Think what you may, but marathoning HGTV will not make you an expert on becoming a homeowner.

“What will,” you ask? Well, nothing can quite fully prepare you for homeownership. This is something that comes with lessons learned along the way.

However, there are a few things you should absolutely know before keys are in hand.

Read further to ensure you are not caught off guard.

Landscaping is more work than you think

It is going to take more than just running the lawnmower over your lawn a few times to maintain a pristine yard.

You will have to do your research on which types of plants work for your climate and seasonally.

Additionally, weeds are a serious issue in Florida. If you are not hiring a lawn care service, this responsibility rests on your shoulders as a homeowner.

Property taxes are not all-inclusive

Depending on the situation, some things are not covered by your property taxes.

For example, your neighborhood could petition for more streetlamps or “kids at play signs”.

These are not always the city’s responsibility and can end up being billed in your HOA dues.

Trash removal

You may be shocked when you receive your first utility bill. Depending on where you are zoned and how your city bills utilities, surprise charges can add up.

Make sure you account for water, sewage, trash, junk pickup, recycling, account activation, and other fees that may creep up.

Many cities will not pick-up trash if it is not bagged or in a trash can.

High demands

If you are purchasing a home with high ceilings or two or more stories, you may have noticed that the ceilings are not going to dust themselves. And the light bulbs will not change themselves. And the windows will not clean themselves!

Unless you own a really tall ladder and a lot of bravery – these tend to be annual tasks that are best left to the professionals.

Home for the Holidays

This phrase is certainly given a new meaning when you become a homeowner.

Your previous apartment complex may not have received many trick-or-treaters. It probably also did not allow for much more than a wreath on your door during the holidays.

Now, you will find yourself having to budget for Halloween candy and building your collection of Christmas lights and lawn ornaments.

Beware of the DIY renovation

The first few months of homeownership is exciting and leaves you wanting to personalize your new home to your needs.

However, buying a home also may leave you with a tighter budget.

Enter: DIY renovation.

Little projects here and there can be fun, but do not get too carried away. Huge projects are a big undertaking and take away from you actually getting to enjoy your new home.

Draw a line on what you can handle, and what should be left to the pros.

There is a never-ending list of research when it comes to buying your first home. A good place to start is to check out our blogs tailored to first-time homebuyers here.