If you haven’t been following closely (cause you’re living your own life or whatever), I bought a house about a year ago. And I’m still here!
People love asking me about how the house is going, what it’s like, etc. So rather than risk having another conversation with a living, breathing, human being, I’m going to share with you all of the wonderful things I’ve learned in my first year of home ownership. And with any luck, you too, can join me in this journey so that I may someday borrow your snow blower.
I’ll maybe do a separate post about the house with progress pics etc. Maybe.
Lesson One: I Don’t Own Anything
One of the first things you’ll realize after purchasing a home is that you don’t own anything. I thought I was in pretty good shape. I had enough furniture to (roughly) fill a house. I’d lived on my own for several years, so I already had all the things you’d expect to need, from small kitchen appliances to full bathroom sets.
You know what I didn’t own? A ladder. Or a hose. Or a paint brush. Or a lawn mower. Or a fire extinguisher.
You’re gonna need all that stuff.
Soon, you’re gonna be dealing with the Home Depot Effect, where you walk in to buy 1-2 things and come out having spent $300.
And it won’t be until you pull into your driveway that you’ll realize you forgot to actually buy the fire extinguisher.
Lesson Two: Shit Breaks, Let It Go
The first time something was seriously wrong with my house, I freaked out a little bit. For me, it was the heat. My house has comically old radiators, and half of them weren’t turning on. The panic crept in immediately.
I’m going to freeze to death in my own home. I’ll never get these radiators working. I don’t know anything about radiators.
Okay, Josh. Don’t panic. Let’s google “how to open radiators.” Who will know? (Besides everyone you tell, dummy.)
Some of the radiators wouldn’t open. The little knobs to open them just broke. It legit took me a week using pliers, wrenches, and everything else in order to open them all. But I did. And it was okay.
The first few things that break or leak or whatever cause total panic. How much will this cost me? Can I afford it? Did I make a huge mistake
(A lot, maybe, and yes.)
But it’ll pass. You’ll be okay. Shit breaks. The Laws of Entropy still apply to your house.
(Despite what you may have heard, the Laws of Thermodynamics are not like vampires and do not need to be invited into your home.)
And once you’re done, you’ll have learned something. And now you’re a bit manlier. I’m pretty sure the cat is impressed.
Lesson Three: Know Your Neighborhood
I do okay, but I don’t have East Rock money, so I ended up purchasing a home in the Edgewood area. Which is nice, but definitely highly varied. Some neighbors are great. Some neighbors are screaming at each other and threatening to call the cops at midnight on a Tuesday.
I have a nosy neighbor who has this supernatural skill of knowing when I’ve just made food and rings my doorbell to talk about home improvement projects and fences. It’s great.
I also didn’t know when I purchased the house that across the street is a Sober House. So now I have to do drugs in the backyard, which is sort of a pain in the ass.
In general, everyone’s been cool. I usually chit chat with folks at the bus stop or over at the Whalley Food Mart when I’m buying Rap Snacks.
Except for those kids who keep stealing my UConn flag. I don’t know if they just want a UConn flag or they’re disgruntled Syracuse fans or what.
(I’m betting on Syracuse fans since they’re well known sociopaths.)
Lesson Four: It’s Never Done
If, like me, you purchased a bit of a Fixer Upper, you’re going to find that there are literally endless projects to do. Cleaning up your yard, fixing shit, remodeling, cleaning, etc.
If you let it, it can overwhelm you.
But you don’t have to do it all today. Or tomorrow. Or next week.
In fact, you have your whole life to work it out. So don’t let it overwhelm you. Take your pants off. Watch some Netflix.
You should enjoy your home. Even if it means you aren’t gonna get everything done right now.
Lesson Five: You Can Do Anything You Want
The absolute best part of buying a house? You can do anything you want with it.
Go ahead, paint the walls pink you sociopath. The only thing stopping you is good taste and common human decency!
For instance, I installed a sweet Nest thermostat so I can know exactly how much heat is escaping my walls and setting fire directly to my money. Technology is great.
(Plus, it turns the heat on when I wake up so when I get out of the shower I don’t freeze to death.)
Lesson Six: It’s Your Driveway
And you can park in it whenever the fuck you want.
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