BEFORE YOU OWN A HOME by Tricia Smith
At one point or another in the future, we will have to make conscious housing decisions as access to shelter is one of the hierarchy of needs of humans. Hence, we will have to either rent, lease, or buy a home. However, this is a process, and we should have knowledge of this to be better prepared. One should not just want to acquire a house simply because they are passionate about designing and organizing their living space. To be frank, it is more than that. After acquiring a house, we must take into consideration the social, economic, and legal factors.
Additionally, to be better prepared, we need to have knowledge of housing and home design. Here, we become knowledgeable about the needs that housing fulfils; housing options; home maintenance and safety; and environmental, economic, legal, and social considerations related to housing (The Ontario Curriculum, 2013). All families need to be equipped with knowledge about how to use the elements and principles of design to make, investigate, process, record and analyse design and decorating decisions. Further, they should be encouraged to adequately use their research skills to investigate pertinent issues related to homelessness, housing, and home design.
When I became a first-time homeowner, I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across the wealth of knowledge that relates to owning a home. Within months, I became familiar with the city’s by-laws as it pertains to property standards. For example, I learnt that you can run your lawnmower between 7am and 9pm. After that, you can be reported for noise bylaw complaint.
Additionally, when I bought my first home, I was constantly doing research to ascertain how best to conserve as well as to utilize energy saving equipment in my home. I remember how I had to change my furnace from the older model to a much new model to help me to save on my heating bill. I have also had to become aware of the legal aspects of the property. This is as I had to take time out to know where my property line starts and ends. This is to save guard myself, family members and my guests from not going onto the neighbour’s property as well as not putting in any permanent landscaping fixtures within that section of the front yard front that belongs to the city. While these by-laws may vary from city-to-city and country, it is important that we do our research and “BE IN THE KNOW.”
Home is where the heart is .