9 Things I Wish I Had Known About Owning My First Home (Before I Bought It)

Years before I ever dreamed of homeownership for myself, I was an HGTV connoisseur. In university, I double majored in “Property Virgins” and “House Hunters” and used several hours glued to the Tv with my roommate, ogling other people’s granite counter tops.

Speedy forward nearly a 10 years, and the time experienced arrived for me to purchase my possess household. (No granite countertops here—my property was more like the “before” scene in an episode of “Fixer Upper”).

Not surprisingly, Tv homeownership did not prepare me for the authentic thing. There are plenty of lessons I have had to understand the difficult way.


If you’re gearing up for your possess journey into homeownership, flip off the Television set and assemble ’round. I’ll fill you in on a couple items I want I experienced recognized beforehand, and a number of surprises (some happy, some discouraging) that I encountered alongside the way.

1. A wonderful lawn normally takes do the job

That lawn’s not likely ti slice alone

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I in no way fulfilled a succulent that I did not eliminate. Even my fake crops are looking a minor wilted correct now. But even nevertheless I never have a eco-friendly thumb, landscaping and yard servicing are eternally on my to-do listing.

Each and every spring, I spray Roundup with impunity, attempting (and failing) to conquer the weeds. My husband handles mowing and edging.

I’ve slowly started out to discover which plants can endure abuse, neglect, and a risky Midwestern local climate. I nonetheless have a extensive way to go in my landscaping journey, but all this work has presented me a new appreciation for other people’s lush, gorgeous lawns.

When you’re property hunting, preserve in intellect that people lovely lawns you see—and that outside area you covet—come at a steep value. Both your time and aggravation, or a significant bill for qualified landscapers, will be needed to keep factors presentable.

2. You could get a monthly bill for neighborhood advancements

Your residence taxes should really shell out for just about every improvement to the neighborhood, ideal? Not automatically.

When my neighbors arrived with each other to petition the town for a velocity bump on our chaotic avenue, the expense was handed on to us property owners. It was not coated by assets taxes, so we received a monthly bill in the mail a handful of months later on. Surprise!

When you might be planning to acquire a residence, make confident you price range for homeownership expenses—not just repair service and HOA fees, but those pesky fees that crop up when you least anticipate them.

3. Brush/trash removing? It operates in a different way in each and every city

You may well not be capable to just go away your leaves on the control…

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As a child, I spent a lot of slide weekends scooping leaves into property waste luggage that we left on the suppress for pickup. But when I became a home-owner, I understood that my early brush with brush removal was unique to the suburb in which I grew up. Every single town handles it in another way, if the city handles it at all.

In Milwaukee, in which I are living, house owners can put leaves on the control for pickup on designated times. For significant branches, you need to request a pickup, or likely dispose of them you. Test with your metropolis to find the ordinances and polices wherever you reside.

4. You will want to clear (or seek the services of somebody to clean up) your horrible home windows

Window routine maintenance was never on my radar as a renter, likely since I by no means had extra than a couple of windows in an condominium. But then I turned the happy owner of many, several windows—and all of them have been coated in a thick film of gunk just after a long time of neglect.

Right after we moved in, I started to deal with the cleansing on my own. But I immediately realized I was getting nowhere fast, and there was no way I could safely cleanse the exterior windows up in the concluded attic.

So, I swallowed my pleasure and employed window washers. It was some of the very best cash I have at any time spent.


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5. You may possibly really feel a sudden urge to stock up on seasonal decorations

I in no way seemed two times at a $50 wreath or decorative gourd right before getting a house owner. Now, I have a burgeoning selection of garden ornaments in the shape of snowmen and spooky cats. Sometimes I really don’t even know who I am any longer.

6. You are going to need to have to create a spending budget for Halloween candy

Inventory up…

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At the very least I did in my Halloween-loving neighborhood, where the trick-or-treaters appear out in droves.

I used upward of $100 on sweet my initially year as a home owner, and most of it was obtained in a panic at the Greenback Retailer soon after I discovered that our supply was dangerously minimal just midway by the night.

Now, I stock up in progress and store with coupons to preserve a few bucks.

7. Do it yourself renovation is equally gratifying and soul-crushing

Maybe just connect with anyone upcoming time…

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For the first couple of months immediately after we closed on our residence, my spouse and I put in each free of charge hour following perform and on the weekends ripping out carpeting, pulling nails just one by a single from the hardwood floors, and scrubbing away at generations’ well worth of grime in the loos and kitchen area. It was some critically ill stuff.

Remaining frugal and formidable usually means we can attain a large amount on a compact budget. But acting as our individual normal contractors became a entire-time occupation on top of equally of our complete-time positions.

Uncomplicated pleasures like “having a social life” or “Friday evening with Netflix” turned distant memories. It’s uncomplicated now to say it was all worth it, but at the time, I daydreamed about profitable the lottery and choosing a workforce of execs to deal with our rehab.

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8. My impulse to look at actual estate listings lingered for a though

When I started off property searching, I obsessively searched for new dwelling listings just about every working day, poring around MLS descriptions and swiping by means of pics. Reaching for my cellular phone to refresh the realtor.com app became muscle mass memory.

But soon after we closed on our property, my impulse to comply with the marketplace did not vanish right away. Even nevertheless I was a house owner, I also experienced a phantom limb in which “checking the genuine estate listings” utilised to be.

A friend of mine put it finest when she wrote about the sensation of reduction she expert when she “no more time had an justification to occupy [her] free time with these actual estate applications.” It’s astonishingly demanding to convert off your house-shopping for mind just after months of getting on significant inform.

9. You will hardly ever want to go back again to sharing partitions

I like my neighbors. I like them even additional simply because, for the most component, I just can’t hear them. Gone are the times of people today earlier mentioned me building bowling sounds late at evening.

Now, I love the sweet, sweet silence of detached living—no adjacent neighbors blasting songs or loudly quarreling. All the garden get the job done in the globe is well worth it for this degree of silent.

The publish 9 Matters I Wish I Had Identified About Possessing My Initial Household (In advance of I Bought It) appeared 1st on Authentic Estate News & Insights | real estate agent.com®.


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