Homeowner Shares What He Discovered Only After Buying A House, Finds Out He's In Good Company

Ashley Hunte
Two people painting a room in a house that's likely being renovated.
Unsplash | Roselyn Tirado

Owning a home is a goal for many young people. Though it can sometimes seem out of reach, those who do manage to get into the housing market will have their work cut out for them.

There are a lot of things no one tells you about owning a home. Things you might not know until after you get the keys and settle in. A Reddit user posted the unwritten rules they learned to the r/HomeImprovement subreddit, and prompted others to follow suit.

"What unwritten rules do you learn only AFTER becoming a home owner?"

A white house with autumn leaves covering its lawn.
Unsplash | Scott Webb

"I have some. This is mostly suburbs living. Rural and city will have their own," the user, who goes by ParaDescartar123, said before delving into their short, but sweet, list.

"1. Your neighbors will magically become arborists as soon as you trim more than 10% of any tree on your property."

A house with multiple trees surrounding it.
Unsplash | Rowan Heuvel

"You will finally have a conversation with that neighbor that hasn’t bothered to do more than wave at you, and will offer tons of advice about what you CAN’T do with YOUR tree on YOUR property because of the major impact to them, or the neighborhood, or the city, or global climate change."

"2. If a fence is in fair to good condition, then your neighbor will claim it belongs to them."

A classic white picket fence.
Unsplash | Randy Fath

"If the fence is in major disrepair or has recently fallen, your neighbor will disavow all knowledge of how and when the fence was erected or who owns it."

"3. Every project you undertake will require that you uncover at least one additional project that needs to be addressed before the original project can be completed..."

One room in a house that's been gutted for renovation.
Unsplash | Milivoj Kuhar

"...or create a new one by you breaking something while you were working on the original project."

"4. You will NEVER complete a project with a single visit to a home store (see item 3 above)."

The hardware aisles of a Home Depot.
Unsplash | Oxana Melis

And finally, "5. If you borrow a tool from a neighbor, and it works amazingly, after the project is completed, you will go out and buy that tool.

"It will sit in the original packaging for months (maybe years)."

The comments were full of people adding their own rules.

A blue and white coordinated living room.
Unsplash | Kenny Eliason

Like this one: "Any project will be 90% completed in a normal amount of time. The final finishing touches will take at least a year, and you will be unable to find at least a third of the things you originally purchased to do the finishing touches and will be forced to rebuy them."

In fact, trying to get any work done is always going to be a hassle.

A decrepit room with missing floorboards.
Unsplash | Nolan Issac

"Everything the previous owners DIY'd was stupid and ridiculous and poorly done. Everything I DIY is great and the next homeowner will be impressed with the quality of my work."

Signs of moisture are always bad signs.

Mold on the ceiling of an old kitchen.
Unsplash | Sebastian Bjune

"Take water seriously inside and out. That means leaks, roofs, drainage, bad grading, excess humidity in crawl space. If you plan on being there a while bite the bullet and knock it out."

Keep your friends close, and your hardware stores closer.

A woman dragging a tub of mortar down an aisle in Home Depot.
Giphy | Megan Batoon

"The closer your house is to a Home Depot, the easier your life will be."

I'm sure living close to a Lowe's or a local hardware and lumber store works just as well.

Straight lines? In my walls? Not a chance!

A minimalist room in a home.
Unsplash | Alexandra Gorn

"There are no perfect 90° angles in your house. Not one."

Well, nothing is perfect, especially not the people who put the walls up in your house. But hey, as long as they stay in one spot, they'll work just fine.

One important thing to remember is that you need to prioritize.

A bathroom sink with a bottle of hand soap off to the side.
Unsplash | Tarah Dane

"The 'major issues' you see at the beginning, might not be that major in the end. Give yourself a few months in the house before deciding what to do, unless it's an actual hazard."

The house knows all and sees all.

A person counting several USD $100 bills.
Unsplash | Alexander Mils

"The house knows when you have money. Usually near the exact amount. My mom puts money away and gets a 'Christmas club' check every November for around $2000-2500. This year the furnace needs repair. $2100"

Not all fixes are cosmetic.

The top portion of two attached houses.
Unsplash | Julián Gentilezza

"Your most expensive and necessary projects will not make your house look or feel nicer (e.g. replacing the roof, changing out the pipes, repairing electrical work) but is the most necessary component."

Don't sweat the "small" stuff, I guess.

A modern dining room with two hanging lights over the table.
Unsplash | Spacejoy

"Something minor and unimportant will bug the hell out of you but no one else will care. Our house was old. The dining area was a little off-kilter. We could have the table center with the light fixture OR we could have it center with the window (not both). It drove me nuts. Literally no one ever noticed it."

If you're moving to a rural area, listen up.

Towers with connecting powerlines.
Unsplash | Fré Sonneveld

"A whole house generator is easily your best purchase because the linemen aren't getting to your section for at least a week after the storm."

I think this one is especially worth remembering.

If you're going to own a house, you need to know where everything is.

Valves for various water pipes.
Unsplash | Glenov Brankovic

"You need to know how to shut off the water, gas, and electricity. Now. Bumbling around in the dark during a storm will likely make you use a bunch of those words you can't say in the good place."

Beware of cardboard.

A stack of cardboard boxes of relatively the same size.
Unsplash | Kadarius Seegars

"Something I saw someone mention before is that 50% of homeownership is cardboard management and boy is that true."

I guess it's something you don't really think of as an issue unless you're the one taking out the recycling bins.

Please, please, PLEASE take care of your furnace.

An all white kitchen with wood accents.
Unsplash | Paul Hanaoka

"Replace you furnace filters often. It is better to buy large packs of cheaper filters that you replace every few months, than buy a very expensive filter that you replace once a year. Also think about calling an HVAC company to do regular service on your furnace."

Hiring help is tiring.

A worker cutting wood in full PPE.
Unsplash | Jeriden Villegas

"Every tradesman that you hire, regardless of how expensive, how well reviewed and how well they present themselves will do rushed and shoddy work somewhere along the line(if not most of the line).

"When you try to bring up said shoddy/rushed work they’ll throw out numerous excuses that are just as shoddy as their work as if you have the intelligence of a 3 year old."

The most important one to remember is to have fun sometimes.

A family sitting happily at the breakfast table.
Unsplash | National Cancer Institute

"The list is never finished. Never. So take weekends off now and again and spend it with the ones you are making a home for."

Don't make your house your whole personality. It's okay to not get everything done.