Southern Utah Real Estate Agent
Erika Rogers
Re/Max First Realty
1224 S. River Rd.
Suite A-200
St. George, UT 84790
435-229-8801    Cell
Articles  >>  Are Your Ready To Be A Homeowner?

Are Your Ready to be a Homeowner?


To own your own home is the American Dream. No landlords…no rent payments…no worthless rent receipts.

Sounds awesome, doesn't it? You can splash your own paint colors throughout the house and pound as many nail holes in the walls as you want.

It's your home…nobody can tell you what to do with your home.

Well, not quite. Ever heard of CCRs (Conditions, Covenants & Restrictions)…you agreed to abide by the "laws" of the community by signing on the dotted line.

Unfortunately, the American Dream implies oneself and to one's neighbors. Before buying a house, take a big breath and think: Are you willing to take care of your house? Are you willing to cut and water the grass? ...pull weeds? ...trim the hedge? ...change the AC filter?

You see, home ownership is not for everyone. That's right. Some people don't deserve to be homeowners. Before you choose to buy your own home, take this simple and short quiz:

1. Are you prepared to care for your home's grass and plant material? In Florida, I cannot even count the number of times I've helped buyers purchase their dream home, complete with manicured and healthy landscaping when they receive the keys. A few months later, the grass and plants are dead. The neighbors are upset and the Homeowner's Association (HOA) is sending violation letters.

In most deed-restricted communities, the property management company hired by the HOA will remind you with violation letters of your responsibilities. Water the grass…replace dead plants and grass…pull the weeds…trim the shrubs.

Landscaping requires regular maintenance. You can do it yourself or you can outsource it.

Yes, you will have to water the new grass and plants…you will have to treat the grass for pests (in Florida, chinch bugs and ants)…and you will have to fertilize. And if you allow crab grass and wild Bermuda to invade your green carpet, you will have to cut out the entire area and lay down new sod.

Both are invasive and will destroy a yard almost as quickly as voracious chinch bugs. To replace damaged grass, expect to spend ~$2,500 on grass and installation and another ~$600.00 on water for an "average" yard. No exaggeration. In Sarasota, Florida, for instance, the local water utility doubles the water bill for watering grass.

Neglecting your landscaping violates the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CCRs) and alienates your neighbors whose property value suffers as a result of your negligence or ignorance.

2. Are you prepared to change the AC filter? If I had a dollar for every AC filter not regularly changed, I'd retire welthy on this money alone. A dirty AC filter increases the electric bill, shortens the life of the AC system & exposes your children to allergens.

Have you visited Florida in the summer? It's hot and humid, making AC absolutely essential. Don't neglect your AC filter…replace it with the right size. When I walk into a house with dirt surrounding the AC vents, I instantly detect neglect.

Just wait, neglect will cause your AC system to fail prematurely while enduring the sweltering heat and paying the $3,000-$6,000 replacement cost. If you're lucky, you'll get off paying $400.00 to have the evaporator coil cleaned by an AC contractor. Neglect is expensive.

3. Does your car leak oil? Don't let the oil drip onto your driveway. It's nearly impossible to remove even fresh oil from concrete. Do not attempt to remove oil spills by power washing. Doesn't work. Power washing chews up concrete as you drive the oil deeper into the concrete, only to have it seep back in a day or two.

With fresh oil stains, use dish detergent in warm water. Lightly scrub and rinse. Face it, the damage is done, marking you as just another careless homeowner or renter. Your neighbors will notice…any future prospective buyers will notice.

The American Dream comes with implicit responsibilities…you must be accountable to your neighbors if not to yourself. You must be willing to maintain the outside of your house.

What was careless as a renter is civil as a homeowner. Disregard your responsibilities as a home "owner" and you may face a lien on your property, while facing the wrath of your neighbors.

Think carefully before you pursue the American Dream. Are you ready to accept the responsibility of home ownership?

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Please call me, Erika Rogers, at 435-229-8801 or email me if  you are interested in St. George Utah real estate, Ivins Utah real estate, Kayenta Utah real estate, Entrada Utah real estate, Washington Utah real estate or Southern Utah real estate. I'll be more than happy to assist you in any way!

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