Tales from the Vault: 365+ Days of Homeownership

This little next series will be fun. I was clearing out my work laptop and stumbled across a few things I typed up. Decided to post them raw, uncut. I dub this series "Tales from the Vault". Looks like this post is circa May/June. Enjoy!!!

First year of homeownership is now officially in the books! I’ll be the first to admit that owning a home isn’t for everybody. In this BRED talk, I will share my learnings a little over 365 days after getting the keys. I am not trying to encourage nor dissuade; I am simply sharing my thoughts on Year 1.

The best pieces of advice I can give a potential homeowner are:

  1. Don’t buy too much house. You won’t need 3 spare rooms, you’re not going to want to entertain a la all the folks on HGTV, or you’ll need room to “grow”. The size of the house ended up being absolutely perfect. Aside from probably needing one more little closet, I think I nailed the square footage. I was adamant about not buying a house over 1500 sq ft. Turned out to be a great call. Even in a sub-1500 sq. ft home, probably only use HALF of it. But if big houses are your thing, do you. Do consider how you will have clean and heat/cool all that extra space.
  2. Don’t feel like you have to furnish the whole house in 2 weeks. I’ve seen too many folks go rushing in trying to buy out Sonoma Williams after just plunking down mad ducts at closing. We have a bunch of mix and match furniture. A slip cover here and some new hardware there can refresh most furniture. Also, don’t be afraid to hit up yard sales and the like. You just signed a 15-30 year note, you have mad time to furnish.
  3. Lowes will become your happy place. You are going to need household staples. At minimum, you will need the following:
  • Cordless drill – The Beyonce of power tools
  • Garden stuff – Rakes, hoses, shovels, etc.
  • Ladder – One step ladder and one taller ladder
  • Hand tools – Screwdriver, wrenches, etc.
  1. There isn’t much you can’t fix thanks to Google and YouTube. Don’t be afraid to fix the smaller things. You’d be surprised to see how powerful you feel when you fix something yourself. However, be sure to stay in your lane. If you’re not comfortable messing with certain things, DON’T! Personally, I don’t fool with any natural gas related issues. Not worth blowing my neighborhood to smithereens to save $100.
  2. Home warranties are a joke. The seller was gracious enough *eye roll* to throw in a free year. Used it once. The warranty company sent over some shade-tree repair guy. He did the work, but I wasn’t blown away. For year 2, I will just take the warranty premium and stash it away.
  3. Get a Sam’s Club or Costco membership. Membership clubs aren't always ideal for groceries but bomb for household wares. Buy tissue, paper towels, paper cups, detergent, cleaning supplies in bulk.
  4. It took me a while to actually feel “home”. For the first few months I felt like I was sleeping at a stranger’s house. Be sure to put up pictures and art and other things that will make the house feel like yours.
  5. You are not going to like how some of your neighbors live. If they are not endangering your safety, live and let live. I have some neighbors that like to blare music sometimes. Do I always want to hear it? Nope. Does it affect my safety? Nope. They tend to be respectful at the key hours, so I don’t trip. Choose your battles. Is it worth getting into a beef with someone that you may live next to for decades?

Owning a home has been amazing. It’s a dope feeling to hit that lock with your key and walk into YOUR house. I know the “well you don’t own it, the bank does” or “property taxes mean you’ll never own it” brigade will be in formation but ya’ll can get the finger, the middle. I did the math and counted the costs, so if you don’t mind me, I’ll be in the backyard sippin’ lemonade in the shade.

So what say you? To my homeowners: any other tips you want to share? Do you regret anything? To my potentials: is there anything you want to know? Hit the comment box.