10 Struggles that Only Homeowners Can Understand


Being a homeowner is a struggle that only actual homeowners understand. It’s something that you just don’t get if you’re not a homeowner, and it’s something that you will never get until you are a homeowner. And don’t give me that, “I’m a renter and I’ve been living in houses and not apartments for decades,” speech; until you purchase a home to call your own, you have no idea what the struggle is like. It’s real; I’m telling you. Take it from me. At 31, I own two homes. The first is our starter home we built in 2004 just before we were married. The second is the home we purchased 6 months ago to accommodate our newly large family of 6 (did I mention we welcomed twins into our lives last year?). As a double-homeowner, I get it. And I’m here to share with you only the things that a homeowner will understand. Like I said; the struggle is real.

Buying is a Nightmare

If you buy a home or build a home, you understand that the entire process is a nightmare. It’s not about submitting information for a background and/or credit check, signing a lease and moving in ASAP. It’s finding a house or blueprint, putting an offer, waiting, more waiting, waiting some more, worrying, some more worrying, and some more worrying. It’s inspections and easements and property lines and city approval. It’s closing dates and down payments and just about everything in between. It’s deadlines that pass and frustration and stress. But it’s totally worth it.

No One Fixes your Stuff

When our septic system backed up into the entire master bath and bedroom the night we moved into our new home, we had to fix it ourselves. Having never been renters, we’re used to this. But someone who has rented forever will not like the concept of knowing that there is no one to call and that you are responsible for the issue. This means finding professional plumbers and handling the fees and costs of septic pumping and appointments on your own.

Shoes in the House

Suddenly you own this floor, and it darn well better stay nice. So now you want people to take off their shoes, leave their pets at home (maybe even their kids) and never touch anything you own. Please don’t eat anywhere but in the yard or over the trash. I paid for this stuff and I want it to stay nice. I don’t get to leave in a year.

Stuff is Expensive

Furnishing a house is expensive. You suddenly have all this stuff you never needed before, such as a lawnmower and yard tools and other things of that nature. My recommendation is to hire out for these things so that you still don’t need yard tools and lawnmowers and things of that nature. It’s a great idea, and we love the concept.


Some are really expensive and some are not, but if you’ve never owned, you might not know much about HOAs. You might be vaguely aware that you pay them in a rental agreement, but you have no idea what all is involved. The letters that your yard isn’t right. The votes. The approval you need to do anything to your home, even paint the exterior a certain color. It’s really a lot to think about when you own a home that you don’t have to think about when you’re renting a home.

Neighbors Last Forever

You’ve found your dream home, you’ve moved in and all is well. And then you meet the neighbors. They’re the worst people ever (imagine your own personal form of hell as neighbors right now). Guess what? Unless they sell and move, you are stuck with them forever. Or until you sell and move. If you’re renting, you know you’ll only have to see them a certain amount of time and then you are out.

Staying Still

You don’t get a new house every year when you are a homeowner. In fact, you don’t even get one ever few years. You have a house and you live there for a long time. Stability is always nice, and moving is never fun. But there is a sense of adventure at not being tied down to any one particular place the homeowners lose the second they sign that contract.


Bing bitter is part of being a homeowner. When we built our house in the height of the boom, we spent way too much on it and then watched as the value fell to about nothing and a half. When we were in our house about 5 years, we began watching other people our age buying their first homes and spending half what we did and getting twice what we built. That was bitterness. But now we are sitting in our beautiful new home, thankful for the boom that allowed our home to go up for sale. We paid so much less for it than it is worth, and in six months it’s worth more than 50% more than what we paid. That’s not bitterness.


As a homeowner, you are responsible for a lot of things all the time. You have to fix things that break. You have to replace the roof, and the floors, and the faucets, and the air conditioner and the whatever else eventually needs fixing when you live somewhere for a long time. You may even need to schedule a septic tank pumping if your home has a septic system. Maintenance is a little bit of a nightmare that never seems to end.


There is a huge feeling of success when you own a home that you get to live with every single day. After all, it’s the American dream. When we were 20 and 21 and we were building our first home, we felt the success like no other. We were doing something amazing at such a young age. Now that we are 31 and 32, we feel good to still own that house, plus this house, and to be landlords. We get to watch people our own age buying their starter homes and know that we are so young and already own our dream home. There is such a profound feeling of success to be had there.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images


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