Over the past decade I’ve wasted thousands of dollars renting (not even counting rent payments – those would be in the tens of thousands and at least I got shelter in exchange for those).
There are costs that come with home ownership – some unavoidable, some totally up to you – but those are covered extensively elsewhere on the internet and I’m not getting into those today.
No, what I’m talking about are the surprising ways home ownership has saved me money here and there.
A poorly insulated house is less efficient to heat. We’ve lived in iceboxes half the size of this house that cost the same in power bills as this one. And in the case where we’ve lived with flatmates, well, other people often don’t care about saving power the way you do.
Related: I’m probably saving a small fortune on tissues. I no longer have a constantly blocked or runny nose – it’s the exception rather than the norm now. Rental standards in NZ are pathetic (and here’s even more skin-crawling stuff).
Now don’t get me wrong. This is still an older house and we’ll need to add more insulation to the roof, which will be in the realm of $1500-2000 if we DIY and more if we get in the pros to install it. On the very coldest nights this winter the roof has gotten down to single digit temperatures overnight, with the rest of the house plunging to low double digits, which isn’t ideal. But it’s noticeably drier and warmer than the many rentals I’ve endured.
I’m sure winters are getting colder (either that or I just feel it more with age) and T agrees. We experienced some record low temperatures this year and last, so I don’t think it’s entirely my imagination.
My content insurance dropped to a third of its former cost once I became a homeowner. I’m deadly serious. Car insurance also decreased by a tiny bit. Just another way renters get ripped off.
Home is a haven now. Not a cramped, damp place to escape. Not a place with flatmates who grate on your nerves. I love my house so much, warts and all. I’ve always been a homebody and at last, after so many years, I have somewhere I can honestly nest and settle in for real. I feel an unbridled sense of joy and serenity every time I step out onto my sunny deck or sit down in my dining nook.
As you can probably guess, I have had zero regrets about buying a house. Home ownership has been everything I dreamed of and more.