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Anybody home?

September 25, 2009

What is home anyway? I’ve never had one, so I’m asking you, my readers. home

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I’ve seen other people’s homes. I’ve seen rooms, decorated and caressed with exquisite furniture, shining floor, window curtains and floor carpets matching colors and styles. I’ve seen designed kitchens and bedrooms, polished and garnished, with unique and cozy items smartly positioned on the right places creating the right atmosphere. I’ve seen other people’s fireplaces, hilariously blazing and sparkling in comfy living rooms, with a distinguished dinning table royally situated in its center, surrounded by no less superior chairs. I’ve seen lily-white statues and magnificent palms resting in the distant corners of spacious guest rooms and vast halls; portraits and masterpieces emblazoning beautifully painted walls.

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It must be super-great to own your own home – forgive the pun. It must be a hell of a job as well, and one should like this kind of job – keeping things in order, making sure there are no leaks, breaks or fractures. Now what about the outlook? What’s the point in building a massive piece of blocks and bricks if it doesn’t have an identity? Naturally, plenty of homeowners enjoy decorating their caves by themselves, which usually ends up with a matrimonial tour to a furniture store. Stuffing your place with the most exquisite and modern pieces of furniture is just not enough: without a professional touch the picture is often incomplete. This is what interior design is all about – invigorating spirit into your household items and enhancing the atmosphere using techniques vs creativity.  Interior designer is a costly solution, indeed. Which brings me to the next topic.

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Speaking in terms of cost-effectiveness, I consider home ownership to be rather a liability than an asset. Of course, you can always sell it (or can you really?) and have all or some of your money back, but then you still need a place to stay. Home-maintenance, which burdens the “costly” side of the scale, is the major liability, weighing more than some people can imagine. Besides the property tax, you’ve got the daily maintenance issues which cannot be avoided. Mending, fixing and repairing, taking care of the garden (you don’t want to have a house without a place for your four-legged buddy, do you?) – all these are the privileged and sovereign duties of a homeowner.

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Generally speaking, before installing myself in a sumptuous mansion somewhere in the outskirts of town I would make sure of two things:

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  • Readiness to spend a considerable part of my life behind the wheel. Living in a suburban or rural area, where these sweet American Dream houses are usually located, means – mobility!

  • Financial readiness and ability to sustain household maintenance issues such as cleaning and gardening services, property insurance and taking care of household items (pipelines, for instance) on a daily basis.

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Other important aspects of potential financial risks and expenses are presented here.

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Home ownership requires financial commitments that need to be taken into consideration before making the turn. It might look as if I’m vilifying the idea, but it is not true. Being a disinterested observer, I am trying to preview the fullest picture possible.

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What comes to your mind when you hear the word “home-ownership”? Thinking of cons and pros, which side are you on?

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