Life as a new homeowner is exciting, but not without its challenges. Homeownership is not always HGTV-dreamy! While there are many myths that can be picked up along the way, we’ve singled out five common ones so you can go into the process with your eyes wide open.
1. A LIFETIME WARRANTY IS COVERED FOR LIFE
The term “lifetime warranty” rarely ever means “lifetime”. It’s a bad choice of words that confuses some homeowners. While the definition varies from company to company, it’s important that you do your research and get all the details before signing up.
2. DIY PROJECTS DON’T REQUIRE PERMITS
You may never see your favorite HGTV stars applying for a permit before tearing into a fixer-upper, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t get one. Small projects don’t require a permit, but many larger ones do. It’s important to contact your local Development Services to find out what kind of permit you need for your project.
3. WHEN THE PIPES CLOG, POUR IN A BOTTLE OF DRAIN CLEANER
Chemical drain cleaners seem like a quick and convenient fix for a clogged pipe, but they usually cause more damage than the problems you are seeking to fix. The chemicals often wear away the insides of the pipes, causing leaks. A $15 investment in a manually-operated snake from the local hardware store is a much better solution. Preventive measures can go a long way, such as installing screens to keep food scraps and hair out of the pipes, and never putting anything but toilet paper and sewage down the toilet.
4. IF MY WATER MAIN SPRINGS A LEAK, THE WATER COMPANY WILL COVER IT
Think again! The city is responsible for the water lines from the road to the edge of your property. All pipes within the perimeter of your property are your responsibility. A leak that is not addressed immediately can run up your water bill by thousands of dollars. The biggest culprit is tree roots getting into older pipes. Special water pipe insurance is a waste of money and only covers fresh-water pipes. Instead, rely on yourself by creating a home maintenance account.
5. MY NEIGHBOR’S TREE FELL IN MY YARD, SO THEY’LL PAY FOR IT
This may or may not be true. The first thing you should do in this situation is to call your insurance company to see if you are covered. If not, you’ll want to have that tough and potentially awkward conversation with your neighbor to see if their insurance covers it. If your tree falls in your neighbors’ yard, do not offer money for the removal or repairs until you’ve contacted your insurance company. Trimming and maintaining your trees will prove your diligence.