The Worst Parts of Homeownership So Far
man holding a small model house

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: The Worst Parts of Homeownership So Far

As you can probably imagine, making the jump from being a long-time apartment dweller to a first-time homeowner has been drastic. On the whole, the changes have been positive (which is why we chose to buy in the first place). But, of course, there are some downsides too — including some that I didn’t really think about ahead of time.

With that in mind, I wanted to share some of these annoyances that I’ll call the worst parts of homeownership… so far.

Top 5 Things Annoying Me as a New Homeowner

Utilities

I don’t want to make this entire article about the new and different expenses we now have as homeowners — but I do want to single out our utilities bill. At our apartment, water and sewer services were included, there was no gas, and our electric bill was both based on the size of our unit and offset by the solar panels on the building. Now, there are no solar panels, we’re paying to cool/heat a space twice the size, and we’re adding water, sewer, and gas to our bill. Needless to say, this has resulted in a significantly higher monthly total.

The good news is that, as I previously shared, we managed to keep our heating bill in check during the winter. Things have only gotten better since the weather has warmed. Nevertheless, this monthly expense has more than doubled in the best-case scenario, which is decidedly unfun.

Solicitation

Honestly, this is the one that made me want to write this article. When we first moved to Springfield, we lived in an apartment that had outdoor hallways. Because of this, despite “no solicitation” signs placed near the stairs of each building, we had a handful of various people come by — although, I’d say it was around half a dozen in as many years. Then, our last apartment was access-controlled, so the only unexpected knocks on our door were the results of packages I didn’t know I was getting.

That’s why it’s been incredibly frustrating to hear our doorbell ring and then either a) hide and pretend not to be home or b) have to listen to someone’s spiel about something. Heck, an ADT authorized reseller has already come by three times in the four months since we moved in! By the way, am I the only one who finds it a bit presumptuous that they just pull into my driveway each time to park?

Anyway, I guess this is something I’ll just need to get used to, but I really do hate it. I know people are just doing their jobs… but could they go do them somewhere else?

Recycling

When I wrote about the realization that we live outside city limits, I mentioned that Springfield doesn’t have a unified city-run trash service. Instead, it’s a hodgepodge of independent companies that handle trash and recycling hauling. Naturally, when we went to pick one of these companies to give our business to, we went with one that was not only affordable but also had good reviews.

The only problem is that, while the trash service made sense for us, their recycling offering did not. Rather than a full-sized bin, this company only had a small, open bin available — and the service cost an additional $10 a month. Seeing as our biggest recycling needs involve cardboard boxes (namely from EveryPlate deliveries), the small bin and extra expense made this a no-go for us.

As a result, we’ll now need to take our recycling to a local center. We actually haven’t done this quite yet as we may or may not have just stopped by our former apartment complex to use their recycling dumpsters instead. I also noticed that one of our neighbors has a full-sized recycling bin, so I’ve considered asking them if they’d be willing to share the service and cost. Of course, shy little me probably won’t get around to doing that — but there’s always a chance.

Yard work

When we were buying this home, I was well aware that we’d need to do some yard work to maintain it. Heck, when we first bought the place, the yard was already covered in leaves, so that part of the job was obvious. However, I am shocked at just how quickly weeds and other plants around our yard have grown! Moreover, parts of our yard have proven a bit treacherous as the odd hilliness of the front portion and the large tree roots in the back have given us some headaches.

With that said, we have been quite happy with the electric lawnmower we recently purchased. In particular, I’m pleased with how relatively quiet it is. Plus, the battery not only lasts long enough for us to complete the task but also charges up quickly. We’ve also since added some manual bush shears to our collection, so we’re basically well on our way to being landscaping pros.

Critters

Finally, while we (thankfully) haven’t found any critters inside our house, our yard is a different story. Some of them I like. For example, watching squirrels play in our tree is downright delightful. Similarly, the birds chirping can occasionally make me feel like I’m in Snow White — but can also annoy the piss out of me. I’m also very curious about the little holes that have popped up in our yard and what might be hiding in them.

Also angering is the cat that regularly visits our yard. I’m not sure if this is a stray or if it belongs to a neighbor — but I do know that I’m not a fan of it leaving its droppings on the lawn. On the contrary, our dog Rigby shows great interest in that part and so I get to regularly yank her away when she finds one of these “treats.”

I’d say that, perhaps, we should think about getting a fence, but I doubt that would help much. Alas, I guess I’ll just have to deal with all of these extra pets I didn’t know we were getting.


Although it’s fun to complain, the truth is that becoming a homeowner has come with more pros than cons. Nevertheless, these annoyances are indeed real — and show few signs of stopping. I suppose that just comes with the territory, but they’re all things I’ll be adjusting to for some time.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

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