Boy does time fly! Believe it or not, I bought my townhouse a year ago, last Friday! As you remember from Bianca and my posts, about home ownership, there is a lot that goes into looking at houses, getting a loan and of course closing the deal and buying a house! But, there is more to come after you buy your house! I have learned a ton over the past year and for that, I decided to share some insight with you!
Much More Work than it Looks
Clearly I knew it was going to be hard work cleaning the house head to toe and decorating it to be my own, but I didn’t realize how much time it really takes! It wasn’t until 2 weeks after purchasing my new place that I even started moving in. Even though the place was a flipped foreclosure, that was completely remodeled, some things were done “shotty” and also they could care less about the cleanliness. Thank goodness for my parents, taking a couple weekends out of their time, to clean it from head to toe and also helping me replace some of the shotty workmanship. Which leads me to my next point…
Do it Yourself
If you can do the work yourself, do it! No one is going to take the time, precision and quality of work as you do. It is your own place, you obviously want it done a certain way and that is the right way! I was very disappointed that I had to spend a week chiseling out the beautiful tiling, in the master bathroom, because they were so lazy and messy with the caulk. Also, learned that the hard-way that even though it looks cosmetically nice, it may not be structurally sound. Which again, leads me to my next point…
When I bought my townhouse I expected it to be perfect for a while….well a while lasted a couple months.
- First mishap was having a washer flooded on second floor through the ceiling fan of the first floor bathroom…Luckily I caught this in time and there is only a wrinkle in the ceiling’s drywall.
- Front door needed to be adjusted because it had a 1 inch gap on the bottom bleeding in outside air. Luckily my boyfriend Mark was able to fix this.
- Master tub was leaking into the kitchen…Biggest pain in my ass and caused water marks on my kitchen ceiling. Again, my boyfriend saved the day by caulking the tub better so it doesn’t leak but the damage is already done. Instead of paying tons of money to replace ceiling drywall we are going to get a railroad tier. Saves time and money!
- Dog scratched up the wood floors and even wacked his tail into the corner of the wall going up the stairs and damaged the wall..Again my boyfriend is a life saver!
Cost is always a Factor
Even though buying a place is much more cost effective in the long run, versus renting, there are still plenty of fees. You have your mortgage, insurance, possibly HOA and then all your utilities. Things add up and makes you much more aware of how long you take showers, making sure you turn off lights when you leave the room, is the Premium Dish package really that important, etc. Sometimes you have to cut back on luxury items you have become accustomed to and those will have to be the first thing to cut from your expenditures to save yourself a little money.
Leading back to my last point…things also do break and cost/money will ALWAYS be a factor, unless you win the lottery!
You can never anticipate job layoffs, health problems, surprise trips, accidents/tickets, etc. It is always good to have a little extra wiggle room in your savings account for when that dark cloud decides to hang over you!
Unfortunately it’s time to put big girl pants on and be proactive by saving a little bit here and there. You are independent and you don’t want to have to ask your parents to borrow money when the world bites you in the ass.
HOA & Neighbors can be a Bitch
Unfortunately, just like family, you can’t pick your neighbors! For me it was difficult moving from a house to a townhouse where your neighbors already all know each other and your HOA by-laws are enforced…With that said, as a young home owner I was not only judged, but looked down at right off the bat.
I have a neighbor who is also on the HOA board that has complained and told on me for the silliest things…including that my DISH was set up in the wrong spot on my roof, yet doesn’t with other neighbors because they are the original owners.
Another issue I encountered was shortly after getting my “ferocious pitbull”, Kip my neighbors made me aware that they don’t like pitbulls. Clearly they are stereotypical because they refused to even meet my dog…My one neighbor, who has a dog doesn’t even want her dog outside the same time we are.
Again things that you have to take with a grain of salt and just prove to be the better person at the end of the day. Kill with kindness
Cooking is Cheaper
Even though we are all busy bee’s and never really have time to make dinner, it is time to do so! Mark and I added up how much we were spending on fast food/going out to dinner and it was 3 times as much as it is to buy groceries and make food or even do weekly Blue Apron. Not saying you can never go out to eat and enjoy yourself, but if you are on a budget, this will cut costs and be overall healthier choice!
Give yourself Time to Settle In
For me I wanted to move in, unpack and buy everything I needed ASAP! This is unrealistic and it takes a lot of work and time! Rome wasn’t built in a day! To be honest I was so set on having my birthday/house warming party I rushed getting my home up and running. Really it takes about a year until you have everything to the way you like. With that said, I also may have rushed getting my dog Kip because it was just a lot all at once which was very overwhelming! But, luckily it all worked out in the end do to my next point..
Routine, Routine, Routine
To make your life easier, whether it is buying your first place, getting your budget in tact, getting a dog, living with your boyfriend for the first time, routine is the most important thing! Once you get into the swing of things and figure out how things work everything will become less stressful and MUCH easier. Sooner or later everything will then come naturally and you will forget the hard times!
As much as these points were somewhat struggles for me over the last year, they have been more hit the ground running life lessons! Unless you learn to be independent, fend for yourself and make it work you will not learn how important it is to ask for help. I don’t know what I would have done without my parents and Mark. They are super important to me and helped make me the person I am in the past year!