Over the past several years, homebuying has been a feat in and of itself—but homeownership is not a course for the faint-hearted, either.
Recently, Reddit user u/Throwaway062221 took to the subreddit r/FirstTimeHomeBuyers to commiserate about the challenges of being an actual homeowner.
“Just the general time commitment of keeping up with landscaping and household things. It feels impossible,” the original poster said. “I feel super lucky to have been able to afford a home and to find one and close on it, I just don’t think I was expecting this first year to be so hard.”
It turns out, the feeling of being overwhelmed as a new homeowner is extremely relatable. More than 100 users chimed in about their own struggles with tackling (or failing to tackle) household tasks.
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“Someone else here on Reddit said that owning a home is like having a part-time job that you also pay for, and I feel that, lol. I’m happy being a homeowner, but it’s quite true.”
“I need a [bumper] sticker that reads ‘My other job is a 3br ranch.’”
“We thought we’d had so much more done by now but we’re barely making any headway on our projects, and they keep adding up, so I know exactly how you feel. I’ve spent so many hours peeling wallpaper and patching walls that I have dreams about it.”
“There’s just a million little things I want to get done and it seems like when I complete one, something has either taken its place or reappeared. While I do the inside of my house, weeds blow up outside ; while I hack away at the weeds, the stuff inside seems to pile up.”
“We’ve been homeowners for 7 months now. The biggest challenge for us so far is yard maintenance. We’ve never had our own yard before – holy crap, who knew that grass and weeds grew so fast. And, we still don’t know how to turn on our sprinkler system, so we finally called a professional and the wait list is a month out. Oof.”
“Owning as a single person is exhausting!! I’m fortunate to have a flexible job so I can be home to meet folks as needed but there is literally always something that needs to be done. I can’t remember the last night I just sat down and watched an hour of TV.”
“As someone who’s on house 3 you’ll never be officially done. Learn to do as much as you can on your own. Best rule of thumb to minimize clutter: Don’t put it down, put it away. YouTube will be helpful there’s alot of creators that teach you how to do things yourself.”
“Fix the stuff that’ll kill you first, it also tends to be the most expensive (roofing, electric, plumbing), then the stuff that’ll kill the house (also plumbing, windows, waterproofing, insulation, siding), then the things that make the property functional for your needs, and finally, make it all look snazzy.
Rinse and repeat as necessary until you can’t take it anymore and give up on modern society to go live in a hollow tree in the forest and eat beetles.”
“I did realize that homeownership is an ever evolving process like a relationship or career. It’s never complete so you have to fall in love with the work of it and building it yourself, I think that’s where the true satisfaction comes from.”
“My current mood goes between ‘this is awesome, we own the place and can do whatever we want!’ and cursing the previous owner’s choices. The thing that’s saved me has been faith that I can learn and have resources. Google and Youtube have saved me many times … And reminding myself that we don’t have to fix or figure out everything at once.”
These Reddit user anecdotes very well might resonate with you—and they come as no surprise to home maintenance experts, either.
“Many first-time homebuyers have never had to maintain their outdoor space, so they’re often caught off-guard when it comes to maintaining their lawn and their home exterior,” says Bailey Carson, home care expert at Angi.
New homeowners often don’t consider the time and effort it takes for regular maintenance tasks like gutter and roof cleaning, cleaning the house siding, maintaining the HVAC, and servicing appliances in the kitchen, Carson says.
“Maintaining a home requires diligence and foresight,” says Kevin Busch, vice president of operations at Mr. Handyman. “Often, the hardest spots in the home to fix include roofs, gutters, high siding, and chimneys.”
So when it comes to fixing up your new home, heed the advice above. Prioritize your maintenance projects, don’t be afraid to ask for help (either from professionals or online tutorials), and give yourself grace; you can’t fix everything at once.
Natalie Way is the senior editor at Realtor.com who covers news and advice stories about real estate, design, and celebrity homes. Natalie produces and co-hosts the "House Party" podcast. She can be reached at email@example.com.