Millions of Canadians are striving to achieve the dream of homeownership.
Indeed, owning a home comes with many benefits. But, of course, the chief advantages are building equity, not paying rent, and doing what you want (for the most part) on your residential property.
At the same time, homeowners possess several responsibilities beyond mortgage payments.
Still trying to figure out what they are? We have compiled a list of seven responsibilities you need to know when you own a detached house in the middle of the city or a townhome in a suburb.
- Home Insurance
Most people are aware of insurance, but they may need to learn that different types of home insurance policies are available to homeowners. Each of these policies provides different levels of coverage.
Here are the most common things to include in your home insurance policy:
- Contents Insurance
- Liability Insurance
- Flood Insurance
- Disaster Insurance
- Additional Living Expenses Insurance
Home insurance should not be taken lightly as it is essential to protect your property and belongings from risks, such as fire, theft, or natural disasters. Home insurance is also a requirement by lenders.
- Regular Maintenance and Repairs
Most homeowners ensure that any maintenance or repair issues are addressed. However, some may need to realize the importance of sustaining these repairs and develop the habit of ongoing maintenance. This allows you to keep your property in good condition. From minor repairs to landscaping, keeping up to date on home maintenance and repairs helps keep your property in excellent condition. It enables you to identify any potential problems early before further damage.
Remember that your home is your investment, and maintaining and caring for it regularly helps protect this investment. It also ensures a comfortable living environment for you and your loved ones.
- Major Repairs and Renovations
In addition to regular maintenance and repairs mentioned above, homeowners are responsible for major repairs and renovations.
With time, all homes require changes, such as replacing the roof, improving the electrical systems, or upgrading plumbing. Homeowners must understand that this is their responsibility and should plan and budget for these expenses. These significant renovations and repairs help maintain your property’s value, prevent costly repairs in the future, ensure safety and security, and enhance the comfort and livability of your home.
Nobody wants to take on unnecessary and expensive renovations, but sensible and logical investments of this nature can be beneficial for homeowners in the long run.
- Property Taxes
All homeowners are required to pay property taxes. These taxes, which fund communities’ services, such as schools, roads, and public infrastructure, are based on the value of your property. Some people pay their taxes annually, and some semi-annually. In addition, some homeowners have mortgage arrangements that include the tax payment in their mortgage payments. Property tax payments should be made on time as they will eventually add up, and non-payment can result in liens placed against your home or even having your home taken by the city.
- Homeowners Association Fees
Some properties fall under a homeowner’s association, which manages a residential community or condominium complex. When buying a home within this community, you are required to become a member of that association. You will also be required to pay homeowners association fees.
These fees contribute to maintaining and managing shared amenities and common areas within your community. The fees can vary depending on the type of community or the different amenities offered, but payment is the homeowner’s responsibility and should be considered in your budget.
- Utility and Energy Usage and Bills
All homeowners are responsible for paying their electricity, water, and gas bills. The homeowner must also pay for additional services like internet and cable TV. However, responsibility is not limited to bill payments. Homeowners are recommended to learn to manage their energy usage and reduce these expenses by using energy-efficient options.
This will provide cost savings and will have a positive impact on the environment.
- Awareness of and Compliance with Local Regulations
Homeowners are also responsible for complying with building codes, local regulations, and zoning ordinances. They should get the required permits if they engage in any home improvement projects. Similarly, any property with restrictions and rules related to parking, landscaping, or noise must also be adhered to.
Local regulations must be taken seriously, as noncompliance can result in unnecessary complications.
All these responsibilities come with the territory of homeownership.
Homeowners are urged to consider these carefully, especially when budgeting for homeownership. Ultimately, being informed about local laws and regulations, types of insurance policies, tax laws, and fines and penalties can help avoid a wide range of problems in the future.