Celebrating 1 Year Of Home Ownership & Lessons Learned
December 28th and 29th of 2017 will always be very important dates in my life. Those are the days my wife and I closed on and moved into a house we built. Personally, it was a culmination of all the hard work and sacrifices I had to make in my life. After all the years I spent living through the ups and downs of life, I finally found a home with the most significant person in my life. One of the things I was hoping to do in this blog is share my home ownership experiences. For the most part, it hasn’t really worked out that way. Although there is still a lot of work to be done around here, life has gotten in the way. 2018 has been one crazy busy year for both of us. However, I have learned a lot of lessons along the way. Some have to do with actually maintaining a home while others have more to do with life in general. If nothing else, I hope what I have to say helps others who are striving to accomplish the same goal. I know all too well how much you may need to go through in order to reach this point. If nothing else, I hope my story helps you to keep going even when the goal seems too much like a dream and not like a reality.
Celebrate On Closing Day
Victories like home ownership don’t come around very often in life. If you get to the point where you close out the deal on your dream home, go out there and celebrate it. Although being a homeowner will most likely mean you will need to cut back on expenses, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the initial satisfaction of becoming a new homeowner. Whether it’s popping the cork on your favorite bottle of champagne or going out to your favorite restaurant you should take some time out to enjoy your achievement.
Think About Your Wallet
Sadly the days of having somebody else take care of fixing issues around the house are over. Being a homeowner may also mean that you won’t be able to go out and have fun quite as much as you used to. Being a homeowner is serious business. There is a lot of factors to consider if you want to keep your home in good condition. Even something as simple as grouting your sink and shower on a saturday afternoon instead of going out and having fun could save you a ton of money in the long run. Be prepared to rethink your spending when moving into your first home.
Be Willing To Learn New Things
Have you ever mowed a lawn? Ever consider installing a ceiling fan? Have a patch of grass that isn’t growing? These are just some of the issues you may stumble upon when owning a house. Don’t hesitate to take some time out of your day to attend a class on one of these topics at your local Lowes or Home Depot. Personally, the ceiling fan class I took last summer was extremely helpful. I can pretty much install one no problem at this point. There are so many lessons, big and small, that you will need to learn in order to keep your house in good shape.
Enjoy The Silence
Although there is certainly a chance that homeownership could equal living closer to the big city, for many it may be more of the opposite. As somebody who spends a lot of time alone due to conflicting schedules and working from home, I can tell your firsthand that spending a lot of time alone in such a big space can become a lonely feeling. However, I also know that my life isn’t always this quiet. One of the points of becoming a homeowner is to have your own space. Rather than putting up with noisy neighbors and other potential annoyances that come with apartment living, you have complete control of your living space. Enjoy those quiet days. You earned them!
Embrace Being A Neighbor
This is an odd point for me to be writing about. I consider myself to be a nice guy. I’ve become much more engaging and friendly as I’ve gotten older, but I would never say I am the most neighborly. However, moving into a community like I’ve found myself in has made me change my perspective a little bit. You don’t necessarily have to be best friends with everybody in your neighborhood, but don’t close yourself off. Say hi to those around you and be engaging. You may find that you have more in common with those around you then you might think.
Have Fun With Your Home
Trust me when I tell you that being a homeowner is a serious job. There are a lot of expected and unexpected responsibilities you will need to keep in mind. These are all things that will either eat up money or time in the long run. However, don’t forget to have fun in your house too. Ever dream of having your own basketball net? How about a game room? Or better yet, patio where friends and family can hang out and create memories at? With good budgeting and a little creativity these are all things you can have in your new home.
Be Willing To Give Up Convenience
This point may not apply to everybody, but it does apply to me. It now takes me about 20-30 minutes to get to some of my favorite stores and restaurants these days. I traded living so close to everything for the past several years in exchange for having a nice quiet house to come home to. It’s a small price I had to pay in order to have the life I have today. There are very few moments where I wish I hadn’t given up that convenience. You too will most likely learn that giving some of this up is worth it.
Don’t Put Off Chores For Another Day
To be honest, chores have always been a tough topic for me in the past. I’m either very responsible and do them religiously or I am the total opposite and let them slide a bit. This was especially true when I lived in an apartment. The upkeep didn’t always matter to me that much. However, the idea of being a homeowner has really changed that. Much like my car, I really take pride in my home’s upkeep and appearance. I’ve only been here for a year, but I must say that it has really paid off to be so diligent about doing things like steam mopping the floor. The future value of your house could be at stake if you don’t develop a routine. Don’t put some of these jobs off until tomorrow and get on them today.
How Do I Feel Today?
The lessons and tips I’m putting out there are great to share, but it doesn’t really get into the “human” side of it. What does all of this mean to me as a person? As a person who really, truly had to work and live through some serious ups and downs in life in order to get here, it is very gratifying to have a place I can call home. My wife and I would both agree that this house means a lot to us. It’s not just a symbol of taking the next steps in life. It is a symbol of all the hard work we’ve put into our lives in order to be where we are today. While owning a home may seem like no big deal to some, to others it is everything. Personally, the journey I traveled in order to be here today made it all worthwhile. I certainly had many moments where I didn’t think this would be possible. Depending on your situation, it can start to feel like you will never get out of the apartment living rut that some of us get into. I certainly don’t want to knock apartment living. It can be a great experience. However, there is nothing like owning your very own home. The fact that my wife and I got to build our first home made the experience even sweeter.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: don’t take your home for granted. Put your home first. Do all of the little things around the house so it doesn’t become a big problem in the future. Take pride in your home and enjoy the time you spend there. Get creative with your home and make it your own. Face some of the weird DIY challenges you may come up against. It really pays off to learn how to do stuff on your own. You also get to feel the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself. Much like being a homeowner, it truly is all about you and your attitude.
If you enjoyed this piece, then feel free to take a look back at my home buying/building series from early in 2018!
The Road To Buying My First Home: