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Homeowner Tips

9 Tips to Streamline Homeownership and Minimize Stress

7 min read
Tan house with wraparound front porch
picture of author, Hometap TeamBy Hometap Team on May 17, 2024

There’s no question about it — homeownership is stressful, whether you’re brand new to the experience or a seasoned veteran.

In fact, a 2023 Redfin study found that 59% of recent homebuyers found purchasing a house to be more stressful than dating. And it doesn’t stop once you’ve unpacked your boxes. Another survey found 68% of homeowners are overwhelmed and stressed about maintaining their homes. From buying and maintaining your property to making timely mortgage payments, there’s a lot to consider.

But owning a home should also be extremely rewarding. It’s a major accomplishment, and you now have a major asset that can grow in value over time, opening up even more opportunities for you to accomplish other financial goals. So how can you alleviate some of the stress of homeownership so that you can start enjoying it? Learning to prioritize tasks and take the time to familiarize yourself with the most important parts (and biggest challenges) of owning a home is a great place to start. Here are some steps you can take to stay ahead of the curve.

Learn the Basics

The more you know about the ins and outs of being a homeowner, the more power you have to make your home the best it can be.

By educating yourself on important topics like mortgage terms, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance tasks, you’ll be a step ahead. There are plenty of online resources available, from workshops to individual professionals like real estate agents and financial advisors, to address any need that comes up.

We have a few good place to start:

  • Our Homeownership Glossary, where you can learn common terms used in the space
  • Our Homeowner Resources, which cover everything from how different financial products work to how ongoing home maintenance tasks can alleviate repair costs and more.

Find Community Groups

These days, you can find nearly every person or thing you might need on the internet — and this holds especially true for making connections, getting tips about the area, and locating necessary assistance. Seek out Facebook groups and community forums like Nextdoor to link up with locals who can lend a hand, give you recommendations for contractors, and generally make your house feel more like a home.

Establish a Comprehensive Budget

We constantly hear from homeowners that one of the most stressful aspects of owning a home is unexpected costs. It can be incredibly helpful (and will potentially help you avoid spending beyond your means) to sit down and outline all of your regular expenses. This includes:

  • mortgage payments
  • property taxes
  • insurance
  • utilities
  • maintenance
  • and any other home-related costs

Establishing a budget and keeping up with it can help you identify trends like how the weather in your area impacts your energy bills, and how much some of your home services increase over time. Keeping a close eye on all of these figures can make it easier to decide when to switch providers or negotiate a lower bill, and how much money to set aside each year for repairs.

Outsource Maintenance

After you’ve established your budget, take a look at your regular maintenance tasks and determine which ones you might be able to hire help for. If you’re able to afford them, regular gutter or window cleaning or lawn care services can go a long way toward reducing stress and giving you some time back to relax and enjoy your home.

Build an Emergency Fund

What makes an unexpected expense stressful is exactly that: it was unexpected. An emergency fund can give you the ability to address the unexpected swiftly without dipping into your next mortgage payment, eating into your vacation money, or tightening your grocery budget. As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed, and it never hurts to have more than a little extra cash on hand to handle life’s inevitable curveballs. Experts recommend setting aside enough money to cover three to six months of living expenses as a safety net. Now, imagine looking at your next emergency expense head on, taking a breath, and saying, It’s okay. We planned for this.

>> Read "How to Get Started with Building an Emergency Fund"

Create a Schedule

For weekly, monthly, and seasonal maintenance tasks, tracking them via paper or digital calendar will help you keep your home in tip-top shape. If you have a (free) Home Equity Dashboard account, you already have access to handy checklists for seasonal maintenance, plus resources and tutorials that make it easier than ever to stay on top of to-dos.

Consider a Home Warranty In Addition to Homeowners Insurance

If you have older or heavily-used systems and appliances, explore a home warranty that protects your most valuable ones and can cushion the cost of unexpected repairs or replacements.

It can be hard to remember the difference between a warranty and insurance, but the primary distinction is that homeowners insurance protects the structural integrity of your home from weather-related or natural disaster damage, while a home warranty covers your home’s systems and appliances.

Keep Important Documents in One Place

File key paperwork for your home in one central (preferably digital) location so you can quickly and easily reference it as needed. This includes things like:

  • mortgage documents
  • insurance policies
  • warranties
  • maintenance records

This also goes for any contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc. — if you hire a professional whose work you’re particularly happy with, make sure you keep their name and number so you can easily contact them again for future projects.

Keep Track of Your Home Value

When you know how much your home is worth — and how much equity you have — you can make more confident decisions about how to leverage it, whether you’re hoping to eliminate private mortgage insurance (PMI), decide when to sell, or fund financial goals.

Your Home Equity Dashboard can help you keep track of both your home’s value and equity over time, easily and for free. Get started today and take the next step toward making homeownership less stressful!

You should know

We do our best to make sure that the information in this post is as accurate as possible as of the date it is published, but things change quickly sometimes. Hometap does not endorse or monitor any linked websites. Individual situations differ, so consult your own finance, tax or legal professional to determine what makes sense for you.

Hometap is made up of a collaborative team of underwriters, investment managers, financial analysts, and—most importantly—homeowners—in the home financing field that understand the challenges that come with owning a home.

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