This summer we’ll have been in our home for four years. Sometimes it feels like we just moved in yesterday. I can hardly believe it’s been four years! So much has happened in this home. We’ve stopped and started jobs, brought home a new baby, been way in over our head in renovations, made countless memories, and soon we’ll be bringing home another baby!
I’m probably a little extra sentimental right now ;), but I thought I would share with you guys today what I’ve learned in 4 years of home ownership…the good, the bad, and the ugly!
1 | Problems don’t go away when you ignore them
So so obvious, right? Ha. But when pull out the refrigerator to clean, and somehow spark a leak in the water line, I’m tempted to turn off the water and pretend it never happened. So logical and adult of me, I know. One thing I’ve learned and can assure you, ignoring it will not make it better. And most of the time, it’s an easy fix and not even a big deal …. so roll up your sleeves and deal with it!
2 | When it rains, it pours
I remember one time our washing machine stopped working, and we knew it was time to get a new one. A day later our dishwasher stopped working. We had also been putting off getting a new dishwasher, and it couldn’t be delayed any longer. For whatever reason, everything will decide to break at the same time. Just like there was also the time we were in the middle of a bathroom renovation and we had to replace our HVAC unit. Fun times.
3 | Have an emergency fund
If we’ve learned anything with owning a house, it’s to be prepared for things to break or something to go wrong! We took Dave Ramsey’s financial peace course, and before we started paying off debt we saved up an emergency fund. He says it’s not about if something happens, but it’s when something happens, so always be prepared. When you own a home and can’t just call up your landlord, all responsibility for repairs falls on your lap, so be ready!
4 | Owning a home builds patience
House projects take time…lots of time. When we moved into our house we knew that we needed to re-do the kitchen, the hallway bathroom, the master bathroom, and pretty much furnish the entire house. Four years later and we are just finishing our major renovations. After renovating the kitchen when we just moved in we were pretty burned out, and took a little break. Plus, we didn’t have the budget to do it all at once.
5 | Start with small projects first
These little projects, like painting, scraping the ceilings (which we did), removing wallpaper, etc. are relatively budget friendly and really go a long way. Until you have the budget to do the big stuff, I recommend starting here.
6 | Do as much as you can before moving in
It’s really nice to not have to live under the dust of housework if you don’t have to. The kitchen was the first project we did, and it was super challenging living under construction. Of course, it can be done and people do it all the time, but if you have the luxury of waiting until some projects are done before you move in (if you’re doing projects at all) it’s a nice trade off. Terminix also has some great tips of things to make sure you include in your inspection, before closing, like a termite inspection. One thing’s for sure, you do not want to inherit any problems when you buy your home (trust me, plenty will come along), so it’s important to have any issues that arise taken care of before closing.
7 | Just do it already
It took us forever to do simple things like hang pictures, or set up a nice entryway. I think I avoided a lot because I am so bad at making decisions. But just go ahead and hang the picture already, or paint the room. It’ll be a pain in the moment, but you’ll be glad you did it. Also, cutting the grass. Just cut the grass.
8 | Things will always cost more than you think
So once again, save more than you think you’ll need.
9 | What other people think doesn’t matter
I’ve wasted so much energy wondering, does he or she like our house? What do they think about our new couch? Did what she said mean she hates our rug? etc. etc. At the end of the day, you are the one living in your house. And as you decorate it, it’s an expression of you. If you love it and your decor/construction/renovation decisions make you happy, then that’s all that matters.
10 | Don’t forget to live in your home
I can so easily get consumed with all the house chores and projects that need to be done, that it’s easy to forget to stop and enjoy your home. At the end of the day, when you’ve moved on and sold and bought another house, you’re not going to remember how shiny your floors were. You’re going to remember the little naked bottoms running around the house after bath time, all the boo-boo’s kissed, first steps and first words, tears wiped, and the home you built together.
What have you learned since owning a home? I’d love to hear!!
This post is in partnership with Terminix Services, Inc. All opinions are my own.