by Admin Staff
on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 at 10:13pm.
Bad habits are easy to fall into, and hard to break out of. Take, for example, the use of alliterative titles. It was our resolution to stop with the cliché, but it's a tougher habit to break than we thought!
All jokes aside, there are bad habits that you can fall into as a homeowner...habits that can end up costing you money. We'll list them below, as well as solutions:
1) Compulsive Sale Buys
We know, getting a deal on anything for the home is such a rush when you're a homeowner...but budget buying may actually cost you more in the long run. Cheaper isn't always better. For example, cheaping out on paintbrushes seems like a good way to save money, but dollar store brushes can leave annoying streaks and uneven strokes. Depending on severity, you could be looking at a costly do-over.
Or, let's say selling your home is on the horizon. You probably need to update those appliances. Since you're not going to be the one dealing with it, just get cheap models that look good, right? Wrong. A small splurge on better appliances can help you with your listing price. Serious buyers notice these efforts from sellers, and set their offers accordingly (and that's just appliances!).
2) Immediate Remodels After Possession
Give yourself time to live in the house before you take a sledgehammer to it. Like we've said in previous blog entries, HGTV is not real life. Remodeling is not always necessary after you take possession, nor is it financially feasible most times. Unless the issues are serious, wait a couple of months. This gives you time to understand the home's quirks, issues and positive attributes. Kitchen remodels are the most common. You could dump a pretty penny into a new layout, but come to the realization mid-reno that the wall you wanted to take out was there for a load-bearing reason! Or say you decided to paint your room 2022's colour of the year, only to find that morning light makes it look very scary instead of Very Peri.
3) Pack Rat Behaviour
Messes are annoying. We all know it, but we can't help it. Clutter happens throughout the week because life gets busy. So, we use the weekend to clean it all up. What about the items we can't clean, recycle or throw away? Junk drawers fill up and garages seem to get smaller and smaller. That exercise bike is still good, we can't bear to toss it aside. Selling it would be a hassle we don't have time for...so it just sits. Plus, there's already so much in the garage anyway, what's the exercise bike gonna do?
Here's the thing. If you've got rooms or areas that seem like insurmountable goals, you've got to start small. Reorganize one counter, or clean out one drawer. Once you finish, you notice your hard work has paid off, and it seems easier to take on the next task. Move on to the top shelf of a closet. Once that's done, start work on the bottom. Small goals such as these will add up. By the time you get to the garage, you'll realize it's the only room in the house left!
Breaking this habit can be one of the most difficult. Be kind to yourself! Don't let a goof-up turn into a give-up.
4) Half-full Dishwasher Cycles
While it's good to put the dishes in the dishwasher before bed, don't fall into the habit of letting it cycle with a small load! Dishwashers do save more water than washing by hand (yes mom, it's true!), but most machines use the same amount of water regardless of how many plates you’ve stuffed inside - making a half-empty cycle significantly less efficient. For a household of one or two, a cycle once a day can be overkill. Holding off on running the dishwasher until you've put more dishes in will help decrease your water bill, too. So, there's financial incentive!
5) Steamy Showers
Let's clarify this one right here - it's fine to have a hot shower every now and again. It's good for the pores, the sinuses and blood pressure. What we're referring to here is the habit of not ventilating your steamy showers. The heat and moisture is also great for bacteria and mould. Once you let the grout in your bathroom go, it gets dirty faster, and it's harder to maintain. If you can't clean it, a professional clean is going to cost you. Or, if it's too far gone, you'll need to replace it - and you know that's even more money. As a seller, that's one cost you can easily avoid.
Turn the fan on while you're in the shower, or open the window. If you really can't live without the steam, make sure you ventilate the room after you're finished. In addition, giving the shower walls a towel wipe-down is an excellent idea. This also lengthens the time in between cleaning the tub, too! Don't have to clean the shower/tub if it's not dirty yet ;)
6) Living Like a Vampire
We all keep our shades drawn more in the winter. It seems smart - it acts like another layer of insulation against chilly temperatures, right? Well actually, keeping them open on sunny afternoons is the smart decision. A sunny window can warm your home and lower your heating costs. And as a bonus, you can combat seasonal depression with healthy doses of vitamin D. However, your original idea wasn’t totally wrong. Closing those blinds at night will keep your home toasty.
7) Mulch Volcanoes
For the love of trees everywhere, do not make mulch volcanoes! Too much mulch suffocates your tree, causing root rot and welcoming invasive insects. This shape also leads water away from the center...you know, the place where your tree is. The thing that needs water to survive! Protect your precious trees by packing mulch loosely, letting water filter properly toward the trunk.
To sum up, home habits are hard to break. But, please remember to be kind to yourself while you're making any of these switches. You are re-wiring your brain, and that takes time. It's not like the old wiring is pulled out! Slip ups are okay, giving up is not okay. Forgive yourself, and begin again. In the end, you'll be a smarter homeowner and a savvy saver!