Do you drive past a property with a perfect lawn, fresh paint on every trim and a garden with perfect rows of labeled cultivation every day? You know the one. You secretly wish you could live there if someone else was willing to do the work. Maybe you’re in an even worse position. Does that house with the coordinated door, shutters, and mailbox belong to you? Well, don’t give up hope.
In this article, we’ll look at 25 signs you’re obsessed with your home, even if you don’t have one yet, show you how to stay organized and save money, and offer tips and tricks to save money.
Tips and Tricks to Save Money on Home Projects
The average home improvement cost over $9,000. However, you can indulge your crafty side without breaking the bank if you take some time to plan your project. If you’ve spent whole paychecks on craft projects, you should heed these tips to curb your spending habits.
- Set a Budget. Project budgets will vary in format and complexity. However, to get the most out of each project, homeowners should set a budget before doing anything else. Include tools, materials, and labor (if you aren’t doing the project yourself). For upgrades and makeovers, don’t spend more than 15% of your property value. As an example, if you want to remodel the kitchen in your $200,000 home, that’s $30,000 maximum. Not all home projects cost that much, but it’s good to get into the habit of planning ahead.
- Invest in Quality. Focus your DIY spending on projects or crafts that last a long time. That usually means paying a bit more for high-quality materials. You may even want to take a crafting class to master new skills. For example, expensive paint contains more resin and pigment, which make a big difference in long-term appearance.
- Test Products Before Purchasing. If possible, test out expensive materials before buying them in bulk. For example, when you decide to replace your kitchen backsplash, ensure that you really like the tile before ordering five boxes of them. You can ask for a sample or buy them individually to try out a look before committing to it financially.
- Rent Tools Instead of Buying Them. The average hardware store has aisle after aisle of tools in a confounding range of prices and sizes. If you just need a drill for the afternoon to hang a few pictures, consider renting one instead.
- Consider Cheaper Alternatives. Do you love the look of granite, but not the price tag? Put in some research online to find cheaper versions of the look you love. Factor in the durability of the cheaper option versus the high-end one. You’re not saving money if you have to replace materials in half the time.
The first indications that you are obsessed with your home begin way before you move in. The allure of homeownership pulls on many consumers and it can be a time-consuming endeavor. A home of your own fulfills the American Dream and serves as a status symbol for many people. Here are clear indications that you have the bug and want your own home badly.
1. You Watch HGTV as Often as Possible
If your idea of binge-watching includes shows like “Love It or List It” and “House Hunters,” you may be obsessed with your home. If you secretly watch home improvement shows and take notes while doing so, you’ve really got it bad. It’s time to start saving for a home.
2. You Love Looking at Other People’s Houses
When you walk inside someone’s home for the first time, do you secretly hope they offer you a tour? If you are mesmerized by nice countertops and unique architectural features, you probably are also deeply interested in every item in your own home.
3. You Take Notes When You Drive by Cool Homes
Some homeowners never stop driving around checking out new homes or houses in areas they would like to live in. However, if you take notes while doing so, you are smitten. Perhaps you started doing this way before you began your own home search. That’s okay. You aren’t the only one. Just don’t stay too long or the neighbors may start to wonder what you’re up to.
4. You Google Real Estate in Your Area…Just Because
Do you Google homes for sale in the area to check out prices, compare curb appeal to your own abode, or just out of curiosity? That’s not that unusual. If you have pictures of your own home on your computer and pull them up side by side to keep up with the Joneses, you might be obsessed with your home. It’s great to get ideas from your neighbors but concentrate on creating a haven for you and your family.
5. You Have a Bookmark Folder in Multiple Browsers for “Home Improvements”
Maybe your folder is named “future homes” or “1,000 home projects.” if you have saved links about houses, you might be addicted to finding or creating the perfect property. Take the time to organize your ideas into folders for storage ideas, best home accessories, and similar categories so that you can make your time more fruitful.
6. You Started Saving for a House as Soon as You Graduated
If you sacrificed to save a down payment fresh out of college or high school, you may be obsessed with finding a home. Some couples take part-time jobs to fix up their homes after they buy them. This leads to pride of ownership that can turn into an addiction to have every room live up to your vision. Just remember to leave enough time in your schedule to enjoy your house too.
7. You’re an Expert on Flooring Materials
Is your bookshelf filled with titles about the best hardwood flooring or a comparison of various types of tile? Your notes on flooring material may include that bamboo is easy to clean, light and antimicrobial. Have fun and explore, but make some decisions early so your floor upgrade doesn’t overwhelm you before you begin.
8. You Have a List of Architectural Details to Add
It starts with a plan to add a fireplace. Then you want vintage tin ceilings in the kitchen. Architectural details can add character and beauty to your home. Keeping a list of your thoughts helps you prioritize projects and slowly tick off accents that give your home a polished interior or exterior.
