Buying a first house is an exciting experience but once the papers are signed and all the boxes moved in, the excited feeling can turn quickly into being overwhelmed. Here are five lessons my husband and I learned quickly about how to survive that first year of home ownership.
Bookmark Online Resources
Whenever anything goes wrong with our house and we are unsure of what to do, we head to the internet. Youtube is usually our first stop. We are able to watch videos that provide step by step instructions on how to fix things. We have used these videos to help us learn how to fix a groaning toilet, how to turn on the gas fireplace’s pilot light, and how to clear out a garbage disposal.
Ask for Recommendations
When a problem is a little more difficult and we cannot do it ourselves, we call an expert. My dad told be from the beginning to have a list of who to call ready way before anything breaks. To get recommendations we first ask people we have personal connections with. This could be relationships through our church or work. Sometimes we are lucky and someone we know offers to look at the problem for free. Most times we are able to find repair people that are reliable, fair, and very helpful.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
If you live in a neighborhood or area with homes close to yours, it is helpful to get to know two or three people and build a relationship with them. This is very beneficial because when you go out of town you have someone who can check to make sure everything looks okay or that can easily contact you if something is not right.
Set Aside Money for Future Repairs
It is important that when you first buy your home to start setting aside a little money each month that can be used for repairs in the future. Although everything is smooth in the beginning, having this money set aside and can decrease the panic you feel later when an appliance breaks and needs to be replaced or repaired.
Don’t Rush the Cosmetic
We decided early on that we would not be in any hurry that first year to decorate our house or to begin any major home improvements. Instead, we started a list and prioritized what was urgent and what could wait. This helped us not fall into debt and we are able to be selective about our purchases and make wise investments. We also find that something we thought was really important when we first bought our house is really something minor.
Personal experience in buying and owning a home