Your house needs repairSupposedly, home ownership is the American dream. However, those who actually own their own homes will tell you that sometimes, it is closer to a nightmare. If you’re still on the fence about which lifestyle will better suit you, take a look at these four reasons that home ownership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

1. A house must be maintained. When you own a home it seems there is no end to the maintenance you must perform. From weekly yard work to gutter cleaning, replacing the occasional broken appliance to maintaining the exterior, from fixing broken pipes to keeping the roof free of debris, the maintenance seems to never end. If you have time, extra money and a passion for fixing stuff then that might be right up your alley. But if you don’t, it’s going to make you miserable. Apartment living, where your landlord is responsible for maintenance, is much easier.

2. Houses require insurance, sometimes lots of it. When you rent a Pewaukee apartment, you need to insure your contents and protect yourself from certain liabilities. That’s it. If you own a home, you must also insure the structure of the home and outside buildings (such as sheds or garage). Consider whether you need flood or liability insurance. This will generally be a lot more expensive than simple renter’s insurance.

3. Home owners pay property taxes. Property taxes are a big annual expense. They go toward funding schools, roads and parks as well as other projects in your community and they generally don’t decrease over time. Depending on your location and the value of your home, this could add thousands of dollars to your annual expenses.

4. A house is an investment, and investments can lose money. Many people choose to buy their own home so that they can put their monthly payment into an investment that they own. But when you consider the cost of insurance, property taxes, maintenance and home loan interest, a home’s value has to increase significantly in order for the individual to actually profit from ownership. And if it doesn’t, as we’ve seen over the past few years–then the homeowner will have ultimately lost money.

5. Don’t forget the opportunity costs involved. When you spend your money (or your time), its gone, and you might get a better return elsewhere.

Apartment living may not be considered the American dream, but with the freedom and affordability if offers, maybe it should.