I don’t think I was fully prepared, when I bought my first house, for the responsibility of actually owning a property… There are a lot of things that I didn’t think of, that I’ve had to learn over the years. Things that have been difficult. As a person coming from renting space, it’s hard to imagine, or even think of in the first place, having to maintain an HVAC system, roof, windows, lawn, gardens, etc. I mean half the time I would just blink my eyes and something new needed fixing. It was a lot for me to think about and keep track of. I’ve owned several houses since my first place, and I seem to have hit the point where I can keep up on things before they break and not have to spend too much time backtracking to fix everything. Maintenance is, I have found, the best option to keep costs low and stress to a minimum. For instance, I routinely have my heating and cooling pro look over my HVAC system to ensure it is running smoothly and functioning properly. I have to reseal my wood deck in the back every few years, to keep it in good condition. I also take the extra time to thoroughly clean my windows and screens each year in the summer and fall. Each of these things I do, are so ingrained now, they are just habit. I just do them. And having these systems keep my house from degenerating to the point that I am having to fix things left and right. The heating and cooling system was particularly bad in my old house. But then again, during that period of my life, I didn’t even know I was supposed to change the filters in my HVAC system. So yeah, I’ve come pretty far.