Being a homeowner is constantly romanticized, with idyllic pictures of picket fences, sprawling lawns, and granite countertops. But it’s time to be honest: owning a home is a nightmare. Here are ten hellish realities of home-ownership that nobody ever talks about.
1. The yard work never ends
Non-homeowners look at a yard and see a verdant escape; homeowners look at a yard and see a living hellscape: freshly mowed grass that re-grows seemingly overnight, trees and shrubs that need constant trimming, and so many weeds – those little green Satans that never die, no matter how often you pull them.
2. Houseguests will descend like locusts
Living in a small apartment or condo allows you to pull the old, “Sorry, we don’t have any extra room!” move whenever a guest asks to stay with you. Once you have a spacious house—with, god forbid, a guest room—you might as well install a revolving door. Before you know it, your creepy long-lost third cousin will “just be staying until he gets back on his feet.”
3. Endless clutter
When a new homeowner utters the words, “Finally, enough storage for all our stuff!” the housing gods laugh in their face! There is never enough storage. A dark force will subconsciously make you buy more and more junk until every inch of your home—no matter how large—is crammed with stuff you will never again use.
4. Heating bills will drain your bank account
How much could heat cost, you might ask? Sunlight is hot, and that’s free, you might say. Well, prepare to be shocked when you get that first winter heating bill, especially in the Northwest, where insulation is often thought of as optional. Don’t be surprised if you end up turning off the furnace and wearing five sweaters at all times.
5. You’ll wish you were color blind
They say that painting is one of the easiest ways to spruce up a home, but “they” must be using a pretty warped definition of “easy.” After coating your walls with color samples, taping over seemingly endless and intricate trim, laying down paper to protect the floors and rolling on two coats, your spouse will walk in and say, “I think I liked the old color better.”
6. You’ll share a home with evil spirits
Ever heard of a haunted condo? Didn’t think so. Houses, on the other hand, are frequently inhabited by ghosts, possessed by demons, or built on inter-dimensional portals. At least that’s what you’ll see in innumerable horror movies, which are always true to life.
7. The roof and gutters will haunt your dreams
Having “a roof over your head” is one of life’s basic needs. But a roof and rain gutters are also sources of endless work, expense, and danger. There’s nothing less enjoyable than an afternoon spent balancing precariously on a roof while scraping off moss, scooping foul muck out of gutters, and realizing you have to drop $10,000 on new shingles.
8. Meet your new housemates
Mice are sooooo cute in movies and cartoons, but when you see (or hear) one in your home, it’s anything but adorable. Let’s see one of those cartoon mice poop in someone’s pantry, make a urine-soaked nest and have babies inside a wall cavity, and see how cute they look then.
9. Your weekends will be spent at IKEA
For most home buyers, the more rooms a house has, the better! Until you realize that all those rooms need to be filled with furniture. This will lead you to IKEA, which is Swedish for, “Here, take all my money.” After another weekend spent wandering this maze that seemingly has no exit you will arrive home a broken and broke person, and one who has to spend the following weekend assembling furniture. Free Craigslist couches with mystery stains and smells will actually start to look pretty appealing.
10. Trashy Neighbors
You can spend thousands of hours—and dollars—making your home into an immaculate dream palace, only to have your neighbors on the left abandon a rusted-out RV in their yard, and your neighbors on the right turn their entire property into an eye-blasting Christmas-light inferno.
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