People either rave about or complain about their building's maintenance man, but when the toilet is backed up, he's the first person they call. Brown water running out of the faucet? Call maintenance. Furnace not cycling on during the blizzard? Call maintenance. Large ants parading to the fridge with tiny knapsacks? Call maintenance.
But when it's 4 a.m. in your very own home on a rainy evening and a chunk of the ceiling falls onto your bedroom floor, who are you going to call, and how are you going to pay them? Would you have deep enough pockets to get a maintenance problem taken care of right away?
Sump pumps fail, basements flood, animals die in crawlspaces, ice jams thaw and leak through your wood detailing, and whether in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, these issues are your responsibility now. And while homeowners insurance covers a lot of repairs, using it can lead to increased premiums, and the cost of the repair is subject to your deductible, which is often much higher [source: IIABA, Insurance Information Institute].
Even regular wear-and-tear and maintenance comes with a monthly or even weekly price tag. Some relish this aspect of homeownership and others resent the weekend trips to hardware megastores. There's a reason the phrase "the joys of homeownership" can drip with sarcasm.