Life works in cycles and being a homeowner is no different. There are stages that every homeowner will move through. How long each person remains in each stage varies based on the individual and their circumstances.

Keep reading to find out which stage you are in and what might be coming next.

Stage 1 – New Homeowner

You have been dreaming of the day that you owned your own home and now it is finally here. Stage 1 of homeownership is when you have the keys in hand and are ready to move in. This stage is usually a lot of work, but it’s exciting.

You will spend time unpacking and finding the best place to put all of your belongings. You get to choose how to decorate and where you will place all of your furniture. It is not abnormal to arrange and rearrange items several times as you see what works best for the space.

It is recommended that you avoid making major changes to the house right away. It can be helpful to live in the house at least for a short time to see how you actually use the space. If you jump into remodeling projects too quickly you may not know what changes are really worth making.

Stage 2 – Feels like Home

When you hit stage 2 of being a homeowner you have reached the point of feeling “at home.” For some people this takes only a couple of months and for others it takes a few years.

This is when you are comfortable in your home. You have it decorated the way you want, you know where things are located, and you are familiar with your local neighborhood. This is the “Home Sweet Home” stage of being a homeowner.

Stage 3 – Time for Projects

Once you have lived in your house for a few years you will probably have noticed things that you wished were different. Maybe the layout isn’t flowing the way that you like, or you wished there was more outdoor living space. Whatever the changes are that you want to make, Stage 3 is usually when that happens.

If the real estate market has been on an upward swing you will most likely have equity in your home after a few years. Many homeowners will access this equity to do things like put on a new roof, take down a wall in the living room, or put in new windows. Making these changes help you enjoy being in your own home even more, while possibly providing you with a good return when you are ready to sell.

Stage 4 – Sell It

As much as you loved your home when you first bought it there will probably come a day when you are ready to sell. You might want a larger home to support your growing family, or, a smaller home when your kids go off to college. A job change could have you on the move, or, you could just be ready for something different.

It can be hard to leave a home that you have spent years in creating memories, but sometimes it is best to move on to something else.

Some homeowners progress through these stages quickly and start over again. Others may stay in their home for decades before something happens that causes them to transition. The favorite stage will differ for each person, but do your best to enjoy each one as they come.