Saturday, July 21, 2012

Owning a home can be expensive

You often hear about the rent vs own debate. Right now I wish I was renting. I bought back in 2006 and have wanted to sell this house for the past few years. For various reasons that has not been possible.

This week we had a gas leak, then issues with our water. The pipes under our house were old and this was not terrible unexpected. It has, however been terribly expensive.

All the gas pipes needed to be redone with copper, the water pipes need to be flushed as some were clogged and overflowing to under our house. The slope of our land was causing the front of our house to act as a retaining wall. With the water overflowing whenever we washed clothes or did the dishes, we have a nice little swamp thing happening under there. The next issue with so much damp under the house was the will shift. These were repairs we could not put off, as we did not want our foundations to shift and cause all sorts of problems.

Repairs like this are disheartening because they cost a lot. Thankfully we have savings so it was simply a matter of booking in the repairs, instead of having to save up or try and get one of those quick loans.

Last year I added up the cost of various things we have had to do to this home compared to if we had rented. It pretty much broke even, because for almost 3 years this house was a rental and we were renting elsewhere for less than we charged. We had the house valued earlier this year and it is worth a lot more than we paid in 2005, so overall, the cost of owning the home is less than renting for my situation.

I still want to sell this home and since we had to have the gas pipes done anyway, we have now had gas heating installed too which is way cheaper than electric and good for selling the home. If/when this house is sold and I move, I will be renting for a while.

It will be interesting to compare home ownership to renting again. There are more pros for ownership than there are for renting, in my opinion, but it can be very expensive.


  1. I hear you. My water main pipe under my sidewalk to my house burst and I had to open the sidewalk, repair it, to a tune of $1,600.

    At least I have some nice new sidewalk squares and a new pipe joint! Fingers crossed nowhere else along the pipe breaks!


  2. It can be tough dealing with the sucky feeling of handing over the cash, but at least it is fixed and hopefully nothing else along those lines break. We were told now we have redone anything it should be good 'forever, or at least 30years or more!"

  3. This is something I've been struggling with lately. Right now renting makes more sense while I build up a cash reserve in a rainy day fund. But I sometimes feel like I am throwing my cash away each month. Then again, its nice to be able to just call the landlord when something breaks.

    I really dig your blog. I am a 20something just starting out, determined to pay off my student debt and build net worth. Your posts have great tips! Keep them coming. If you're interested in my own journey, you can read about it at


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