Common homeowner complaints: Lack of storage, maintenance

Professional help can alleviate all three home owner complaints, but some solutions cost more than others

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Becoming a homeowner can be one of the most fulfilling moments in a person’s life—but it can also be one of the most frustrating endeavors, as well.

According to a recent HSH.com survey, respondents felt the three top home-related annoyances were:

→ Lack of storage (67%)
→ Too much maintenance (66%)
→ Home was too small (52%)

Lack of storage biggest issue

Lack of storage has become a bigger issue over the past decade not because families are getting larger but because we want more room for our stuff. Truth is, some older homes lack the storage needed. As a result, new build homes have taken storage into consideration and built it into the home design.

Homeowners looking to stay in their home but find more storage, consider hiring a professional organizer. At a cost of $60 to $150 per hour, professional organizers can often find spaces and places that can be turned into permanent storage areas. For instance, consider putting closets under stairwells, building larger pantries and using more attic and basement space for storage. It may require an additional few hundred or few thousand dollars to complete the custom storage space, but you’ll be adding usability and value to your home.

Maintenance a big concern for homeowners

The HSH.com survey found that maintenance is a bigger program for owners (while renters didn’t consider it a big problem). Even more interesting was that maintenance became even more of a problem as the homeowner aged.

The aging baby boomer generation doesn’t want to mow the lawn anymore or keep up with home improvement projects, says Kimberly O’Neil Mara, sales agent at Century 21 Spindler & O’Neil Associates in North Reading, Massachusetts. “Often these empty nesters are selling their big homes and downsizing to more manageable homes or even condos where they can just lock the door and head south for the winter any time they want to do so.”

Where you live also impacted the maintenance problem. People living in more northern climates—where it snowed more or where flooding or severe weather was more frequent—considered home maintenance a larger problem than those living in warmer, more temperate climates.

Home owners struggling with on-going maintenance can either opt to move to a more maintenance-free lifestyle—found in condos, townhomes or in apartment buildings—or they can hire a firm that provides seasonal or on-going maintenance repairs. For a break-down of on-going annual maintenance, see the Ultimate Home Maintenance Guide, or checkout our Winter Maintenance checklist for tasks and costs (with links to spring, summer and fall maintenance guides).
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