Lessons We've Learned in a Year of Home Ownership

A year ago tomorrow, Joe and I signed the papers on our first home. It was nerve racking and exciting and this last year has been quite the adventure as we've renovated and made this place our own. Things haven't always gone smoothly and there have been a lot of unexpected and frustrating projects that have come up, but owning our house and having a place to call home has been really rewarding. In the last year, we've learned a few things about owning a house that we might not have thought about from the beginning.

The Good

Making the Space Your Own is Rewarding

Because we were renovating, we got to pick out everything in this house, from the carpet to the door knobs. Every little detail of our house reflects who we are as individuals and a couple. From the minute the hard wood floors went in (the first thing to be finished in the house), it started to feel more like home. When people walk in the front door, they get an immediate sense of who we are because every detail in the house has been or will be picked by us.

Having Space to Entertain is Fun

Now that we're finally starting to settle in and get unpacked, I get antsy to have people over. We've always invited people visit in our apartments, but the space available and the layout of the area hasn't usually been ideal for entertaining. Our house, and the layout that I chose, makes having people over for dinner, barbecues, game nights, etc. a lot easier. I'm always looking for a reason to invite our friends and family into our home. We enjoy creating memories, showing off our space and I love having an excuse to clean as well.

Having Storage Space Makes Life Better

Our first apartment had practically no storage space so we learned to be creative. Our last apartment had a decent amount of storage, but the majority of it was in our bedroom or down the hall from our section of the basement. In our house, we have so much storage space that I almost don't know what to do with it. My pantry in the kitchen is full, I have a room in the basement reserved for food storage once we get shelving built and money in our budget to stock up. For the first time in our marriage, our bedroom isn't the catch all for anything that we don't have a place for and I'm excited to have it be a sanctuary instead of an extra storage room.

The Bad

There are Always Projects to Do

Even though the major renovations have been finished for a while, we have quite a few things both inside and outside the house that we really want to get done. Every time I clean the house or finish a project, I think of two or three more things that we should do to make our house awesome! We have a list of things that we are going to be budgeting for in order of priority and for the next 3-5 years, we won't ever be project less.

Nothing is Easy and Something is Always Broken

Every time we go to start a project, we assume that it's going to be pretty straightforward and easy, but that's never the case. What we think will take us an hour or two usually ends up taking a few days to complete. And just when we think we have everything good to go, something that we weren't expecting goes wrong. Just a couple of weeks ago, we discovered that our roof is leaking a tiny bit, so now we've added "fix the roof" to our list of things that we need to do. The other problem we always run into is finding the time to get it all done...

It All Costs Money

I wish I had a Mary Poppins wallet that never ran out of funds for the things that I want to get done. When we were planning the renovations for our house, we had to budget by most important or the most difficult to do later on. And our list now goes by what will save us the most money if we do it (ie getting new windows will save on energy costs) and what is most important. Between decorating and projects, I have to remind myself that we have groceries to buy and other things to save for. Home ownership has definitely made us wish that money grew on trees.

Are you a homeowner? What have you learned through home ownership that you weren't expecting, or maybe that you knew would happen but not to that degree, since owning your home?