is maintenance and upkeep. Financial challenges, expenses, and liquidity comprise the second bucket.
According to a study of 700 homeowners, 85 percent of people say home maintenance costs are moderately to extremely stressful. Because many homeowners in today’s market are house rich (having lots of equity) but cash poor, trying to find the funds to pay for repairs and maintain their properties has become very difficult and financially constricting.
Speaking of being financially constricted, 66 percent of homeowners say their housing costs are rising faster than their incomes. This same survey discovered that half of homeowners (51 percent) are spending a higher percentage of their income on housing than ever before.
In a separate study of homeowners across America, researchers found that millennials are twice as likely to be stressed about homeownership as Baby Boomers. (This is likely due to the aforementioned issue of being house rich and cash poor.) Then there’s the issue of buyer’s remorse in a hot market where home prices have been pushed up in recent years, causing many homeowners to overspend or settle. Approximately 67 percent of millennials put less than 20 percent down on their homes, while one in two millennial homebuyers feels at least some buyer’s remorse.
4 Ways to Reduce Homeowner Stress
As a homeowner experiencing the stress related to owning a home, there are several things you can do to mitigate feelings of overwhelm. Here are several suggestions:
- Get a Home Warranty
While you’ll find mixed reviews on home warranties, they’re generally a good idea for people who are stressed about maintenance or don’t have a ton of extra cash/cash flow to deal with big repairs and fixes.
As U.S. News explains, “A home warranty covers service, repair, or replacement of your major home systems and appliances. It provides a financial buffer in case a big-ticket item malfunctions, and it can extend the protection of manufacturers’ warranties after they expire.”
In addition to covering most (or all) of major repairs to appliances, HVAC, plumbing, or electrical issues, a home warranty company also gives you access to their affiliated local contractors. All you have to do is place a single call to the warranty provider and they reach out and schedule the right contractor based on your available time slots. This reduces stress levels even further by giving you access to pre-vetted contractors who do quality work.
- Invest in Preventive Maintenance
Don’t wait until something breaks down to take care of it (even if you have a home warranty). Instead, be thorough in your commitment to preventive maintenance. This will prevent the headache of untimely breakdowns and will prolong the life of your home’s major systems.
Preventive maintenance is especially important with HVAC components (like AC units and furnaces), appliances (like water heaters and refrigerators), and exterior components (like rot or moisture damage on windows, sills, fascia, etc.).
- Hire Help
If you can afford to do so, hiring professionals to help you keep up your home maintenance and other responsibilities is a smart move.
Wealthy homeowners who have too much on their plates and not enough time to deal with their large, expensive properties may want to hire an estate management company to help with things like concierge services, maintenance scheduling, bill payments, and other related chores. But even if you don’t have the room in your budget to hire one of these services, you can still lighten your load by hiring a professional landscaping service or monthly cleaning service. Meanwhile, if you need help for home renovation plans, most homeowners nowadays are looking for masonry tuckpointing services because of its long-time resistant to wear and tear quality trait.
- Maintain a Minimalist Lifestyle
You can mitigate a lot of your stress by choosing to live a more minimalist lifestyle. The less stuff you own, the less stress you’ll derive from your physical environment. People who own fewer possessions typically rate themselves higher on happiness and satisfaction surveys. This is usually a result of having more time to focus on things they enjoy. Perhaps this would be the case for you, too.
Take Back Control
Your house should not be a source of major stress in your life. On the contrary, it should be a place that you retreat to for safety, joy, companionship, and relaxation. If you’re currently feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities associated with homeownership, now is the time to address these causes at their roots and take back control. It’s best to act sooner rather than later!