9. You Know How Your Current or Future Mortgage Works
Homeowners and prospective buyers often trust their mortgage broker or real estate professional to guide them through the finances of owning a home. Once you become obsessed with your home, you want to know the details. This can actually help you negotiate a first mortgage effectively or refinance your home for more favorable terms. Don’t let banks take get the upper hand. Trading in adjustable-rate mortgages for fixed-term loans with great interest rates can save you money every month. That comes in handy if you love to tweak things in your home.
10. You Always See the Potential in Your Home
It doesn’t matter whether you bought an estate-style home with a fancy interior and turnkey features or a fixer-upper. If you are obsessed with your home, you see the potential rather than the flaws. Some homeowners are renovation addicts that continually improve their home. If you constantly have an internal dialog about improvement projects, you might ask yourself “Should we add crown molding in the dining room?” or “What would the back yard look like with a deck?”
If this describes you, you might be a home renovation junkie. Do you want to pull up the rug to see if there’s hardwood underneath? Chances are, good ideas come naturally to you. This is a huge advantage if you decide to make home improvements.
11. It’s Not About Keeping Up with the Neighbors
Some people might not get your need for perfection. You know it’s not about keeping up with the neighbors. Just stay true to your own vision and let the naysayers talk. Taking on projects you never finish could be bad for your mental health and bank account. However, if you have the determination to finish what you started, go ahead with your home improvement tasks with confidence.
12. You Have a Real Emotional Connection to Your Home
When it’s time to move, you may have a hard time letting go. Happy memories of raising a family and hanging out with friends can make it hard to walk away. No matter how much time and energy you spent repainting, adding siding and renovating, you have to remember that there’s a new home waiting for you that you can change to your specifications. All those improvements may pay off in a higher sales price!
13. The Local Hardware Store is in Your Speed Dial
You love the smell of Home Depot and have Lowe’s number saved on your smartphone. Your most memorable conversations take place in the flooring section of your favorite home improvement store. When your spouse asks for a new patio, you are excited to handle the details of the project. Yep, you’re officially obsessed with your home.
14. You Hope Your Home Is Never Finished
Home renovation enthusiasts always have a list of projects, some in progress, others on the horizon. As soon as you finish a project, it’s on to the next one, limited only by your time and budget. If you find the process energizing instead of draining, you are probably addicted to your home.
15. Renovation as a Lifestyle
For some happy families, renovations are a great way to bond with one another. The home improvement mindset can be therapeutic. Getting creative helps you stretch your money and have the greatest impact on your home. For example, using reclaimed materials is very on-trend and can help your home develop a unique character. Ask your contractor if they have discarded material left over from other projects. This could net finds such as a rustic door, vintage cabinet hardware or ideas for unique art projects.
16. It’s All About Your Garden
Some people are just as obsessed with the outside of their homes as the inside. If you have more pictures of your plants than your kids on Facebook, you could be addicted to your home. Plants provide nutritious food for your family, so this is a great obsession that can save you money.
17. You Spend Hundreds of Dollars on Landscaping Upgrades
You can easily spend the whole day and your paycheck shopping for groundcover and ornamental shrubs. While landscaping gives your home curb appeal, you might want to create a budget before heading out to the nursery. Landscaping doesn’t improve your home structurally and requires upkeep that gets expensive quickly.
18. Do You Dream About Home Improvement Projects?
This actually happens. Homeowners wake up in a cold sweat in a panic over whether they missed a step in their DIY home improvement. To save yourself anxiety, trust projects like plumbing and electrical work to the professionals. Stick to tasks you know you can finish successfully, and you’ll sleep better at night.
19. You Make Alphabetized Gardening Lists
Many gardeners like to plan ahead and constantly make lists of gardening tools and plants they’d like to include in their garden. Do you ask for hand tools and gardening aprons for birthdays and special occasions? If so, your home obsession may lean toward the green spaces of your property.
20. You Are a Weather Geek
Homeowners obsessed with their homes often plan projects, parties and other events that take place on their property. If you would rather be home than anywhere else, you might pay special attention to the weather. You could lose sleep wondering whether a late frost will kill your spring planting or a rain shower could sink your weekend barbecue.
21. You Speak Gardener’s Latin
If botanical nomenclature is music to your ears, you could be obsessed with your home garden. You prefer the Latin names of plants because its more precise than common names.
22. You Stand and Stare
Does your spouse constantly find you staring at the floor, walls or ceiling? If you’re planning your next project instead of daydreaming about a trip to Tahiti, you may be obsessed with your home.
23. You Aren’t Always Great Company
Like many hobbyists, you may not always welcome unexpected guests that interrupt your projects. This can come across the wrong way to people who care about you. Take a step back and remember to practice mindfulness so that you can enjoy the home you work so hard to find and improve.
24. You Spend a Lot of Time Rearranging Home Decor
If you can easily spend hours fluffing pillows, rearranging knick-knacks or shopping for wall art, you might be obsessed with your home.
25. You Celebrate Garden Milestones
Do you mark the calendar the first day your seeds germinate, the day your squash plants flower and your first harvest of cucumbers? If changes in your yard and garden bring you joy, you may be obsessed with your home — in a good way.